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Reading List: Sharks win in OT; Lightning strikes

Saturday, 04.30.2011 / 10:16 AM / 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs - Conference Semifinals

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Reading List: Sharks win in OT; Lightning strikes
Reading List: Sharks win in OT; Lightning strikes
After a one-day pause, the plethora of overtime games resumed Friday night as the conference semifinals got into full swing.

San Jose, which was 3-0 in OT in the first round, got the winner from playoff debutante Benn Ferriero to beat Detroit 2-1 and take a one-game lead in their Western semifinal series. In the East, Tampa Bay showed its first-round victory against Pittsburgh was no fluke by going into Washington and beating the Caps 4-2 in Game 1 of their Eastern semi.

The final conference semifinal series begins this afternoon (3 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS), with Philadelphia hosting Boston in a rematch of their historic series last year in which the Flyers became just the third team to win after losing the first three games.

The other conference semifinal resumes later in the day, with Nashville at Vancouver (9 p.m. ET, Versus, CBC, RDS).

Here's your daily NHL.com Reading List for a set of quick links to some of the stories you won't want to miss:

A birthday to remember
Making your Stanley Cup Playoff debut on your 24th birthday would be enough of a reason for most players to celebrate. But San Jose's Benn Ferriero went one better: Not only did he play, he got the game-winner in overtime for the San Jose Sharks. Dave Lozo reports on the birthday of a lifetime.

Little Joe comes up big -- again
Joe Pavelski's small size belies his big contributions to the San Jose Sharks -- especially at playoff time. Pavelski was the most dangerous Shark all night in Game 1, and it was his goal that forced overtime. Dave Lozo looks at another big night for "Little Joe."

Howard's brilliance not enough to win
Jimmy Howard did everything but stand on his head for Detroit in Game 1. But as Roger Phillips writes, that still wasn't good enough for a victory, thanks to a lucky bounce that gave birthday boy Benn Ferriero the game-winner in OT.

Stamkos steps up
Steven Stamkos wasted little time making an impact in Tampa Bay's series against Washington. The No. 1 pick in the 2008 Entry Draft had the game-winning goal on a power play in the final minute of the second period as Tampa Bay won 4-2 at Washington. Brian Compton talked with the Lightning's top gun after the biggest postseason moment of his young career.

No-go for Ovi and Caps
The Washington Capitals had five power plays in Game 1, but Alex Ovechkin and Co. couldn't turn them into goals. As Corey Masisak writes, that was a big reason the Caps went home losers in Game 1.

Penguins bank on returns by Ovi and Geno
The Pittsburgh Penguins are getting ready for summer vacation, and a big reason is that they were without two of their top guns in the playoffs. Alan Robinson reports that the Pens are expecting both Sidney Crosby (concussion) and Evgeni Malkin (knee surgery) to be healthy for next season -- even though Crosby said Friday he'd had a setback in his recovery and had stopped all practicing.

Julien likes Bruins' play entering series
No, Claude Julien doesn't like all the questions about last year's historic loss to Philadelphia. But as his team gets ready for the rematch, Mike G. Morreale reports that at least the Bruins won't have to come up with a new game plan.

Franson and Blum thank their old coach
Nashville defensemen Cody Franson and Jonathon Blum have been teammates before -- they played together with the WHL Vancouver Giants under coach Don Hay.  As Dhiren Mahiban reports, they had a chance to catch up with him Friday as the Predators practiced before Game 2 against the Canucks in Vancouver.

Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis