Last night was a tale of two stories. While one series is knotted at two, the other series features a team that is facing elimination.
Anaheim 1 @ Detroit 4 – The Red Wings are carrying the momentum from game 4 of the series led by the Mule, Johan Franzen. He may seem to blend in behind the star players on the Wings during the regular season, but once playoff time rolls around, he always steps up. He opened up the scoring with a wrist shot past Jonas Hiller. Detroit’s Jiri Hudler, Darren Helm and Henrik Zetterberg followed up with goals of their own to give the Red Wings another victory. Ryan Whitney scored the Ducks only goal on a powerplay in the second period. Now Detroit has control of the series and it seems to be working in their favour. In the 2007 Western Conference finals, the Ducks won at Detroit to take a 3-2 lead in the series en route to the Stanley Cup title. This time, it seems to be going the other way around as the Ducks looked nothing like the Stanley Cup winning team from 2007. The Wings managed to outplay the usually solid Anaheim defense and they outshot the Ducks 38-17. Jonas Hiller is starting to show cracks and the Red Wings are taking advantage of that. Randy Carlyle should rework the lineup if he wants a shot at winning the series. Perhaps moving Bobby Ryan back to the first line would be a good idea.
Detroit leads the series 3-2
Carolina 0 @ Boston 4 – After watching Cam Ward dominate the series and pushing the Bruins to the brink of elimination, Tim Thomas finally gets to take control of the game once again. He deflected 19 shots on his way to his first playoff shutout. The solid goaltending was backed up with plenty of offensive support. Mark Recchi took advantage of the early powerplay to put the Bruins up 1-0 in the first period. Phil Kessel followed it up with 2 goals in the second, both times assisted by Marc Savard. Milan Lucic finished it off with an empty netter in the third period. The Bruins played a more physical game and they managed to shutdown Carolina effectively. The Hurricanes didn’t get a shot on goal until 11 minutes in, and by the end of the game, they were outshot 40-19. After that three straight defeats, it seems like the Bruins’ trip back to the drawing board worked out after all.
Carolina leads the series 3-2
Three Stars of the Night:
1. Henrik Zetterberg (Detroit)
2. Tim Thomas (Boston)
3. Johan Franzen (Detroit)
Washington at Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh leads the series 3-2 (TV: TSN, Versus)
Vancouver at Chicago – Chicago leads the series 3-2 (TV: CBC, Versus)