Kings edge Sharks advance to West Finals

LA 2 San Jose 1

Justin Williams figures he gets his knack for Game 7 heroics from the same source as the Los Angeles Kings’ resilience throughout their grinding seven-game victory over the San Jose Sharks.

Williams thinks the Kings all drew their inspiration from that Stanley Cup championship banner hanging over the Staples Center ice and that it carried them through to the Western Conference finals.

“It comes from the hunger of winning one and having that drive for another one,” Williams said. “You don’t want anyone else to raise the Cup but you.”

 

Your Stanley Cup Update

Three huge games last night. In New York, the Rangers twice rallied to force OT before finally beating the Bruins to force a Game 5 back in Boston

Chris Kreider proudly wore the Broadway Hat in the victorious New York Rangers dressing room as he tried to describe the feeling of saving his team’s season.

Kreider deftly steered in a pass from Rick Nash 7:03 into overtime, and the Rangers stayed alive in the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.

“It is so surreal,” the 22-year-old Kreider said. “It’s not something that can really be explained. It is something that just has to be felt, but it was awesome. I’m just excited to give these guys an opportunity to play another game.

In Detroit, the Red Wings pushed the Chicago Blackhawks to the brink with a 2-0 win

Jimmy Howard kept Jonathan Toews in his misery, making three saves against the struggling star to help the Detroit Red Wings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 on Thursday night in Game 4 of the second-round series to put the NHL’s best team during the regular season on the brink of elimination.

When Howard wasn’t using his glove or pads to deny Toews, Detroit’s skaters were rattling him and his teammates with a physical presence that is clearly making them uncomfortable.

“They are getting frustrated,” Howard said. “Our guys are doing a great job in front of the net.”

Chicago’s Corey Crawford did a solid job in his net, but he couldn’t kick his right leg out quick enough to stop Jakub Kindl’s shot on a power play midway through the second period and he was on the bench in favor of an extra skater when Daniel Cleary sealed the victory in the final minute

In LA the defending champion Kings shout out the Sharks to grab a 3-2 lead in that series

Jonathan Quick saved his best save for the final minute, sliding deftly across his crease and snagging Joe Pavelski’s shot from point-blank range to the grateful gasps of the Los Angeles Kings’ sellout crowd.

Quick’s imposing postseason presence only appears to be growing, and the San Jose Sharks are running out of time to figure him out.

Quick made 24 saves in his seventh career playoff shutout, and the Kings moved to the brink of their second straight trip to the Western Conference finals with a 3-0 victory in Game 5 on Thursday night.

 

Sharks bite Kings in OT trail series 2-1

San Jose is not ready to go away yet

The Los Angeles Kings are now the team bemoaning a late penalty while the San Jose Sharks celebrate a dramatic win.

With the script being flipped from Game 2 in Los Angeles, the Sharks have played their way back into this second-round series against their Southern California rivals.

Logan Couture returned from a second-period injury to score a power-play goal 1:29 into overtime that helped the Sharks bounce back from two losses in Los Angeles to beat the Kings 2-1 in Game 3 on Saturday night.

 

Sharks blast Canucks, 1 win from advancing

The Sharks are just too much for Vancouver

Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau took 9 seconds to turn a tight game into a laugher and move the San Jose Sharks to the brink of their first playoff sweep in franchise history.

Couture and Marleau scored in rapid succession in the opening minutes of the third period to spoil Cory Schneider’s return to the nets for Vancouver and the Sharks won their third straight game to open the playoffs, beating the Canucks 5-2 on Sunday night.

“When you score goals that quick, it’s tough on the bench, it’s tough on the goalie,” Couture said. “It ruins his confidence a little bit. They were big goals. Patty’s goal was huge to get the three-goal lead. And then the fifth one was big as well.”

Couture had two goals and two assists, Joe Pavelski scored twice and Antti Niemi made 28 saves as the Sharks took a 3-0 series lead. San Jose will attempt to complete the first series sweep in franchise history at home on Tuesday night.

