Well, of course Game 5 had to go into overtime. The Chicago Blackhawks and Phoenix Coyotes wouldn’t have it any other way.
This time around, Chicago procrastinated a bit less to close the Coyotes’ 1-0 lead; Nick Leddy redeemed himself for missing a wide-open net to send it to overtime in five out of five games. There was the sense that the Blackhawks might suffer the most respectable 4-1 series loss in recent memory but Jonathan Toews showed why he’s such a huge difference-maker by winning it 2-1 in OT. Now it’s 3-2 and with the series shifting to the United Center, you can’t blame the Blackhawks for believing they can do it.
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens’ 1951 Stanley Cup finals series is the only other one in NHL playoff history in which all five games went to OT. That one ended in five, though.
OK, let’s ask again: are the Coyotes playing with fire by going with the turtle+counter-punch routine? The second period was even (10-10) but every other period featured a serious shot disadvantage. Mike Smith made 36 out of 38 saves but lost. Can they really grind out another win by leaning so much on Smith?
The Blackhawks’ power play is a paltry 1-for-17 in this series. Can Chicago win without getting those easy man advantage tallies?
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger