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PHT Morning Skate: Habs face elimination, Ducks-Kings roll into Game 5

May 12, 2014, 8:25 AM EDT

Montreal Canadiens v Boston Bruins - Game Five Getty Images

We’re at that point of the second round when a team could book their passage to the Conference Finals on any night. Such is the case for the Boston Bruins on the road in Montreal after they came away with a strong victory in Game 5.

Winning at Bell Centre isn’t an easy thing to do and there’s nothing more the Canadiens would like to do than to have one more crack at the Bruins in a Game 7. To do that Montreal has to find a way to slow the Bruins down on all lines.

Out West, the Ducks and Kings meet in a Game 5 that sees Anaheim returning home after taking both games in Los Angeles. If the Ducks can find a way to defend home ice, they might be in business. Now that they’ve evened-up the series and found a way to slow down the Kings, perhaps the confidence returns at Honda Center.

Game 6: Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins (Boston leads series 3-2) [7:30 p.m. ET — NBCSN]

There was a lot to take out of Game 5 that had absolutely nothing to do with Shawn Thornton hosing down P.K. Subban with a water bottle and most of it wasn’t good for the Habs.

Without Daniel Briere in the lineup, the Canadiens’ power play struggled and with Douglas Murray playing alongside Mike Weaver on the third pairing, the Bruins had a defensive pair to get the match-ups they wanted to get things going against. The Habs may have had a physically tougher lineup to deal with Zdeno Chara and Milan Lucic, but life was a little too easy for Bruins.

How Montreal makes adjustments tonight will be the absolute factor in whether they head back to Boston for Game 7 or not. For Boston, they need to find a way to get David Krejci involved as he’s been more than quiet in this series.

Game 5: Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings (Series tied 2-2) [10:00 p.m. ET — NBCSN]

It’s a bit unnerving to see the road teams win all the games in this series. It’s not that Anaheim or L.A. have overly distinct home-ice advantages, but more that the coaches couldn’t find ways to make their match-ups work for them.

After Games 1 and 2, the prevailing thought was how Bruce Boudreau was going to get his top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry away from Anze Kopitar after he held them in check so well. After Games 3 and 4, the thought is how the Kings can slow down the rest of the Ducks forwards who have stepped up.

After being a major factor early on, the Kings would love to see the opportunistic Marian Gaborik return. The Ducks had their own version of a clutch scorer going in Devante Smith-Pelly.

The main man L.A. has to find a way to crack, however, is goalie John Gibson. After sporting a shutout in Game 4, he’s riding high and the team is doing so with him. Shaking the rookie’s confidence would get the Kings back on track at least a little bit.

  1. 7mantel - May 12, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    B’s close this out tonight !

  2. dropthepuckeh - May 12, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    Why do the Habs continue to roll Murray out there? He has delivered some great hits but pretty meaningless when you see how slow and easy it is for the Bruins to get around him. The Bruins third line has had their way with these guys. That said, Weaver has impressed with his grit and shot blocking. I would think pairing Weaver with anyone else would provide better results for Les Habs, not that I am inclined to wish good results for them.

  3. patthehockeyfan - May 12, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    I was afraid that Boudreau would start Gibson. Again. That kid stands on his head. As I wrote in earlier posts, he’s good, he knows he’s good, and he’s confident. Maybe a puck could deflect into Anaheim’s net off Perry or Getzlaf. Hope springs eternal.


    • hockey412 - May 12, 2014 at 9:44 AM

      Yeah, it would be tough to pull Gibson after the last performance.

  4. joey4id - May 12, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    It’s amazing that a squirt of water generated 3 articles and a combined 280 comments. Hockey fans? Really. What a waste.

    Smells like tee time for the Habs. Habs had no response after the Bruins found their groove last game. There are players on the Habs that need to step up big time if they want another trip to Boston. I for one would love to see a game seven.

    I think both coaches have done a great job except for one questionable decision to sit out Briere. But! That is hind sight.

    • davidmessina63 - May 12, 2014 at 9:52 AM

      This is what I find even funnier…3 stories about the water incident and not one about Lundquist spraying Crosby…….wait…I know….EVERYONE is happy Crosby got water sprayed.

    • dropthepuckeh - May 12, 2014 at 10:16 AM

      Crosby spear and Lundvist squirts water – where are all the righteous protests that this stuff doesn’t happen and doesn’t belong in the game? Shouldn’t we call for these guys to be banned or is it just a double standard that the Bruins are the only ones that do it? fluckle – where is the outrage? In all of your years in hockey you have never seen it and yet its happened three times in the last week!

    • thesportsjudge - May 12, 2014 at 10:51 AM

      “Shawn Thornton hosing down P.K. Subban with a water bottle ”

      I like the sound of overkill there. Real pro trolling.

      • jimeejohnson - May 12, 2014 at 11:11 AM

        If you’re gonna troll you might as well be professional.

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