Quick: Kickin' it old school
Jonathan Quick survived the Shark attack as he stopped 51 of 52 to steal game #5... that's a nice response after giving up six goals in each of his last two games but I'd be feeling pretty confident if I'm the Sharks as keep on doing what you're doing and the pucks will eventually go in on Quick.
Man, does Nicklas Backstrom still play for the Caps? I've barely noticed him in these playoffs and he's only managed 1A in five games so far... not the rebound I was hoping for from him after a very disappointing regular season.
Simon Gagne with two goals yesterday and that gives him 9+15=24 over his last 18 games going back to the regular season. He's looking like a brilliant pick by Jay in our Playoff Pool Draft Chat as we were looking for guys who would improve on their regular season performance and Gagne has nearly doubled his regular season ppg (from .63 to 1.20 so far).
At the U-18s... 2011 draft eligible Tyler Biggs had the OT winner for the US to beat Canada in the semi-final and they'll take on the Swede's today in the final. Canada lost in the bronze medal game to Russia this morning as Nail Yakupov had 3+1=4 while Ryan Murphy put up 1+3=4 for Canada... both have incredibly bright futures.
Antti Niemi was pulled for the second time in three games after laying an easter egg by stopping only one of the four shots he faced... yikes! Antero Niittymaki came in again and looked pretty decent, he's now stopped 29 of 30 shots in the series and maybe now he gives McLellan a viable option for game #6.
The Kings needed someone to step up in the playoffs with Kopitar out but don't think
many people anyone would have predicted that Kyle Clifford would be that guy as he had two points last night and has 3+2=5 in the playoffs so far. He only had 14 points all season but don't forget that he's just 20 and has a little more skill than the typical goon.
2+1=3 from Steven Stamkos yesterday after just one assist in the first four games. I liked his effort in game #4 and am not surprised that a few of those shots started going in... maybe this will give him the jolt of confidence that he's been looking for.
Poor playoff showing from Derek Stepan as he had no points, minus-5 & only four shots in five games... not that anyone on the Rangers really lit it up as they only managed eight goals in the entire series.
Suppressing the Rangers was Michal Neuvirth as he allowed just a late goal yesterday and concluded the 1st round with a 1.38 gaa & .946 sv%.
Dustin Penner got off the snide a little with a goal last night, his first in 18 games... maybe that will get him going but I doubt it.
Alexei Ponikarovsky was a healthy scratch yesterday, shouldn't really come as a surprise as he's been brutal all year but did score last game.