Stanley Cup Playoffs: What You Need to Know, April 18
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.
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.
Anaheim Ducks: Despite being outshot 36-19, including 15-2 in the third period, the Ducks went up 2-0 in the series. Once again, it was Anaheim's star players Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry taking the game over, with each scoring terrific unassisted goals. Great goaltending also played a significant role in the Ducks' success as Frederik Andersen came up big a few times late in the game. Getting outshot so badly isn't ideal, but this is how the Ducks have been playing all year and somehow it has rarely bitten them.
Dallas Stars: The Stars have to be wondering what they've got to do to get a win over these Ducks. Unlike Game 1, the Stars got off to a great start. They put 36 shots on net and dominated much of the third period, but couldn't get enough past Andersen. The Stars have the personnel to hang with Anaheim, they just have to find a way to sustaining their top level of play. Dallas hasn't been able to do that yet and now the Stars are down 2-0.
Play of the Game: Though Ryan Getzlaf's goal was the prettiest of the game, the play of the night goes to goaltender Frederik Andersen. After the Stars drew within a goal, Trevor Daley had a golden opportunity off a broken play in front of the net. Though Daley had a tough angle, he probably would have put this in if not for Andersen's quick reflexes there. Daley's reaction tells you everything you need to know about how close he came to tying things up.
Players of the Game: With his face mangled and his wife having the couple's third child overnight, Ryan Getzlaf turned in another sensational performance. He scored the tying goal on a spectacular individual effort and assisted on the Ducks' third tally, which came short-handed. Frederik Andersen also gets a nod as his 34 saves, including the one on Trevor Daley ensured victory for the Ducks. He hasn't looked like a rookie yet in this series.
Turning Point: Andrew Cogliano's short-handed goal in the third period gave the Ducks a 3-1 lead and it couldn't have come at a better time. The Stars were buzzing ever since Anaheim took the 2-1 lead on a Corey Perry goal in the second period. When Cogliano buried the short-handed marker, it gave the Ducks the necessary breathing room and negated the Stars' extra effort. Had Dallas found a way to score prior to that goal, the game would have been vastly different. It was a rather impressive finish from Cogliano, who also probably got away with a slash that broke Sergei Gonchar's stick.
GIF of the Game: After Corey Perry scored his goal to put the Ducks up 2-1 in the game, he was rather excited. The TV cameras captured that excitement and decided to give it the super-slow-mo treatment, which really detailed the rather terrifying look on Perry's face. If you're brave enough, watch this GIF from @PeteBlackburn:
Boston Bruins: This had to be the type of game the Bruins were suspecting. The Red Wings organization isn't one to be underestimated and it did not appear the Bruins were caught off-guard. They did have some trouble handling Detroit's quickness at times though and that could have been a real difference in the game. Tuukka Rask probably deserves more credit than he'll get in a loss for the way he kept the Bruins in it.
Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings got a huge win on the road to open their series with the East's best team and a lot of it is due to their ability to use their speed in all zones. The Wings carried play for a lot of the game and it shows in their possession numbers, with Detroit taking 58 percent of the five-on-five shot attempts in the game (via ExtraSkater.com). Great goaltending from Jimmy Howard and a huge goal from Pavel Datsyuk gave the Wings a deserved Game 1 victory.
Play of the Game: Pavel Datsyuk gave the Red Wings the first and only lead of the game by dancing over the blue line and just inside the Boston zone late in regulation. As he created some space for himself, Datsyuk let a shot go through traffic that somehow found a way through Tuukka Rask. Datsyuk needs to be a factor offensively to give the Red Wings a chance against the beasts of the East. From the second the puck ended up on his stick, it felt like Datsyuk was going to make something happen and he did. That was an absolutely huge goal.
Player of the Game: Jimmy Howard earned the shutout with 25 saves, including a couple of big ones and nine stops in the third period. Getting the shutout should be a huge confidence booster for Howard, who entered the game as the decidedly weaker of the two goaltenders with a Vezina Trophy favorite accross the ice. In a game that didn't include a ton of shots on goal compared to other games we've seen in the playoffs, Howard needed to be sharp, and he was.
Turning Point: See Play of the Game. This was so even throughout as the Red Wings showed they could match the Bruins' size with their speed. It really came down to the wire and the game looked poised for overtime. Pavel Datsyuk doesn't need much space to make it count and that was a big one. The Red Wings have to have a lot of belief in their ability to win the whole series after taking that game.
GIF of the Game: Milan Lucic committed one of the uglier acts of the postseason when he "cup-checked" Danny DeKeyser in the second period. It showed that his frustrations were getting the better of him. This should get some attention from the league as it was a blatant low blow, delivered with malice and it was entirely unneccessary. GIF via @myregularface:
Tampa Bay Lightning: Having dressed only 11 forwards with Ondrej Palat on the shelf, the Lightning were already at a disadvantage, but their offense really never got clicking. Even though Steven Stamkos had the clamps put down on him, the Lightning managed 27 shots on goal to the Canadiens' 26, but rarely challenged Carey Price. Anders Lindback had a subpar game in net and all of that combined to put the Lightning in quite the series hole.
Montreal Canadiens: The Habs appeared to be night and day from Game 1 defensively, and that made a huge difference earlier in the game. They also took advantage of their opportunities with Rene Bourque, of all people, scoring twice. Carey Price was his typical self, but the commitment to defense from the guys in front of him put Montreal in the driver's seat for a Game 2 win and a 2-0 stranglehold on the series.
Play of the Game: Carey Price's outstanding point-blank save on Cedric Paquette with the Habs leading 2-0 pretty much showed the game was slipping away from the Lightning. If Paquette scores there, the Lightning have life. They barely had a sniff at the net until the game was already out of reach. Without that stop, there's no telling how things would have played out.
Player of the Game: Rene Bourque scored twice, but beyond that he was making an impact with his physical play. The Habs are known for the smaller players they often let do the producing, but Bourque showed the big boys are there for more than their size. His first goal was awfully pretty, as was his second on a wraparound. He led the club with four shots on goal as well.
Turning Point: Rene Bourque's second goal, in which he split the defense and slipped a puck under Anders Lindback, really seemed to take some of the wind out of the sails of the Lightning. With Tampa already facing an uphill battle without leading scorer Ondrej Palat, a multigoal deficit looked bigger than it was at that point.
Best GIF: Brendan Gallagher is one of those guys old hockey people just love. He's scrappy as all get out and seems to have his motor running in top gear at all times. Here, Gallagher goes crashing into the boards, loses his helmet and doesn't miss a beat, jumping back into the play and letting the locks flow. Gallagher scored a goal later in the game as well. GIF via @myregularface:
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