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2011 NHL Playoffs: Canucks, Capitals Take 2-0 Leads; Lightning, Ducks Even Series

Friday’s NHL action proved just as exciting as the first two days of the 2011 NHL playoffs as two teams evened up their series and two took command.

Washington 2, New York Rangers 0: Michael Neuvirth got his first career postseason shutout as the Capitals took command of this series. New York seems to be missing Ryan Callahan a bunch, scoring just one goal in two games.

Vancouver 4, Chicago 3: The West’s top seed nudged the defending champs closer to the brink behind 2 goals and an assist by Daniel Sedin. After losing former Red Wing Tomas Kopecky in Game 1, Chicago lost Bryan Bickell to injury in Game 2.

Tampa Bay 5, Pittsburgh 1: Tampa Bay finally got some offense going in this series after being shutout in Game 1. Martin St. Louis had a goal and an assist for the Lightning.

Anaheim 5, Nashville3: Bobby Ryan had a pair of goals and Ryan Getzlaf added a goal and an assist as the Ducks got even with Nashville. Joel Ward scored halfway into the third to cut the lead to 4-3, but Ryan potted an empty-netter with 53 seconds left to seal the deal.

Other notes from Friday:
-Chicago became the first team to score three times and lose in these playoffs.
-Former Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman got his first postseason win as an NHL GM with Tampa Bay’s victory.

How the series stand:
WEST
Vancouver leads Chicago 2-0
Anaheim and Nashville tied 1-1
Tomorrow’s games: Phoenix at Detroit, 1 p.m. NBC (DET leads 1-0); Los Angeles at San Jose 10 p.m. VS (SJ leads 1-0)

EAST
Washington leads NYR 2-0
Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay tied 1-1
Tomorrow’s games: Montreal at Boston 7 p.m. VS (MTL leads 1-0); Buffalo at Philadelphia 5 p.m. TSN, CSN (BUF leads 1-0)