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2011 NHL Playoffs: First Round Update, 4/17

There were some shocking results in Saturday's NHL action. Let's recap:

Western Conference

Detroit Red Wings 4, Phoenix Coyotes 3 -- The Red Wings displayed their superior offensive firepower for the second straight game, and Detroit took a commanding two game lead in a series that is quickly reaching its conclusion. Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard is performing well enough in net, and Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov has not carried his team as needed. Pavel Datsyuk is putting on an offensive clinic, completely shredding the Coyotes defense with a goal and four assists. Don't kid yourself, this series is over.

Detroit leads the series, 2-0.

Los Angeles Kings 4, San Jose Sharks 0 -- After their gutsy overtime loss in Game One, the Kings came back with a fury and completely dominated the second game in San Jose. Defenseman Jack Johnson helped justify his long-term contract earlier this season with a power play goal and assist, and Drew Doughty added two goals as the Kings were the better team on the ice for (arguably) the second game in a row. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick pitched a shutout, stopping all 34 shots he faced. The series now shifts to Los Angeles, where the Kings now hold home-ice advantage. Even without Anze Kopitar, they are finding enough offense to give the favored Sharks trouble.

Series tied at 1-1.

Eastern Conference

Philadelphia Flyers 5, Buffalo Sabres 4 -- A wild game in Philadelphia, as a desperate Flyers team kept scoring against a resilient Sabres team. Buffalo forward Thomas Vanek scored two goals in a losing effort, while Flyers foward Claude Giroux added a goal and an assist. The main story is the Philadelphia goaltending situation, as rookie Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled in the first period after surrendering three goals. Veteran Brian Boucher only allowed one goal the rest of the game, adding fuel to a goalie controversy in Philadelphia. Who will start Game 3, when the series moves to Buffalo? That's the question of the series right now.

Series tied 1-1.

Montreal Canadiens 3, Boston Bruins 1 -- The Canadiens kept forcing their style of play on a Bruins squad that desperately missed their captain Zdeno Chara, who spent the night in the hospital with severe dehydration. The Canadiens scored two goals in the first 2:20 minutes of the game, all of the points they would need. Montreal goalie Carey Price was spectacular again, stopping 34 of 35 shots en route to his second straight victory and a commanding Montreal lead. The series now heads back to Quebec, with a chance for a sweep. Boston needs goalie Tim Thomas to steal a couple of games, and they need to find some offense. Otherwise? This is going to be a very short series.

Montreal leads the series, 2-0.

Games To Watch Today:

Washington Capitals at New York Rangers, 3:00 p.m. EDT, on NBC -- The series turns to Madison Square Garden, where the Rangers have defeated the Capitals in two separate blowouts this season (scores of 7-0 and 6-0). With Washington coming off the first career playoff shutout for goalie Michael Neuvirth, the Rangers need a serious spark to regain some footing in this series. The Capitals have been that much better than the Rangers so far,

Anaheim Ducks at Nashville Predators, 6:00 p.m. EDT -- This series is deadlocked, and these two complete opposites head to Tennessee for a determining game. Ducks goalie Ray Emery continues his comeback from retirement by stabilizing Anaheim's chances, and give them a puncher's chance against Vezina candidate goalie Pekka Rinne. Nashville has found enough offense to make this a tight series, and now has home-ice advantage.

Vancouver Canucks at Chicago Blackhawks, 8:00 p.m. EDT -- Chicago gave their all on Friday night, but still came short in Vancouver and faces a must-win in front of their home crowd. The Canucks top offensive talent has given the Blackhawks fits, and Chicago needs better effort from their top defenseman Duncan Keith to even this series.