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 2-0 | Series tied 2-2 | Game 5 Mon.
LA Kings: Sometimes hockey is a cruel game. The Kings played their most dominant 40 minutes of hockey perhaps in this entire postseason in the final two periods on Saturday night but they still come away with a loss and the home teams move to 0-4 in this Freeway Faceoff series. After the Ducks got a pair of goals from the dirty areas for an early lead, Dattyl Sutter woke up his team by pulling Jonathan Quick. It wasn't his fault they were down but he had to do something to wake his team up. It worked but didn't yield a win. As good as they were at even strength, though, the Kings were awful in special teams. One of Anaheim's two goals came on the power play and the Kings' power plays did squat.
Anaheim Ducks: Typically it's not a good idea to go with the gameplan of "score two goals and then let our 20-year-old goalie win it" but that's pretty much what happened. The Ducks played a good first period, on even footing with the Kings except the fact that they scored twice for the early lead, and then just sat back and protected for the remainder of the game. The proof is in the fact that the Ducks had zero shots in the second period and had just three in the third. Safe is death on most nights but this wasn't one of them. Still, they are going back down the freeway with a series at 2-2.
Play of the Game: Devante Smith-Pelly got the Ducks' first goal of the game but he got a lot of help from Corey Perry on the play. Normally known for his scoring, Perry made a beautiful drop pass to Smith-Pelly for the goal from in tight.
Player of the Game: It should be Bruce Boudreau even though he's not a player because his decision to start John Gibson, an incredibly gutsy one, paid off in a huge way. Gibson was terrific and shut out the Kings even though for the final 40 minutes, it was one constant LA attack. All things considered, it was an amazing performance from the 20-year-old with 28 saves on 28 shots.
Turning Point: Really, this game turned dramatically in the second period when the Kings pulled Jonathan Quick. LA just took it to Anaheim for the next 40 minutes but it didn't matter, not against Gibson in this game. The good news for Anaheim was that the Ducks were already ahead after what was a pretty even first, just not in terms of the score.
GIF of the Game: Gibson was obviously spectacular for the Ducks in Game 4 but maybe the best save of the night by a Duck came from Ryan Getzlaf on what was an otherwise open Anaheim net (via @MyRegularFace).
Bruins win 4-2 | BOS leads series 3-2 | Game 6 Mon.
Boston Bruins: Now that looked a lot more like a Boston Bruins hockey game. It got testy, it got physical; in other words it played just how the Bruins wanted it to. In the first half of the game in particular that meant it was also a special-teams game and finally, for the first time in this series, the Bruins were the better team in that situation. Much better. Or at least early in the game while they were building up the lead and putting the Habs behind the 8-ball. Eventually the specials teams turned out even with two goals apiece but the Bruins did their damage early and made the Habs chase. That's already tough for the Habs to do and it becomes even tougher with the Bruins forechecking as well as they did in Game 5.
Montreal Canadiens: The Canadiens got caught up a bit in playing the Bruins' game, which obviously isn't their ideal approach. Even though the numbers said this game was very evenly played and the ice wasn't noticeably tilted one way or the other, it just had the feeling that the Canadiens were a bit slow, almost a touch lethargic. At even strength they didn't get a ton of Grade A chances against the Habs, unable to get to the middle of the ice with any sort of frequency. They just aren't quite the same team when they are playing from behind, which should make a return to an amped-up Montreal in Game 6 welcome. Tomas Plekanec had an assist in the game but he's certainly had better days, taking six minutes in penalties.
Play of the Game: OK, so it came in a losing effort and ended up being rather meaningless in the grand scheme but P.K. Subban's goal on the power play in the closing minutes was awfully nice. Notice him calling for the pass by jumping up and down, then getting the puck and firing a one-time laser beam past Tuukka Rask. He was pumped about it too. He's having one heck of a series.
Player of the Game: For our purposes here, we're going to consider the Bruins' third line as one player. Carl Soderberg, Loui Eriksson and Matt Fraser were phenomenal, all over the ice and factoring in on everything the Bruins did. Soderberger and Eriksson each finished with a goal, Soderberg had two assists as well and the line was fantastic.
Turning Point: The Bruins began the second period on the power play thanks to a penalty from Tomas Plekanec and turned it into a goal from Reilly Smith. Then right after the goal, Plekanec took another penalty and 32 seconds after making it a 2-0 game, the Bruins made it 3-0 with a Jarome Iginla tally. Just like that the Bruins put the game out of reach.
GIF of the Game: When things get nasty in a Bruins game, Milan Lucic is never far away. He was getting into a bit with P.K. Subban in Game 5 and then took the chance to remind Subban that he is very strong. From the bench while Subban skated by. Rivalry! (Via @MyRegularFace.)