Part of the best part of the Stanley Cup playoffs is the plethora of overtime games.
Tonight’s Exhibit A:
The Boston Bruins’ OT win over the Washington Capitals (via boston.com).
BOSTON—Chris Kelly’s newest piece of jewelry is a thick, padlocked chain that he wore around his neck after scoring the game-winning goal in Boston’s playoff opener on Thursday night.
The message: Try not to be the weak link
“He wasn’t,” Bruins goalie Tim Thomas said after Kelly’s goal on a long slapshot 1:18 into overtime gave the defending Stanley Cup champions a 1-0 victory over the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
“I had a good feeling that it was going to go in, and I had a good feeling about the guy who had the puck,” said Thomas, the reigning Vezina and Conn Smythe Trophy-winner. “I could tell he had something tonight. He’d been winging a few past me in practice the past few days.”
Tonight’s Exhibit B:
The San Jose Sharks’ OT win over the St. Louis Blues (via the San Jose Mercury News).
ST. LOUIS — The Sharks made a pretty good case Thursday night that maybe their regular-season struggles against the St. Louis Blues really don’t matter anymore.
San Jose opened its 2012 playoff run with a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Blues on Marty Havlat’s second goal of the night, coming at 3:34 of a second overtime, swinging home ice advantage to the Sharks in their best-of-seven series.
“Once you get in, anybody can beat anybody,” Havlat said. “We know we lost all four games, but that was in the regular season. We’re a confident group here.”
Tonight’s Exhibit C (just concluded):
The Phoenix Coyotes’ OT win over the Chicago Blackhawks (via azcentral.com).
Overtime hockey hasn’t been kind to the Coyotes faithful.
The last time this team saw extra time in the playoffs was May 4, 1999, when a 1-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues in Game7 foiled the Coyotes’ attempt to win its first playoff series since 1987 when the team was in Winnipeg.
Although there had been many chances since then to persevere to the second round, none had materialized, and that overtime loss had always been a symbol for how close the team has come yet how tough it’s been to cross that hurdle.
But Thursday night’s meeting with the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals was perhaps a turning point in a history that hasn’t had many shining playoff moments. Despite coughing up a late lead to send the game to overtime, the Coyotes rallied to earn a 3-2 victory in front of 17,138 at Jobing.com Arena.
It just gets better from here. Especially the West Coast overtime games.