A quick look at what games will be on what channels in today’s Stanley Cup playoff action…
Blues at Wild, 3 p.m. ET on NBC
The Minnesota Wild can advance to the second round for a second consecutive spring with a win on home ice this afternoon. The Blues dominated the last game at the Xcel Energy Center chasing Devan Dubnyk in a 6-1 win. A Blues win would force Game 7 back in St. Louis on Wednesday.
Canadiens at Senators 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN
Ottawa suffered three one-goal defeats – two of them in overtime – to fall behind 3-0 in their series with Montreal. However, after a 1-0 win in Game 4 and a 5-1 in Game 5 at the Bell Centre, the Sens are just one win shy of forcing a Game 7 in Montreal on Tuesday. The Sens won both regular season meetings with the Habs in Ottawa.
The Ottawa Senators earned a 5-1 victory over Montreal in Game 5 tonight, but just before the contest ended, Canadiens forward Brandon Prust started a skirmish by spearing Craig Anderson.
The Senators goaltender took exception to that and things ballooned from there, as you can see below:
Brandon Prust got a double minor while Patrick Wiercioch was handed a roughing penalty. P.K. Subban and Eric Gryba each got a 10-minute misconduct.
“Sure sign of frustration is when they’re taking cheap shots at your goaltender,” Senators coach Dave Cameron said after the game, per the Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan. “I’ve known Prust a long time. That was cheap.”
Montreal certainly has plenty of reasons to be frustrated with Anderson. The Canadiens had a 3-0 series lead, but they’ve lost two in a row and Anderson has now stopped 120 of 123 shots in this series.
While the incident seemed to bother Anderson in the heat of the moment, after the contest he was willing to move on.
“No harm, no foul,” he told TSN’s Ian Mendes.
Bobby Ryan will begin a seven-year, $50.75 million contract with the Ottawa Senators next season and he’s given them some cause for concern. The four time 30-plus goal scorer is coming off of a lukewarm regular season where he managed just 18 markers in 78 contests. He was also quiet the opening four games of Ottawa’s first round series against Montreal.
The 28-year-old ended a 16-game goal scoring drought tonight though with a nice shot through traffic that found its way past Canadiens goaltender Carey Price:
Montreal jumped ahead 3-0 in this series. Ottawa stayed alive with a 28-save shutout from goaltender Craig Anderson in Game 4, but the Senators clearly need others to step up as well if they are going to dig themselves out of this sizable hole. Ryan breaking out at this stage would be a big boost for them when they need it the most.
The general managers have had their say and unsurprisingly they’ve picked Montreal’s Carey Price, Minnesota’s Devan Dubnyk, and Nashville’s Pekka Rinne as the three finalists for the 2015 Vezina Trophy.
Of course, Price is regarded as the heavy favorite for the 2015 Vezina Trophy. He led the league in wins (44), GAA (1.96), and save percentage (.933) while starting in 66 games. He’s also been the single biggest component of the Canadiens’ successful 2014-15 campaign and consequently the discussion has shifted as to whether or not he’s worthy of the Hart Trophy as well.
For a time though it looked like fellow nominee Rinne might be able to take the Vezina instead as he was having almost as good of a campaign. However, while Price stayed strong throughout 2014-15, Rinne did falter in the second half. After the All-Star break the Nashville goaltender posted a 2.48 GAA and .911 save percentage in 27 contests. That was enough to make him slip to the point where he finished third in GAA (2.18) and tied for seventh in save percentage (.923) in 64 starts. He still tied for second in wins though with 41.
That being said, Price wasn’t the league’s best goaltender after the All-Star break, although he was a very close second. Devan Dubnyk dominated over that span with a 25-8-2 record, 1.72 GAA, and .939 save percentage in 35 games. That covers most of his tenure with the Wild, but his time with the Arizona Coyotes at the start of the season wasn’t nearly as flattering from a statistical perspective. He was still impressive in Arizona, especially given how the team was playing in front of him, but that time does drag his overall numbers down somewhat. Even still, he ranked second in GAA (2.07) and save percentage (.929) in 58 games this season.
A quick look at what games will be on what channels in tonight’s Stanley Cup playoff action…
Senators at Canadiens, 7:00 p.m. ET on CNBC
The Ottawa Senators will once again look to avoid elimination tonight as their series with the Canadiens moves to Montreal’s Bell Centre for Game 5. The Sens are no strangers to playing desperate hockey. Andrew Hammond led Ottawa to a 20-1-2 record down the stretch as the Sens clawed their way into the playoffs. In order for Ottawa to have a chance tonight they’ll have to solve Habs’ starter Carey Price. After allowing three goals in Game 1, he has surrendered just four goals in three games while posting a .959 save percentage. Paul Romanuk, Mike Johnson and Glenn Healy have the call tonight.
Penguins at Rangers, 7:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN
Like the Sens, the Penguins will need to go into MSG tonight and find a win in order to prolong their series with the New York Rangers. Kevin Hayes scored the overtime winner in Game 4 giving the Rangers a 3-1 stranglehold on the series. The Penguins, who have been to the conference finals once in the past five years, are trying to avoid being bounced from the first round for the first time since the 2011-12 season. Gord Miller and Pierre McGuire will be on the call tonight.
Wild at Blues, 9:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN
The final game of the evening has the Minnesota Wild in St. Louis to take on the Blues in Game 5. St. Louis is coming off a dominating 6-1 victory in Game 4. It appears the heavy workload may be catching up to goaltender Devan Dubnyk. After winning 26 of 34 starts since joining the Wild in January, Dubnyk is now 3-5-1 in April with an .895 save percentage. Dave Strader and Brian Engblom have the call of Game 5.