Bruins push Rangers to brink of elimination, Sharks tie their series with the Kings, updates on the Blackhawks-Red Wings and Penguins-Senators, and the latest on the Avalanche.
BOSTON GLOBE/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Unanswered goals by Johnny Boychuk and Daniel Paille lifted the Boston Bruins to a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers, giving the Bruins a commanding 3-0 series lead and pushing the Rangers to the brink of elimination. Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist had another solid performance, but was let down again by his popgun offense.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Rangers are eliminated, their lack of offense will be the story of this series. Rick Nash has been almost invisible in this year’s playoffs, while Brad Richards’ play has declined so rapidly I can’t help but wonder if he’s nursing an undisclosed injury. Some changes could be coming to the Blueshirts this summer.
MERCURYNEWS.COM/LOS ANGELES TIMES: Joe Thornton and his linemates were solid at both ends of the ice, leading the San Jose Sharks to a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings, tying their best-of-seven series at two games apiece. The Kings had a goal negated by a quick whistle, which if it had counted could’ve changed the course of this game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a tough break for the Kings, but one they’ll have to put behind them. This has now become a best-of-three series, with all the wins coming on each team’s home arena.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Put simply, the Red Wings have thrown the Blackhawks off their game with an aggressive physical style and tight puck-possession game. If the ‘Hawks don’t figure out a way to overcome this problem, we could be witnessing the biggest upset of this year’s playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jokinen’s return should provide the Penguins a significant boost in the faceoff circle and on their power-play unit.
DENVER POST: Patrick Roy’s brother is no longer saying Roy will become the next coach of the Colorado Avalanche, but the Hall of Famer remains a strong candidate for the job. Meanwhile, the Avalanche’s chief scout Rick Pracey suggests it isn’t a slam dunk his club will select defenseman Seth Jones with the first overall pick in this year’s entry draft.