May 10, 2014

Dobber Sports

2014-05-10

The Rangers avoided elimination with a big 5-1 win over the Penguins on Friday night.

 

Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello sparked the victory with three points each. They are going to have to pick up the slack as long as Derek Stepan and Rick Nash continue to struggle. Nash picked up an assist on Friday, but he still has yet to score in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Derek Stepan is now on a seven-game pointless drought.

 

The Rangers goal scoring woes earlier in the series may have been different with a healthy Chris Kreider. In his second game back on Friday he had a goal and an assist in just 11-plus minutes of action. Better yet, his goal came on the power play and New York scored a pair on the man advantage, which had been an issue all series.

 

Ryan McDonagh scored a goal and added an assist to give him three points in his last two. He hasn't looked entirely healthy all playoffs, but the Rangers will need more efforts like this from him if they plan on getting back in the series.

 

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Kris Letang picked up an assist to give him five points in the series. He looks like he's finally starting to get his legs back and I expect him to return to form next season. It would be especially helpful for Letang owners if Matt Niskanen leaves in free agency.

 

James Neal hasn't scored since Game 1 and I wonder if sometimes his desire to throw his weight around doesn't take his focus away from the offensive side of things. He is so skilled, but it seems like sometimes he gets wrapped up in throwing a big hit instead of putting the puck in the net.

 

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The Wild evened up their series at 2-2 with the Blackhawks. I'll admit, I thought Minnesota was done when Chicago jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but the Wild's resiliency this whole postseason has been impressive.

 

Ryan Suter had two assists and played more than 31 minutes. I can't believe he isn't starting to wear down with all the ice-time he has received this season.

 

Ilya Bryzgalov only faced 20 shots, but a couple of his saves were huge.

 

 

 

Jared Spurgeon had a two-point night, and a very quietly put up an impressive fantasy campaign this year. He totalled 26 points in just 67 games, while going plus-15. He was the benefactor of playing with Suter for much of the campaign, so give him some consideration in your drafts next season. He gets decent power play time, too.

 

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Patrick Kane is now pointless in three games and he's been a minus-3 over that stretch. He's also tallied just three shots in the last two contests. Not a shock Chicago has lost two in a row.

 

Nick Leddy returned from being a healthy scratch in Game 3 and went minus-1 without a point on Friday. That doesn't bode well for him staying in the lineup, especially with just two points in the playoffs.

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It's been fun watching Teemu Selanne over the years and it looks like the Anaheim Ducks forward wants to go out with a bang. He's got two goals in the series versus the Los Angeles Kings and perhaps the rest he was given on back-to-back nights throughout the regular season is starting pay off. He'll need to keep up the pace if Anaheim hopes to rally against Los Angeles.

 

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With Frederik Andersen day-to-day with a lower-body injury, it looks like the Ducks will be calling up John Gibson. It's a tough blow for Norfolk who are in the American Hockey League playoffs right now and relying on Gibson.

 

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I was somewhat surprised by the Leafs extending Randy Carlyle's contract w