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NHL Playoffs update: Don’t blame Carey Price

There were a few big games tonight in the NHL, and the games were just as entertaining as you’d hoped they would be. What’s even more interesting is the immediate, knee jerk reactions you see after some of these games by fans (and sometimes the media). No, Carey Price should not be buried for tonight’s loss and let’s not make the Capitals win over Pittsburgh anything more than really is: a good, regular season win.

Also, the shootout is the absolute worst way to end a close game with playoff positioning on the line.

Buffalo 3, Montreal 2 (SO) - After the game (and even during the game) the outcry by Habs fans over Carey Price’s play was impossible to ignore..and completely unfounded. If anything, the Canadiens should be thanking Price they were able to actually walk away from the game with at least one point. He withstood 42 shots total in the game, including 18 in the third period and overtime. The game tying goal with less than a minute to play is more the fault of the hapless Montreal defensemen standing around and watching, than the multiple saves Price made with the puck on his doorstep.

Washington 4, Pittsburgh 3 (SO) - Alex Ovechkin had an assist and finished, yet again, with a plus-2 rating. So he now has about a 3,471 lead on plus/minus on anyone not wearing a Caps jersey. The player of the game was Jose Theodore, however, as he withstood 42 shots by the Penguins and made several great, acrobatic saves. Mike Knuble gets the ‘unlikely shootout hero’ award, as his goal in the fourth round of the shootout iced the win for the Caps.

But don’t let this win go to your heads too much, Caps fans. It’s a great victory against a great opponent on home ice (and it was a very entertaining game to watch), but you’ve already proven this year you can beat the Pens in the regular season. It’s in the playoffs that the true test will come.