It was about time Steven Stamkos got going. Also, if you haven't seen Bobby Ryan's insane goal last night, go right now and come back, I'm still not over how amazing that goal was.
Oh, and for the love of all that is good and holy, ONE MORE, BRUINS! PLEASE!
I've got 4 Game 5s for you, they are as follows:
All series could end tonight, find out if any of them did.
New York Islanders @ New Jersey Devils
It was do or die for the Devils tonight, and they didn't want to lose at home... or at least someone didn't. P.A. Parenteau joined Zach Parise and Curtis Glencross for the scoring lead with his 5th goal of the Playoffs 13 seconds in. Assists went to Matt Moulson and John Tavares, who now share the lead in assists with 7. New Jersey were firing from everywhere, but Rick Dipietro shut the door every time to keep the 1-0 lead for his team.
Not a lot of action in this period, no scoring, few shots, 10 for the Devils, 9 for the Isles. Time was starting to run out for the Devils, who absolutely needed a tying goal...
... and they got that clutch tying goal from the stick of Ilya Kovalchuk, assisted by Mark Fayne and Zach Parise. The goal was made 3 minutes before the end of the game. Turns out the score would go to OT as 1-1, by far the lowest scoring game in the series. Martin Brodeur and Rick Dipietro decided to show up at the exact same time, what are the chances? Thus far, Brodeur had 27 saves, Dipietro had 34.
The Devils can thank Brodeur for being the superstar they needed him to be. His 5 OT saves permitted David Clarkson to score with the help of Kovalchuk and Parise to keep the team alive in the Yelnats Cup Playoffs. 2-1 the final score in OT and 3-2 series lead for NYI.
The Isles need to stop the bleeding now, because as we found out this year, the Devils sucked early, but once they got going, they were damn near unstoppable.
Score: NJD 2 - 1 NYI (OT)
Total shots: NJD 37 - 33 NYI
Total PIM: NJD 2 - 8 NYI
#1 Martin Brodeur (32 saves)
#2 Ilya Kovalchuk (GTG, A)
#3 David Clarkson (OT winner)
Colorado Avalanche @ St.-Louis Blues
Another low scoring game here. Daniel Winnik, who has been a revelation in this series, started things off at 3:45, apples went to Ryan O'Reilly and Erik Johnson. The Blues had 6 PIM, but they didn't affect them much as the shots were still even at 11 a piece after 20 minutes.
This time, it was the Blues who scored an early period goal. T.J. Oshie tied things up with the help of Carlo Colaiacovo and B.J. Crombeen. This was a defense-heavy period, as the shot were 6-5 in favor of the Blues on the period. Nothing much happened apart from that goal.
The period started off with a lot of intensity as a scrap broke out between Matt Hunwick and B.J. Crombeen. It was a very solid effort for both players as no clear winner was determined. Once again, an unlikely hero emerged for the Blues as Adam Cracknell broke the tie on a fluky goal. Cracknell was trying for a pass and it hit Ryan O'Byrne skate and deflected into the net. That goal really stung, as the series are now 3-2 after this 2-1 Blues win. Chris Stewart and Chris Porter were awarded with the assists on the winning goal.
Despite shooting 11 pucks towards Jaroslav Halak, the Avalanche couldn't solve the Blues, and now they're going to match point #3 when game 6 takes place at home.
Score: STL 2 - 1 COL
Total shots: STL 25 - 27 COL
Total PIM: STL 17 - 11 COL
#1 Jaroslav Halak (26 saves)
#2 Adam Cracknell (GWG)
#3 T.J. Oshie (G)
Florida Panthers @ Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Panthers came out roaring in the first period, scoring 3 goals in the middle 7 minutes of the period. Patrick Rissmiller drew first blood, scoring on a Marty Reasoner rebound on the powerplay, assisted by Niclas Bergfors. Bergfors then scored a goal himself, assisted by Alexander Sulzer and Steve Bernier. The third Panthers goal went to Sergei Samsonov with a flashy backhander past James Reimer. Michal Repik and Mike Weaver got the As. The period truly was all Panthers, as they held a 12-7 shot advantage through 20. Towards the end of the period, Darcy Hordichuk was thrown out of the game, getting a 2, 5 and a 10 with a brutal hit on Keith Aulie. Aulie is reportedly going to miss 2-3 weeks of action with an upper-body injury.
Things were still flying in the 2nd period, but this time it was on the shot clock. Toronto had 13 shots on net, one of which went into the Panthers net, and those Panthers got 11 shots. The goal was scored by Tyler Bozak, assisted by Joffrey Lupul and Carl Gunnarsson on the powerplay.
The Maple Leafs weren't able to mount a comeback as Ryan Carter scored a back-breaker goal midway through the period. Lone assist went to Mike Santorelli. The Panthers, just like the Blues and Devils before them, are still alive in their series, which the Leafs lead 3-2. The game ended with a 4-1 score in favor of the Panthers.
Look for things to get even more intense next game when Hordichuk hops back onto the ice, as the Leafs will be looking for revenge. I've never seen anyone get a suspension in the game, which is strange. Well... it's close enough to reality I guess. Yeah, I went there.
