No. 1 Star: James Neal, Pittsburgh Penguins
It was epic Neal time in Pittsburgh as the winger scored thrice in the Penguins' 6-2 rout of the Senators, leading his club into the third round of the 2013 postseason. Enjoy this clip of all three goals, unless you're a Senators fan, in which case, maybe just skip ahead:
No. 2 Star: Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins
Letang was all over the ice, setting up the Penguins' second goal from behind the net, scoring the eventual game-winner, and adding another assist on Neal's hat trick goal. With three points on the night, Letang finished the series with 10 points. He's a defenceman.
No. 3 Star: Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Malkin was his usual, ho-hum, game-breaking self, with a quiet two points in the win.
Honourable mention: In the end, it didn't mean much, but Jason Spezza's pass to Milan Michalek for this goal was pretty nifty:
... Sidney Crosby won 21 of 31 faceoffs in this game... and finally, here's your handshake line:
Conn Smythe Watch: 1. David Krejci, Boston Bruins; 2. Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins; 3. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings; 4. Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks; 5. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; 6. Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins; 7. Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings; 8. Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins; 9. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks; 10. Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings.
Dishonourable mention: After allowing six goals in an elimination loss, the entire Senators roster goes here.
Here are your Puck Headlines: a glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.
• Detroit Lions' defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh discovers the difference between the NHL and the NFL in his fair city., At football games, people throw flags. At hockey games, they throw cephalopods.
• Don Cherry stands up for maligned realist Daniel Alfredsson. [Ottawa Sun]
• Cam Charron on why it would be unwise to write off the Chicago Blackhawks just yet. I haven't read it or anything, but I'll just assume it says, "because they're really good and stuff." [Backhand Shelf]
• Jonathan Toews after Game 4. "Eventually, something's got to give. We're too good a team. We've got too much talent. For as hard as we're working, something's got to go our way." [MLive]
• An interactive visualization of the NHL drafts of yore. This is very, very cool stuff from Sarah Connors. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]
• The last time the Penguins had a chance to close out an opponent in a Game 5 at home, in 2011, they lost big, both in the game and, eventually, the series. What can they learn from that fiasco, besides "don't let this happen again"? [Post-Gazette]
• Logan Couture, on whether he's talked to good buddy Drew Doughty. "“No nothing, nothing. I’ve just talked to our friends. We have a group of mutual friends, about five to six guys, so I’ve texted them. But, I haven’t talked to Drew at all. It’s probably going to hold that way for another week.” [Mayor's Manor]
• The San Jose Sharks would prefer that their series with the Los Angeles Kings goes seven games. One suspects they didn't prefer that when the series began, but here we are. [Mercury News]
• So the Bruins lost one game. Big deal. Don't panic. It's not like they're going to lose the next three. When has that ever happened before? [CSNNE]
• "Eighteen Russians, in Amish country, with a high-octane American trainer." Cool story on Lokomotiv Yaroslavl working out in Pennsylvania. [ESPN]
• John Scott could help the Buffalo Sabres' powerplay. You know, because he's big. [Rant Sports]
• Can Patrick Roy, one of the game's greatest goalies, handle Semyon Varlamov being, uh, not quite that good? [Denver Post]
• The Pittsburgh Penguins might get Brenden Morrow back for Game 5. [NHL]
• Who are the Edmonton Oilers' best scouts? [NHL Numbers]
• The Coyotes are nearing an extension for GM Don Maloney. [FS Arizona]
• Looking at how attendance has rebounded in Tampa Bay since the arrival of Jeff Vinik. [Raw Charge]
• How a fan and is friends turned an Ottawa Senators' third-period goal into free Big Macs for the homeless. [HuffPo]
• Hey, remember Marc-Andre Fleury? When will he play again? [The Hockey Writers]
• A high school in Nova Scotia has created an all-hockey curriculum, because Canada. [CBC]
• Henrik Lundqvist is beloved in New York. What other goaltender gets chants of supports from the home crowd after giving up this goal?
A look at the numbers behind the Sharks' 3-0 loss to Los Angeles in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals.
An impressive performance by the defending champions puts the Sharks on the brink of elimination heading into Sunday's Game 6 in San Jose.
It's a brand-new series, in the sense that it's actually the same series but with fewer games remaining. At any rate, San Jose looks to take a crucial Game 5 tonight in L.A. to put themselves on the verge of victory.
A look at the numbers behind the Sharks' 2-1 win over Los Angeles in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals.
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