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 Stanley Cup playoffs. Welcome to What You Need To Know.
Kings win 3-1 | LA leads series 2-0 | Game 3 Thur.
Anaheim Ducks: There have to be some mixed emotions for the Ducks right now. They just lost the first two games of this series at home yet they played some pretty good hockey in both games. There's not a whole lot they were doing wrong in this game other than not actually getting the goals to beat the Kings. The question is whether that's a silver lining or a crushing reality, knowing that they are playing well but still losing. One thing that isn't going as they planned, though, has to be the fact that the Kings are doing a good job of keeping Ryan Getzlaf's line quiet, even if the captain did have a point in this game. Now the Ducks are in a brutal spot heading up I-5 down 2-0 in the series.
Los Angeles Kings: The shot total (37-17) will tell you the Kings were chasing all game and for the most part they were but at the Kings never looked to be in any serious trouble. They were not giving up much room to the Ducks offense to work and were doing a great job of keeping the crease mostly clear of traffic to help Jonathan Quick keep his eyes on the puck, as if Quick needs any help stopping shots right now. He's taking his game to that other level right now. The Kings appear to be too, which is what we've come to expect from them at this time of the year. The only goal against in Game 2 came on a Ducks power play, at 5-on-5 they were typically strong defensively. Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar get a lot of the credit for that but credit Jeff Schultz, too. The veteran made his season debut for LA in place of Robyn Regehr and had a few key plays to clear the puck.
Play of the Game: Marian Gaborik picked up right where he left off in Game 1. The Kings forward who was acquired at the deadline for next to nothing scored 34 seconds into Game 2 with a great finish from in tight on Jonas Hiller. It was his third consecutive goal in the series after tying Game 1 with seven seconds to go and then winning the game in overtime.
Player of the Game: Remember early this postseason when there were people wondering if the Kings should pull Jonathan Quick? That feels like an awful long time ago. He now has six consecutive wins and on Monday night he most certainly earned it. Quick made some outstanding saves like this one but more importantly he was in complete control of his game and was not giving up rebounds. Everything the Ducks did was one-and-done for the most part. A 36-save effort is a pretty good night and Quick is back in that zone.
Turning Point: In a similar fashion to the first game, it was the Ducks that were the team controlling play for most of it yet the Kings were the team ending on top. In that regard there wasn't much of a turn toward them as it was a quick flash on the Alec Martinez game-winning goal. The rest of the way the Ducks attacked but the Kings clamped down, especially that man Quick.
GIF of the Game: Smelling salts GIFs never get old and the Ducks gave us two for the price of one prior to the start of Game 2. Here's Devante Smith-Pelly and Emerson Etem both getting a whiff and a wake (via @MyRegularFace).
Penguins win 2-0 | PIT leads series 2-1 | Game 4 Wed.
New York Rangers: Well, the effort was better than it was in Game 2 for the Rangers but that's not really setting the bar that high. They tried to come out of the game with jump and they did have some but as the game wore on they still seemed to be just a step slower than normal. Five games in seven days is no joke. The power play was its usual ineffective self in this game and now it might be affecting the Rangers' mentality as a whole. They look like a team growing more frustrated by the second with their lack of goals, two straight games and counting now. It wasn't a terribly poor game, they were the team that was in control of the pace of play, even before the Penguins scored, but it won't feel good being shutout again. All that did them in were two breakaways by the Penguins defense, one from Sidney Crosby. Well that and Marc-Andre Fleury.
Pittsburgh Penguins: There has been a lot of discussion about the Rangers' terrible power play but some credit has to be given to the Penguins' penalty killers too. They did a good job in this game and immediately it led to goals, the only two they had on Henrik Lundqvist. After getting the two-goal lead the Penguins really went into a shell, always a dangerous way to play but credit their defensemen and Fleury, both of whom receive a lot of criticism, for holding down the fort. They were outshot 35-15 in the game but that's not too concerning considering how much of that disparity came after they took the two-goal lead. Still, they didn't get a lot of offensive zone time but it feels a bit more like nit-picking after this one.
Play of the Game: The penalty box breakout has seemed to work an awful lot this postseason just as it did for the Penguins on Monday night. After the Pens killing yet another Rangers power play, Jussi Jokinen burst out of the box and got the feed for the breakaway, beating Henrik Lundqvist with the wrist shot to give Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead.
Player of the Game: For the second time in as many nights, Marc-Andre Fleury shut out the Rangers in a playoff game. While in Game 2 he wasn't asked to do a ton to keep the clean sheet, he was in Game 3 and with a little help from the cage, Fleury was outstanding. He stopped all 35 shots and many of those were not easy saves. Right now Fleury is winning this series for the Penguins.
Turning Point: It's starting to sound like a broken record but the Rangers' power-play struggles are hurting them in more ways than just not scoring. Both times the Penguins killed penalties in the second period
GIF of the Game: Fleury was very good in this game but he was beaten a couple of times, saved by a goalie's best friend, the goal posts. He was sure to show the pipes some love after a replay confirmed a Rangers shot rang off the crossbar and did not go in.