If Bruce Boudreau already knows who he’ll choose to start in net for the Anaheim Ducks in Game 5 against the Dallas Stars, he isn’t sharing his answer just yet.
It’s reasonable to ask, though. After winning the series’ first two games following some debate regarding who should get the nod, Frederik Andersen dropped the next two games and was even pulled for Jonas Hiller late in Game 4.
While that opens the door for speculation, Boudreau and Hiller were both pleased that he at least got some postseason reps in, even though the Swiss-born goalie only faced one shot during the physical closing span of Game 4.
“It was important he played,” Boudreau said. “Whether he’s going to start tomorrow, it was important that he’s already seen playoff ice, and not coming in blind.”
Especially since Boudreau noted that Hiller, 32, was “lacking confidence” coming into the playoffs.
There’s a reasonable argument for turning to either goalie – not to mention promising young netminder John Gibson – but ultimately it’s Boudreau’s call. Not that people won’t question him if Game 5 goes poorly …
The Ottawa Senators are ready for a fight in Game 6, which seemingly means that the Pittsburgh Penguins must grind for space and chances. So far, the Penguins are willing to do just that.
Being that this is the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it also means that you need to shrug off setbacks … and the Penguins are doing well in that area, too.
After a 0-0 first period, it seemed like Trevor Daley scored a “greasy” 1-0 goal, but after a review, it was dismissed because of goalie interference. The crowd’s silent, confused response mirrored many on social media who genuinely don’t know what is or is not interference any longer.
The Penguins could have sulked after that near-goal. Instead, they just kept chipping away. Evgeni Malkin finally broke the ice – for real – with a gritty 1-0 tally. You can watch that ugly-pretty effort in the video above this post’s headline.
This marks Malkin’s seventh goal and 24th point of the postseason. No one else has reached 20 yet.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE COVERAGE FOR GAME 6
The Stanley Cup Playoffs often feel like a battle of attrition, which only makes the introduction of fresh faces that much more compelling.
Try this on for size: with their playoff lives on the line, the Ottawa Senators will see the playoff debut of 2015 first-rounder* Colin White against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. It’s also just his third game at the NHL level, overall.
After rolling with seven defensemen in Game 5, Guy Boucher is opting for a traditional alignment of 12 forwards and six defensemen.
White has that high-level pedigree and possibly fresh legs – even just relatively speaking – so it’s not out of the question for the 20-year-old center to make an impact.
Check out the full roster report here (note: Pittsburgh’s going with the same group as Game 5). Scott Wilson is good to go for the Penguins.
* – 21st overall.
It’s almost always intriguing to see how a team responds to a tough playoff loss, but that fascination spikes even more if said team fell by an especially lopsided score.
We’ve seen the Pittsburgh Penguins respond to some blowouts with big wins, but now the shoe is on the other foot; how will the Ottawa Senators rebound from the 7-0 shellacking they suffered in Game 5?
Well, if you ask Guy Boucher, they’ve developed a track record that shows they’re willing to fight with their backs against the wall.
Great stuff, right? It’s honestly too bad that Boucher’s defensive system isn’t always as entertaining as his quotes.
Speaking of how Game 5 feeds into tonight’s Game 6, the video above this post’s headline discusses how Ottawa’s goaltenders might be feeling heading into Tuesday.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE COVERAGE FOR GAME 6
Last night, the Nashville Predators demoralized the Ducks and advanced to their first-ever Stanley Cup Final. Will we learn their opponent tonight or on Thursday?
That’s up to how the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators perform in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final.
Will Sidney Crosby and the Penguins follow that 7-0 rout with a close-out performance, or will Erik Karlsson and the Senators avenge that embarrassing loss to send this series to a decisive Game 7?
Find out on NBCSN at tonight. You can also watch the game online and via the NBC Sports App.
Here’s what you need to know:
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators (Pens lead 3-2)
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Network: NBCSN (Stream online here)
Check out the highlights from Pittsburgh’s 7-0 win in Game 5
—Pens redefining defense by committee
—Four things the Pens need to do to eliminate the Sens