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2011 NHL Playoffs: First Round Update, 4/19

Western Conference

Detroit Red Wings 4, Phoenix Coyotes 2-- We're approaching the end of an era in the NHL, as the state of Arizona is on the verge of its last professional hockey game for some time. The Red Wings showed no mercy, again stealing all hope in the series from the punchless Coyotes, and doing everything but packing their bags for Winnipeg. Ruslan Salei and Drew Miller scored a goal apiece in the first 2:41 of the game, essentially putting the game out of reach before it even began. A once promising season for Phoenix and their fanbase now has the feel of a funeral procession.

Detroit leads the series, 3-0.

Eastern Conference

Boston Bruins 4, Montreal Canadiens 2 --The Bruins finally showed up for a game in this series and played the physical, defensively dominating brand of hockey that led them into the playoffs, which just so happened to coincide with the return of their captain and top defenseman Zdeno Chara, who missed Game Twowith severe dehydration. 20 minutes worth of penalties were called in the first period, and Tim Thomas stopped 34 of 36 shots he faced. The Bruins still have an uphill climb, as they have to win at least one more game in Montreal to give themselves a chance in this series.

Montreal leads the series, 2-1.

Philadelphia Flyers 4, Buffalo Sabres 2 --The Flyers made a risky move, demoting rookie goaltender and regular season starter Sergei Bobrovsky into third on the depth chart (after only four playoff periods) in favor of more veteran netminders. Newly minted Flyers starter Brian Boucher outdueled Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, stopping 35 of 37 shots in a relentless Sabres attack. Will the gamble continue? Boucher doesn't have the upside of Bobrovsky, but the hopes of Philadelphia rest on his shoulders for now.

Philadelphia leads the series, 2-1.

Pittsburgh Penguins 3, Tampa Bay Lighting 2 -- The never-say-die Penguins continued to show their championship pedigree. Without their top two scorers -- and coming off a 5-1 blowout loss in Game Two -- the Penguins managed to find just enough scoring to give goalie Mar-Andre Fleury a chance to give them the victory. Even when Tampa Bay forward Martin St. Louis scored his second goal of the night to tie the game at the beginning of the third period, Tyler Kennedy gave the Pens the game winning goal just 31 seconds later. This Pittsburgh squad is impressive, even without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Pittsburgh leads the series, 2-1.

Games To Watch Tonight

Vancouver Canucks at Chicago Blackhawks, 8:00 p.m. EDT on Versus -- The Canucks simply do not have a weakness. They have been the Cup favorites since January, and they are demonstrating that faith is well-deserved. Roberto Luongo is exorcising his demons, Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin are two of the best players on the planet, and Ryan Kesler knows how to take advantage of his opportunities. Vancouver has taken the defending champion's best punch for three straight games, and for three straight games they have answered the call. With a dominant lead in the series, the Canucks have a chance to close out Chicago on their home ice and start resting their starters before the next round of the playoffs.

Vancouver leads the series, 3-0

San Jose Sharks at Los Angeles Kings, 10:30 p.m. EDT on Versus -- After a hard fought overtime loss in Game One, the Kings have shown they will not be a pushover. With their best player Anze Kopitar missing the playoffs with a broken ankle, Los Angeles has ridden on the shoulders of goalie Jonathan Quick. Quick has simply been the best player in the entire playoffs up to this point, making athletic saves against the extremely talented Sharks lineup look easy. The Kings have stolen home ice and could easily be up in this series 2-0. The Sharks need to respond and use their overwhelming offensive ability to solve Quick and the Kings' physical defense.

Series tied at 1-1.