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RoundingThird's Blog
Games of the Week 4/12 - 4/18 
Posted on April 19, 2014 at 11:04 AM.
The blog returns with a bang, as the NHL playoffs gets underway. Commonly known as the most exciting playoffs in sports, the NHL provides countless overtime games, with some needing more than just 1. We'll take a look at some of these instant classics as well as the typical MLB early season drama.

5. April 16: Los Angeles Angels 5, Oakland Athletics 4 (F/12)
Angels Stadium, Anaheim, California

The A's had taken the first two games of the series, and had scored 4 runs in the third (what turned out to be their only runs) off of Brandon Moss's three run bomb to take a 4-1 lead. Slowly but surely, the Angels fought back. Chris Iannetta scored on a throwing error by Alberto Callaspo in the 7th, which ws followed by an RBI single by Albert Pujols that brought in Erick Aybar to make it 4-3. Later in the 9th, the Angels had a chance to win it right there, but Howie Kendrick grounded into fielder's choice, only allowing 1 run to score, Mike Trout, but tying the game nonetheless. So we proceed onto the 12th inning, when Chris Iannetta came to the plate exhausted after being behind the plate for 12 innings. Showing his desire not to catch anymore, he belted one to center to send the Halos home happy.

4. April 18: Eastern Conference First Round Game 1: Detroit Red Wings 1, Boston Bruins 0
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

Contrary to the rest to the NHL first round playoff series, this game was low scoring. This essentially lined up as the 1-8 matchup in the East with the Bruins winning the President's Trophy and the Wings just slipping into the playoffs, extending their streak to 23 consecutive years of playoff berths. After the game began, goaltenders Jimmy Howard and Tuukka Rask showed why they represented their respective nations, the United States and Finland, at the Olympics in Sochi this past February. The first 57 minutes were scoreless, but then came the magician known as Pavel Datsyuk. Weaving his way through the Bruins defensive line, and firing a slapshot past Rask to giv the Red WIngs the advantage in their first playoff game as a member of the Eastern Conference.

3. April 17: Western Conference First Round Game 1: Colorado Avalanche 5, Minnesota Wild 4 (F/OT)
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

There really isn't anything a whole lot better than a high scoring back and forth playoff hockey game. And it was only game 1. The Avalanche started the scoring late in the first with a goal by Gabriel Landeskog, which was wuickly followed by the equalizer from Charlie Coyle. In the second period, Ryan Suter and Ryan O'Reilly exchanged goals to make it 2-2 before the Wild scored twice in the last 4 minutes of the period to take a 4-2 lead. The third period was all Avs. Jamie McGinn scored 7:13 in to cut the lead to 1. That temporarily brought hope to the hometown crowd, which slowly began to fade after it was still 4-3 with less than a minute left. But here came Paul Stastny. He brougt the magic with 13.7 seconds to go in regulation, and sent the game to overtime. Stastny wasn't done yet, and he also scored the game winner in OT, giving the Avalanche a 1-0 lead in the series.

2. April 16: Boston Red Sox 6, Chicago White Sox 4 (F/14)
US Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois

The defending champs have had a slow go of things in 2014, due to lackluster pitching and injuries. They came into this dogfight against the White Sox, who finished near the cellar of the entire American League last season, only beating out the Astros. Young gem Xander Bogaerts got the scoring started for the Red Sox in the first, but errors allowed the White Sox to tie it in the bottom half. Things remained tied until the 6th when Alexei Ramirez sent one way back to left, bringing home Adam Dunn. The Red Sox chipped away and tied the game at 3 with to sacrifice flies, one in the 8th and one in the 9th, and took the lead in the 11th on another sacrifice fly. They couldn't hold that lead for long, as Tyler Flowers singled home the tying run in the bottom half of the frame. In the wee hours of the morning, another young Red Sox stud, Jackie Bradley, Jr., doubled to right scoring two, and giving the Red Sox a much needed win.

1. April 17: Western Conference First Round Game 1: St. Louis Blues 4, Chicago Blackhawks 3 (F/30T)
Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri

The Blues took down the reigning champs in a true playoff classic, without Olympic hockey savior TJ Oshie. After a rambunctious first period that resulted in a 3-2 Blackhawks lead at intermission after goals by Johnny Oduya, Brent Seabrook, and Patrick Kane. Everything would remain quiet until the game's final two minutes when Jaden Schwartz got the equalizer to force OT. It would be another long stretch until another goal, but Alexander Steen got one to start the third OT to end the marathon and sent the Blackhawks home exhausted and depressed.

I'll be back for more next Saturday morning. Please join me for more NHL classics and NBA playoff excitement.
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