NHL Playoff Game 5 Recap

NHL Playoff Game 5 Recap

With the Blackhawks and Flames out after a 4-game sweep, everyone else continues to battle on. 3 teams can move on with wins in game 5 (Pens, Blues, Senators) and 3 series have been shortened to a 3-game series (NYR-MON, EDM-SJ, WAS-TOR). Anything can happen so lets get to it…

Eastern Conference

Washington Capitals vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

After splitting the first four games, the series moved back to D.C. for a crucial game 5. Right off the bat, Ovechkin got the physical play started with a big hit on defender Gardiner. This got the crowd into the game. Halfway through the 1st, Kadri laid a dirty hit on Ovy to retaliate. Low-blow and a real dick move by Kadri…

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Ovechkin would miss the rest of the 1st but would come back in the 2nd. It looked really bad at first but good to see him back. The hit would result in a Caps power play where they would score. Oshie would bury a rebound, revenge on the Kadri hit. The Leafs would answer in the 2nd with a great showing of Matthews’ skill to gather the loose puck and dangle around Holtby… His 3rd of the series.

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The Leafs would hold the Caps to just 4 shots in the 2nd period, the crowd began to get uneasy. The Caps have all the pressure in the series. In the 3rd period, both teams would get their chances but neither could score on their 11 shots each. Goalies traded great saves late in regulation. The Caps would come out firing in the OT period and Justin “Mr. Game 7” Williams (7-0 in playoff game 7s) would get his 7th career playoff OT goal…

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Series: 3-2 Caps and headed back to Toronto. The Caps NEEDED this game 100%. Now that pressure is relieved (slightly) by not facing elimination in Toronto. That hit on Ovechkin created some bad blood between these two. Look to see Kadri (#43) get roughed up in the next game because he will have a target on his back for sure.

New York Rangers vs. Montreal Canadians

Goal tending and defense dominated most of the first four games. With this came some intense physical play. These themes carried right into game 5 where both teams are in a “must win” mode. The Rangers first attack of the game produced a great chance for Zucc but an amazing save by Price kept it 0-0. Then the Canadians first attack produced the same result, great chance and a nice save by Lundqvist. This back-and-forth would continue the entire game. Midway through the 1st, a great fight between Shaw and Smith would fire everyone up… (click the link to watch)

Video: Shaw and Smith drop the gloves, tempers flare between Habs, Rangers

Montreal would score first on a great wrap-around by Lehkonen. The Rangers would answer shortly after. A great play short-handed by Fast while getting tackled would tie the score…

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On that same Montreal power play less than a minute later, the Canadians would score to answer. Gallagher would wrist a perfect snipe top right…

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With time running out in the 2nd period, Nash would take over and make a play. He got the puck behind the net, attacked and got a good shot off that produced a ideal rebound for Skjei who is there to put it in to tie it up at 2-2. Both teams got 7 shots in the 3rd period but neither could score, so OT was necessary for the second time this series. OT was a battle, with teams trading chances, hits and explicit trash talk. About halfway through the extra period, the Rangers would end it off this great play by Zibanejad to one-time a deflected pass across the middle…

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Series: 3-2 Rangers and headed back to the Garden for a game 6 match up Saturday 4/22 @ 8pm. The Rangers have been very bad at home in recent years but finally broke that streak in game 4. Look for game 6 to get real physical, real quick.

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins come into game 5 with a chance to clinch and move on at home. Columbus came out flying and almost scored on their first attack, Maata with this great play…

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Midway through the first, with the Pens on the power play Kessel wrists a laser past Bobrovski stick side to open the scoring. On their first rush of the 2nd period, the Pens added on. A Kessel shot creates a rebound for Rust who gets it by Bobrovski. About two minutes late Rust gets his second goal period (for the second time this series, games 3&5) and 5th of the series. After his own shot takes a fortunate bounce, he is able to put it in the back of the net. 3-0 pens. Columbus, the youngest team in the NHL, would not give up. They would get two before the 2nd period ends to make it 3-2. Karlsson gets the first on a strong attack towards the net. Jenner would get the second on the power play after this great hand-eye skilled play…JennerGM5.gif

Fluery made some incredible saves to keep the Pens ahead as Columbus put on their desperate assault to stay alive. After a Columbus goal was called off, Crosby put a dagger in the Blue Jackets season with a perfect one-timer…

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The Pens would get one more later to finish them off. The Blue Jackets are the youngest team in the NHL right now (average age is 25.5) so they will be back for sure. There is plenty of young talent on this team to become a frequent visitor in the playoffs. For the Pens, a lot like last year where they beat the Rangers in 5 then played a Caps team that had a long first round (Caps went 6 with Philly last year). The Pens look real good right now and are a legit threat to win the Cup.

Ottawa Senators vs. Boston Bruins

This may have been the best game of the playoffs so far. Boston came into the game down 3-1 in a series. As a franchise they have never came back from 3-1 and the Senators are a perfect 8-8 when leading 3-1. However, this would not stop the Bruins from fighting to the last whistle. This game 5 makes it the 10th match up this season. So the hatred for each other is obvious. The Sens would control the 1st period and really just looked like the better team. They jumped out to a 2-0 after two successful breakaways after defensive collapses by the B’s. Stone got the first (and his first career playoff goal) off this nice move…

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In the opening minute of the 2nd period, the Sens would get the second after an offensive attack failed, Pageau was wide open for a breakaway, where he buried it. Then the Bruins top line would get going. Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak were dangerous whenever they were on the ice. It almost seemed like their line was the only ones generating offense. After a great keep in the offensive zone by Bergeron, Marchand attacked the net, wrapped around and dished a perfect backhand pass to Pastrnak who was there to punch it in.

