The New York Rangers power play finally came through on an emotional night for Martin St. Louis, while the Minnesota Wild tied their series with the Chicago Blackhawks.
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The Rangers power play comes through on emotional night
There were no double face palms on Friday for the New York Rangers' power play unit, which snapped an 0-for-36 drought by scoring not only one, but two power play goals in a 5-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5. Chris Kreider opened the scoring with a bad angle power-play goal in the first period, while Ryan McDonagh added a power-play goal later in the game to slow down some of the momentum Pittsburgh had built after getting a highlight reel goal from Evgeni Malkin. Along with guaranteeing their season at least one more game, it was an emotional night for the Rangers as they played for Martin St. Louis who unexpectedly lost his mother on Thursday. St. Louis returned to the team on Friday and played 16 minutes, recorded one shot on goal, and was named the third star of the game.
It's really hard to beat a team four times in a row
The Penguins were hoping to wrap up the series on home ice, and after controlling play in each of the past three games just seemed to really come out flat in Game 5. Marc-Andre Fleury was not particularly sharp in net, and other than Evgeni Malkin none of the players in front of him were any better. How do two teams go in completely different directions in this game? Well, it's the NHL. Everybody is good. Just because the Rangers looked horrible for a couple of games doesn't mean a playoff team with a top goalie is going to just roll over and quietly go out.
Cutting edge strategy from Dan Bylsma
What is Dan Bylsma trying to tell his team here? We have no idea, but it looks like he simply drew a couple of boobs on the white board and wanted to show everybody his work. The boob play, of course, did not work for the Penguins.
To be fair, it was a rough night for both of the goalies in the Chicago-Minnesota game, but Crawford probably had the worst game of the two goalies, giving up this brutal bank shot to Jason Pominville and then flat out whiffing on a wrist shot from Nino Niederreiter later in the period for what proved to be the game-winning goal.
Minnesota is not going away without a fight
When the Wild and Blackhawks met in the first round last year it was a pretty effortless five-game win for Chicago on its way to a second Stanley Cup title in four years. This year, however, Minnesota is ready. Thanks to their convincing 4-2 win on Friday the Wild are sending the series back to Chicago tied, 2-2, and have managed to hang with the Blackhawks in pretty much every game, and they're doing it with the fourth-and fifth-string goalies. The Wild are a deeper team this season and are getting some major contributions from youngsters Mikael Granlund and Niederreiter (his goal on Friday was the game-winner).