NHL Playoffs: Grades for Night 13

New York mobs Lundqvist after a spectacular shutout. (USATSI)
New York mobs Henrik Lundqvist after a spectacular shutout. (USATSI)

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 B The offense was once again mostly missing as Brad Richards  was dropped to the fourth line. One goal is still just not enough. But they were up to their usual Torts tactics, blocking shots and defending really well. The discipline that they showed all game was very impressive, not taking a penalty all game long.
 A+ As the shutout would obviously indicate, Henrik Lundqvist  was perfect. But, truly, he was phenomenal, making it look relatively easy. He didn't give up many rebounds. The few times that he was called on to make a huge save, he did. The Caps had scoring chances in the third period, but he stood tall. The final minutes when the Caps poured on the pressure were a perfect exhibition of goaltending.
 C- At even strength in particular in this series, the Capitals have disappeared. They had hardly any scoring chances through the first 50 minutes of the game and once again didn't have that great start that coach Adam Oates has been searching for. The most disappointing aspect of it, though, was the lack of discipline. You cannot take five penalties in a road game. It's not that the Rangers' power play is something to be feared, it's that it costs the Caps time to try to score. For roughly 1/7 of the game, the Caps were playing a man down. They do earn props for the PK play, though.
 A Braden Holtby gets saddled with the loss, but talk about a tough-luck loser. He was superb, nearly matching Lundqvist in this game. The only goal that the Rangers scored didn't technically come from a Ranger, it deflected off Caps defenseman Steve Oleksy and went in. He did all that he could, particularly bailing out a group of skaters in the second period that were so tired they were pilons in the defensive zone with an oustanding save on a point-blank shot.
A- How much more could you ask for from the Leafs in this one? Until the final minutes when the Bruins were frantically trying to come back and did get one goal, the Leafs were at worst playing even with the Bruins. All game long they just had more jump than the Bruins, they seemed to be fresher. I hate to use this stupid cliche but it gets the point across; they seemed to want it more. They got it. You can't say enough about the way James Reimer has played of late, Sunday night was no exception.
D+ At some point the Bruins have to do a little more to help out Tuukka Rask. They had complete control of this series but in the last two games have shown little drive or "killer instinct." Boston still had some looks but they simply haven't been sharp, too many shots were not even hitting the target. The best word I can think of to describe the way they played in Game 6 was uninspired. All the momentum has swung in this series to the Leafs.
A Detroit faced elimination for the second straight game and for the second straight game turned in a great effort for the win. What was so impressive to me was how the Wings never relented in this game despite holding the lead. The very early goal from Henrik Zetterberg set the pace but the real game-changer was Justin Abdelkader's short-hander. From there the Wings pushed and kept the pressure on Anaheim, a perfect strategy when playing with the lead on the road. They looked like a team that knew what it was doing.
B- It really wasn't so much about the Ducks not playing a good game but Detroit playing a better game. That said, the top lines were missing once again, a problem that kept rearing its ugly head in this series. It's hard to win when the guys you count on to score aren't scoring. The real back-breaker though was Francois Beauchemin's turnover at the blue line on the power play that led to Abdelkader's goal. It was tough to claw back in the game after that.
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