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Towards the end of the 2nd, Boston had gotten back in the game and swung the momentum. An agressive forcheck led to a Sens turnover in the defensive zone. Sean Kuraly was there to get behind the net and deflect one in off the Sens goalie Anderson. This was his first ever goal, regular or post season. Beginners luck????

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The 3rd period would be dominated by good defense and goal tending. With 4 minutes left, Boston would take another late penalty for delay of game. They did the same in game 3. They were able to survive and kill it off. They would shortly after incur another penalty for too many men on the ice, which they did in game 4. Brutal. Seemed to be the death sentence for them. But, they survived and sent it to OT. The first OT period would be so intense. Back and forth trading chances which seemed to be the winner but neither could capitalize. Both goalies traded great saves to keep their teams in it…

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Boston would score during the OT period, but technicalities would call it goalie interference. It was originally ruled a goal then called off. I thought it was total bullshit but then again I’m not the ref. You can be the judge…

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I mean every play around the net was a battle and players were pushing and shoving everyone. The Bruin diving hit the goalie and that what made it interference. Whatever, still a game to be played and a season on the line so back to it… The 1stOT period would not be enough. During the 2ndOT, the fatigue was setting in. Karlsson had logged over 40 minutes, Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak had logged 30 minutes. Half of the 2ndOT would be necessary before Kuraly would get his 2nd goal ever to end it (that is what makes playoff hockey so great, a random player can score big-time goals). Just a great heads up play off a puck that actually hit Karlsson in the skates, fatigue definitely playing a factor.

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Series: 3-2 Sens and headed back to Boston. This was one hell of a game. Game 6 should be great. Boston just will not die. There were many times in game 5 where they looked finished but never quit. The physicality will pick up during their 11th match up of the year, game 6 Sunday 4/23 @ 3pm.

Western Conference

Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks

The series was tied going into game 5 in Edmonton. 5 minutes in, the Oilers would score first on a Maroon clean up of a rebound in front. Shortly after, the Sharks would answer with this great passing play setting up Boedker to tie it…

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5 minutes later, the Sharks would strike again. A Thorton shot would trickle by Talbot and Marleau is there to put it in. Midway through the 2nd period, the Sharks would get their third unanswered goal to make it 3-1. Schlemko on the power play would sneak a wrister from the blue line past Talbot. However, the Sharks would go on the penatly kill at the end of the period. The Oilers will capitalize with a great passing play to set up Letestu. The Oilers held the Sharks to just 6 shots in the 3rd period. Edmonton would score with 2 minutes left to tie it and send it to overtime for the second time this series off a Klefbom tip. OT would go back and forth with both teams getting quality chances. A great Draisaitl pass across the middle to Desharnias would be the game winner. beauty…

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Series: 3-2 Edmonton with game 6 in San Jose Saturday 4/22 @10:30pm

St. Louis Blues vs. Minnesota Wild

After preventing a sweep in game 4, the series moved back to Minnesota where the Wild lost both at home in games 1 & 2. The first in OT, the second in heartbreaking fashion in the last minutes of regulation. Minnesota, the State of Hockey, does not want to see that again. St. Louis would strike first after Tarasenko makes a great strong play attacking the net and showing his skill to gather the puck and rip one by Dubnyk…

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Later in the 1st, Steen would sneak by the Minnesota defense and get open to wrist a laser past Dubnyk. 2-0 Blues. In the last minute of the 1st, the Wild would answer. On the power play, Suter blasted a shot from the point that deflects off a Blues defender and beats Allen top left. The 2nd period would be a back and forth but no one would score. The Blues would add another early in the 3rd to go up 3-1. On the power play, Statsny gets the puck behind the net and jams it past Dubnyk. Not looking good in Minnesota. Halfway through the 3rd, with the season on the line the Wild got going. They were the better team in the 3rd. While on the power play, Koivu showed his great stick skills…

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With time running down, the Wild put their assault on to save their season. They were in the Blues zone most of the second-half of 3rd period. Off a fast break, Zucker challenged Allen on a breakaway, pump-faked then beat him to tie the game. The crowd was going nuts. OT was necessary. Making this the 16th OT game of this round. Just 1 shy of the record of 17 games. The Wild controlled most of of the OT period and had their chances to win the game. However, the Blues would get the dagger to end the Wild’s season. Sobotka would attack the net, strong on the puck and dish a perfect pass to Paajarvi for the game winner…

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Series: 4-1 Blues. Poor Minnesota, they came back and couldn’t get the win. Going 0-3 at home in the playoffs and seeing 3 heart breaking loses. The Twins are trash and the Vikings are iffy, I’m sure the Hockey State would have liked to see a deep playoff run from the Wild after their successful season. The Wild lost Staal late in the 3rd after a head injury which did not help. The Blues just capitalized on their chances better than the Wild. Minnesota will be back.

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