Once again, MacKinnon was the difference, with a goal and two assists in the Avalanche's 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild. MacKinnon assisted on Nick Holden's second-period tally, P.A. Parenteau's late game-tying goal with the net empty, then scored the OT winner himself.
The Kings' netminder has been trending in the right direction since Game 3, and in Game 5, with LA up against the wall, he was flawless. Quick stopped all 31 shots he faced in a 3-0 win over the San Jose Sharks, pushing the series to a game six at the Staples Center.
No. 3 Star: Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh Penguins
After the Penguins fell behind early, Kunitz tied the game:
Then he added an assist on the empty-netter to seal a 3-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. He had a game-high 7 shots on goal and 6 hits. Great game for the winger, and now the Penguins are one win away from the second round.
Honorable mention: Pavel Datsyuk had a hand in both goals for the Detroit Red Wings, who fell to the Boston Bruins 4-2 and were eliminated from the postseason. Torey Krug had two assists for the winning team... watch Tyler Toffoli's nifty toe drag on this goal, which stood up as the game-winner:
Did You Know? The team that's scored the opening goal has lost every game in the Pittsburgh/Columbus series. That in mind, expect the team that wins the opening face-off in Game 6 to just skate the puck into their own goal, to give themselves an edge.
Dishonorable mention: That game-tying goal in Colorado really was offside... The Sharks may have two more cracks at closing out the Kings, but damn if it's not going to be difficult to slow the Kings down in their own building in Game 6, preventing a Game 7.