NHL Playoffs: Penguins Take Series lead, Los Angeles Takes Two in Anaheim

Los Angeles Kings
Los Angeles Kings
May 5 2014 Anaheim CA USA Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin 6 collides with Anaheim Ducks center Mathieu Perreault 22 during the second period in game two of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center Richard Mackson USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers – PIT wins 2-0, PIT leads series 2-1

The first half of the first period went by with relatively little happening. The teams traded shots but there weren’t many quality chances. The Rangers managed to extend their power play goalless streak to 0-for-30, though. Sidney Crosby set up teammate Brian Gibbons with a mostly wide open net on a 2-on-1 rush but Gibbons slid the puck just wide of the right post. James Neal would take a late four minute high sticking penalty with just under two minutes left in the period, affording the Rangers a lengthy opportunity to snap their streak. Benoit Pouliot hit the post on a shot that beat Marc-Andre Fleury cleanly. The period would end scoreless with neither side looking particularly dangerous.

The Rangers had good pressure, and a couple of decent looks, on the power play to start the second period, but the Rangers extended their goalless streak with the man advantage. A whistle after the power play, Sidney Crosby was sent in on a partial breakaway by Robert Bortuzzo and snapped the puck five-hole on Henrik Lundqvist for the 1-0 lead. It was Crosby’s first goal of the playoffs.

For the second time within 20 seconds of the end of a Pittsburgh penalty, the Penguins managed to score. This time, Jussi Jokinen picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone for a clean breakaway on Lundqvist. A low-blocker shot later, it was 2-0 Pittsburgh, with the Rangers’ power play streak now 0-for-33. It is worth noting that to this point in the game, the Rangers had hit the post on three separate occasions. They were down 2-0, yet a few inches to the other way, could be tied or better.

The Penguins completely flatlined offensively as they managed just one shot attempt the entire third period but it wouldn’t matter. The Rangers, fittingly, would have a 6-on-4 for the final 1:58 of the game and could not break Fleury’s shutout. The Rangers power play streak sits at 34 straight and Fleury has managed back to back shutouts.

From the time of Pittsburgh’s second goal with 4:40 left in the second period through to the end of the game, the Rangers had 20 shots directed at the Pittsburgh net to the Penguins’ one.

Los Angeles Kings at Anaheim Ducks – LAK wins 3-1, LAK leads series 2-0

It would take Marian Gaborik 34 seconds to put the Kings up 1-0 on a power move to the net and a shot over Jonas Hiller’s shoulder. With an assist on the goal, Anze Kopitar would extend his lead in the playoff scoring race to three points over Zach Parise of Minnesota. Anaheim would reply, though, with a power play goal near the midpoint of the period. A centering pass intended for Corey Perry went off of Jake Muzzin’s skate and past Jonathan Quick to tie the game. The Kings would take the lead back on a nice set-up from Tyler Toffoli, who found a pinching Jake Muzzin coming down from the blue line and he put it right on his tape. It appeared to go through Jeff Carter’s legs, who appeared to make a nice ‘dummy’ play, intentionally letting the puck go to Muzzin. It was reminiscent of what Mario Lemieux did in the Olympics in 2002, although in a different type of set-up.

The interesting part of the first period was that the top lines were matched against each other every single shift except for one towards the end of the period. It was a development that started over the course of the latter half of Game 1 and continued into this game. This was allowing the depth players of Los Angeles to really take advantage of the lack of forward depth of Anaheim.

Anaheim would take the play to Los Angeles, particularly in the second half of the second, but couldn’t find a way to beat Quick again. The top line for Anaheim was doing most of the heavy lifting, with Getzlaf and Perry being on the ice for just six shot attempts against in a little over 10 minutes of ice time each.

The Ducks would test Quick and control play for most of the third period but could not convert for another goal. Dwight King would score the empty net goal to make it 3-1. The final shots would be 37-17 in favour of Anaheim, though while in control of the game, Quick was there for the 36-save performance.

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty finished the game with 26:25 in ice time.

Doughty would only be matched against Ryan Getzlaf for 10:09 of his total ice time (via ShiftChart).

*as always, hat hit to Extra Skater for the fantastic resources

author avatar
Michael Clifford
Michael Clifford was born and raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada and is a graduate of the Unviersity of New Brunswick. He writes about fantasy hockey and baseball for XNSports and FantasyTrade411.com. He can be reached on Twitter @SlimCliffy for any fantasy hockey questions. !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');