- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy26 mins ago
Just as everyone predicted, Karri Ramo was the change the Calgary Flames needed to push them over the edge and into the second round.
Just 7:32 into the game, Bob Hartley made a decision. A decision that could have very easily blown up in his face. He decided to pull starter Jonas Hiller after 2 goals against, and replace him with backup Karri Ramo. The only playoff action Ramo had seen as of late was for five minutes of garbage time of Game 2 when the game was out of hand.
About two minutes after entering the game, Ramo gave up a power play goal to Radim Vrbata, extending the Canucks lead to 3-0.
From the beginning to the series to now, Calgary rookie Michael Ferland had gone from virtual unknown to that guy in the office who talks too loud on his phone (i.e. annoying) to the Canucks. So much so, the always cordial Kevin Bieksa made a comment about him after Game 2:
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
The story of Chicago’s series win over Nashville was simple. The Blackhawks have Duncan Keith and the Predators don’t. In the series, Keith, a former Norris Trophy winner, put on a virtuoso performance.
He notched two game-winners – one in overtime in Game 1, and the eventual series winner at the 16:12 mark of the third period of Saturday’s Game 6, a 4-3 Chicago win. He had a goal and two assists in the clincher.
Here is Keith’s score:
Overall the series saw lack of consistency in Chicago’s goaltending between starter Corey Crawford and backup Scott Darling. Crawford was yanked the first game, and allowed six goals in Game 2 while Darling won three of the contests, before he was pulled in the first period Game 6. Crawford closed out Nashville with 13 saves on 13 Predators shots on goal.
Nashville withstood the Blackhawks the best they could without captain Shea Weber who was sidelined in Game 2 with a lower body injury. The Predators were up 2-0 and 3-1 in this game, but could not close out the Hawks and send the series back to Nashville for Game 7.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
Detroit’s series against the Tampa Bay Lightning feels like some weird referendum on Red Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek and coach Mike Babcock's decision to start the rookie. Will it be good Mrazek who shows up, or bad Mrazek? The solid version of the netminder arrived in a 4-0 shutout of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.
Mrazek stopped 28 of 28 shots on goal to help give Detroit the victory and a 3-2 series lead against Tampa going into Monday’s Game 6.
"I think maybe Tampa got their first shot after 10 minutes," Mrazek said. "We had good pressure on their D and in their zone, and they couldn't get to our zone."
Babcock could have gone back to Jimmy Howard after Mrazek allowed two late goals to lose Game 4 against Tampa. Instead, he stuck with Mrazek who continued his strange stretch of following up not as prolific starts with excellent starts. After allowing four goals in Game 2, he shut out the Lightning in Game 3. So I guess we're headed for seven games if the pattern continues in Game 6?
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
UNIONDALE, N.Y. —New York Islanders fans left Nassau Coliseum Saturday afternoon unsure if they’d be back, but happy they could hold their goodbyes for now.
The Islanders beat the Washington Capitals 3-1 to stave off elimination and force a Game 7 Monday night at Verizon Center.
A loss would have meant not only the end of the Islanders’ season, but also Nassau Coliseum, their home for the past 43 years. Beginning with the 2015-16 season, New York will play their home games at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
After both teams scored in the first period, the red light remained off until midway through the third when a wild sequence that began between the benches ended with what turned out to be the game-winning goal.
Capitals and Islanders players started a scrum during a line change and it appeared as if the officials would stop play to sort things out. They didn’t, and Islanders captain John Tavares raced the puck into the Washington zone on a 2-on-3 with Nick Leddy.
“It was a war zone in front of the bench there,” said Tavares. “[I] just realized I had a lot of room and there was a lot more ice because of what was going on.”
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy13 hrs ago
Since the first year Alex Ovechkin made the playoffs with the Washington Capitals, they’ve played in nine playoff series. Seven of them have gone seven games; the only two that didn’t came in the same 2010-11 season, a five-game win over the Rangers and a sweep at the hands of the Lightning.
So, chin up, New York Islanders fans: These things tend to go the distance for the Capitals, even if they’re up 3-2 in the series.
But this isn’t a Capitals team about tendencies, or the past. This is a Capitals team desperately trying to prove that this postseason, and this mix of players, is different.
Do they actually have a killer instinct this time?
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy22 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild
The Minnesota goalie had yet another great bounce-back game, stopping 36 shots in the Wild’s 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 5. He made 19 saves in the third period alone.
