Three highly uninteresting games dotted the hockey landscape on Thursday night, but the NHL field narrowed by two more teams.
Boston College has its first player into the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs — well, kind of. Ben Smith would most likely get his name onto Lord Stanley’s cup if the Chicago Blackhawks were to win it, even though he’s not playing in the postseason. No matter, as his team is onto the Western Conference semifinals with a 5-1 win over the Minnesota Wild, needing just five games to end Minny’s season.
Previously, we learned that Montreal Canadiens captain Brian Gionta was done for the season after having torn his bicep, but to nobody’s surprise, the Habs’ season was not going to last much longer, anyway. Montreal packed it in late en route to a 6-1 loss to the Eagle-less Ottawa Senators, who will now move on to the Eastern Conference semifinals. There’s no point in speculating how Gionta may or may not have changed the series: the only thing that matters is that the Senators outplayed the Canadiens such to the point that they only needed five games to erase the #2 seed in the East.
Finally, the Pittsburgh Penguins have pushed the New York Islanders to the brink with a 4-0 win in Game 5 of their series, which returns to Long Island on Saturday night. Marty Reasoner still isn’t playing for the Isles, but Brooks Orpik is back to playing for Pittsburgh. On Thursday night, the former Eagle star played 25 shifts in over 23 and a half minutes, blocking three shots and putting one shot on goal.
On Friday night, the New York Rangers (Brian Boyle, Chris Kreider) and Washington Capitals will play a huge Game 5, while the Los Angeles Kings (Rob Scuderi) will look to close out the St. Louis Blues. Further, the Detroit Red Wings (Patrick Eaves) will try to stave off the golf course for another day against the Anaheim Ducks (Ben Lovejoy).