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NHL playoff scores 2016: Corey Crawford saves Blackhawks' season in double overtime

Give these goalies credit.

Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

I would really hate to be an NHL goaltender in the playoffs.

You think Henrik Lundqvist slept well last night? One of the most renowned goalies in the league saved one of the worst performances of his career for the worst possible night. Good luck getting a Rangers fan to recall 10 times Lundqvist got pulled over his career. Now try getting them to recall the last time it happened in a playoff game.

One bad game on the wrong night and his team's playoff chances are probably shot.

And how about the two goaltenders who battled into multiple overtimes? Corey Crawford made over 40 saves for Chicago. Brian Elliott saved into the high 30s. And both were making plenty of saves in overtime. And yet, this was the sentiment:

Counterpoint: once you get to overtime in the playoffs, no save is routine. It's a battle against nerves and the little bit of panic that will set in once you make even the slightest mistake. Sure, it looked like Crawford and Elliott were simply maintaining the correct posture and fundamentals. But they were doing that on the biggest stage in sports.

So, uh, not routine.

But that's the life of a goaltender. You're expected to do your job with often mild laudation, and once you don't do it the playoffs' magnifying glass peers in even closer.

They don't get no respect.


Lightning 1, Red Wings 0 (TB wins series, 4-1)

Penguins 5, Rangers 0 (PIT leads series, 3-1)

Ducks 4, Predators 1 (Series tied, 2-2)

Blackhawks 4, Blues 3 2OT (STL leads series, 3-2)

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3 things we learned

1. We're going to miss Pavel Datsyuk

It didn't sink in until the game was over that we were probably watching the final NHL game for the Detroit Red Wings puck wizard. It might not even sink in until the Wings start playing again in October. But then a few months will go by without anyone doing something like this ...

... and then we'll truly, truly miss the wonderful magic man. He's leaving a hole in the league that'll be difficult to replace.

2. The Ducks continue to benefit from a goalie change

Frederik Andersen has given up one goal in two starts since winning the job back from John Gibson. Remember when the Carolina Hurricanes changed goalies after their first two playoff losses in 2006? I wonder what they ended up winning. Hmm.

3. Pittsburgh is cooking

I don't know how you beat the Penguins right now. Nobody really has figured that out in the second half of the season, and now they're the hottest team in the playoffs. Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel are threats, they've found depth, Evgeni Malkin is back and registering four points a night, and they're getting solid performances out of rookie goalies. Please make a Capitals-Penguins series happen.

Impact Moment

The first double overtime game of the playoffs ended thanks to Patrick Kane's latest playoff heroics.

Stat of the Night