Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/10/14 at 10:02 AM ET
BRASSARD LIFTS RANGERS TO EMOTIONAL GAME 5 WIN
The Rangers scored four times in the first two periods, including two goals by Derick Brassard (2-1--3), and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 31 of 32 shots as the Rangers won 5-1 to extend their series with the Penguins.
* Derick Brassard now has five career postseason goals, three of which have been game-winners, including two in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs (also Game 1 at PIT). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Brassard is the fifth Rangers player to have three of his first five career playoff goals stand as game-winners, joining Dan Girardi, Kris King, Ron Harris (four career playoff goals) and Frank Boucher.
* Brassard is the first Ranger to score two game-winning goals on the road in one series since Adam Graves registered the game-winning goal in Games 3 and 4 of the 1996 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Montreal.
* The three-point game matched a playoff career-high for Brassard (also May 6, 2013 vs. WSH) while his two-goal game was the first of his postseason career.
* Henrik Lundqvist improved to 8-2 with a .953 save percentage and 1.38 goals-against average in his last 10 games with the Rangers facing elimination.
* Those eight victories have come in six of the Rangers’ last seven straight series, dating to the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals versus Ottawa. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Rangers are just the second team in NHL history to win an elimination game in at least six of seven straight series. Toronto won at least one elimination game in six of their seven series from 2002 to 2013.
* Rangers rookie Chris Kreider scored 1-1--2 in his second game since returning from a 19-game absence due to injury (regular-season and playoffs).
* Kreider’s tally was the Rangers’ first power-play goal since Benoit Pouliot scored at 8:22 of the first period in Game 2 of their First Round series versus the Flyers, snapping an 0-for-36 skid for the club. Kreider ranked third on the team and second among all rookies (tie) with six power-play goals during the regular-season.
Mats Zuccarello established a career-high with three assists and now has 3-7--10 in nine games versus the Penguins this season (regular-season and playoffs).
* Brassard and Zuccarello are the first Rangers to each record at least three points in a playoff game since Michael Nylander (3-1--4) and Jaromir Jagr (0-4--4) each tallied four points in New York’s 7-0 win over Atlanta on Apr. 17, 2007. They are the first duo to accomplish the feat on the road since the club’s 5-4 victory in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final on May 18, 1997 at Philadelphia (Wayne Gretzky, 3-0--3, and Mark Messier, 1-2--3).
RANGERS PLAY FOR MARTY
Rangers forward Martin St. Louis played in Game 5 just one day after the sudden passing of his mother, France.
* St. Louis flew to Montreal to be with his family on Thursday but returned to Pittsburgh in time for Friday's game: “I know deep down my mother would have wanted me to play this game. She'd be proud of me coming here to help as much as I can. She was a great lady, best human being I've known in my life. I owed it to her to do it. I know she would want me to do it."
* Watch behind the scenes as Marc Staal presents St. Louis with the Rangers' "Broadway Hat" in the dressing room after the game.
"Can't say enough about the guy. Comes in and doesn't want to leave us out to dry. Comes and wants to compete with us and try to win the hockey game. Can't imagine what he's going through, what he's feeling like. It's an emotional lift. You want to play hard for a guy like that who's coming from such a tragedy. You want to rally around it." - Rangers defenseman Marc Staal
"When we landed at the airport [in Pittsburgh], we had to go, but I bet you if we all could have gone with him, the whole team would have gone with him [to Montreal]." - Rangers forward Derick Brassard
"For us, it was obviously a real emotional day. We got another chance to continue. (Game 6 is) going to be on Mother's Day, which is obviously going to be real special for our group. We're going to be ready." - Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault
* Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who played with St. Louis at the 2014 Olympics, expressed his condolences to St. Louis during a brief conversation before the game.
NIEDERREITER, WILD EVEN SERIES WITH BLACKHAWKS
Nino Niederreiter broke a 2-2 tie in the second period and Jared Spurgeon added a power-play goal as the Wild improved to 5-0 at home in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, evening their series with the Blackhawks.
* Niederreiter’s game-winning goal was his second of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, tying Wes Walz for first on the Wild’s all-time playoff winning goals list - Walz also scored both of his in the same postseason (2003). Niederreiter’s first winning goal was in overtime of Game 7 in Minnesota’s First Round series versus Colorado, when he became the second-youngest player in NHL history to score such a goal.
* After scoring a total of three goals in the opening two games of the series, the Wild tallied four goals in each of the two games on home ice. Minnesota has outscored opponents 16-5 during their five-game home winning streak this postseason.
* Minnesota held Chicago to just 20 shots in Game 4, marking the fourth time in the series the Blackhawks have recorded 22 or fewer shots - a feat that has only happened on three other occasions in Chicago’s 85 postseason games since 2003. In five postseason games at Xcel Energy Center this postseason, visiting teams have recorded 96 total shots, an average of 19.2 per game.
* Wild forward Justin Fontaine opened the scoring with his first career Stanley Cup Playoffs goal (7 GP), marking the first time the Wild have scored in the opening 20 minutes in a game this series.
* ICYMI: Former high school hockey player Jack Jablonski, who was paralyzed in a game, led the “Let’s play hockey” chant prior to puck drop.
STARTING TIMES FOR SUNDAY’S GAMES
The NHL announced the starting times for Sunday’s schedule of Second Round games:
* The starting time for Game 6 of the series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers has been set for 7 p.m. ET in New York. In the U.S., the game will be televised on NBCSN. In Canada, the game will be televised on CBC and RDS.
* The starting time for Game 5 of the series between the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild has been set for 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT in Chicago. In the U.S., the game will be televised on CNBC. In Canada, the game will be on TSN and RDS2.
STARTING TIMES FOR MONDAY’S GAMES
The NHL announced the starting times for Monday’s schedule of Second Round games:
* The starting time for Game 6 of the series between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens has been set for 7:30 p.m. ET in Montreal. In Canada, the game will be televised on CBC and RDS. In the U.S., the game will be televised on NBCSN.
* The starting time for Game 5 of the series between the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings has been set for 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT in Anaheim. In the U.S., the game will be televised on NBCSN. In Canada, the game will be on TSN and RDS.
Chicago dropped to 13-2 in their past 15 Games 4 to 7 (over their past six series) . . . The Rangers’ five goals in Game 5 matched their total output in Games 1 to 4 . . . Evgeni Malkin scored his sixth goal of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, on a beautiful individual effort, tying teammate Jussi Jokinen and Kings’ Marian Gaborik for the League lead. Malkin ranks third with 13 points . . . Kris Letang assisted on Malkin’s goal, claiming sole possession of second on the franchise’s all-time playoff assist list among defensemen (38) . . . A 99 year old veteran made it to his first Penguins game.
SNEAK PEEK AT SATURDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Montreal @ Boston, series tied 2-2, 7:00 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, RDS
Anaheim @ Los Angeles, LA leads 2-1, 9:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN, RDS
above information provided by the NHL PR department
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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