The Rangers had a great start in the first period and even converted on the power play to take an early 1-0 lead, but they didn't show much after that in terms of generating offense. That has to be a little disappointing given that their season was on the line. Henrik Lundqvist was great, but he didn't get much help in the 3-1 defeat.
Another total team effort by the Bruins. The fourth line chipped in with yet another goal, and Torey Krug once again made an impact. Tuukka Rask didn't have to face a ton of scoring chances. When he did, he was stellar, including in the third period when he stopped Ryan Callahan on a breakaway.
Torey Krug was spectacular again for the Bruins. He scored his fourth playoff goal, moving him into a tie for the league lead among defensemen. That's pretty impressive not only because he's a rookie but also because he has only played five games. He was on the ice for two of the Bruins goals while they also held a decisive shot advantage with him on the ice.
It's always exciting when Michael Del Zotto is on the ice ... for both teams. At his best, he's a pretty strong offensive player who can be a difference-maker on the ice. At his worst, he's a turnover machine who is creating headaches for his teammates, coach, goalie, fans, etc. On Saturday, he was the latter.
Finishing off the Blackhawks isn't going to be easy, but I expected a bit more from Detroit with a chance to clinch a spot in the Western Conference finals. Once the Red Wings fell behind there wasn't even much of a push to try and get back into the game. Detroit managed just four shots on goal in the third period (and allowed 17) in a game it was trailing, eventually losing 4-1.
This is the type of effort you expect to see from a team with its season on the line. The Blackhawks were the better team from the drop of the puck and played what was definitely their best game of the series since Game 1. They finally found a way to solve Jimmy Howard, while Jonathan Toews was finally able to get his first goal of the postseason.
Adam Gretz has been writing about the NHL and taking an analytical approach to the game since the start of the 2008 season. A member of the PHWA since 2015, he has spent more than three years covering...