GAME CHANGER - April 16, 2009

Vote for the night's top game-altering play

Thursday, 04.16.2009 / 7:40 PM / 2009 Playoffs Conference Quarterfinals
The plays that turn the tide in every game of playoff action -- that is what the beauty of hockey history is built on.

Check back every night following all the 2009 playoff action to witness's game-changing moment from each game, as well as the rest of each game's goals, saves and hits.

You can vote on the night's best Game Changer.  Cast your votes after the night's action.

Thanks to all who voted -- and enjoy the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs!

Montreal at Boston - Game 1

Taking advantage of a Josh Gorges cross-checking penalty, Zdeno Chara of the B's used his booming shot to blast a power-play goal past Carey Price with 8:45 left in third period, breaking a 2-2 tie and snatching the momentum back from the Canadiens who battled back from a 0-2 hole.   Montreal would only manage six total shots on goal in the third period.

FINAL SCORE: Bruins 4, Canadiens 2

Columbus at Detroit - Game 1

Two and a half minutes after the Blue Jackets had answered the Red Wings' first goal, Detroit retaliated.

The Red Wings' Jiri Hudler took a pass from Valtteri Filppula, then found Jonathan Ericsson, who fired from the point. Manny Malhotra tried to stop the puck with his glove, but accidently redirected it past Steve Mason and into his own net. Ericsson was credited with the goal and Detroit capitalized on the momentum, scoring just 48 seconds later.

FINAL SCORE: Red Wings 4, Blue Jackets 1


Calgary at Chicago - Game 1

The Hawks had put one quality shot after another on Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff throughout the third period, and the Finnish netminder turned them all aside as the Flames looked to protect a 2-1 lead. But Martin Havlat split two defenders in front of the net with 5:33 remaining and fired a shot on goal, banging in his own rebound into the far side of the net to knot the score and force a wild five minutes of play to end regulation.

Havlat would light the lamp again for the winner, just 12 seconds into overtime, but his game-tying score late in the third period would alter the course of the evening, giving Chicago a thrilling win in Game 1 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal.

FINAL SCORE: Blackhawks 3, Flames 2 (OT)

Anaheim at San Jose - Game 1

With Anaheim leading San Jose 1-0 and 4:34 remaining in regulation, Ryan Getzlaf took a two minute minor for elbowing. The Ducks managed to kill off the sixth Sharks power play of the game, and when Getzlaf stepped out of the box, he changed the game.

The sure-handed center intercepted a deflected pass at center ice and carried the puck into the Anaheim zone. Approaching Rob Blake in a one-on-one situation, Getzlaf pulled a slight toe-drag into the top of the circle and wristed the puck off the inside of the crossbar to give Anaheim a vital 2-0 lead.

FINAL SCORE: Ducks 2, Sharks 0

Quote of the Day

It was a big dream. [Messi] is probably the best athlete out there, so it's a big honor, for [Kuznetzov] as well. It's maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the best player in soccer right now. I'm a big Barcelona fan and Messi fan, so it's huge. You can take [Michael] Jordan, [Mark] Messier, [Wayne] Gretzky, those kinds of [people]. It's an honor to meet. It's nice to be in that position.

— Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin told told Monumental Network after meeting soccer star Lionel Messi prior to Argentina's practice at Fed Ex Field in Landover, Md. on Friday