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Goldie's Playoff Blog

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Sabres/Rangers Series

It was another thriller in the Sabres- Rangers series Tuesday in New York. Before a wild full house in the Big Apple the Rangers moved to a perfect 4 and 0 in the playoffs at home and have the series even with Buffalo at 2 games a piece. The Rangers were down 2-0 but a pair of 1 goal victories have made it a best of 3. After wining in double overtime Sunday, game 4 seemed to be in control. The Rangers led 2-0 in the 3rd period on goals by the big guns, Jaromir Jagr and Bredan Shanahan. Buffalo got one back and then after a long video review in the final seconds Buffalo was denied the potential game tying goal. The on-ice ruling was no goal and the replay officials upheld it although the call could have gone either way. These 2 teams are playing great hockey with each of the last 3 games decided by a goal. It is now a best of 3 heading into Buffalo Friday night. The Rangers have the momentum and a win in the Buff would bring it back to the Garden for a game 6 potential clincher Sunday afternoon. To call Friday a must win for the Sabres is not an understatement! New York is 4-0 at home and has allowed just 4 goals in those games. The original pick here of Rangers in 6 now has legs. They are playing smart hockey, getting great net work from Henrik Lundqvist and have Jagr and Shanahan scoring big goals. With 5 Cups between those 2 you can bet the Rangers will be well aware of the opportunity on the road in game 5. Buffalo has been great for 2 seasons now and by no means will Lindy Ruff's team go quietly. Each of the past 3 games were toss ups but the Rangers found a way to win 2 of them. Should be a great weekend of hockey coming up!

Ducks/Canucks Series

The Ducks are on the verge of going to the Western conference finals after Tuesday's big comeback win on the road. Vancouver led 2-0 but Anaheim scored twice in regulation to tie and won it early in overtime. Roberto Luongo, who was super in the regular season and in the first round, has struggled in a big way in this series. Most of the Ducks goals have come on big rebounds and stickhandling mistakes by Loungo. Perhaps a level of fatigue is setting in, both mentally and physically. He is in a difficult position as it seems the Vancouver game plan is to try and win games 1-0 and 2-1. That's not going to happen against the top teams with strong offense like the Ducks. It has been a long season for Luongo who, as we all know, plays in just about every game throughout the year. Anaheim, meanwhile, could win the whole thing with their balance and strength up front and Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer on defense. They make everyone's job, including the goalie, that much easier. So it is now 3-1 Ducks and they are coming home for game 5. It is all but done and Anaheim could be the favorite, right now anyway, to hoist the Stanley Cup.
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