|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NHLThe NHL Playoffs are one of the most exciting hockey postseasons in years, as the Lightning-Bruins series and Canucks-Sharks series both head to Game Five early this week.
Tampa Bay and Boston have fought each other to a tied series in the first four games, while Vancouver leads San Jose 3-1 and is on the verge of making it to the NHL Championship. The two series continue Monday night in Boston and Tuesday night in Vancouver.
The Lightning have been able to score in short bursts against the Bruins, and Boston's defense has to be more consistent to gain an advantage in this series. In just 1:25 in Game One, Tampa Bay scored three goals – including two in 19 seconds – to take a 5-2 victory. And in Game Four, the Bruins gave up three goals in slightly less than four minutes after leading 3-0 earlier in the game.
But the Bruins have also had their scoring spurs, especially in the second game of the series. In a high-scoring 6-5 win, Boston had their first three goals in a span of 5:42, while their final three were scored within 3:25. Both teams in this series have been able to build momentum after scoring a goal, then putting in another one or two to shift the dynamic of the game and keep the series close.
Vancouver, on the other hand, is in control of the Sharks, leading 3-1. In their 4-2 win in Game Four, the Canucks scored three goals in 1:55, setting the NHL record for fastest three power play goals since the league began the rule in 1957. Sami Salo scored two goals within 16 seconds of each other, setting a team record for fastest two in the playoffs. The Canucks are obviously feeling confident after Game Four.
The Sharks, though, have been struggling, led by the complete absence of star forward Dany Heatley in the conference finals series. In fact, Heatley has been struggling all season, being held to only 26 goals the entire year. Unless San Jose can find some other scoring option very soon, they will probably be eliminated in five or six games at the most.