Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk is a big-bodied presence between the pipes, and in Game 5 of the Wild’s first-round series against St. Louis Friday, he used his athleticism and frame to keep Blues winger Alex Steen from scoring at point-blank range.
The teams were tied at a goal apiece nearing the 12-minute mark of the second period when Steen got a slick pass from captain David Backes that left him alone with the puck directly in front of Dubnyk, who was already sprawled-out on the ice and on his stomach. Steen couldn’t beat him, though, as Dubnyk got a pad on the puck to keep the score 1-1: Read more
It’s hard enough for NHLers to score on Rangers star goalie Henrik Lundqvist with their stick, or for that matter, by redirecting a puck with their skate in a non-distinct kicking motion. So in Game 5 of the Penguins’ first-round series against the Blueshirts Friday, Pens center Nick Spaling tried something new – being in a position where the puck deflected off his body – and it worked for Pittsburgh’s first goal of the night.
The Penguins were trailing the Rangers 1-0 late in the second period at Madison Square Garden when Spaling drove to the net as captain Sidney Crosby sent the puck out in front. Somehow, it bounced just past the goal line after ricocheting off his left forearm: Read more
Senators right winger Bobby Ryan had a tough regular season – his 18 goals are the lowest number in a full year since his first one in 2008-09 – and he failed to register a point in Ottawa’s first four first-round playoff games against Montreal. But in Game 5, with the Sens again facing elimination, Ryan scored his first post-season goal Friday on a low-odds shot to give his team the game’s first lead.
The Sens and Canadiens were approaching the halfway point of the first period when Ottawa winger Mark Hoffman carried the puck into Montreal’s zone and passed it to Ryan. He fired a wrist shot from near the top of the circle at Habs star goalie Carey Price – and because of the traffic in front of Price, it snuck by him: Read more
The Chicago Blackhawks fell 5-2 to the Nashville Predators in Game 5 of their first-round series Thursday night, but if there’s any solace to be taken for the Hawks, it’s that star winger Patrick Kane is looking like himself again – as evidenced by an astonishing spin-o-rama-style, backhanded assist on Kris Versteeg’s goal late in the third period.
The Hawks were trailing the host Preds 4-1 with five minutes left in the third period when Kane took the puck deep in Nashville’s zone, only to stop, spin and fire a backhanded pass to Versteeg, who slapped it past Predators goalie Pekka Rinne for his first goal of the 2015 post-season and Kane’s fourth assist: Read more
Calgary’s first-round series against the Vancouver Canucks has been the Jonas Hiller show as the Flames netminder has stopped just about everything that has come his way through four games. In order to beat Hiller, the Canucks shooters have had to be near perfect. That’s exactly what Nick Bonino‘s second period tally was.
First, the Canucks gained the zone and worked a strong cycle before Radim Vrbata put a perfect pass right in Bonino’s wheelhouse. Without hesitation, Bonino unloaded with a seeing-eye slapper that came out of the net faster than it went in. Hiller had absolutely no chance: Read more
New York Islanders winger Casey Cizikas was none too pleased with Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson‘s booming body check on Lubomir Visnovsky in Game 4, and Cizikas was bent on getting his revenge in Game 5.
After Cizikas and Wilson came together following a whistle in the third period, and after the game had already begun to get chippy with the Captials up by a mile, Cizikas took the opportunity to deliver an ill-intentioned chop right to the groin of Wilson. Wilson, obviously feeling the effects, immediately fell to the ice (video via Sportsnet): Read more
Ben Bishop hasn’t been having the best post-season for the Tampa Bay Lightning, and his troubles continued Thursday in Game 4 of the Bolts’ first-round series against Detroit when he batted a shot from Red Wings winger Joakim Andersson into his own net.
Leading the Lightning 2-1 in their series heading into Game 4, the Wings were already up 1-0 Thursday in Detroit when Bishop deflected Andersson’s snap shot with his glove late in the second period and tried to bat the puck away with his stick. Unfortunately for Bishop, the puck went off his crossbar, and when he stretched back to try and stop it from crossing the goal line – you guessed it – he pushed it just enough to cross the goal line: Read more
There have been goals in the first-round series between the Capitals and Islanders that New York goaltender Jaroslav Halak wishes he could have had back. But in the second period of Game 5, Halak made an outstanding stop on Evgeny Kuznetsov that kept the score locked at 1-1.
After Islanders defenseman Griffin Reinhart made an ill-advised pinch at the blueline, Kuznetsov broke up ice on a 2-on-1 with Jason Chimera. Kuznetsov found the trailing man, defenseman Mike Green, for the first attempt on goal, but it was Halak’s second stop that was the real beauty.
With Kuznetsov alone at the side of the net, Marcus Johansson found him with a perfect tape-to-tape pass, which Halak somehow managed to slide across and knock down with his glove hand. Check out the video below, specifically at the twelve-second mark, and look at how wide open the net was for Kuznetsov before Halak shut the door: Read more