Morning Stanley Cup of Joe – April 24, 2012


PHOENIX 4, CHICAGO 0; PHX wins series 4-2
Mike Smith made 39 saves for his first career playoff shutout as the
Coyotes/Jets franchise won its first playoff series in 25 years and first
since relocating to Phoenix in 1996.

NY RANGERS 3, OTTAWA 2; series tied 3-3
The Rangers erupted for three goals in the second period to erase an early
deficit and force Game 7 Thursday at Madison Square Garden.

A countdown of the night’s best moments:

Visit and tune to NHL Network for all of the latest playoff news,
highlights and analysis.

The Coyotes advanced to the second round of the postseason for the first
time since April 16, 1987, when they (as the Winnipeg Jets) defeated the
Calgary Flames, 4-2, in the Smythe Division Semifinals. Since then, the
Phoenix/Winnipeg franchise had been 0-13 in games in which it could clinch
a playoff series.

Mike Smith made 39 saves, including key stops on Chicago’s Brendan Morrison
and Andrew Shaw, to help the Coyotes advance. Smith, who was signed by
Phoenix July 1 to replace departed netminder Ilya Bryzgalov (now with the
Flyers), finished the series with a 1.81 goals-against average and .950
save percentage. He played in 67 games during the regular season,
establishing career bests in wins (38), goals-against average (2.21), save
percentage (.930) and shutouts (8).

Phoenix captain Shane Doan advances to the second round of the postseason
for the first time in his 16-year NHL career, all of which has been with
the Coyotes/Jets franchise. Doan had played 1,242 career games (regular
season and playoffs) before experiencing the winning side of the
traditional handshake line. He discussed the significance of the victory
following the game.

The Western Conference matchups for the second round of the 2012 Stanley
Cup Playoffs have been set: No. 2 St. Louis will play No. 8 Los Angeles and
No. 3 Phoenix will take on No. 4 Nashville. If the first round is any
indication, each series will feature quality goaltending – St. Louis’ Brian
Elliott (1.37 GAA, .949 SV%) will face Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick (1.59
GAA, .953 SV%), while Phoenix’s Mike Smith (1.81 GAA, .950 SV%) will battle
Nashville’s Pekka Rinne (1.81 GAA, .944 SV%).

Three players have made their NHL debuts in the NY Rangers-Ottawa series.
New York’s Chris Kreider skated in his first game April 16 (Game 3) and
scored the winning goal Monday in Game 6. Ottawa’s Mark Stone played in his
first game April 21 (Game 5), assisting on Jason Spezza’s winning goal.
Teammate Jakob Silfverberg made his NHL debut Monday, registering one shot
on goal in 9:02 of ice time after helping Brynas of the Swedish Elite
League (SEL) capture the league championship April 19.

The road team won both games Monday, bringing the visitors’ record to 28-16
(.636) in the first round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The 28 road
wins are a first-round record, surpassing the mark of 27 set in 2010. Here
is a look at the visiting teams’ win percentage in the opening round of the
postseason over the last few years:

Year   GP   Road W    W%
2006   44     23     .523
2007   43     19     .442
2008   48     20     .417
2009   44     20     .455
2010   48     27     .551
2011   49     26     .531
2012   44     28     .636

New York’s Brad Richards blasted in a power-play goal to give the Rangers
the lead . . . Phoenix’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson netted the winning goal, his
first career postseason tally . . . Ottawa’s Chris Neil urged the crowd for
support during his lengthy scrap with New York’s Brandon Prust . . .
Michael Jordan, Vince Vaughn and Frank Thomas attended the Chicago-Phoenix

“So happy for my good buddy Mike Smith in Phoenix … Unbelievable in round
one!! That’s the Smittdawg I know and love #hasmyvoteforthevezina” – Steven
Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning

“Game 7 at the Garden! CAN’T WAIT!!!! #NYR” – Joba Chamberlain, New York

“Can’t lie I’m doing a dance of joy in the middle of the street in the east
village! I should be sleeping but yayyyyyy @thenyrangers!” – Lauren Scala,

The NHL announced that Game 7 of the Boston-Washington series will take
place at 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 25 (NBCSN, CBC, RDS, NESN) . . .
Centers David Backes of the St. Louis Blues, Patrice Bergeron of the Boston
Bruins and Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings have been named the three
finalists for the 2011-12 Frank J. Selke Trophy, awarded “to the forward
who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game” . . . Defenseman
Brian Campbell of the Florida Panthers, right wing Jordan Eberle of the
Edmonton Oilers and left wing Matt Moulson of the New York Islanders have
been named the three finalists for the 2011-12 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy,
awarded “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of
sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of
playing ability.”

All Times Eastern
Florida @ New Jersey, Game 6
FLA leads 3-2, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN, RDS, MSG Plus

For the first time, every Stanley Cup Playoffs game is being televised
nationally in the United States, on NBC, NBC Sports Network, CNBC and NHL
Network. Not sure where to find the game? Use our channel finder:

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.