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.
Ducks win 3-2 | LAK leads series 2-1 | Game 4 Sat.
Anaheim Ducks: What a response on the road from the Ducks. After losing a heart-breaker in Game 1 and failing to solve Jonathan Quick enough in Game 2, Anaheim went into Staples Center in a 2-0 hole and climbed back into this series with a solid victory. The Kings actually seemed to be the better team for a lot of this game, but the Ducks took advantage of their best chances in the game and had their power play clicking. Good goaltending from Frederik Andersen before he left for the game with injury was a huge key as well. That injury could loom largely over the series as the Ducks ended up winning Andersen's first start in Round 2 against the Kings. Even though they'll be glad to get the win, there won't be a lot of celebrating for the Ducks just yet.
Los Angeles Kings: The Kings did a lot well in the game, but they couldn't find the back of the net. The Ducks limited quality chances, but Frederik Andersen was better than average in net to make sure whatever chances the Kings did have weren't getting through. The Kings actually outshot the Ducks 31-22, but it wasn't enough. This series has been a mixed bag for both teams. The Kings have won games where they didn't look their best and then lose a game they actually had a pretty heavy advantage in possession-wise. This is a tough one for the Kings, but they can be comforted by another home game in Game 4 and a chance to tighten their grip on the series.
Play of the Game: There were a couple of really nice plays in this game, but few were as skillfull as the one made by Nick Bonino on Anaheim's second goal. With the game tied 1-1, Bonino broke into LA's zone. He had Teemu Selanne charging hard to the net, but defenseman Alec Martinez obstructed the passing lane. In stride, Bonino flicked a saucer pass that raised just enough to escape Martinez as he tired to slide. It landed perfectly on the blade of Selanne and in the net. That, boys and girls, is a perfect saucer pass. Let's admire it some more.
Player of the Game: This was a tough call. Frederik Andersen was solid tonight despite giving up quite a few rebounds and then getting hurt, but he definitely gave the Ducks a chance. As much as I liked his play, tonight's honor is going to go to Cam Fowler as a representative of the Ducks' defensive corps. Fowler was second in ice time and was in the thick of everything. The thing about puck-moving defensemen like Fowler is that they can help contribute to the possession game by getting pucks out of their zone quickly and being able to carry it. The entire Ducks defensive unit was doing this well until about the last seven or eight minutes of the game. They were real difference-makers out there, though.
Turning Point: The goal in the video above was pretty huge for the Ducks. It was the second power-play tally of the night for Anaheim and it really seemed to give Anaheim a lift. No surprise that a goal from Teemu Selanne would provide a bit of a boost. The Ducks may have gotten a little too conservative after that goal, but the fact it gave them a lead they would not relinquish is a big reason it was the turning point in Game 3.
GIF of the Game: In the first period, Matt Beleskey gave Drew Doughty a rather rough ride. The Ducks forward actually knocked the LA Kings defenseman into Anaheim's bench. Doughty did a full on flip into the bench, too, head first. His stick clocked NBC analyst Brian Engblom and the rest of him knocked over Engblom's monitor and other items. We've seen hits into the benches before, but the way Doughty went in sure looked scary. He was fine, though. GIF via @myregularface:
Bruins win 1-0 (OT) | Series Tied 2-2 | Game 5 Sat.
Boston Bruins: The Bruins actually carried the play for the entirety of regulation, generating more attempts at net despite the Habs getting more shots on net. The problem was that the Canadiens bottled the Bruins up so well that they weren't getting a ton of quality chances and weren't testing Price like they could have been. When you get to OT, you only need one and the Bruins were rewarded with Matt Fraser's early goal. The Bruins need to find ways to break through the Canadiens' defensive setup in their own zone going forward, but they ended up on the right side of a really tight battle in Game 4.
Montreal Canadiens: The Canadiens played some valiant defense for much of that game. They allowed 35 shots, but blocked 15. They spent so much time defending, it was hard to generate much offense and with Tuukka Rask at the other end, that makes things even tougher. Good goaltending and good defense very well could win the Habs the series if they can find a way to get a little more consistency offensively. They fell just short of taking control of the series in Game 4, but continue to show they can hang with the Bruins.
Play of the Game: Matt Fraser, the day after he was called up from AHL Providence scored the game-winning goal by knocking home a loose puck at the net front. It was kind of a fluky play as Johnny Boychuk's shot took a weird hop behind the net and bounced in front. Carey Price couldn't find it and neither could any of his teammates. Fraser showed great awareness to get to the puck and beat Canadiens defenseman Douglas Murray to the net-front. It's not the prettiest goal you'll ever see, but it makes a big difference in the series as it heads back to Boston.
Players of the Game: Tuukka Rask and Carey Price. Though the defense on both sides was pretty incredible, the duo combined for 67 saves in the game. They made some of the tougher saves look easy because of great positioning and awareness. Any time a team got a decent look at the net these guys were there. Price ended up getting beaten on a bit of a broken play in front of his net and didn't get enough help from his D. Either way, this series has lived up to the goaltending duel we all hoped it would be. If there was any doubt previously, Price and Rask continue to prove they're among the elite in the league at their position.
Turning Point: Things were incredibly even the whole way, even though the Bruins were generating the majority of chances. That Habs defense took care of its own end so well to make sure Carey Price didn't have to do everything himself. You don't often say a game with 68 total shots was a defensive struggle, but it was. There were so few quality chances in the game. That really makes the end of the game the turning point. It always had the feel it would be 1-0. Fraser was lucky enough to end it for the Bruins.
GIF of the Game: We all know Zdeno Chara is big and strong, but here's a rather comical example of his strength. After fighting off a check, Chara shoves P.K. Subban, knocking him over and into Brad Marchand, sending both to the ice. GIF via @myregularface: