The New York Rangers completed their comeback with another stellar Game 7 outing from Henrik Lundqvist, while Patrick Kane scored another overtime winner for the Chicago Blackhawks.
5 things to know
The King rules again
Forget the schedule. Forget that the power play stunk. Forget that Rick Nash didn't score a goal. None of that stuff matters when you have a goalie that can steal a game for you on any given night, and the New York Rangers have exactly that when it comes to Henrik Lundqvist. He was King Henrik once again on Tuesday night, stopping 35 shots in another masterful Game 7 performance to help the Rangers advance to the Eastern Conference Final for the second time in three years.
Another disappointing postseason for Pittsburgh
On the other side of that is the Pittsburgh Penguins, who watched a 3-1 series lead disappear for the second time in four years and once again bowed out of the postseason in disappointing fashion. And this one had to be especially frustrating. Not only because they were beaten by a lower seeded team for the fifth straight year, not only because they lost three straight games to end the series, but because they couldn't get any goals out of Sidney Crosby and James Neal. Not to mention their reoccurring problems with the bottom lines providing them nothing, a problem that was only magnified on Tuesday with Dan Bylsma's bizarre decision to insert Tanner Glass into the lineup in place of Beau Bennett. When you go out losing a 2-1 decision in Game 7 after swapping skill (Bennett) for toughness (Glass) and only play that toughness for six minutes it's a bad look.
What are you doing Jeremy Roenick?
And now, for a quick intermission from the actual hockey. Let's take a second to marvel at the latest facial expression that Jeremy Roenick gave us during the second intermission of the Chicago-Minnesota game on Tuesday night. He's been doing stuff like this all postseason, and every time it gets creepier and creepier. And it's great.
Patrick Kane does it again
If it's overtime, you can bet that Patrick Kane is lurking somewhere in the shadows just waiting to score the game-winning goal. He did it again on Tuesday, taking advantage of a weird bounce off the boards and beating Ilya Bryzgalov to send the Chicago Blackhawks to another Western Conference Final and eliminate the Minnesota Wild for the second year in a row. The Wild played extremely well in this series, and Game 6 was probably one of the more entertaining games of the second round (for any team), but they just aren't quite on the same level as the Blackhawks who are still the class of the NHL.
You can't do that, Matt Cooke
Honestly, you can't do this if you're anybody. But you especially can't do it if you're Matt Cooke and have the suspension history that he has after already being banished seven games this postseason for a hit. The NHL is sure to review it and could possibly suspend him for the start of next season, but given that the Wild were eliminated it seems that it could fly under the radar. Still, when you're trying to change your reputation like Cooke, you're never going to get the benefit of the doubt, and hitting people from behind into the boards when you're returning from a suspension isn't the way to go.