Can anyone stop Sidney Crosby
? The Ottawa Senators
certainly aren't having much success at it.
Crosby has been the star of the first 10 days of the playoffs, piling up 13 points in the Pittsburgh Penguins
' first five games against Ottawa. He now has eight consecutive multi-point games against the Senators in postseason play -- three in 2008 and all five this spring. In all, he has 7 goals and 14 assists against the Senators in that span.
Crosby became the first player to start a playoff season with four consecutive multi-point games since Dallas' Mike Modano
did it in 1994. Crosby had a goal and an assist in Game 5 against the Senators on Thursday.
Crosby will get a chance to pad his totals against Ottawa on Saturday -- but it's an opportunity he'd rather not have. Ottawa prolonged the series Thursday with a 4-3 triple-overtime win at Mellon Arena. Considering that no team has ever won a Stanley Cup by playing four series that went six or more games -- and the competition figures to get tougher as the playoffs progress -- the Penguins might regret not polishing off the Senators when they had the chance.
Unwanted record --
It's one of the most puzzling questions in hockey -- why does Martin Brodeur
do so poorly in overtime playoff games? The NHL's winningest regular-season goaltender is now the losingest OT goaltender -- he took loss No. 21 last Sunday when Daniel Carcillo
scored to give Philadelphia a 3-2 victory against New Jersey in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Brodeur moved past Ed Belfour
, who lost 20 times -- but also won 22. Brodeur has won just 12 of 33 playoff OT games.
Brodeur will have to wait another year to become the second goaltender to reach 100 playoff victories. He dropped to 99-82 when he and the Devils were eliminated Thursday -- the 82 losses are second all-time to Patrick Roy
, who's also tops with 151 wins.
Bobby Lu bounces back --
One of the key traits of top-flight goaltenders is bouncing back after a bad game. No one has done it better than Vancouver's Roberto Luongo
Luongo has been pulled eight times this season, including Game 3 of the Canucks' first-round series against Los Angeles. However, he's been superb in his follow-up appearances -- going 7-1 in those games. That includes a 6-4 win at Los Angeles in Game 4.
But the Canucks aren't going to beat Los Angeles if they can't find a way to put a lid on the Kings' power play. L.A. is 9-for-16 (56.2 percent), and at one point scored on six consecutive man-advantages. The Canucks have tied a record set by the New York Islanders
from 1990 to 1993 by allowing multiple power-play goals in six consecutive games -- including the last two games of their second-round series against Chicago last spring.
Unexpected scorer --
One reason the Nashville Predators
have battled the Chicago Blackhawks
to a 2-2 stalemate through four games is that they're getting unexpected production from center David Legwand
The first-ever draft pick in Nashville history has 5 points through the first four games of the series against Chicago. That's not exactly Crosby-esque, but it's equal to his entire output in Nashville's last 20 regular-season games. Legwand also is plus-5 in the series, after finishing minus-5 while playing all 82 regular-season games.
Legwand's 3 points in Game 3 made him only the second Predator to get that many points in a playoff game -- Paul Kariya
did it in 2006.
However, for Nashville to win a playoff series for the first time in franchise history (last Friday's 4-1 victory was the first playoff road win), the Predators will have to find a way to score on the power play. The Preds are 0-for-17 with the man-advantage through four games; Nashville and Buffalo (0-for-14) are the only teams that are scoreless on the power play this far in the playoffs.
Master of Montreal --
Montreal has been a graveyard for many young goaltenders. Washington's Semyon Varlamov
, however, isn't one of them.
Varlamov won Games 3 and 4 as the Capitals beat the Canadiens to take command of their first-round series. He's now 4-0 in his four starts in Montreal (2-0 in the regular season, 2-0 in the playoffs), with a 1.97 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage.
The Capitals' 5-1 and 6-3 victories in Montreal in Games 3-4 continue one of the strangest breakdowns in playoff history. The Caps are 26-20 (.565) in postseason games on the road when the game is a blowout -- decided by three or more goals. However, they are only 13-27 (.325) in one-goal games.
Despite his slow start (no points or shots in Game 1 against Montreal), Alex Ovechkin
has found the range. He has 4 goals in the last three games and has scored 15 times in his last 15 playoff games.
Double trouble -- Miroslav Satan
must have a sense of drama.
Satan has scored two playoff overtime goals -- but both of them have come in double OT. He got the winner for Boston against Buffalo on Wednesday, nearly 11 years to the day since his double-overtime winner gave Buffalo a win against Ottawa.
Satan also ended a 71-year drought for the Bruins, who hadn't won a home playoff game in multiple overtimes since Mel "Sudden Death" Hill got the Cup-winner against the New York Rangers
in 1939. Before Satan's winner, Boston had lost its last four multi-OT games in Boston.