Best-of-seven series tied 1-1
Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle pulled out all the stops in Game 2 to give his team its first postseason victory in nine years, evening its Eastern Conference first-round series with the Boston Bruins at one game apiece. The fifth-seeded Maple Leafs will try to carry that momentum home for Game 3 when they host fourth seed Boston on Monday. Carlyle shuffled his lines on the fly during Saturday’s 4-2 triumph in order to free Phil Kessel from the smothering defense of Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. The moves paid dividends early in the third period when Kessel scored the eventual game-winner on a breakaway for his first even-strength goal in 24 contests against his old team.
Despite the success of the line-shuffling, the Maple Leafs surrendered 41 shots in Game 2. Toronto goaltender James Reimer has been sharp in his first two postseason starts, earning his first career playoff victory on Saturday and stopping 75 of 81 shots thus far. Boston goalie Tuukka Rask has allowed five goals on 29 fewer shots in his first postseason starts since 2010. The Bruins have surrendered a power-play goal in each of the first two games this series after finishing the season ranked fourth in the league in penalty killing. Boston looked much less dominant on Saturday than it did in Game 1 and will now need to contend with the Maple Leafs possessing the crucial last player change as the series shifts to Toronto.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS, NHL Network (U.S.), NESN
ABOUT THE BRUINS: The scoring line of David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton has been Boston’s brightest spot in the series now that Horton has returned from injury, combining on four of the team’s six goals. Krejci leads all players in the series with four points, while Horton has two goals and Lucic has three assists. Veteran Jaromir Jagr, acquired at the trade deadline to bolster Boston’s scoring depth, is minus-2 with no points to open the postseason following a stretch of nine points in 11 contests. Tyler Seguin fired eight shots in Game 2 and leads all players with 15 in the series, but has yet to record a point. Rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton played 13:32 in his playoff debut in place of suspended blue-liner Andrew Ference, who will be eligible to return to the lineup on Monday.
ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS: Joffrey Lupul scored the team’s first two goals in Game 2 for his first playoff tallies since 2009 when he was a member of the Philadelphia Flyers. James van Riemsdyk, also a former Flyer, scored in each of his first two postseason games for Toronto and has 10 goals in his last 20 playoff contests. Along with Mike Kostka, who broke his finger in Game 1, Carlyle scratched Frazer McLaren, Clarke MacArthur and John-Michael Liles on Saturday, dressing Ryan Hamilton, Matt Frattin, Jake Gardiner and Ryan O’Byrne in their place. Hamilton, Frattin and Gardiner each contributed an assist, while O’Byrne finished plus-1 with four hits and two blocked shots in 14:49 time on ice. Tyler Bozak led all Toronto skaters in ice-time in Game 2 with 24:22.
* Maple Leafs are 1-4 in their last five games following a win.
* Bruins are 1-4 in last five road games.
* Over is 4-1-1 in last six meetings in Toronto.
* Bruins are 4-1 in last five meetings in Toronto.
* Home team is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
1. Boston is 3-6-2 in its last 11 contests overall, dating back to April 11.
2. The last NHL playoff game in Toronto occurred on May 4, 2004, when the Maple Leafs lost 3-2 in overtime to the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference second-round series.
3. The league chose not to review a hit by Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf on Daniel Paille in the third period of Game 2 despite claims by the Bruins that Phaneuf made contact with Paille’s head.
Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers (-141, 5)
Washington leads series 2-0
If the sixth-seeded New York Rangers hope to get back in their Eastern Conference first-round series against the Southeast Division champion Washington Capitals, they're going to have to generate some offense when they host Game 3 on Monday. New York, which finished in the middle of the pack in goals scored during the regular season despite recording 51 over 14 games in April, has totaled just one over its first two playoff contests and finds itself in a 2-0 hole. And that tally, which was scored by Carl Hagelin to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the series opener, went in off Washington defenseman John Erskine's skate.
Third-seeded Washington hasn't been lighting it up offensively either, but its flurry of three goals in a span of 8 minutes, 8 seconds in the second period of Game 1 was enough to produce a 3-1 victory. Like their opponent, the Capitals were unable to break through in regulation on Saturday afternoon, but defenseman Mike Green cashed in on a power-play opportunity eight minutes into overtime to help his team maintain home-ice advantage. Washington should not feel comfortable, however, as it has lost four of the last six series in which it has held a 2-0 lead.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2, RDS2, CSN (Washington), MSG (New York)
ABOUT THE CAPITALS: Coach Adam Oates had all players report to the rink Sunday but made the practice optional. "I just brought them all in just to come to the arena and make sure we just get hockey on your mind," Oates told the Washington Post. "It's a stressful environment, you win in overtime, you're excited, but still it's very stressful. So let the guys just breathe a little bit." Washington's special teams have been impressive through two games. The club is 2-for-7 on the power play and has successfully killed all seven of its penalties.
ABOUT THE RANGERS: After Brian Boyle and Derek Dorsett returned from injuries to play in Game 2, Ryane Clowe could follow suit on Monday. Clowe, who recorded three goals and eight points in 12 games after being acquired from San Jose, has not played since April 25 due to an undisclosed injury that is suspected to be a concussion. He hopes to be in the lineup for Game 3 but won't return prematurely. "You've gotta make sure you're fit to play and you can at least help the team," Clowe said. "I don't want to go in there and come out again, so I want to make sure I'm ready."
* Capitals are 10-2 in the last 12 games following a win.
* Capitals are 8-2 in their last 10 road games.
* Rangers are 6-0 in their last six home games.
* Under is 4-0 in Capitals' last four games.
1. The Rangers are 1-20 in series in which they've lost the first two games.
2. G Braden Holtby's shutout Saturday was just the second by a 1-0 score in the Capitals' playoff history. Olaf Kolzig blanked Pittsburgh 1-0 on April 12, 2001.
