Thursday was a night to remember. Tampa Bay’s Alex Killorn scored the game’s only goal but it was the Lightning needed as they eliminated the Red Wings from the playoffs. Chicago survived with a win in double overtime. The Ducks evened their series in Nashville and the penguins took flight in New York.
Detroit Red Wings vs Tampa Bay Lightning
The Detroit Red Wings entered Game 5 in Tampa’s Amalie Arena with their proverbial backs against the wall down 3-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The game was a back and forth playoff classic.
The teams combined for 58 shots but only one eluded a goaltender and when it was over, the Lightning had won 1-0 on Alex Killorn’s third goal of the playoffs.
Killorn redirected Ryan Callahan’s pass from the corner with 1:43 to play in the third period to eliminate the Red Wings from the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
“I was trying to gain position in front, knowing that if Callahan could get it to me, I could probably put it in,” Killorn said about his game-winning goal.
Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop stopped all 34 Red Wings shots to record the shutout. It was the fourth of his playoff career, three of which have come in series clinching games.
Alex Killorn (3), Tyler Johnson (2) and Nikita Kucherov (5) scored 10 of 12 Tampa Bay’s goals versus Detroit, including three game winners.
Tampa will move on to the second round of the playoffs and will face off against either the Florida Panthers or the New York Islanders. Those teams are tied 2-2 in their series and will face off in Game 5 Friday in Florida.
During the last week of the regular season, Detroit’s all-everything, Pavel Datsyuk, said this may be his final season in the NHL. He voiced a desire to return to Russia for family reasons and to finish his playing career in the KHL. After the game versus Tampa Bay, Datsyuk said he needs some time to come to a definitive decision.
“I need a little bit to cool down and for the emotion to go out, and then start thinking about it more,” said Datsyuk after the game.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Rangers
After dropping Game 3 to the Penguins on home ice and falling behind Pittsburgh 2-1 in the series, the Rangers had hoped to take advantage of their Madison Square Garden surroundings to tie the series in Game 4, but when the puck dropped to start the game, it was the Penguins who looked right at home.
Eric Fehr scored the game’s first goal for Pittsburgh and the Penguins never looked back. They would score four more times en route to a 5-0 win and a 3-1 series lead.
Sidney Crosby struck for the game’s second goal on the power play. Conor Sheary scored Pittsburgh’s third goal, it was the first playoff goal of his career. Evgeni Malkin scored the Penguins’ final two goals, both coming on the power play.
Malkin added two assists to go along with his two goals, giving him a four point night. Crosby emerged from the game with two points on his goal and an assist.
Other point producers for Pittsburgh were Nick Bonino (1 assist), Sidney Crosby (2 assists), Brian Dumoulin (1 assist), Patric Hornqvist (1 assist), Kris Letang (1 assist) and Ben Lovejoy (1 assist).
Penguins goaltender Matt Murray made 31 saves to earn the shutout. He is the first rookie in Pittsburgh history to earn a shutout in the Stanley Cup playoffs. “He’s played in big games for us down the stretch,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan in his postgame press conference. “He has a real calm demeanor about him. I think he has a quiet confidence. He knows he is good. For a young guy, he is mature beyond his years.”
“He’s played in big games for us down the stretch,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan in his postgame press conference. “He has a real calm demeanor about him. I think he has a quiet confidence. He knows he is good. For a young guy, he is mature beyond his years.”
Pittsburgh can close out the series at the Console Energy Center in Game 5 on Saturday, April 23rd at 3:00 pm (NBC, SN360, TVA Sports).
Anaheim Ducks vs Nashville Predators
The Predators came into Game 4 of the series with a 2-1 lead in games and were looking to open a 3-1 lead before heading back to Anaheim but the Ducks, more specifically, their captain Ryan Getzlaf had other ideas.
Getzlaf put his team on the scoreboard just 1:02 into the game.
“Any time you can get a lead in a game is big when you can come out on the road,” Getzlaf said following the contest. “It was nice to be able to get that and calm down a little bit.”
Mike Fisher tied it at 1-1 for Nashville at 11:26 of the second period. A period which may have been one the best periods of series for the Predators, but Anaheim’s Nate Thompson put his club ahead 2-1 at the 17:04 mark of the period.
Jamie McGinn increased the Ducks lead to 3-1 only 1:52 after Thompson scored.
In the third period, Anaheim controlled the play and forward Andrew Cogliano scored the insurance goal sealing the 4-1 victory.
Goaltender Frederik Andersen turned aside 30 shots in recording the win for Anaheim.
With the series tied 2-2 and one where the road team has won every game, the Ducks are hoping to break that streak in Game 5 Saturday at Anaheim’s Honda Center. Game time is set for 6:00 pm ET (NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).
Chicago Blackhawks vs St. Louis Blues
With St. Louis holding a 3-1 series lead it appeared the Blackhawks reign as Stanley Cup champions was about to end, except someone forgot to tell that to Chicago on their way to Game 5.
The Blackhawks controlled the play for much of the three periods but gave up a two-goal lead in the third period sending the contest into overtime.
The clubs would need two overtimes before the NHL’s regular season leading scorer, Patrick Kane, gained control of the puck in the Blues zone, faked a shot, toe-dragged the puck around the defender and unleashed a shot at St. Louis goaltender Brian Elliott. Elliott got a piece of the shot but it snuck through his crease to the other side of the net. All the while, Kane continued to skate behind the net, when he saw the puck slide through the crease, he skated to it and put a second shot at the net which eluded Elliott, ending the affair at 3:07 of the second overtime and giving his team a 4-3 win, keeping it alive to skate another day.
“I tried to make a move around a guy who was maybe trying to block my shot,” Kane said. “Made a move, saw the puck and tried to get one on net there. Fortunately enough it kind of squeaked out to the other side.”
The goal gave Kane five overtime game winners in his career, placing him in a fifth place tie with Glenn Anderson for most OT goals in playoff history.
Kane added an assist to give him two points on the evening.
Marian Hossa scored his 50th career playoff goal to open the game’s scoring.
Blackhawks who also contributed to the win were Artemi Panarin (1 goal, 1 assist), Artem Anisimov (1 goal), Teuvo Teravainen (1 assist), Jonathan Toews (1 assist), Richard Panik (1 assist) and Niklas Hjalmarsson (1 assist).
St. Louis point producers consisted of Robby Fabbri (1 goal, 1 assist), Jaden Schwartz (1 goal), David Backes (1 goal), Colton Parayko (1 assist), and Alex Pietrangelo (3 assists).
Although Kane’s goal made him the hero in the eyes of Blackhawks fans, it was the goaltending of Elliott and Chicago’s Corey Crawford that earned the brightest stars.
Elliott stopped 31 shots while his counterpart, Crawford, kept 43 of 46 shots out of his net.
St. Louis leads the series 3-2 with Game 6 at Chicago’s United Center on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. ET (NBC, CBC, TVA Sports 2).
Stat of the Night:
The Chicago Blackhawks are 12-4 in their last 16 games when facing elimination, dating back to the start of 2009 playoffs.
Follow ESPN New Hampshire NHL Writer, Shawn Hutcheon, on Twitter at @ShawnHutcheon.