Skip to content

PHT Morning Skate: Battered Ducks aim to even series

May 10, 2014, 9:09 AM EDT

Comments Off
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. Stamkos scores twice as Bolts edge Flyers

    Oct 31, 2014, 2:30 AM EDT

    Steven Stamkos AP

    Rookie Jonathan Drouin played less than 10 minutes in the win.

  2. Video: Burrows catches Emelin with a late hit (Updated)

    Oct 31, 2014, 1:34 AM EDT

    New York Rangers v Montreal Canadiens - Game One Getty Images

    Michel Therrien ‚ÄúThat was a dirty hit to the head”

  3. Video: Daniel Sedin scores overtime winner

    Oct 31, 2014, 1:01 AM EDT

    Canucks AP

    Canucks conclude October with a 7-3 record.

  4. Hossa reaches milestone as Blackhawks top Sens

    Oct 31, 2014, 12:40 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 12.19.19 AM

    Picked up his 1,000th point.

  5. Report: Thomas Vanek involved in money laundering scandal

    Oct 30, 2014, 10:56 PM EDT

    Thomas Vanek AP

    Allegedly endorsed a New York Islanders pay check to cover gambling debt

  6. Video: Bruins’ Marchand scores off his glove

    Oct 30, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT

    Brad Marchand AP

    The play was reviewed and was ruled a good goal.

  7. Sens’ Lehner welcomes baby boy

    Oct 30, 2014, 8:48 PM EDT

    Robin Lehner AP

    Absent from tonight’s game against the Blackhawks.

  8. Video: Sabres’ Ennis, Moulson sandwich Bruins’ Marchand

    Oct 30, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT

    bradmarchandsmirkgetty Getty Images

    Was slow to the bench, but remains in the game.

  9. Allen off to Norfolk for conditioning

    Oct 30, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

    Bryan Allen Getty Images

    Recovering from a lower body injury.

  10. Video: Lucic and Stewart drop the gloves

    Oct 30, 2014, 7:25 PM EDT

    Detroit Red Wings v Boston Bruins - Game Five Getty Images

    Two big boys land some pretty good shots.

  11. Flames place Backlund on IR, recall Ferland

    Oct 30, 2014, 7:07 PM EDT

    Mikael Backlund Getty Images

    Abdominal injury hits the center once again.

  12. Leafs recall Percy as insurance policy

    Oct 30, 2014, 6:28 PM EDT

    Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs Getty Images

    Adds depth as Toronto travels to Columbus.

  13. Drouin dropped to fourth line, ‘has to learn to play away from the puck’

    Oct 30, 2014, 5:24 PM EDT

    Jonathan Drouin AP

    “I don’t know too many people who jump into the league at 19 (years old) and are playing 22 minutes a night, it just doesn’t really happen.”

Featured video

Worst team in the NHL?

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. C. Crawford (3142)
  2. E. Staal (2785)
  3. A. Kopitar (2414)
  4. E. Kane (2317)
  5. M. Gaborik (2316)
  1. P. Stastny (2248)
  2. D. Heatley (1909)
  3. N. Foligno (1879)
  4. V. Nichushkin (1855)
  5. V. Hedman (1834)