3. New York did not register a shot on goal over the final 17:43 of Game 2, including eight minutes of overtime.
Anaheim leads series 2-1
If the seventh-seeded Detroit Red Wings can find a way to contain the Pacific Division-champion Anaheim Ducks in the third period on Monday, they just might be able to win Game 4 at home and even their Western Conference first-round series at two games apiece. Detroit has been steamrolled in the final 20 minutes of regulation over the first three contests, allowing eight goals and scoring only one despite outshooting second-seeded Anaheim 29-28. If not for Gustav Nyquist's heroics in overtime of Game 2, the Red Wings would be facing elimination thanks to the Ducks' third-period outbursts.
The series opener was tied 1-1 heading into the third, when Anaheim scored twice to post a 3-1 victory. Detroit was ahead 4-1 in Game 2 before the Ducks began a run of three unanswered goals at 7:50 of the third to forge a tie before falling in overtime. Anaheim erupted for three tallies again in the final session of Game 3 to expand a 1-0 advantage and take a 2-1 lead in the series.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN, RDS, KDOC (Anaheim), FSN (Detroit)
ABOUT THE DUCKS: Defenseman Toni Lydman is questionable for Game 4 after sustaining a hit to the head from Detroit's Justin Abdelkader late in the second period on Saturday. Lydman did not return to the contest and was unable to practice Sunday, leaving his status for Monday up in the air. "Toni has headaches. He's got a stiff neck and bright lights are bugging him, so I don't know when that's not going to be there," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "So if we're going minute by minute and day by day, (Monday) is very questionable for him." Defenseman Sheldon Souray is likely to return to the lineup should Lydman sit out. Souray was a healthy scratch on Saturday after committing the penalty that led to Detroit's winning goal in overtime in Game 2.
ABOUT THE RED WINGS: Abdelkader may have played his last game of the season. The left wing received a two-game suspension for his illegal hit to the head of Lydman in Game 3, meaning unless the Red Wings earn at least one victory while he's gone, Abdelkader will have to wait until 2013-14 to return to action. Coach Mike Babcock disagreed with the suspension, feeling Abdelkader did nothing to warrant it. "I watched the hit again (Sunday) and, holy mackerel, I don't know what you're going to be suspended for," Babcock said. "You turn the video on and pretend there was contact to the head, maybe you can find something."
* Ducks are 4-0 in their last four road games.
* Red Wings are 5-1 in their last six games on one day rest.
* Under is 20-8-4 in Red Wings' last 32 games.
* Under is 12-5 in last 17 meetings.
1. Babcock likely will insert either RW Todd Bertuzzi or RW Jordin Tootoo into the lineup for Abdelkader.
2. Power plays have loomed large in the series as Anaheim (five) and Detroit (four) have combined for nine goals with the man advantage. Only Pittsburgh (six) has scored more power-play tallies this postseason.
3. RW Emerson Etem became the third member of the Ducks to score his first career playoff goal in this series, joining Cs Nick Bonino and Kyle Palmieri.
St. Louis leads series 2-1
There were no hiccups in Jonathan Quick's performance on Saturday as he backstopped the fifth-seeded Los Angeles Kings to their first victory this postseason. The 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner would love to receive more than one goal of support in Game 4 on Monday as host Los Angeles attempts to even its Western Conference first-round series against the fourth-seeded St. Louis Blues. The Kings dropped a pair of 2-1 decisions - including one in overtime - in St. Louis before once again scoring just one goal at Staples Center in Game 3, but Quick turned aside all 30 shots he faced for his fifth career postseason shutout.
Quick also was superb in the first two games of the series but had lapses late in each contest that resulted in game-winning goals by St. Louis. Alex Steen forced Quick to cough up the puck behind his net in overtime of the series opener and pounced on it to score a short-handed goal. With Game 2 tied at 1-1, Quick allowed a long-range goal by Blues defenseman Barret Jackman with 51 seconds remaining and St. Louis held on to take a 2-0 series lead.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), FSN West (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE BLUES: Rookie Vladimir Tarasenko could make his NHL postseason debut Monday after being a healthy scratch for each of the first three games of the series. The right wing went the entire month of April (15 games) without scoring a goal and tallied in just one of his last 25 contests - a two-goal performance against Los Angeles on March 28. "I think he looks hungry and ready to play, and I'm sure he's going to play well when he gets in," coach Ken Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "But you're not really sure if you want to screw around with the lineup right now when we're playing so well." Right wing Ryan Reaves recorded three hits in Game 3, giving him 15 over the first three contests of the series.
ABOUT THE KINGS: Coach Darryl Sutter elected to dress seven defensemen in Game 3, and the decision paid off as new addition Alec Martinez recorded an assist on the only goal of the contest. Martinez received 12:45 of ice time in his first appearance since April 2. "I felt a little rusty, but it's playoff hockey and every guy wants to play in theses games," he told the Los Angeles Times. "If you're having a hard time getting up for a playoff game, then you've got bigger problems." Martinez, who is of Spanish decent, lightened the mood at practice Sunday by wearing a sombrero along with a red sock, a white sock and a green jersey in honor of the Mexican Cinco de Mayo holiday.
* Blues are 5-1 in their last six.
* Home team is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Blues are 0-6 in last six meetings in Los Angeles.
* Under is 7-1-3 in Kings' last 11 games.
* Under is 19-4-3 in Blues' last 26 overall.
1. Los Angeles has been outshot 20-8 in the third period over the last two games.
2. St. Louis G Brian Elliott has allowed just one goal in each of his last six starts and nine of his last 10.
3. Including the regular season, the Kings have won eight straight home contests and have not allowed a first-period goal during the streak.