Montreal has been accustomed to having their backs against the wall during these playoffs. They fought back against the Capitals in Round 1 and did the same against the Penguins in Round 2. Having to do the same against the Flyers this round seems like it’s asking too much of the #8 seed in the Eastern Conference. When Brian Gionta scored his ninth goal of the playoffs just 59 seconds into the first period tonight in Game 5, you had to wonder if perhaps the Habs had the Flyers right where they wanted them.
With all that positive momentum going for them, however, Mike Richards took it all away three and a half minutes later scoring shorthanded to knot the game up at 1-1, where the teams sit after one period of play at Wachovia Center in Philadelphia. While the Flyers find themselves being outshot early on in this one 9-6, all of their shots have come off as quality scoring chances, something that has to trouble Canadiens coach Jacques Martin.
Montreal has to do something with their anemic power play in this game as they went 0-3 on the power play with a shorthanded goal allowed. That’s one heck of a recipe for disaster.
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With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
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“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.