It was a coming out party for John Gibson in Anaheim and former Stars in Boston.
5 things to know
For all the deck shuffling Bruce Boudreau has done in net this season, the Ducks always knew they had an ace in the hole just waiting to be unleashed in John Gibson. The NHL's best goaltending prospect (sorry, Jack Campbell fans in Dallas) waited for his chance to shine all season and finally made a huge impact in Game 4. With his team on the brink of a 3-2 series deficit, Gibson notched a 28-save shutout on L.A. ice to send the series back to Anaheim all tied up. The 20-year-old was poised and looked like he belonged. The Ducks might finally have an answer for Jonathan Quick.
Speaking of Quick, Kings coach Darryl Sutter made a gutsy call by benching the former Conn Smythe winner after he gave up two goals in the first period. Sutter was clearly sending a message to his team that he wasn't afraid to take names if they didn't get their act together, regardless of pedigree. Los Angeles responded with fury, unleashing a focused attack on John Gibson while holding the Ducks to only three shots in the final two periods. It wasn't enough, but Sutter's move has galvanized his team heading into Game 5.
Montreal's offense dried up at the worst time
Look, if you don't convert on multiple early power play chances in the playoffs then you're going to have a hard time beating the NHL's best team at home. When the Habs failed to take advantage, Boston bounced right back, took a two goal lead and never looked back. It wasn't just the power play that failed Montreal, though. If the Canadiens can't score early and are forced to chase Boston in Game 6 then they'll be sent packing.
P.K. Subban refuses to get rattled
Boston's attempts to draw Subban offsides on Saturday were admirable, although Shawn Thornton probably crossed a line by spraying him with his water bottle as he skated by. But, through it all Subban has displayed a kind of maturity that should quiet his critics, even downplaying the incident after the game in order to focus on how his team will prepare for Game 6. Instead of giving into the goading from the Bruins, Subban has let his outstanding play do the talking. It's a treat watching a young, talented player like him grow and mature the way he has this postseason. Whether it will save the Canadiens in this series is another matter entirely.
The Tyler Seguin trade continues to pay dividends for Boston
It's easy to watch Tyler Seguin tear up the league in Dallas and lampoon Boston for giving away such a great talent. But the pieces the Bruins received in exchange are playing critical roles in the 2014 playoffs. Reilly Smith continues to be an impact scorer for the Bruins, as he has been all season long. Loui Eriksson scored again on Saturday, another sign he's rounding into top form after a rough first season in Boston. And Matt "Froyo" Fraser is fitting in nicely after getting called up a week ago, scoring the game winner in Game 4. It's remarkable how well the trade continues to work out for both the Bruins and Stars.