Alex Burrows and Dan Hamhuis scored for the Canucks, who have lost nine of their past 10 playoff games since taking a 3-2 series lead over Boston in the Stanley Cup finals two years ago. Vancouver dropped the last two games of that series, was eliminated in five games in the first round a year ago by Los Angeles and has now fallen into a deep hole against the Sharks.

 

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are underway

Nothing touches the Stanley Cup Playoffs for intensity and drama, Nothing!

Blackhawks whip Wild take 2-0 series lead

Patrick Sharp provided the big finish after Michael Frolik stepped up during a strong start. Corey Crawford was right there when the defense collapsed.

No playoff jitters this time. Instead, an impressive performance for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Sharp and Frolik had two goals apiece, Crawford made 26 saves and the Blackhawks beat the Minnesota Wild5-2 on Friday night in Game 2 of their first-round series.

“If we’re moving our feet, we’re playing our team game,” Sharp said. “The goals are going to come whenever they come, but if we’re playing Blackhawks hockey, we’ll be better off.”

Patrick Kane added two assists as Chicago peppered Minnesota goalie Josh Harding after an uneven performance in Game 1 on Tuesday night. Bryan Bickelladded an empty-net score to his overtime goal in the Blackhawks’ 2-1 victory in the playoff opener.

Islanders rally, even series with Penguins

Sidney Crosby did what he always seems to do in big moments, scoring two quick goals in his return from a broken jaw.

He gave the Pittsburgh Penguins an early two-goal lead over the New York Islanders on Friday night. Then the Islanders responded, doing something they hadn’t managed in six years: win a playoff game.

Kyle Okposoprovided his teammates some inspiration with a well-timed fight in the second period, and he capped a compelling New York rally with the winning goal with 7:37 to play. The Islanders’ 4-3 win evened the playoff series at one game each.

Habs to Senators, draw even in East Quarters

After watching Lars Eller taken off the ice on a stretcher the previous night, the Montreal Canadiens, especially goaltender Carey Price, found some extra motivation against the Ottawa Senators.

Price came through with a 29-save performance as the Canadiens pulled out a hard-hitting but mostly clean 3-1 victory Friday night. The win left their best-of-seven series tied at 1-1 heading into Game 3 on Sunday in Ottawa.

“It’s the playoffs. You can’t dwell on the last game,” said Price, who took heat for two goals between his pads in a 4-2 loss to Ottawa in the series opener. “You’ve got to get refocused and get ready for the next one.”

Sharks bite Canucks, take 2-0 series lead

A minute from defeat, the San Jose Sharks dug deep.

Patrick Marleau scored in the final minute of regulation and Raffi Torres won it at 5:31 of overtime, giving the Sharks a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 2 of their playoff series Friday night.

Vancouver even missed a shot at an empty net before Marleau forced overtime.

“I think it shows a lot about our team,” said Torres. “We give up the lead, they were playing great. They were coming at us with everything. We showed a lot of determination, a lot of perseverance.”

The Sharks took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, which shifts to San Jose for games Sunday and Tuesday. San Jose was 17-2-5 at home this season

The Canucks have now lost their last five home playoff games, and their last eight overall. That streak began when Boston bested them in Games 6 and 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. the Canucks were then swept by the Kings in the first round last season

Oh Yes! Greatest Post Season in sports set to face off!

Ain’t nothin’ like the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and they are set!

Not certain about when each series starts, but the match-ups are now all set. Here they are, with my picks

Eastern Conference

#1 Pittsburgh Penguins vs #8 New York Islanders

Penguins in 5

#2 Montreal Canadiens vs #7 Ottawa Senators

Canadiens in 6

#3 Washington Capitols vs #6 New York Rangers

Caps in 7

#4 Boston Bruins vs #5 Toronto Maple Leafs

Leafs in 6

Western Conference

#1 Chicago Blackhawks vs #8 Minnesota Wild

Chicago in 6

#2 Anaheim Mighty Ducks vs #7 Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings in 6

#3 Vancouver Canucks vs #6 San Jose Sharks

Sharks in 7

#4 St. Louis Blues vs #5 LA Kings

Kings in 5