One key to NHL playoff success is strong goaltending. Several notable netminders, however, got off to poor starts to their respective divisional semifinals.
Carey Price allowed four goals on 25 shots but got the win, as his Montreal Canadiens edged the Tampa Bay Lightning, 5-4, in the opening game of their series. Price bounced back in Game 2 with 26 saves in a 4-1 win.
Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury (three goals, 34 shots) and Columbus' Sergei Bobrovsky (four goals, 32 shots) each gave up some soft goals in the Penguins' 4-3 opening-game victory over the Blue Jackets.
Dallas' Kari Lehtonen (four goals, 31 shots) didn't acquit himself well in his club's 4-3 series-opening loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Lehtonen also allowed three goals on 19 shots in the Stars' 3-2 loss in Game 2.
Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick got the hook after surrendering five goals on 28 shots, as the Kings fell 6-3 in Game 1 against the San Jose Sharks. Colorado's Semyon Varlamov allowed four goals on 33 shots in his club's overtime win over the Minnesota Wild.
Several of these goaltenders enter this year's playoffs with something to prove. Price last won a playoff series in 2008. Fleury is trying to overcome the stigma of consecutive playoff meltdowns over the last two years. Bobrovsky, Lehtonen and Varlamov have yet to prove themselves as clutch playoff goaltenders.