The Stanley Cup Playoffs are coming to a close, and the end of the semi-finals is just around the corner. But until that glorious Cup is raised by the best team in the league, we’ll keep you updated on which teams are still in the running.
With an impressive three-goal third period last night, the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings head into game seven in the series. Detroit had led the series since game three, beating the Blackhawks 3-1, 2-0 in Detroit, but began the fall to Chicago with a 4-1 loss in game five and 4-3 loss in game six. Daniel Cleary scored for the Red Wings in both game four and game five, but was shut down in game six, and Andrew Shaw put up two of the four goals in game four for Chicago. Game seven kicks off Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on NBCSN.
The San Jose Sharks held on to a second period lead in Sunday’s game six against the Los Angeles Kings to force a game seven. The teams were also tied in the series at two games apiece with the Sharks’ 2-1 victory in game four two weeks ago. It seems safe to say this has been the tightest race of the four remaining series’ in the playoffs; only two games have been decided by more than a goal. T.J. Galiardi and Joe Thornton continue to put up big points for the Sharks, while Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Jonathan Quick refuse to let the dream of consecutive championships die. The puck drops tonight at 9:00 p.m., with the victory deciding the first team headed to the conference finals.
On Friday, the Pittsburgh Penguins officially clinched a spot in the Eastern Conference finals and pushed out the Ottawa Senators, winning the series 4-1. The Senators’ sole victory was a 2-1 win over the Penguins in Ottawa. Pittsburgh closed out the series with some of the largest goal differentials since the playoffs began last month, beating Ottawa 7-3 in game four and 6-2 in game five. James Neal and Jarome Iginla scored four goals combined in game four, and Neal notched another hat trick in his repertoire in game five. Former Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow scored Pittsburgh’s first goal of game five.
The Boston Bruins closed out the series against the New York Rangers four-games-to-one, and it looked as if the Rangers were going to be the first team in the playoffs to get swept in a series. New York’s sole victory was a 4-3 overtime victory in game four. Boston squashed any hope of a Rangers come back with a 3-1 victory in game five. Torey Krug and Gregory Cambell combined for four goals for Boston in games four and five. Chris Kreider scored his first goal of the playoffs and the game-winning goal in overtime for the Rangers in game five, and Derick Brassard posted two assists to contribute to the Rangers’ only victory.
We’re almost down to just four teams, and as the off season progresses and the cup gets closer, we’re committed to keeping you updated with which teams are winning and which ones are headed home. Check back Thursday for a highlight into the conference finals!