The Bruins eliminated the NY Rangers, the Blackhawks stave off elimination against the Red Wings, updates on the Sharks-Kings series and more.
BOSTON GLOBE/NEW YORK POST: The Boston Bruins downed the New York Rangers 3-1 to take their best-of-seven conference semifinal in five games. While the Bruins prepare for their Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Rangers deal with the aftermath of a frustrating end to a disappointing season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins checked the Rangers offense to a standstill and gradually wore down their defense. There’s some concern Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist might not re-sign after next season, when he’ll become an unrestricted free agent, but Lundqvist loves playing and living in New York, so I doubt he’ll depart as long as he feels the Rangers are building toward Cup contention. The Blueshirts have a core of good talent, but they could do with a physical power forward and perhaps a new head coach, as I get the impression the players are growing weary of John Tortorella’s hard-ass tactics.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Bruins advancing to the Conference Final means their first round pick in this year’s entry draft now belongs to the Dallas Stars as part of the return from the Jaromir Jagr trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars have two picks in the first round, two in the second and two in the fifth round. Don’t be surprised if new GM Jim Nill uses one of those extra picks as trade bait.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE/DETROIT FREE PRESS: Jonathan Toews scored his first goal of the playoffs as the Chicago Blackhawks staved off elimination with a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings, who faulted indiscipline and poor penalty-killing for their inability to close out the series in Game Five.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was also a convincing win for the Blackhawks, serving notice to the Red Wings they won’t go down without a fight. It’s possible this game may be a turning point in the series.
LOS ANGELES TIMES/CSNBAYAREA.COM: LA Kings sniper Jeff Carter has also played well as a penalty killer in this year’s playoffs, while the San Jose Sharks hope to improve their power-play to avoid elimination in Game Six tonight.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The home team has won every game in this series, a trend the Sharks hope continues tonight in San Jose.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Late-season acquisitions Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow, Jussi Jokinen and Douglas Murray have played key roles in the Pittsburgh Penguins march to the Eastern Conference Final.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins forward Milan Lucic paid the Penguins the ultimately compliment by comparing them to the NBA’s star-studded Miami Heat. The Bruins won’t be over-awed by the Penguins, but they will face a stiff challenge to shut down their vaunted offense.
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater fully expects the Colorado Avalanche will draft Seth Jones with the first overall pick in this year’s draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As do I. If they don’t take Jones, they’d better make a move to add a physical puck-moving defenseman. They’ve got enough scoring forwards, they need someone – like Jones – who can blossom into a top blueliner.