Score: TOR 1 -4 FLA
Total shots: TOR 29 - 33 FLA
Total PIM: TOR 6 - 23 FLA
#1 Niclas Bergfors (GWG, A)
#2 Tomas Vokoun (28 saves)
#3 Sergei Samsonov (G)
Columbus Blue Jackets @ Minnesota Wild
This period alone almost featured as many goals as there have been in any single game between these two teams. This was by far the most exciting game of the series, so buckle up! Rick friggin Nash scored the first goal AGAIN, helped by Fedor Tyutin and Maxim Mayorov, but Kaptain Koivu answered right back again, just like in the previous game, with a powerplay goal, aided by Clayton Stoner and Nick Schultz (why are they both on the powerplay together? Oh well, I guess it works). A mere 13 seconds after Mikko Koivu's goal, Antoine Vermette reclaimed the lead for the Jackets on a beauty of a wrister. Assists went to Jakub Voracek and R.J. Umberger, but then, Matt Cullen kept the seesaw going 37 seconds later with another tying goal. Martin Havlat and Brent Burns supplied the assists. Shots were 12 for CBJ, 9 for MIN.
Rick Nash. Rick.....Nash.....again. 2nd goal of the game for the Wild's version of Freddy Krueger, assisted by Kris Russell and Derrick Brassard on the powerplay. Nash has been nothing short of amazing for his team and is probably the sole reason they aren't eliminated yet. Not to be outdone however, Matt Cullen also scored his 2nd of the game late in the period with the help of Pierre-Marc Bouchard. CBJ held the shot advantage again, 10-8
Martin Havlat scored a HUGE goal to get the Wild ahead with only 8 minutes left to play. Cal Clutterbuck got the lone assist. 5 minutes passed, 3 minutes left to play. 3 minutes until the Jackets went home for the summer. And then................(suspense)................Derek Mackenzie tied the game! Fedor Tyutin got his second assist of the game and the Jackets' bench nearly exploded. Overtime was needed at the X.
This was a very intense OT period. It didn't last very long, but many shots were fired in a back-and-forth battle. Shots ended up 5-4 in favor of Columbus and 5-4 was also the score, but who won, you ask? Every shot had the packed crowd at the X's collective heart stop, but..... Brent Burns scored the OT goal to send the BJs to the golf courses. The X will now need repairs as the roof was blown off by the sheer energy that emaned from the crowd as John Madden made a drop pass to Burns, who slapped the puck past Steve Mason to send the Wild to the 2nd round of the Yelnats Cup Playoffs.
This was an amazing battle, both teams were desperate for this win, and both teams deserved it, but the Wild came out on top. The series has ended, 4-1 for the Wild, second-round bound. It was a goaltender's duel all series long, but this time, it was the cannons versus.. the fangs I guess? Wild... bear... fangs? Whatever.
Score: MIN 5-4 CBJ (OT)
Total shots: MIN 31 - 33 CBJ
Total PIM: MIN 14 - 2 CBJ
#1 Brent Burns (OT winner, A )
#2 Rick Nash (2G)
#3 Matt Cullen (2G)
#1 Zach Parise, NJD, 5, 5GP
#2 Curtis Glencross, CGY, 5, 4GP
#3 P.A. Parenteau, NYI, 5, 5GP
#4 Ilya Kovalchuk, NJD, 4, 5GP
#5 Rick Nash, CBJ, 4, 5GP
#1 Matt Moulson, NYI, 7, 5GP
#2 John Tavares, NYI, 7, 5GP
#3 Ty Wishart, NYI, 6, 5GP
#4 Travis Zajac, NJD, 6, 5GP
#5 Ilya Kovalchuk, NJD, 5, 5GP
#1 John Tavares, NYI, 9, 5GP
#2 Ilya Kovalchuk, NJD, 9, 5GP
#3 Matt Moulson, NYI, 8, 5GP
#4 Zach Parise, NJD, 8, 5GP
#5 P.A. Parenteau, NYI, 8, 5GP
#1 Brent Burns, MIN, +7, 5GP
#2 Ryan Carter, FLA, +5, 5GP
#3 Lance Bouma, CGY, +5, 4GP
#4 Erik Johnson, COL, +4, 5GP
#5 Zach Parise, NJD, +4, 5GP
#1 Niklas Backstrom, MIN, 4, 5GP
#2 Craig Anderson, OTT, 4, 4GP
#3 Miikka Kiprusoff, CGY, 4, 4GP
#4 Rick Dipietro, NYI, 3, 5GP
#5 Peter Budaj, COL, 3, 5GP
#1 Niklas Backstrom, MIN, 1, 5GP
#2 Miikka Kiprusoff, CGY, 1, 4GP
#3 Rick Dipietro, NYI, 0, 5GP
#4 Craig Anderson, OTT, 0, 5GP
#5 James Reimer, TOR, 0, 5GP
#1 Niklas Backstrom, MIN, 1.56, 5GP
#2 Craig Anderson, OTT, 1.85, 4GP
#3 Miikka Kiprusoff, CGY, 2.09, 4GP
#4 Steve Mason, CBJ, 2.34, 5GP
#5 Peter Budaj, COL, 2.55, 5GP
#1 Craig Anderson, OTT, 93.9%, 4GP
#2 Niklas Backstrom, MIN, 93.4%, 5GP
#3 Miikka Kiprusoff, CGY, 93.3%, 4GP
#4 James Reimer, TOR, 91.2%, 5GP
#5 Peter Budaj, COL, 90.9%, 5GP
We've got three series left, I will cover game 6s for you guys tomorrow:
New Jersey Devils @ New York Islanders, Isles leading 3-2.
St - Louis Blues @ Colorado Avalanche, Avs leading 3-2.
Toronto Maple Leafs @ Florida Panthers, Leafs leading 3-2
Minnesota wins series 4-1 over Columbus.
Happy Easter and/or Sunday everyone!