Contract Extensions, Playoffs Start With a Bang, Steel Even Series, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Social Navigation

Contract Extensions, Playoffs Start With a Bang, Steel Even Series, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

If you had Craig Anderson winning a game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, come get your winnings. We always say that Stanley Cup Playoff hockey is the best time of the year, last night was no exception. Game One of the Stanley Cup Playoffs did not disappoint with the Washington Capitals topping the Boston Bruins, 3-2 in overtime to take the 1-0 series lead. There was drama, a goalie substitution, and an overtime winner. Everything you could hope for from playoff hockey.

•   And what would the Stanley Cup Playoff be without drama and irony, right? The first goal of the postseason goes to…Tom Wilson.

•   Of course.

•   But that wouldn’t be the story of the night, thankfully. Later in the first period, Capitals rookie goaltender Vitek Vanecek left the game with a lower-body injury and backup goalie Craig Anderson, just a week away from his 40th Birthday, had to come into the game.

•   Anderson made 21 saves on 22 shots faced against the Bruins and backstopped the Capitals to the Game One win.

•   Of course Anderson couldn’t win the game on his own. Capitals and Bruins went to overtime and Nic Dowd found the game-winner on his stick.

•   With the 3-2 win, the Bruins and Capitals have had their last ten playoff matchups be decided by one-goal.

•   Anderson, a native of Park Ridge, Illinois and former Chicago Blackhawks draft pick in 2001, joined the Capitals this offseason after playing the last ten seasons with the Ottawa Senators. He played in just four games this season and spent pretty much all season on the Washington Taxi Squad. Needless to say, he should be fresh.

•   If night one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs was an appetizer, night two should bring even more excitement to the ice. Three playoff matchups tonight, and one regular season game, as the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins play at 11:00 a.m. CT, the Minnesota Wild and Vegas Golden Knights play at 2:00 p.m. CT, and the battle of Florida between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers play at 6:30 p.m. CT.

•   The defending Stanley Cup Champion Lightning, who finished third in the Central Division and eighth in the league overall, will have reinforcements ready to join the lineup for Game One against the Panthers.

•   Good luck to the rest of the league.

•   In other playoff action in the hockey world, the USHL Clark Cup Final is all tied up after the Chicago Steel took Game Two last night, 4-1, over the Fargo Force.

•   Both teams are looking to win their second Clark Cup in team history.

•   In The Blackhawks world, outside of being happy to see Craig Anderson succeed last night, not a whole lot going on. All quiet in Chicago as their offseason gets underway. We’ve heard over the past few days about some talks between the team and their upcoming free agents and we’ve discussed which players should be coming back to Chicago for 2021-22 with new deals. It seems a bit cut-and-dry, but with the expansion draft this summer and the flat salary cap, anything is on the table.

•   The Rockford IceHogs completed their 2021 season last night with a 3-1 loss on the road against the Central Division-winning Chicago Wolves.

•   What better time than the last game of the year to score your first professional goal? That was the case last night for IceHogs rookie Cole Moberg!

•   Rockford finishes the season last in the Central Division with a 12-19-1 record with 25 points in the standings. Dylan McLaughlin finishes the season with the most points on the team (22) and tied for the team-lead in goals (8) along with Brandon Pirri and Chris Wilkie. Rookie Evan Barratt ends the season with the most points (14) among first-year players.

•   Yesterday we mentioned Blackhawks development coach Kendall Coyne-Schofield being on the bench of the IceHogs for Friday night’s game and what a cool moment that was for her and for the team. Today, we’ll head over the border to Canada where another Women’s Hockey Legend is doing amazing things, this time away from the ice.

•   Hayley Wickenheiser, a five-time Olympic Medalist (four Gold, one Silver) with Team Canada, retired from her playing career in 2017 and began her career in the medical field. This week, she earned her her M.D. from the University of Calgary, adding to her already incredible list of accomplishments. What’s more amazing, she accomplished this while also serving as part of the Player Development Department with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

•   That’s a good spot to end it today. Have yourselves a Sunday!

Latest from Bleacher Nation:

Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.