The 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 night, which will be tabulated after each round and kept track of each day in our Playoff Game Day Preview. 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: Home-ice advantage? Who needs it. The road team took the fourth in a row in this epic, Original Six matchup, but despite the unusual nature of the victories you can be sure the Bruins aren't disappointed about having two games of the now-best-of-three series back in Boston. Game 4 was a momentous victory for the B's to be sure, but GM Peter Chiarelli will wake up Friday morning a man of two minds. Through his additions this year he molded a roster with weapons, depth and high-end 'D,' so why then when it mattered most did the group lay a 20-minute egg only salvaged by their soon-to-be twice-winning Vezina goaltender? Coming back after disappearing for a period can be done against the Canadiens, but it won't be against Washington, Philly or Pittsburgh.
1. Michael Ryder - Revenge, on top of a goal and an assist in regulation, is a dish best served in OT. (A non-official first star to referees Stephen Walkom and Ian Walsh for allowing the players to play, but still having the gumption to call Dennis Seidenberg for interference with a little more than two minutes left in the third.)
2. Rich Peverely - A pair of helpers and noticeable almost every time he was on the ice.
3. Tim Thomas - 34 saves including 14 in the first, many of which fell into the above-average difficultly level, while his mates looked lost.
The Black Hole
P.K. Subban - Take the good with the bad. His ill-advised change directly resulted in the 3-on-1 that led to Ryder's OT-winner.
GAME 5: BLACKHAWKS 5, CANUCKS 0 – CANUCKS LEAD SERIES 3-2
THN’s Take: After whiffing on a power play in the opening minutes, the Canucks completely disintegrated defensively, allowing the Blackhawks to rout them for the second straight game. Vancouver’s defense left the middle of the ice open for the first half of the game, spotting Chicago an insurmountable lead in the process. Roberto Luongo was yanked for the second game in a row, but it was all mercy pull. If it’s any consolation to Canucks fans, at least they didn’t have to hear “Chelsea Dagger” every time Chicago scored.
1. Duncan Keith - The reigning Norris Trophy winner was Mr. Everything for the Hawks, lighting up the scoreboard for two goals and four points and handling the puck with superhero confidence. Chicago fed off his energy.
2. Marian Hossa - Potted two key breakaway goals and assisted on another Chicago tally, getting his post-season offense in gear in the process.
3. Nick Leddy - The Hawks had more than three stars, but young Leddy provided quality minutes in the absence of Brent Seabrook and diffused several dangerous Canucks rushes early with his excellent speed and poise.
The Black Hole
Alex Edler – The Swede gets the nod, though no one on Vancouver played well. The usually steady defenseman was torched for several Chicago goals, got undressed by Jonathan Toews on one of the rare Chicago chances that wasn’t cashed in and started throwing dirty hits once the game was out of hand.
THN’s Take: In another Tinseltown tug-of-war, the Sharks clenched the series momentum by stopping Los Angeles’ comeback attempt and resuming course to a 3-1 lead. After a shot-filled, scoreless first period, the Sharks set off on the continued brilliant play from proven playoff performer Ryane Clowe, who scored two goals less than seven minutes apart. Before the period was out, though, Los Angeles was trying to comeback on San Jose as the visitors did in Game 4 and pulled it to a 3-2 score. Even though the Kings outshot the Sharks all night long and held them to just four in the third period, San Jose came through with quality goals.
1. Ryane Clowe – Has been a leader all series for the Sharks and made sure the engine kept chugging into Game 4 with two of his team’s first three goals.
2. Antti Niemi – He was our Black Hole in Game 4 when he was pulled, but the Stanley Cup champion came through in a big way in Game 5 with 35 saves, including a few huge stops in the dying minutes with the Kings on a two-man advantage.
3. Logan Couture – The rookie created two goals and was buzzing around the ice confidently all night.
The Black Hole
Dustin Penner – When you start to lose ice time to five-goal, nine-minute man Alex Ponikarovsky, you’re not playing well. The trade deadline acquisition’s ice time dipped to 10:56, but his laziness led to him posting another minus-1 rating.
Poll:Who was your first star of the game?
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.