Last night had a bit of everything, tied series, a team pushed to the edge and a team eliminated. Other than the overtime win by the Florida Panthers, all the other games seemed to be on the lopsided end. The Colorado Avalanche are officially the first team to advance to the second round with the Pittsburgh Penguins hoping to be next in line to close out their series. While there are no elimination scenarios tonight, it will be interesting to see which teams start fighting for their lives.
Boston Bruins @ Carolina Hurricanes, Game 5 (Series Tied 2-2), 7:00 PM
While the Bruins are still a very good team that is always a threat in the playoffs, many expected the Hurricanes to be doing better in this series even with their goaltending instability. However, the Hurricanes have continuously allowed the Bruins to fight back into games with their lack of discipline and more importantly lack of power play success. The Bruins are doing a better job frustrating the Hurricanes and have done a good job draining the Hurricanes of any confidence even when they’re leading games. The Canes will need to take command of the series before the Bruins shock them and turn the tides around fully to their advantage.
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Toronto Maple Leafs, Game 5 (Series Tied 2-2), 7:30 PM
This was the series that included arguably the two most talented teams in the Eastern conference. After 4 games, the two teams have split embarrassing losses and honestly, we have yet to see a game where both teams play their best. The Maple Leafs have always struggled with the first round and one would think if the the Bolts take the lead tonight and take the series back home, the Leafs’ uphill battle may be steeper than most. The Leafs have the depth and talent but the Bolts have the experience and consistency. Do the Bolts have enough energy and drive to make a third run?
St Louis Blues @ Minnesota Wild, Game 5 (Series Tied 2-2), 9:30 PM
The offense for the Blues has struggles in this series partly due to the grand play of Marc Andre Fleury. However, it seems the Blues may have found a way to breakthrough in game 3 scoring 5 goals and tying up a series they thought they’d be leading by now. It will be interesting to see if the Blues can continue their good fortunes or if the Wild will go back to frustrating them.
Los Angeles Kings @ Edmonton Oilers, Game 5 (Series Tied 2-2), 10:00 PM
The Edmonton Oilers are on the verge of reaching Leafs territory when it comes to disappointing playoff performances if they allow the Kings to have another game like Game 4. They are a young and extremely talented team but continue to run into bad luck and fold at the first sight of a challenge. This time, the challenge is Jonathan Quick who seems to be getting nostalgic to his 2012 playing years and putting on a good show. The Oilers however, have shown they can score and score a lot in this series and while we all dislike him, Evander Kane is proving to be a good acquisition for the Oilers. Can the Oilers keep their focus on avoid getting frustrated by the Quick shutdown show? This team needs confidence and nothing will help them more than pushing the Kings to the brink of elimination tonight, McDavid needs a big game tonight to turn the tides from last game.