***** National Hockey League Previews from The Sports Network *****
Thursday, May 23rd
(All times Eastern)
(4) BOSTON BRUINS (3-0) AT (6) NEW YORK RANGERS (0-3), 7 P.M.
(Sports Network) - The Boston Bruins will try to become the first team this
postseason to reach the conference final stage, as they attempt to complete a
sweep of the New York Rangers in Thursday's Game 4 at Madison Square Garden.
The fourth-seeded Bruins have jumped out to a commanding 3-0 lead in the
Eastern Conference semifinals and are one win from returning to the third
round. Boston won the Stanley Cup in 2011 before losing in the first round to
Washington last spring.
The Rangers, meanwhile, need to pull off an improbable comeback in this best-
of-seven series to make it back to the East finals for a second straight
season. New York lost in six games to the New Jersey Devils in last spring's
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. The Flyers' comeback three years ago was
against the Bruins.
After recording a pair of wins in Boston to begin the series, the Bruins
notched a 2-1 decision Tuesday night in New York City. Daniel Paille's goal
with 3:31 left in the game led the Bruins to a 2-1 win over the Rangers, who
fell to 3-1 on home ice in this postseason.
Boston improved to 3-1 as the guest and can close out this series with another
road win tonight.
"It's definitely a good feeling but it's not over," said Paille. "They didn't
want to go down tonight and we really had to work hard for it. We're really
going to have to work hard to try and win this series."
Johnny Boychuk tied the contest early in the third period while Tuukka Rask
turned away 23 shots for Boston, which got a pair of assists from Shawn
Taylor Pyatt had the lone goal in the loss while Henrik Lundqvist made 32
stops for the Rangers.
"This was a tough night, but all we can do is put this behind us and come out
with our all in the next game," said Lundqvist. "But this one really stinks
because we played a solid game tonight."
New York failed to score on both of its chances with the man advantage on
Tuesday and is 0-for-10 on the power play in this series. The Rangers are 2-
for-38 on the power play this postseason.
The Rangers haven't been swept in a playoff series since going down in four
games to the Devils in the opening round of the 2006 postseason.
Boston's last sweep came in the 2011 conference semifinals against the Flyers.
The Bruins have played the first three games of this series without defensemen
Andrew Ference, Wade Redden and Dennis Seidenberg, all of whom are battling
injuries. Seidenberg and Redden made the trip to New York and are both
questionable for Thursday's contest.
If necessary, Game 5 of this series is scheduled for Saturday in Boston.
(1) CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (1-2) AT (7) DETROIT RED WINGS (2-1), 8 P.M.
(Sports Network) - The surprising Detroit Red Wings will try to extend their
lead in the Western Conference semifinals when they host the top-seeded
Chicago Blackhawks in Thursday's Game 4 at Joe Louis Arena.
The seventh-seeded Red Wings lost Game 1 of this series by a 4-1 score before
taking the next two meetings by a combined margin of 7-2. Jimmy Howard was
stellar in Monday's Game 3 triumph, stopping 39 shots to help Detroit record a
3-1 win in the Motor City.
Chicago hopes to even this best-of-seven series on Thursday, but the
Presidents' Trophy winners are just 2-3 as the road team in the playoffs.
Detroit, meanwhile, is 3-1 at Joe Louis Arena during this postseason.
Pavel Datsyuk, Gustav Nyquist and Drew Miller all scored goals for the Red
Wings on Monday. Howard made 15 saves during a scoreless first period and also
turned aside 16-of-17 shots in the third.
"Our hard work has been paying off," said Howard. "Guys have been taking the
body and blocking shots. We're playing with a lot of heart right now and we
have to keep it going."
Patrick Kane had the lone goal while Corey Crawford gave up all three goals on
30 shots for the Blackhawks
"They're playing really well right now and have a lot of things going their
way," said Kane. "We just have to re-group because I thought we played very
well tonight. It's going to be a good series."
The Blackhawks went 0-for-4 on the power play and are just 1-for-9 on the man
advantage in this series. However, Chicago still hasn't allowed a power-play
goal in this postseason, killing off all 29 of the opposition's chances with
the man advantage.
Chicago thought it had tied the game at 2-2 early in the third period only to
see the goal waved off due to a controversial goaltender interference call.
Just over a minute after Chicago cut the deficit to 2-1 on Kane's goal, they
had another score disallowed. Viktor Stalberg fired a shot on net from the
right side that went in, but Andrew Shaw was ruled to have interfered with
Howard. Several replays, however, failed to show Shaw making contact with the
"Disagree," said Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville when asked what he thought
of the call.
Shortly after the controversial call Detroit got its two-goal lead back at
6:46 as Datsyuk roofed a wrister over Crawford.
On the injury front, Detroit forward Mikael Samuelsson sat out Game 3 after
suffering an undisclosed injury in practice on Tuesday. He is questionable for
These Central Division and Original Six foes also have met 15 times in the
playoffs and Chicago has taken eight of those series. However, Detroit has
claimed the last two postseason encounters, including a five-game series win
when the franchise's last met in the playoffs in the 2009 Western Conference
(6) SAN JOSE SHARKS (2-2) AT (5) LOS ANGELES KINGS (2-2), 10:30 P.M.
(Sports Network) - The San Jose Sharks will aim for a third straight victory,
as they visit the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday for Game 5 of the deadlocked
Western Conference semifinals.
San Jose lost the first two games of this best-of-seven series in Los Angeles,
but recorded a pair of 2-1 wins on home ice to even the set at 2-2.
The sixth-seeded Sharks won Game 3 in overtime before taking Tuesday's
encounter at HP Pavilion in regulation. Antti Niemi made 22 saves to help San
Jose tie the series and improve its home record in this postseason to 4-0.
San Jose is 2-2 as the road team this spring after going 8-14-2 as the
visiting club in 2013. The Sharks won both games in Vancouver en route to
their sweep of the Canucks in the opening round.
The Sharks received goals from Brent Burns and Logan Couture on Tuesday.
Couture's tally was his fifth of the playoffs and all of his goals have come
on the power play.
"I thought we really established our forecheck well and that helped us get our
first goal," said San Jose head coach Todd McLellan. "That's the type of game
we have to play because we have big bodies and some speed that we need to use
to our advantage."
Mike Richards had the only goal of the game for the Kings, who received 21
saves from Jonathan Quick in the setback.
"I think we battled back and made it close, but you don't get much for making
it close," said Los Angeles head coach Darryl Sutter. "I think our role
players kept us in the game and they have in the past three games."
The Kings were 1-for-3 on the power play, while San Jose went 1-for-4.
Los Angeles fell to 1-4 as the away team in the playoffs after posting a
8-12-4 road record during the regular season.
However, the Kings were 19-4-1 as the home team in 2013 and are a perfect 5-0
at the Staples Center in the postseason. In fact, L.A. hasn't lost a home game
since dropping a 1-0 decision to Vancouver on March 23.
The Sharks will host Game 6 of this series on Sunday.
This marks just the second postseason meeting between these two Pacific
Division rivals. The Sharks got the best of the Kings in six games during the
2011 conference quarterfinals.
05/23 10:52:39 ET