The Stack is here after a great weekend that went by too fast. There was a lot that happened in the world of sports so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Tuesday, May 6:
Thunder, Pacers win as conference semi-finals start
Friday night in the NBA there were four game sixes. Every team that could clinch did so. That meant that the turnaround was short, but no complaining. These are the NBA playoffs. All four of the winners from Friday night played Sunday. The Oklahoma City Thunder eeked by the Memphis Grizzlies 93-91 to take a 1-0 series lead. The Grizzlies led this game most of the way, but Kevin Durant was too much to handle. He scored 35 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the Thunder. It's obvious that the Thunder are putting their playoff hopes all on Durant's shoulders after losing Russell Westbrook against the Rockets. Who knows if they'll be able to get by the Grizzlies in a seven game series. The Grizzlies are a good team, but they choked away this game at the free throw line. They were just fourteen of twenty-four and Quincy Pondexter missed two of his three free throws with almost no time remaining that put the Grizzlies down 1-0 in the series. They'll regroup for game two.
After knocking off the Celtics, a lot of people thought the New York Knicks would breeze by the Indiana Pacers. Eh, not so fast my friends. The Indiana Pacers beat a struggling Carmelo Anthony and company 102-95. Yes Anthony had 27 points and eleven rebounds, but he shot just ten of twenty-eight from the floor and was in foul trouble throughout the game. The Knicks should respond just fine, but the Pacers are a sneaky team. They may just make the Knicks sweat it out in this series and if winning game one on the road didn't send the Knicks a message, I don't know what will.
Tonight's NBA playoff schedule includes...
Chicago Bulls @ Miami Heat 7:00 PM ET TNT
Golden State Warriors @ San Antonio Spurs 9:30 PM ET TNT
NHL playoffs getting good
In my opinion, there is almost nothing better in sports than overtime playoff hockey and so far this postseason, we've seen a few games go to an extra session. We saw two more overtime games yesterday...and a couple of big time blowouts.
The first game of the day very well may have been teh best. The New York Islanders have played the Pittsburgh Penguins very tough in games two and three and yesterday was no exception. The Islanders grabbed a quick 2-0 lead in the first period, but the Penguins quickly erased that lead by scoring four straight goals to take a 4-2 lead. The Islanders battled back to tie the game up 4-4 and force overtime, but in the extra session the Penguins scored their third powerplay goal of the game to win 5-4 and take a 2-1 series lead. Three powerplay goals! That is something that the Islanders cannot allow ever again if they want to win this series. They'll be working on that today I'm sure. Sidney Crosby recorded three assists. So far since coming back, he's scored two goals and gotten three assists. Not bad I'd say.
The second game of the day also went to overtime. The Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild played a very tough, physical game with the Wild grabbing a 3-2 win and cutting the series lead in half to 2-1. The Wild got both of their goals in regulation going top shelf on backhand shots. Might have found the weakness for the Blackhawks in net. What about Jason Zucker's overtime goal? It was essentially a blind shot at the net and he got it to go. Still don't think the Wild can win more than one more game in this series, but it was nice to see them win their first playoff game in five years.
The night sessions were both blowouts. The Ottawa Senators destroyed the Montreal Canadiens 6-1 to take a 2-1 series lead. Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored a hat trick in the process, but the real story in this game was the fighting. A total of 236 penalty minutes in this game! The Canadiens had 30 penalties for 129 minutes while the Senators had 23 for 107 minutes. Nine players were ejected. It's safe to say that these two teams hate each other. Can't wait to see what happens Tuesday night.
And the San Jose Sharks are one win away from moving on to the second round following their 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks to take a 3-0 series lead. A change in net yielded no different results for the Canucks as they benched Roberto Luongo for Cory Schneider. The Sharks scored three power play goals in five chances, including two by Logan Couture. Patrick Marleau also scored two goals. Couture and Marleau teamed up to score two goals nine seconds apart in the third period to put the game away. Don't know what the the Canucks are doing in this series, but it isn't working. They're as good as gone.
Tonight's NHL playoff action includes...
Boston Bruins @ Toronto Maple Leafs 7:00 PM ET NHL Network (Series tied 1-1)
Washington Capitals @ NY Rangers 7:30 PM ET NBCSN (Rangers lead series 2-0)
Anaheim Ducks @ Detroit Red Wings 8 PM ET CNBC (Ducks lead series 2-1)
St. Louis Blues @ Los Angeles Kings 10 PM ET NBCSN (Blues lead series 2-1)
Coming up Tuesday: Playoff reaction plus other top stories