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NHL Playoffs 2012- Last Night in the West (April 17)

The bash festival that has been the NHL Playoffs isn’t funny anymore. That became obvious as Chicago’s leading scorer in the regular season, Marian Hossa, lay on the ice. The hit by Raffi Torres has already landed the Coyote an indefinite suspension, but the damage to Hossa and the Blackhawks could finish the team off for the season. In the other match up of the night, the Predators took a 3-1 series lead over rival Red Wings in physical fashion.

Phoenix Coyotes 3 Vs. Chicago Blackhawks 2 Overtime (Coyotes Lead Series 2-1)
It was the third overtime game of the series. Both Corey Crawford and Mike Smith made great saves. There were spectacular goals. But whenever a stretcher is involved in a hockey game, the rest just fades into the background. Torres hit high with his shoulder on Hossa, who immediately crumpled to the ice and was taken to a hospital. He has been released, but there is no word on the extent of the injuries. Hossa could easily be done for the rest of the playoffs and beyond.

The Chicago Blackhawks struck first in the opening period with a goal from NHL journeyman Andrew Brunette. Brunette is someone to watch out for as the series continues as he has scored a few big playoff goals in his career. No one scored again until the eight minute mark of the third period when three people scored in just over a minute. Those goals were scored by Phoenix’s Rostislav Klesla, followed by Chicago’s Michael Frolik and finally Ray Whitney who tied the game for Phoenix. In overtime, Mikkel Boedker just found room between the crossbar and goalie Crawford to win the game for Phoenix.

Nashville Predators 3 Vs. Detroit Red Wings 2 (Predators Lead Series 3-1)
Pekka Rinne is stealing the show away from the Red Wings and their adoring fans. It must be frustrating for all of that rich hockey history to not be able to overcome a goalie from a place where water does not even freeze. Rinne had 40 saves in a game that remained scoreless until the third period.

Starting at the beginning of the third, Gabriel Bourque scored for the Predators, followed immediately by Jiri Hudler of the Red Wings. Kevin Klein of the Predators scored six minutes later and David Legwand added insurance with a PowerPlay goal 40 seconds before time expired. The Red Wings will have to fight their way back into the series in game five in Nashville, or go home for the summer.

Tonight:
In the West:
(1) Vancouver at (8) Los Angeles (Kings lead 3-0) 10 PM EST on NBC Sports

In the East:
(4) Pittsburgh at (5) Philadelphia (Flyers lead 3-0) 7:30 PM EST on NBC Sports
(1) New York at (8) Ottawa (Rangers lead 1-1) 7:30 PM EST on CNBC

Check out Stephanie Lewark’s page for the Last Night in the East

Previous Posts:
Last Night in the West (April 11)
Last Night in the West (April 12) 
Last Night in the West (April 13) 
Last Night in the West (April 14)
Last Night in the West (April 15)
Last Night in the West (April 16)