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Update: Strader's Playoff Blog for April 29th

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

Hello Panther fans!!

Since I left you in Ottawa (I did get my luggage in time for my telecast last Sunday night), it has been another whirlwind week in the Stanley Cup playoffs. I stayed with the Ottawa-Tampa series for games 2-5. After a gutsy performance by the Lightning in Game 2 evened the series, the Senators showed why they are the number one seed. An 8 goal outburst by the Sens in Game 3 (maybe I'm bad luck for the Lightning...remember the 8 goals the Panthers put on Tampa in the first game after the Olympic break?) seemed to put all the pressure on the Lightning...anyway, the Lightning did come back to score 3 in the 3rd and Coach John Tortorella said his club started to get to Sens' goalie Ray Emery. Tortorella called Emery Ottawa's "weak spot". This was a bit of a mind game and I think was designed to take some of the pressure of his goalie John Grahame. Goaltending turned out to be the "weak spot" for Tampa in Game 4 as the Sens should wrap up that series in 5.

I'm preparing for the first of two NBC telecasts this weekend. Today (Saturday) I'm in Hockeytown where I spent the first 11 seasons of my "NHL career". The Wings came into this series as the big favorites, but the Oilers' acquisitions from last summer (Michael Peca, Chris Pronger) and at the trade deadline (Dwayne Roloson) are playing huge roles in the Oilers being even after 4 games. Chris Pronger has perhaps made the best adjustments to the new NHL as the one time nasty player with a quick temper is averaging over 36 minutes a game and he has 0 PIM!

Sunday, I'll be in Dallas where the Stars will try to ride the momentum of a Game 4 win in Denver. The Stars are down 3-1, but they are a proud team that would love to go back to Denver with some pressure on the Avs for the first time in the series.

That's all for now!

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