The Hockey News’ NHL Playoff Recap gives you our take of what happened in each game of the night and what the consequences will be for the rest of the series.
We also provide our Three Stars of the games, which will be tabulated after each round. First Star is three points, Second Star is two points and Third Star is one point. Be sure to vote on who you think the first star was as well.
Of course, there’s the other side of the coin: The Black Hole is a piece of the lineup that just couldn’t get it going on a given night and contributed to a difficult evening for the team.
THN’s Take: The Detroit Red Wings are officially back in the fight because Game 5 was a microcosm of the series as a whole. Just when it appeared the Wings were out of the game, they found a way to scratch back, thanks mostly to a guy who had just one working hand. Pavel Datsyuk was clearly feeling the effects of a hand injury, but still managed to be the best player on the ice. San Jose had everything going its way when Logan Couture scored early in the third period to put the Sharks up 3-1, but they’re now about to eat the worst airplane food of their lives en route to Detroit for Game 6. The Wings have all the momentum as they head home, but they’re also operating on fumes. Can a banged-up Datsyuk do it again? Will Johan Franzen get back in the lineup at all after he had just 9:19 of ice in Game 5? If Detroit is to become the third team in the past two seasons to force a Game 7 after falling behind 3-0, it desperately needs some offense from role players and continued production from the D-men.
1. Pavel Datsyuk – Three assists in one of the gutsiest efforts of the 2011 playoffs. The guy is unbelievable.
2. Niklas Kronwall – Big hit, big goal, big impact.
3. Jimmy Howard – Made some huge saves to prevent things from getting out of control when the Wings were teetering on oblivion.
The Black Hole
Ian White – He’s had a good playoff for the Sharks, but he and partner Niclas Wallin were both minus-3 Sunday night. White didn’t know if he was coming or going on the Wings’ winning goal.
The NHL Game Night Recap will get you caught up with all the playoff action. THN will name our Three Stars for each game and tabulate the results after each series. First Star = three points, Second Star = two points, Third Star = one point.