Skip to content

PHT Morning Skate: Battered Ducks aim to even series

May 10, 2014, 9:09 AM EDT

Comments Off on PHT Morning Skate: Battered Ducks aim to even series
Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, center, of Switzerland, is congratulated by right wing Teemu Selanne, right, of Finland, and defenseman Ben Lovejoy after Game 3 of an NHL hockey second-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings, Thursday, May 8, 2014, in Los Angeles. The Ducks won 3-2. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) AP

After being dominated by the Pittsburgh Penguins in three straight games, the New York Rangers fought back last night with a decisive 5-1 victory to stay alive. After that, the Wild followed in their footsteps by defending the Xcel Energy Center for the second consecutive contest to even their series with Chicago.

We got another two games ahead of us tonight as we get deep into the second round.

Game 5: Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins [Series tied at 2-2] (7:00 p.m. ET — NBCSN)

The rivalry between Boston and Montreal is as old as it is fierce, and so far the latest chapter of their battle hasn’t disappointed.

Tuukka Rask and Carey Price were locked in a goaltending duel in Game 4 when 23-year-old Bruins forward Matt Fraser, playing in his first NHL playoff game and powered by frozen yogurt, broke the scoreless tie in overtime. In doing so, he became the first player to ever net AHL and NHL postseason overtime winners in the same season.

Will it be remembered as the goal that turned the series? This is now a best-of-three and for the first time since Game 1, the Bruins have reclaimed home ice advantage. That obviously helps, but having two of the final three games in Boston’s TD Garden isn’t a huge edge in a series like this.

“It’s back and forth, it’s been close and so expect another close game (tonight),” Bruins defenseman Gregory Campbell said, per the Bruins’ website.

Game 4: Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings [Los Angeles leads 2-1] (9:30 p.m. ET — NBCSN)

Winning Game 3 got the Anaheim Ducks back into this series, but it came at a high price. The Ducks lost goaltender Frederik Andersen as well as forwards Matt Beleskey and Mathieu Perreault to lower-body injuries, putting their availability for tonight’s contest in doubt.

The most pressing question is who will play between the pipes for Anaheim. Andersen would probably be the first choice after his strong performance in Game 3 before he was hurt, but obviously he might not be an option.

That makes Hiller the likely pick. After all, he did rise to the challenge despite wasting away on the bench for most of the game. Plus he actually has a solid 1.99 GAA and .918 save percentage in the 2014 playoffs — albeit in limited duties. At the same time, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau hasn’t shown much faith in Hiller and even now, Boudreau isn’t ready to name the veteran goaltender as his starter over 20-year-old call up John Gibson.

“I fully believe that Gibson can play. I fully believe that Hiller can play. It’s quite a gamble to use Gibson but I’ve done them before. You live and die with the way you feel, I guess,” Boudreau told the Los Angeles Times.

Could that be a bit of playoff gamesmanship? Absolutely, but given how many times Boudreau has chosen to go with a less experienced option over Hiller so far in the postseason, it might be more than that.

Either way, the Ducks still aren’t out of the woods and winning back-to-back games at the Staples Center is a tall task.

Latest Posts
  1. WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action

    Apr 27, 2015, 6:16 PM EDT

    Nicklas Backstrom, Johnny Boychuk , Thomas Hickey, Marcus Johansson AP

    One Game 7 and one team hoping to force another.

  2. Blues owner ‘disappointed and frustrated,’ but not ready to ‘throw people under the bus’

    Apr 27, 2015, 5:28 PM EDT

    2012 NHL Entry Draft - Rounds 2-7 Getty Images

    Tom Stillman did say “I’m sure there’ll be changes” following another first-round playoff defeat.

  3. Weber has ‘medical procedure’ for ‘subluxed kneecap’

    Apr 27, 2015, 4:56 PM EDT

    Shea Weber AP

    Expected to make full recovery within 4-6 weeks.

  4. NHL issues statement on passing of Hall of Famer Pronovost

    Apr 27, 2015, 4:11 PM EDT

    2006 NHL Entry Draft Portraits Getty Images

    Former Maple Leaf and Red Wing appeared in over 1,200 career games, winning five Stanley Cups.

  5. Despite ‘step in the right direction,’ do Canucks need to alter core?

    Apr 27, 2015, 3:11 PM EDT

    Phoenix Coyotes v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

    Kevin Bieksa and Dan Hamhuis were each asked if they’d be willing to waive their no-trade clauses.

  6. After hook versus Canucks, Hartley says ‘no question’ Hiller starts against Ducks

    Apr 27, 2015, 2:47 PM EDT

    Jonas Hiller Getty Images

    Flames head coach Bob Hartley confirmed the decision on Monday.

  7. Rangers lose Zuccarello indefinitely with suspected concussion

    Apr 27, 2015, 12:45 PM EDT

    Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers - Game Five Getty Images

    Diminutive forward left Game 5 after taking a shot to the helmet.

  8. NBCSN to air every Team USA game at Worlds

    Apr 27, 2015, 12:31 PM EDT

    Germany v United States - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship Getty Images

    Tournament begins May 1 in the Czech Republic.

  9. Cooper: Lightning have to ‘suck it up’ and ‘fight through’ Wings’ interference

    Apr 27, 2015, 11:59 AM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v Detroit Red Wings - Game Three Getty Images

    Interference aside, Tampa Bay has had no shortage of power-play time.

  10. Your Caps-Islanders Game 7 officials are…

    Apr 27, 2015, 11:52 AM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks v Phoenix Coyotes Getty Images

    Referees Dan O’Rourke (No. 9) and Dan O’Halloran (No. 13), linesmen Greg Devorski (No. 54) and Michel Cormier (No. 76).

  11. Friedman: Penguins need to ‘think about’ trading Malkin

    Apr 27, 2015, 11:35 AM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

    Pittsburgh has a lot of cap space tied up in two players.

  12. After sitting three straight, Glencross to play for Caps tonight

    Apr 27, 2015, 11:17 AM EDT

    Washington Capitals v New York Islanders - Game Three Getty Images

    Washington makes a lineup change in advance of Game 7 versus the Isles.

  13. Letang (concussion) will be ready for Pens’ training camp

    Apr 27, 2015, 10:53 AM EDT

    Kris Letang Getty Images

    “I’m on my way to coming back. I’m just going through the protocol.”

  14. Sens’ MacArthur, Methot battled hip injuries in series vs. Habs

    Apr 27, 2015, 9:45 AM EDT

    Marc Methot Getty Images

    Injury information trickling in following Ottawa’s Game 6 loss.

  15. Penguins assign prospect Sundqvist to AHL

    Apr 27, 2015, 9:15 AM EDT

    2012 NHL Entry Draft - Portraits 2012 NHL Entry Draft - Portraits

    He was one of Pittsburgh’s final cuts in the fall.

Featured video

Price brilliant for Habs
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. Z. Kassian (2645)
  2. A. Burrows (2378)
  3. S. Weber (2160)
  4. M. Giordano (1943)
  5. K. Letang (1868)
  1. D. Carcillo (1781)
  2. C. Ehrhoff (1662)
  3. L. Bouma (1660)
  4. T. Hamonic (1644)
  5. K. Klein (1573)