NHL Playoffs 2012: Last Night in the East (April 19)

Both of last night’s eastern conference matchups of the NHL Playoffs 2012 were about the goaltending — elite goaltending from a veteran (Martin Brodeur) and a rookie who is just beginning what promises to be a long, successful career in the NHL if he continues to play like he is (Braden Holtby).

Washington Capitals 2 vs. Boston Bruins 1 (Series Tied at 2)
The Washington Capitals struck first in last night’s Game 4 with a goal from Marcus Johansson and never looked back.  The Boston Bruins answered later in the first period with a goal from Rich Peverley, but ultimately the Capitals scored one better in the second from Alex Ovechkin with a man-advantage to win and tie the series at 2.

Both Holtby and Tim Thomas held the forts for a scoreless third period, but Washington’s rookie goaltender outshined Thomas with an amazing performance last night and one of the main reasons the Capitals won the game to tie the series (he was the #1 star of the game). 

 “He just makes it very calm for the rest of us,” Capitals forward Brooks Laich said. “If we give up a shot, we know [Holtby] is going to cover it, and if he does leave a rebound — which I didn’t see many tonight — our guys are going to clear it. When you have a goaltender that is on top of his game, it really, really settles your team down. He was a leader for us tonight.”

New Jersey Devils 4 vs. Florida Panthers 1 (Series Tied at 2)
After being pulled early in the second period of Game 3 (the first time in six years in the playoffs), future hall-of-fame goalie, Martin Brodeur, led the New Jersey Devils to win over the Florida Panthers with a shutout (his 24th in career post-season play).

“There’s always going to be critics,” captain Zach Parise said. “We have all the confidence in the world in him. After last game, I’m sure there was going to be people saying whatever they want to say and we don’t care. He doesn’t care. But I’ve seen it for the last seven years and he’s always responded.”

Both goalies began the game with a pretty evenly-matched first period without allowing any goals.  Devils captain, Zach Parise, scored the only goal in the second with the flood gates opening for New Jersey in the third with a total of three more goals from Steve Bernier, Travis Zajac, and Ilya Kovalchuk to round out the 4-0 shutout by the Devils to tie the series at 2 games.

Tonight
#5 Philadelphia at #4 Pittsburgh (Philly leads the series 3-1) 7:30 PM EST on NBCSN

In the West:
#5 Detroit at #4 Nashville (Nashville leads the series 3-1) 8:00 PM EST on CNBC

Previous Posts (East):
Last Night in the East (April 11)
Last Night in the East (April 16)
Last Night in the East (April 17)
Last Night in the East (April 18)

Previous Posts (West):
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)
Last Night in the West (April 17)
Last Night in the West (April 18)

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