***** National Hockey League Previews from The Sports Network *****
Saturday, May 25th
(All times Eastern)
(6) NEW YORK RANGERS (1-3) AT (4) BOSTON BRUINS (3-1), 5:30 P.M.
(Sports Network) - The New York Rangers will attempt to stave off elimination
again on Saturday when they visit the Boston Bruins for Game 5 of the Eastern
The Bruins jumped out to a 3-0 lead in this best-of-seven series, but failed
to complete the sweep on Thursday, as New York battled its way to a season-
saving overtime victory. Chris Kreider's goal at the 7:03 mark of OT lifted
the sixth-seeded Rangers to a 4-3 win and cut the deficit in the series to
Still, the Rangers need to pull off an improbable comeback to make it back to
the East finals, where New York lost in six games to the New Jersey Devils
Only three teams have come back from an 0-3 hole in the history of the NHL
playoffs. The Toronto Maple Leafs in 1942, the New York Islanders in 1975 and
the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010. However, the Flyers' comeback three years ago
was against the Bruins.
Kreider's speed and Rick Nash's playmaking ability led to the decisive goal in
the extra session of Game 4. Nash skated into the Bruins' zone on the right
wing, and pulled up at the bottom of the circle before dishing ahead to a
streaking Kreider for a redirection under the crossbar to end the contest.
"I think the mentality prior to the game and during the game was just, there's
nothing to lose," said Kreider, a two-time national champion with Boston
College. "I was lucky enough to play with Rick tonight. I just tried to move
pucks and go hard to the net. He was able to find my tape, and I just tried to
put it on net."
Carl Hagelin, Derek Stepan and Brian Boyle also tallied for the Rangers, who
avoided being swept for the first time since 2006 when they lost to New Jersey
in the opening round.
Henrik Lundqvist came up with 37 saves to help New York force this evening's
Game 5 in Boston.
"We did show some character. It was tough though, probably the ugliest goal I
have ever seen turned it around for us, and that's hockey," the Swedish
backstop said. "A save or a goal or one shift can change everything. We kind
of lowered our shoulders a little bit and started playing our game."
Lundqvist improved to 5-0 in the Rangers' last five home playoff games in
which his club faced elimination
However, New York needs to win just its second road game of the playoffs to
force a Game 6 in the Big Apple on Monday. The Rangers are just 1-5 as the
away team in this postseason, but the lone win came in Game 7 of the first
round against Washington.
Nathan Horton, Torey Krug and Tyler Seguin found the back of the net for the
fourth-seeded Bruins, who failed in their first attempt at reaching the
conference finals for the second time in the last three seasons. Tuukka Rask
made 28 saves in a poor performance between the pipes.
"We give them two gift goals, eventually it's going to hurt. We competed hard
but didn't execute as well as we know we can," said Bruins head coach Claude
Julien. "There's no panic here..had we been outworked and not been there at
all, I would be talking differently here."
After scoring twice to take a 2-0 lead in the second period Game 4, Rask gave
the Rangers their first goal of the game. Hagelin slid a soft backhand towards
the Boston net and the muted shot rolled past an over-committed Rask, who
didn't let himself off the hook after the game.
"Just a tough mistake. Looks pretty bad on TV I bet," said the Finnish
goaltender, who also whiffed at the puck while trying to corral it with his
stick. "I just tried to whack it away and it was just awful. You have a second
to decide whether you scramble or put the paddle down."
The tying goal wasn't much better for Rask, as a bit of indecision in playing
the puck led to the goaltender being out of position on Stepan's goal, which
evened the score at 2-2 just 1:15 into the third period. Boston defenseman
Zdeno Chara also deserves blame for allowing Stepan to strip him of the puck
behind the net before completing the wraparound score.
New York played without centerman Brad Richards, who was listed as a healthy
scratch and replaced in the lineup by defenseman Roman Hamrlik. He is expected
to be out of the lineup again on Saturday.
Richards, a former Conn Smythe winner, has one goal in 10 postseason games
this season after signing a nine-year, $58 million deal with New York prior to
the 2011-12 campaign.
The Bruins have played every game of this series without defensemen Andrew
Ference, Wade Redden and Dennis Seidenberg, all of whom are battling injuries.
Of the three, Seidenberg is expected to have the best chance of playing in
Boston is 4-2 as the host in the 2013 playoffs and was 16-5-3 at TD Garden
during the regular season.
(7) DETROIT RED WINGS (3-1) AT (1) CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (1-3), 8 P.M.
(Sports Network) - With a win Saturday night in Game 5 at Chicago's United
Center, the seventh-seeded Detroit Red Wings can complete the biggest upset of
the 2013 postseason.
The Red Wings have built a 3-1 lead in this best-of-seven Western Conference
semifinal series, pushing the top-seeded Blackhawks -- this year's Presidents'
Trophy winners -- to the brink of elimination.
This series started off as expected, with Chicago pasting the Red Wings by a
4-1 score in Game 1. However, Detroit began a three-game winning streak with a
4-1 win of its own in Game 2 before winning two straight on home ice to take a
commanding lead in the series.
The Blackhawks set an NHL record by going 24 straight games (21-0-3) without a
regulation loss to open the season. They never lost three straight -- in
regulation or otherwise -- at any point this season before dropping Games 2, 3
and 4 to the Red Wings.
Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard has been a clear difference-maker for his team
in this series and he posted 28 saves for his second career playoff shutout in
Thursday's 2-0 win at Joe Louis Arena.
"He was real solid for us and gave us a great opportunity to win," said
Detroit head coach Mike Babcock about Howard. "We weren't very good in the
first period and I don't know why, but he was there for us and from that point
on I think we played much better."
Jakub Kindl scored the game-winner, while Daniel Cleary added an empty-netter
for the Red Wings, who will try to advance to the conference finals for the
first time since 2009 on Saturday.
Detroit made it to the Stanley Cup finals in 2009, but lost to the Pittsburgh
Penguins in seven games after beating the Pens for the title the previous
The Blackhawks, meanwhile, are in the second round this season for the first
time since winning a Cup in 2010, but they could be headed for an earlier than
expected exit on Saturday.
Corey Crawford gave up just one goal on 26 shots in Game 4 for the Blackhawks
and he believes the tide can still turn in favor of his team.
"I think everyone is a little angry," said Crawford. "I thought we played
really well tonight, but we're not getting any bounces. We had a bunch off the
post and that pretty much just sums it up for us the last couple of games.
We're doing a lot of good things and we just can't give up."
Chicago captain Jonathan Toews, who has yet to score a goal in this
postseason, had a bad night on Thursday, as he took three penalties -- two hi-
sticking infractions and a hook -- over a span of less than six minutes in the
second period. One of the penalties led to the power-play goal by Kindl.
"Emotions run high in some of these games, and my stick got a little loose
there," Toews said. "I was playing hard. Sometimes that happens."
Kindl's goal was the first power-play tally surrendered by Chicago in these
playoffs. The Blackhawks enter Game 5 having killed off 31 of the opposition's
32 chances with the man advantage.
Chicago is 4-1 as the home team in the postseason after going 18-3-3 at the
United Center during the regular season. The Red Wings are 3-3 on the road in
the playoffs and went 11-9-4 as the road team in 2013.
If necessary, Game 6 is scheduled for Monday in Detroit.
05/25 10:54:21 ET