Every night during the playoffs, we will wrap up all the exciting action and tell you what you need to know about the 2013-14 NHL playoffs. Welcome to What You Need To Know.
Ducks win 5-4 (OT) | ANA wins series 4-2
Dallas Stars: Oh, that burns, that one burns bad. The Stars were so close to taking this series back to Anaheim and then everything just imploded. They were doing such a good job all game long of keeping the Ducks from doing much offensively but then they fell into the trap we see so often and they set back to defend. Bad call. The Stars could not keep the Ducks away from their net in the final minutes and it burned them. On the winning goal in overtime they failed to clear the zone on what should have been a relatively easy exit. There's a lot to like and look forward to in Dallas, Jamie Benn proved he's a guy that can thrive on the big stage of the playoffs but this one is going to sting. Bad. You just hope that a young team like this will learn from it.
Anaheim Ducks: Un. Be. Lievable. The Ducks looked done, they had nothing going for about 50 minutes in this game and were down two with less than two and a half minutes to go. All they did from there was put on the full-court press (to mix metaphors) and score three goals in the next five minutes, including the goal in overtime to win it. Now the Ducks are advancing on to the second round for just the second time since they won the Stanley Cup in 2007 where they will face either the Sharks or the Kings in an all-California battle. This was a case of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat but out of it all they also might have a goaltending change in the works. It will get lost, but Jonas Hiller was perfect in his relief effort after coming in in the second period.
Play of the Game: Nick Bonino had a pretty good few minutes to end this game, huh? He not only had one of the Ducks' two goals in the final 2:10 of regulation but he had the game-winning and series-clinching goal in overtime. What you don't see is the forecheck that came well before the goal here to keep the puck in the zone, a fantastic play by Andrew Cogliano to get the puck back to the Ducks and then they attacked until the puck was in.
Player of the Game: It has to be Bonino in this one, when you have two goals that come in the clutch including an overtime winner then you have a claim to the player of the game. But Devante Smith-Pelly and Hiller especially deserve some real honorable mentions. Hiller was put into the game in a tough spot and was simply excellent.
Turning Point: The Ducks had already started to put the press on the Stars but when Alex Chiasson and Cogliano went off with matching minors in the final three minutes, it gave a little more open space on the ice and it allowed the Ducks to safely get Hiller off the ice. Seconds later the Stars were starting their comeback.
GIF of the Game: Who says the hip check is dead? Alex Goligoski completely upended Corey Perry in the third period, something which the crowd in Dallas fully enjoyed. It was followed by a thunderous applause and a "Perry Sucks!" chant. He's not a popular player in Dallas (or anywhere, really). Via @MyRegularFace.
Blackhawks win 5-1 | CHI wins series 4-2
Chicago Blackhawks: The Blackhawks are moving on even if they didn't play a complete game in this one. They had real problems staying out of the penalty box but fortunately for them, they had the Blues' power play's number all series. St. Louis rarely got much going on the man advantage, certainly a credit to Chicago's PK team as much as the Blues. They survived the first 40 and then seeing they were still in it, came out in third period to officially sink the Blues, which they did. Even with the lead the Blackhawks didn't simply sit back and play chip-it-out hockey for the third, instead looking to add on to the lead and it resulted in a few odd-man rush chances. And boy was it nice to have Brent Seabrook back on the blue line. He and Duncan Keith had excellent games.
St. Louis Blues: The Blues had more than enough chances in this game to come out on top, thoroughly dominating the second period. They had six power plays in the first 40 minutes partly because they were the team putting the pressure on and after two periods they had 28 shots to Chicago's 11 yet the score was 1-1. In the third they just imploded. Let good teams hang around and that's what happens. The power play was a problem all series long and in a battle that was so tight, that made a world of difference. And you can't talk about this postseason ending in the first round like the last couple of seasons without mentioning Ryan Miller. No, all the blame can't be placed on him but he was not the difference-making goaltender in this series the Blues hoped he would be when they traded for him.
Play of the Game: If Ryan Miller is done in St. Louis, this will be one of the lasting moments and it's not a great one. Patrick Sharp finally got on the board in this series with a nice rush in which he fought through a high stick but still, Miller has to have this puck.
Player of the Game: Corey Crawford was the best thing going for the Blackhawks in the first 40 minutes of this game, especially the second period when the Blues had 17 shots on goal. When it was all said and done Crawford had 34 saves on 35 Blues shots. But on this day he gets honorable mention behind Duncan Keith. The Blackhawks' top defenseman and potential Norris Trophy winner had points on four of Chicago's five goals, including one of his own to finish the scoring.
Turning Point: With 55 seconds to play in the second period, Jay Bouwmeester took a penalty to give the Blackhawks their first power play of the game. It bled into the third period when Jonathan Toews scored the game-winner and started a dominant 10-minute stretch for the Hawks.
GIF of the Game: In the second period the Blues were this close to taking a 2-1 lead but somehow this puck stayed out of the net (via @MyRegularFace). Oh what could have been.
Rangers win 4-2 | NYR leads series 3-2 | Game 6 Tues.
New York Rangers: It doesn't reflect in the shot attempts or the score, but the Rangers did have a pretty strong game. They had fewer shots but they had more legit scoring chances. Both teams seemed asleep at the wheel for the first 10 minutes but the Rangers were the first to wake up. It was the same kind of story we've seen all series long, the Rangers were fast through the neutral zone and were getting more possession/cycle time than the Flyers. On the whole it's been a series that hasn't been very physical, something that has certainly been to the Rangers' benefit, a faster pace is what they want and for the most part they are getting it.
Philadelphia Flyers: Though the Flyers did get their first goal of the game on the power play, it was really dragging the Flyers down in this game. Their first four power plays were awful, they generated nothing and if anything only gave a lift to the Rangers. This is a team that really does almost live and die by the special teams and on this day it led to their demise. The injury to Nick Grossmann in Game 4 was perhaps a bigger one than we all thought too because inserting Hal Gill on the back end did not work out very well. In net Steve Mason was not stellar but he wasn't the guy you're going to pinpoint for the loss either, though the first goal was one he would defintely like to have back.
Play of the Game: This play will not go on the highlight reel of Hal Gill, but in his defense he wasn't helped by a Braydon Coburn pass in his skates either. Still, credit Dominic Moore for the forecheck and seizing the opportunity for the goal. It's the game for Gill -- who sat 76! games this season -- in a nutshell on Sunday. Rough outing.
Player of the Game: Martin St. Louis seems to really be settling in to the Rangers, doesn't he? He was a dominant force in driving possession for the Rangers, he had a goal that was called off because an early whistle, came close to a couple of other goals with slick offensive skills and had an assist. He was doing superstar things in this one.
Turning Point: It was another tough one for Gill. He had a look at a yawning cage but was unable to get the goal that would have made it 1-1 instead the Rangers went down the ice and got a goal from Brad Richards with the Flyers swimming in their own zone for a 2-0 lead. It was not the best game Gill has ever had.
GIF of the Game: So Derek Stepan didn't score on this play but it wasn't for lack of trying, or aesthetic beauty. The Rangers center made a terrific move to put the puck right between the legs of Coburn and then get a backhand shot on net. It's pretty (via @MyRegularFace).