Skip to content

PHT Morning Skate: Bruins, Sharks seek series wins

Apr 26, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT

Matt Bartkowski, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron AP

If your idea of a perfect Saturday is to spend all day watching playoff hockey, you’re in luck. Four games, including two possible elimination games, get started at 3:00 p.m. ET and carry you deep into the night.

Today’s action is bookended by possible elimination games when the Boston Bruins host the Detroit Red Wings in Game 5 in Boston and the San Jose Sharks hosting the Los Angeles Kings. The home teams there have 3-1 series leads and would love to get done now to rest up. In the Bruins’ case, they’d like to not give the Montreal Canadiens more time to rest up.

Game 5: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings [Boston leads series 3-1] (3:00 p.m. ET — NBC)

The Bruins would love to not copy what they did last season when they were up 3-1 in a series in the first round. In other words, they want to close the door on the Red Wings and not allow a team with their experience any room for hope.

Henrik Zetterberg‘s return in Game 4 provided a lift for Detroit and it nearly carried them to victory. But close is only good in horseshoes and hand grenades and the Bruins took the game in overtime. The Bruins get another crack at Jonas Gustavsson who gets the start once again for Detroit as Jimmy Howard is out with the flu. Either he’s got a really nasty bug or he’s dealing with something a bit more serious than the flu to be ruled out a day in advance.

The Bruins’ top line of David KrejciMilan LucicJarome Iginla was a force in Game 4. Look for more of the same with the Bruins getting last change at home.

Game 5: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets [Series tied 2-2] (7:00 p.m. ET — NBCSN)

What to say about the Penguins? They played a brilliant Game 4 in Columbus and looked poised to head home up 3-1… And then the final minutes of the game happened and it all went to heck for the Pens and Marc-Andre Fleury. His misplay that led to the game-tying goal and Nick Foligno‘s knuckling shot from 50-feet out helped all the ill feelings about the Pens netminder come roaring back.

Now with the game back in Pittsburgh, the Pens and Fleury could stand to have a lights-out game if for no other reason than to keep the fans from revolting.

One upside for the Blue Jackets is they may get defenseman Fedor Tyutin back in the lineup and that will go a ways to helping out Sergei Bobrovsky in goal. Bob could stand to have some more help defensively and he’s yet to really steal a game in this series. Having that as well as Sidney Crosby‘s goal drought hanging over things helps make this Game 5 fascinating.

Game 5: Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild [Series tied 2-2] (9:30 p.m. ET — NBCSN)

Is it possible the Avs losing Tyson Barrie was the injury that broke the Avs’ back? Colorado hasn’t been the same team since he’s gone out and Game 4 summed things up pretty clearly that they need help getting outshot 32-12.

Even in spite of that, the Avs aren’t getting blown out by the Wild, but that’s mostly thanks to Vezina Trophy finalist Semyon Varlamov. If there was any doubt that Varlamov was the team MVP during the regular season, he’s answered that in the playoffs as he’s needed to be brilliant to keep the Wild at bay.

Minnesota is hoping the success they have had to this point will help them steal a game in Denver. The home team has won each game in the series. Zach Parise leads the Wild in points with five but has yet to score a goal. Get the feeling he’s due?

Game 5: San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings [San Jose leads series 3-1] (10:00 p.m. ET — CNBC)

The fact the Sharks earned a split in Los Angeles is big news and now that they’re back home with a chance to wrap up the series, you have to like their chances.

San Jose looked like world beaters in taking out Jonathan Quick and the Kings in Games 1 and 2. With the way Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski have piled up points with ease, you’d never know the Kings were also one of the better teams in the league this season. The fact the Sharks are also doing it with their depth players is also impressive. Matt Nieto is third in points and Tomas Hertl‘s return to action has spurred them on.

That said, the Kings’ effort in Game 4 was impressive enough to make more than a few pundits wonder if maybe this series has more juice in it. Justin Williams‘ strong play was reminiscent of his effort during the Kings’ Stanley Cup run and you know Quick is capable of stealing games. The Sharks would very much enjoy putting that talk to bed tonight.

Latest Posts
  1. Toews: We’re ready for this challenge

    May 26, 2015, 1:13 AM EDT

    Jonathan Toews Getty Images

    Monday’s tough loss hasn’t weakened his resolve.

  2. Ducks win crazy Game 5, push ‘Hawks to edge of elimination

    May 26, 2015, 12:21 AM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Matt Beleskey scored the game winner after initially losing his second line spot.

  3. Shocked Ducks: Toews forces OT with two goals in final two minutes

    May 26, 2015, 12:03 AM EDT

    Toews goal

    Chicago was trailing for most of the game.

  4. Oilers prospect Draisaitl helps lead Kelowna over Rimouski in Memorial Cup

    May 25, 2015, 10:57 PM EDT

    Leon Draisaitl Getty Images

    Maple Leafs prospect Frederik Gauthier had a big game too.

  5. Video: Getzlaf ties Ducks’ playoff points record

    May 25, 2015, 10:11 PM EDT

    Vatanen goal

    The first period was all Anaheim.

  6. Video: Ducks score twice in 32 seconds early in first period

    May 25, 2015, 9:42 PM EDT

    Kesler goal

    The Ducks got off to an ideal start.

  7. Report: Andrei Kostitsyn interested in returning to NHL

    May 25, 2015, 7:25 PM EDT

    Belarus v Slovenia - 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Getty Images

    He was linked to Nashville’s playoff curfew incident.

  8. Mrazek knows ‘only one goalie can play’ as battle with Howard awaits

    May 25, 2015, 5:43 PM EDT

    Florida Panthers v Detroit Red Wings Getty Images

    There’s going to be a fight for the No. 1 gig in Detroit.

  9. Graham James reportedly facing new charge of sexual assault

    May 25, 2015, 4:41 PM EDT

    Graham James AP

    Reports out of Swift Current, Saskatchewan.

  10. In the playoffs, sometimes it comes down to the ‘bounces’

    May 25, 2015, 3:31 PM EDT

    Antoine Vermette, Frederik Andersen AP

    “One bounce here or there, it’s a different story.”

  11. Leafs sign Carrick to one-year extension

    May 25, 2015, 2:10 PM EDT

    J.T. Brown; Sam Carrick J.T. Brown; Sam Carrick

    Made his NHL debut last season, appearing in 16 games.

  12. Now feels like a good time to debate Stamkos’ next contract

    May 25, 2015, 2:05 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers - Game Five Getty Images

    He’s eligible to sign an extension this summer.

  13. Swiss league ‘perfect training ground’ for Matthews, says coach Crawford

    May 25, 2015, 12:54 PM EDT

    Marc Crawford Getty Images

    “Everyone involved with the ZSC Lions is so excited about seeing him play in Zurich.”

  14. Canucks have a puzzle to solve on the blue line

    May 25, 2015, 12:44 PM EDT

    Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

    This won’t quell the Kevin Bieksa trade speculation.

Featured video

Babcock has his work cut out in Toronto
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. R. Nash (1394)
  2. N. Horton (1318)
  3. C. Crawford (1277)
  4. F. Andersen (1261)
  5. E. Cole (1160)