No. 2 Star: Carl Hagelin, New York Rangers
The forward’s second goal of the playoffs turned out to be the series clincher, as his leaping tally past Marc-Andre Fleury gave the Rangers a 2-1 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5.
No. 3 Star: Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators
The starter who became a backup and is now a starter again made 45 saves in the Sens’ 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens, including 19 in the third period. Montreal now leads 3-2 in the series.
Honorable Mention: Marco Scandella and Nino Niederreiter scored their second of the playoffs. … Vladimir Tarasenko scored his sixth. … Bobby Ryan scored two goals, breaking a long slump. … Mike Hoffman and Mika Zibanejad had two assists each. … Fleury made 34 saves, while Lundqvist made 37.
Did You Know? The Penguins scored eight goals on 132 shots against Lundqvist.Fri, Apr 24Pittsburgh1 - 2NY RangersGame Recap
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy1 day ago
The St. Louis Blues, darling pick by many to win the Stanley Cup – or at very least make it out of the Western Conference playoffs – are in trouble. A ton of trouble after losing 4-1 in Game 5 to Minnesota on Friday.
The Wild took a 3-2 series advantage and a chance to win at home Sunday. Ouch.
While Minnesota has out-maneuvered the Blues this series and should indeed be lauded fort the clinching scenario, the Blues are choking … again. This team has never gone past the second round of the playoffs with Ken Hitchcock as the head coach. And it appears the Blues may again find themselves going into yet another offseason asking whether this group assembled, coached by Hitch, can't make a dent in the postseason. The Blues had so many glorious chances in this game, but couldn't convert.
Per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
NEW YORK – The ultimate reaction to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ first-round exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs will come in the weeks and months following Friday's Game 5 loss to the New York Rangers.
Players will be jettisoned. Perhaps a coach. Perhaps a GM. Perhaps even a foundational star whose departure fundamentally changes the team’s identity.
But in the short term, the Penguins sat in their dressing room at Madison Square Garden – their coach, Mike Johnston, opted not to speak to them after the game – and reflected on a tightly played but brief series, and the rocky road that led there.
“We’re missing some guys. All year. It’s tough to get your rhythm as far as team identity. I’m not using that as an excuse by any means. We still found a way to get ourselves into the playoffs,” said captain Sidney Crosby.
“We lost our two best defensemen. That’s tough for team,” said Evgeni Malkin of Kris Letang and Christian Ehrhoff, the team’s best puck-moving defensemen, who missed the entire series due to injury.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy1 day ago
Man, ever since game 3, Subban has completely disappeared.. pic.twitter.com/KtkJ80mHrC
"[We're] not dead" - Monty Python and The Holy Grail.
Also (possibly) said by the Ottawa Senators.
Today just so happens to be the 40th anniversary of one of the best movies of all time. As a tribute to the classic line in the film, the Senators kept their playoff run on life support by forcing a Game 6 with a 5-1 over Montreal.
You saw that right. 5 goals scored by Ottawa. Every single one of them was on Vezina nominee Carey Price. At home.
It started midway through the first with a goal from the guy who needed to score in this series to stop the millions of questions as to why he hadn't scored yet: Bobby Ryan. Ryan sent a wrist shot on net that hit Price and dribbled backwards into the net.
Looking back, it was a pretty good indication of the night ahead for Price and the Habs.
About five minutes later, Price was left helpless as he was screened by almost everybody in red and in white. Patrick Wiercioch's wrister from near the blueline went over Price's shoulder and in the net. It would stand as the game winning goal.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
NEW YORK – Carl Hagelin scored with 9:08 remaining in the first overtime to send the New York Rangers to the second round and eliminate the Pittsburgh Penguins in five games on Friday night, 2-1.
A hard-working shift from Dominic Moore dug the puck out to Hagelin, who put it past Marc-Andre Fleury while falling to the ice.
"I don't remember it at all, to be honest," said Hagelin. "I didn't do much on that shift until I saw Dom was in trouble behind the net. I went behind there to pick up the puck and then I just skated around the circle and I took a shot. Somehow, it went in."
Hagelin said the goal was "one of the happiest moments of my life."
The game was an outstanding goaltending battle between Henrik Lundqvist (37 saves) and Marc-Andre Fleury (34 saves), as both netminders kept the score close with clutch saves in each period.
"I thought both goaltenders were good tonight," said Penguins coach Mike Johnston. "Unfortunately, it was another 2-1 game in their favor."
The Rangers struck at 4 minutes, 23 seconds of the first period after a Nick Spaling tripping penalty.