Originally posted on The Hockey Program  |  Last updated 5/2/12

 

There are times where you look up and go hey its a player's first playoff game and then he scores!  Adam Larsson deserves a ton of credit for being sat out in 13 of the last 14 then coming in and contributing with a huge game changing goal.  The amount of ice time did not matter but that goal sure did as New Jersey tacked on three more in the 4-1 win over Philadelphia.  It was much more difficult to try and determine a Fantasy POTN on a night where the winning team won with such a team effort.  Yes we also considered Ilya Bryzgalov as well but three goals allowed in the third period did not help. 

So who took home last night's honor.  Let's find out before the natives start firing out more insults.

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FANTASY POTN:

Dainius Zubrus, F, New Jersey Devils

This looked crazy on the surface but Zubrus had two assists with a +2 on the night and three shots on net.  It does not seem like much.  However, the durable Forward was 5-5 on faceoffs and won a couple that led to goals.  Zubrus helped set up the Larsson tally and then aided on the Zajac dagger that made it 3-1.  As the playoffs go on, sometimes it is about who makes the unexpected contribution that helps your pool and not just the high profile players.  That is why glue picks in your playoff pool can make or break you.

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A FANTASY TURNING POINT?

Was it the Adam Larsson goal or was it the David Clarkson goal then planking err "Hang Ten" attempt.  For the sake of Clarkson owners who were frustrated over the lack of goals, we did go with the latter because #23 was doing almost everything else (hits, assists, etc.) but yet nothing would find its way behind the goalie and across the goal line.  One could see the exhale that Clarkson let out after scoring and it may be the tip of the iceberg for a guy who can string games together.  Game 3 will be very telling.

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SCHEDULE TIME:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012 TeamsNotes NY Rangers at Washington 7:30 PM | Gameday
Phoenix at Nashville 9:00 PM | Gameday

These are two important Game 3's for completely divergent reasons.  Washington got off to a fast start in Game 2 but then coasted a bit.  Phoenix on the other hand has kept it pedal to the metal in their two wins against Nashville.  Pekka Rinne has looked average to below average as a result (giving up nine goals) in those two games.  Mike Smith has made the crucial saves despite giving up six goals in the same span.  That is the difference in the playoffs sometimes when scoring goes unexpectedly higher than people expect.  Crooked numbers still do happen.  Game 2 of the Kings-Blues series told us that valuable lesson and of course the craziness that was the Battle Of Pennsylvania in Round 1.

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KEEP AN EYE ON:

Henrik Lundqvist, G, New York Rangers

Lundqvist has to steal this game tonight.  Washington is going to come out with some jump and the goalie cannot give up two goals like he did in Game 2 the way they happened.  Let us make this clear.  No one is blaming Lundqvist for the loss but the start was indicative of the fact that even in Game 1, Lundqvist did not play his best (was helped by three posts).  He has to be at his best for the Rangers to avoid going down 2-1 in this series.  Washington has a system and its up to Lundqvist to break it at the right times.

Alex Ovechkin, W, Washington Capitals

The method to Dale Hunter's madness has resulted in a working fantasy effectiveness for Ovechkin who definitely has found ways to produce.  Many say he has one of the five hardest writst shots ever and that was on display in Game 2.  That game winner was amazing but Ovechkin will eventually have to play more minutes to inflict damage in this series.  When will that be?  No one has an answer but the time will come.  The question is can Ovechkin keep delivering like this?  We will find out more tonight.

Rotislav Klesla, D, Phoenix Coyotes

Phoenix allows nearly 3/4 of a goal more with him in the lineup than not (2.9 without and 2.2 with).  The numbers do not lie but the player has two goals and six points in the playoffs so far.  This is probably production you never expected out of Klesla but occasionally the second season produces these little gems.  See Kevin Klein from Nashville as "Exhibit B" here.  With Nashville and Phoenix playing a bit more wide open still, the opportunities are there for maybe another assist or goal tonight.

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Good luck tonight and on the show, we will have a little more about our potential future plans for the show.  The news just got a bit bigger and for the good.  Stay tuned....

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