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Daily Links for Sunday, April 18

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"It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine". Dark days for Buffalo as Game 2 was lost when Thomas Vanek crashed into the boards and left the ice. Being at the game yesterday let me tell you that Vanek's injury completely sucked the life out of the crowd, and subsequently the team. There was a pretty healthy buzz going, but when Vanek got hooked and nobody stood up for him (same with Ennis getting plowed into the Boston bench at the end of the period), things went silent. Yours truly lost his voice cheering and trying to get his fellow fans into it, but Section 325 could only do so much. Bring on Game 3.

Bruins beat Sabres 5-3 -
Boston rallied from a first period 2-0 deficit to top the Sabres 5-3 in Game 2 of their series.

Sullivan: Kennedy, Kaleta share dream ride - The Buffalo News
Deep down, Patrick Kaleta and Tim Kennedy are just like you.

Zdeno Chara turns the tide in Boston-Buffalo series - The Hockey News
'Big Z' was being outplayed by his counterpart Tyler Myers until the hulking Bruins defenseman got going in the second half of Game 2. (Ed. Note: Just looking at his stupid face in this article gets my blood pumping)

*Links will be updated again around 12pm as I am currently writing them at 6pm on Saturday.

More Buffalo Links:

SIMON: Inside The Numbers - Lindy Ruff Edition - WGR 550 SportsRadio
The fact the Sabres won game 1 should come as no surprise and it has nothing to do with the opponent. It has more to do with Lindy Ruff and how he gets his team ready for the playoffs.

Instead of Falling Apart, Bruins Roar Back to Defeat Sabres in Game 2 -
Instead of Falling Apart, Bruins Roar Back to Defeat Sabres in Game 2.

Sports on the Air: CBC takes a share of Sabres-Bruins series - The Buffalo News
It is probably not an option most Buffalo Sabres fans will consider, but there is an alternative to listening to legendary play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret and analyst Harry Neale.

That Was Really Awesome - The Willful Caboose
A good read if you're on the fence wondering "should I spend the money on playoff tickets?" (Short answer: Yes)


Eastern Conference Playoffs:

Backstrom's OT goal gives Caps 6-5 win -
After Washington rallied from three goals down, the Capitals needed a late score by rookie John Carlson to force overtime, where Nicklas Backstrom would cap a hat trick by potting the game-winner 31 seconds in, giving the Caps a 6-5 win over the Habs and tying their Conference Quarterfinal series at a game apiece.

Positives the New Jersey Devils Can Take from Game 2 into Game 3 - In Lou We Trust
Upon further reflection of the New Jersey Devils' 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 2, I discovered some positives from the win that the Devils can use to carry over into Game 3 and beyond.

McKenzie: Crosby continues to amaze at both ends of ice - TSN
Sidney Crosby's assist on Kris Letang's winning goal in Game 2 of the Senators and Penguins series is the best assist I've seen all year in the NHL.

Laperriere and Betts give their all for Flyers -
Defensive duo of Ian Laperriere and Blair Betts will do anything to keep the puck out of their net – even if that means taking a puck in the face.


Western Conference Playoffs:

Kings even series with 3-2 OT win over Canucks -
Los Angeles rallied from an early two-goal deficit before Anze Kopitar scored at 7:28 of overtime, giving the Kings a 3-2 win over the Canucks Saturday and tying their Western Conference Quarterfinal at one game each.

Wings show why they're among the elite - The Globe and Mail
Detroit takes Stanley Cup experience and digs deep in Game 2 with 7-4 win over surging Phoenix Coyotes.


Nashville No-Names gain more swagger after Game 1 road win - ESPN
Surprised the Predators took Game 1 on the road against the second-seeded Hawks? You shouldn't be. Here's why.


Roberto Luongo, Jonathan Quick can handle a bump or two -
Crashing the crease is a part of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and something goalies Roberto Luongo and Jonathan Quick know they must be prepared.

Sharks Defy Media and Fan Bias, Defeat Avalanche After Five Comebacks - Fear The Fin
Without a doubt, the historic Game Two win changed the course of the series, and may have saved the Sharks season.

Luongo looks shaky - The Globe and Mail
Against L.A., the Vancouver goalie failed to control rebounds that once upon a time he easily corralled. (Ed. Note: Hopefully this is still the case as I'm writing this article at 6pm on Saturday)


Around the NHL:

Burke already focusing on next season for Leafs -
There is plenty happening among NHL teams not in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In Toronto, the emphasis already is on the 2011 playoffs.

Cup Finalists After Losing Game 1 - From The Rink
How many Stanley Cup finalists lost their opening playoff game? A look at history as a reminder to Not Panic.

April 17th: Beard of the Day: Wooly Willy - Second City Hockey
Another fantastic beard, that can be turned into an afro with nothing but a magnetic pen!

Bloge Salming: The NHL's Attempts At Viral Marketing
If you're a fan of viral videos, you'll love this mashup of NHL players to various YouTube favorites.