No love lost between Ruff, Hitchcock after Game 2
But after the Sabres' shocking 8-2 win over the Flyers on Monday, the two head coaches got chippy themselves.
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff didn't like some of the hits the Flyers were delivering in the lost cause.
"Use a different word if you want, but I thought they did," Ruff said. "The more they acted like idiots, the more we wanted to play."
Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock took offense to Ruff's description after the Flyers took 17 penalties, including Denis Gauthier's ejection and Ben Eager's two misconducts when play deteriorated as the Sabres built a 5-0 first-period lead.
"That's Lindy's opinion," Hitchcock said. "I've seen his teams do the same thing. So he ought not to talk about that."
Hitchcock took one more question before abruptly leaving the podium. On his way out, he used two profanities in muttering aloud that Ruff should mind his own business.
"Tell Lindy to [expletive] off, to mind his own [expletive] business."
Outside of Ruff and Hitchcock, tempers had already starting spilling over during the lop-sided game.
• Goalie Robert Esche's frustrations bubbled 16 minutes into the opening period when he dropped his gloves and challenged Buffalo's Derek Roy and Toni Lydman to fight. Peter Forsberg had given a Sabres player a light tap on the way back to his bench. When the whistle blew on a delayed call, Roy hit Forsberg from behind. Esche, who was heading toward the bench on the delayed call, went after Roy. Esche tried to throw punches and had to be restrained by a linesman (see picture to the right).
• Derian Hatcher gave an elbow to Campbell, who delivered the hit to Umberger, who missed Game 2 after failing a concussion-related test.
• The Flyers also targeted Sabres rookie Thomas Vanek. Gauthier received a five-minute major penalty and was ejected for running Vanek from behind six minutes into the second period. Eager's second misconduct came after he goaded Vanek to punch him and then started a fracas near the Sabres bench.
It all makes up for quite the welcome when the series shifts to Philadelphia on Wednesday night.
-- ESPN.com news services/The AP
History mounting against Blueshirts
As the Rangers head back to Madison Square Garden down 0-2 vs. the Devils, let's look at a glaring number. Only once has New York rallied back from an 0-2 deficit in the playoffs. The Rangers came back from an 0-2 hole and won four straight against the Canadiens in the 1996 Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Short-handed? No problem
John Madden tied an NHL playoff record with two man-down goals as part of his first postseason hat trick in the Devils' 4-1 win over the Rangers in Game 2. Madden holds the Devils' regular-season record with 13 career short-handed goals and tied the team's career playoff mark for man-down goals with four.
Bolts hope tide is turning
The series is far from over, but Tampa Bay's win over Ottawa on the road -- or any place for that matter -- was a huge boost. The Bolts have lost 18 of 22 games to the Senators over the past five seasons, including a 4-1 setback in the series opener. The series is tied 1-1.
Redden to return in Game 3
Defenseman Wade Redden left the Senators before Game 2 to be with family after the death of his mother, who died Saturday night. He plans to rejoin the club Tuesday and also play in Game 4 on Thursday night before flying to Saskatchewan for the funeral on Friday.
Toskala has company
With his 3-0 win over the Preds in Game 2, Vesa Toskala became the third Sharks goalie to register a shutout in the playoffs. Mike Vernon had the first in 1998 against Dallas, while Evgeni Nabokov as a franchise-record four playoff shutouts. Another good sign fir Toskala? He hasn't lost consecutive starts in regulation since October.
Penalties a no-no for Preds
If the Predators want to find more success against the San Jose Sharks, especially against sharp-shooters like Joe Thornton and Jonathan Cheechoo, they'll have to stay out of the box, or as we like to call it, "chateau bow-wow." In Game 2, San Jose's three first-period goals all came on the power play and two of them were on the 5-on-3.
|Avs forward Joe Sakic: Scored an NHL playoff-record seventh overtime goal in win over Stars.|
|Buffalo's J.P. Dumont and Jason Pominville: Each had three goals and an assist in an 8-2 win.|
|Devils center John Madden: Tied an NHL record with two short-handed goals in a win over N.Y.|
|PHOTO OF THE DAY|
AP Photo/Don Heupel
Flyers goalie Robert Esche was held back by a linesman after tempers flared in the Sabres' 8-2 win over the Flyers.
Habs beat Hurricanes in double OT.
|STAT OF THE DAY|
2 -- That's how many netminders were pulled in Monday's games. Carolina's Cam Ward took over in the first period after Martin Gerber allowed three goals and the Flyers' Antero Niittymaki took over at the start of the second period after Robert Esche gave up five goals.
35 -- That's how many goals were collectively scored in all four of Monday's playoff games.
|QUOTE OF THE NIGHT|
"Use a different word if you want, but I thought they did. The more they acted like idiots, the more we wanted to play."
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff in reference to the Philly's play after Buffalo's 8-2 win.
MORE NHL HEADLINES
- Kane's 2nd goal lifts Hawks over Blues in OT
- Stars beat short-handed Ducks to even series
- Jackets tie up series with OT win over Pens
- Cooke suspended 7 games for hit on Barrie
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- NHL Home
- Carolina Hurricanes
- Columbus B. Jackets
- New Jersey Devils
- New York Islanders
- New York Rangers
- Philadelphia Flyers
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- Washington Capitals
- Boston Bruins
- Buffalo Sabres
- Detroit Red Wings
- Florida Panthers
- Montreal Canadiens
- Ottawa Senators
- Tampa Bay Lightning
- Toronto Maple Leafs