- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
NEW YORK – There was a time, not so long ago, when playing the New York Rangers meant having a good portion of your shots blocked. That was back when the Rangers had John Tortorella, a volcano that had taken on human form, as their head coach.
But times have changed. The current incarnation of the Rangers was 18th in blocked shots in the 2014-15 regular season. Their opponents in the Eastern Conference Final, the Tampa Bay Lightning, were 20th, blocking an average of 13.4 shots per game.
The Lightning’s highest total of the Final was 17 blocks, which they achieved in Games 1 and 2 at the Garden. But in their 2-0 Game 5 victory, they dropped down and blocked 24 Rangers shots, helping to slow down an offense that had tallied 10 goals in their last two games against goalie Ben Bishop.
For Lightning winger Brian Boyle, who played on those Tortorella teams in New York , blocked shots are the catalyst for offensive frustration.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
And before the pivotal Game 5 Monday night contest in Anaheim, the teams rested. Well, more like recovered in regards to the Blackhawks and Ducks, who have so far played a bruising rough n’ tumble series.
On Sunday, after Chicago's Game 4’s double-overtime victory, the Ducks received the simple instruction from coach Bruce Boudreau:
“I told them to get away from it today,” he said. “I said, Go home. Don't sit on the couch or anything. Get some movement and exercise in. But have a good day with your families, not think about the game, then come back tomorrow refreshed, all excited to play Game 5 in front of our home fans.”
The Blackhawks also didn’t skate on their travel day back to Anaheim.
At the moment, this war of attrition hits the final stage, and both teams are trying to find some sort of edge.
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy8 hrs ago
(Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.)
Prior to Sunday night's game, very few players were in the same stratosphere in terms of minutes played as the Chicago defense.
In terms of minutes per game, Chicago's top-four ranked second, eighth, 11th, and 14th among playoff players in terms of minutes per game at 5-on-5, which is crazy. . And granted, that comes with the caveat that Chicago is obviously playing a ton of overtime this postseason — 151:38 to be exact, a little more than two-and-a-half extra games — but nonetheless, there's a lot of work being given to what are, essentially, just four guys.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy18 hrs ago
NEW YORK — Steven Stamkos stood at the podium after Game 5 with a relaxed look on his face. Gone are the days when speculation was rife that he was injured, contributing to his goal drought in Tampa’s first eight games of the postseason.
Stamkos wasn’t hurt, as he contended during Round 1 into Round 2. But even a multiple Rocket Richard Trophy winner can go through battles with confidence. And while it certainly helped that the Lightning came back in their series against the Detroit Red Wings, it feels good for the Tampa captain to know he’s contributing in victories now.
The Lightning won Game 5 against the New York Rangers 2-0 Sunday night, putting them a win away from advancing to their first Stanley Cup Final since 2004. Stamkos scored a power play goal late in the second period to put Tampa up 2-0 and put the game effectively out of reach given the Rangers’ inability to breach Ben Bishop, who made 26 saves.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy18 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning goalie made 26 saves for the shutout, as Tampa defeated the Rangers 2-0 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final, taking a 3-2 series lead.
No. 2 Star: Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
Stamkos scored a goal for the fourth straight game and added an assist on Valtteri Filppula’s goal. He now has seven points in his last four games.
No. 3 Star: Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
The Rangers goalie made 20 saves in the loss, doing what he could as his offense dried up.
Honorable Mention: Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov had the assists on Stamkos’s goal. Anton Stralman had the big pass to set up the Filppula goal.
Did You Know? Bishopimproved to 11-2-0 with 3 shutouts in 13 career decisions vs. the Rangers.
Dishonorable Mention: The Rangers were 0-for-4 on the power play despite having scored two goals on the man advantage in each of the previous three games. … Marc Staal took two minor penalties and was a minus-1.
MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy19 hrs ago
NEW YORK – After shutting out the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final, Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop was asked about a significantly more painful moment before the Sunday night contest at MSG.
Did he take a puck to a “delicate region” during warm-ups?
“You hit the nail on the head there,” he told Scott Oake of Hockey Night In Canada, as millions of fans wince simultaneously.
Bishop took a Nikita Nesterov shot to the lower extremities, crumpled to the ice and left warm-ups. What di Nesterov say after seeing Bishop in pain? "Sorry bro."
“His close ones, that he’s close to in life, were probably a little nervous,” said coach Jon Cooper.
But his starting the pivotal game was in never in doubt, and Bishop shut out a Rangers team that hung 10 goals on him in the last two games. Which naturally means someone else will have to smack a puck at his under carriage before Game 6, because hockey is nothing if not a superstitious sport.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy20 hrs ago
NEW YORK – The Tampa Bay Lightning finally shut down the New York Rangers’ offense, got another star performance from Steven Stamkos and are now one win away from playing for the Stanley Cup for the first time since winning it in 2004.
The Bolts won Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final, 2-0, on Sunday night at MSG, taking a 3-2 series lead. Goalie Ben Bishop, who had surrendered 10 goals in his last two games, rebounded with a strong 26- save effort. Part of that effort was as the last line of defense on a penalty kill that shutout the Rangers on four power plays, after New York had entered the game red hot with the man advantage.
Stamkos has a goal and an assist, giving the captain seven points in his last four games.
Yet for the most part, the Lightning played a sloppy and ineffective game before finally breaking through with the game’s first goal at 13:29 of the second period. They were getting outshot, turning the puck over in their own zone. They handed the Rangers four power plays, including two in a 4:32 span; but they managed to kill them all despite New York’s man advantage having gone four for its last eight.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy21 hrs ago
Will the New York Rangers postseason be like “Aquaman” or more like “Medellin” as either turned out in the television show “Entourage?”
New York’s last two games have become intrinsically linked with the former HBO series that aired from 2004-11 and the film, which is set to debut June 3. Oh, and there’s Kevin Dillon who plays “Johnny Chase” and “Entourage” creator Doug Ellin at Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final at Madison Square Garden, Via the New York Daily News.
Why is this all such a big deal? Because Rangers forward Rick Nash held an advanced screening of the movie for the team the night before its 5-1 Game 4 drubbing of Tampa at Amalie Arena which knotted the series at 2-2. In that contest Nash, who had been a playoff goat, scored two goals and added one assist.
So if the Rangers beat the Lightning their ‘VICTORY!’ will happen because of “Entourage” right?
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy22 hrs ago
For 35 years, John Amirante was an institution at New York Rangers games. The lifelong Rangers fan belted the national anthem at home games, his voice cutting through the bellowing cheers from the crowd during the pregame performances.
Now 80 years old, Amirante had his work scaled back this season dramatically, and as part of that deal it appeared that Game 2 of their first-round series against Pittsburgh would be the last time he’d sing the anthem at MSG.
But then there was a groundswell of affection and support from Rangers fans, and the team vowed he’d return again in the postseason for another performance.
The team had invited him to sing earlier in the playoffs for Game 7 against the Capitals, but he had to pass because of a case of bronchitis that since has cleared.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy23 hrs ago
Earlier this postseason, a New York Rangers fan decided he needed a haircut in a very specific way: A little off the sides and Chris Kreider shaved into the back.
As far as player-faces-shaved-into-head haircuts go, it was pretty cool.
Joe Barajas, otherwise known as “Joe the Barber,” is the man behind these unique haircuts. On Sunday, before Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final between the Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning, he was at it again, this time using Henrik Lundqvist.