Folks we have a series!
The pendulum finally swung the other way last night as the Philadelphia Flyers took advantage of the home ice change to get more beneficial match-ups and beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in overtime.
Claude Giroux scored the game winner on a redirection 5:59 into overtime to send the crowd home with a victory.
The Flyers' Simon Gagne had a goal waived off earlier in overtime but Giroux's goal was clearly in the net and the deciding factor.
The game was a back and forth affair with both teams having the lead at times. Chicago's only lead was at 3-2 and lasted for only 20 seconds early in the third period. Patrick Kane put the Hawks up 3-2 and then Ville Leino came back and scored on the next shift to make it 3-3 which is how regulation ended.
Giroux was clearly the hero as he played well and assisted on two other Flyer goals. Patrick Kane broke out of his scoreless streak for the Hawks with a goal and an assist.
Game four will be tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. CDT on Versus.
Oddly enough, for the second game in a row, I had the winner and correct score. However, I did not pick OT. So a wise person would go the opposite way of my choice tomorrow since my luck has obviously been used up.
In the midst of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals, the AHL Calder Cup Finals start tonight with the Texas Stars traveling to Hershey to take on the Bears. This is Hershey's fourth appearance in the finals in the last five years.
Hershey will be the heavy favorite after a season that saw them set the AHL record for wins with 60.
The AHL did a good job of staggering games so that they are played on Stanley Cup off nights up until games 4 and 5 that could conflict with SCF games 6 and 7 if the series goes that far. All games will be carried by XM Radio unless games 4 and 5 conflict with the NHL finals. Here is the complete schedule.
2010 Calder Cup Finals
Game 1 – Thu., June 3 – Texas at Hershey, 7:00 ET
Game 2 – Sat., June 5 – Texas at Hershey, 7:00 ET
Game 3 – Mon., June 7 – Hershey at Texas, 8:30 ET
Game 4 – Wed., June 9 – Hershey at Texas, 8:30 ET
*Game 5 – Fri., June 11 – Hershey at Texas, 8:30 ET
*Game 6 – Mon., June 14 – Texas at Hershey, 7:00 ET
*Game 7 – Wed., June 16 – Texas at Hershey, 7:00 ET
In Pred Nation...
Brandon Felder crawls out from his corporate hole and accesses what has changed for the Preds since their playoff exit. It's good to hear from you Brandon.
AJ has part three of A Tale of Two Cities.
Forechecker has the story of Dan Hamhuis heading to Haiti to visit kids at a TB hospital. Here's the NHLPA release.
Aaron Sims makes the case for Claude Noel as permanent coach in Columbus. I'm not sure that would inspire the locals from what I've heard. He also notes the Lane Lambert-Steve Yzerman connection for the Tampa job.
Jon Blum is number three in the top five rookies in the AHL playoffs. Number on is Jamie Benn who leads Texas into the finals against Hershey.
The Cincinnati Cyclones announced their protected list for players that they hope to sign before the July 1 deadline.
Rumor from @HockeyJordan "Preds offered BC boy Dan Hamhuis for #canucks prospect Hodgson and 1st round pick but Gillis declined (Via 1040).
Jim Diamond has the details on the Brent Peterson's Celebrity Golf Tournament to benefit Parkinson's research.
Forechecker has news on an auction to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Around the NHL...
To no one's surprise, the Coyote's Don Maloney was named the GM of the year at the GM meetings. David Poile of the Predators was a finalist along with George McPhee of Washington. It appears that the award was given to the GM with a quick turnaround as opposed to Poile who has had long term success building a competitive franchise on a limited budget.
The NHL GM's also have proposed a more permanent rule on blindside hits. It will now head to the competition committee.
The finalists were announced for Mark Messier's leadership award. Shane Doan, Ryan Miller and Sidney Crosby will find out who the winner is at the NHL Award Show in Las Vegas in three weeks.
NHL Entry Draft ticket's are free for a $1.25 download charge at the Kings website starting on Saturday.
Stever Yzerman post a letter to fans at the Lightning site.
Matt Reitz loves Ian Laperriere and has a fine article about his storied career.
With the off season looming, Michelle Kenneth has a list of hockey movies to take in this summer.
Intent to Blow reveals that Chris Pronger has won the Asshats of America award every year since 1996. ITB follows Pronger on an off day to see how he does it. Down Goes Brown also details Pronger's history.
Ducks Blog has a few suggestions for NBC. I have another issue with the sound. They can't seem to hit the right mix of arena sound and announcer sound. Maybe they should offer a SAP channel with no announcer at all and put the announcers in the forefront on the regular broadcast.
The LA Kings site now has a Fight Club.
Odds and Ends...
I'm not sure why this hasn't received more attention but the Journey's Backyard BBQ Tour will be at Cool Springs this Saturday.
There's a new theory that the US is more susceptible to hurricanes during low sunspot activity.
The flood ravaged Opryland Hotel will not reopen until November 15. In the meantime, 1700 employees are being let go as of June 12. I can't imagine that restaffing won't be a nightmare after five months.
Here's a blow to iPhone users, ATT just got rid of their unlimited data plan. Hopefully, Verizon doesn't do anything this stupid.
Interesting stuff on the new AP Stylebook that came out yesterday.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass