New York Rangers at Ottawa Senators (100, 5)
Craig Anderson and the Senators have pushed the top-seeded Rangers to the brink of elimination. After registering a franchise-best 41-save shutout Saturday, Anderson will look to provide the final shove during Monday's Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series in Canada's capital city. Captain Daniel Alfredsson, who has missed the team's last three contests with a mild concussion, says he's "hopeful" to play.
After mustering only nine shots in the first four
contests, Jason Spezza registered six during Game 5. The increase in
shots also resulted in a pair of goals for Spezza -- his first of the
series. Spezza's first goal was set up by Mark Stone, who was making his
NHL debut. The 19-year-old threaded the needle on a brilliant pass to
Spezza, who beat Henrik Lundqvist from the right faceoff circle. "It
was pretty nice to get that assist, my first game in the NHL," Stone
said. "It really means a lot to me."
New York's offensive woes have been pronounced in this series. Marian
Gaborik, who led the Rangers with 41 goals in the regular season, hasn't
scored since Game 1. In addition, Brandon Dubinsky and Derek Stepan
have been held off the scoresheet throughout the series.
With three goals in the first three contests, Brian Boyle has been an unexpected offensive contributor for New York. Boyle's availability for Monday's game is in question after he sustained a concussion on a play which coach John Tortorella later equated to the one that got Raffi Torres suspended for 25 games. "Well, they have a blueprint," Tortorella said. "It was probably the exact same hit as Torres, different part of the ice. (Chris Neil) launches himself, (it's) a head shot, the puck's at the goal line when he's hit. So the blueprint's there. ... Not too much research to be done there."
Rangers rookie Carl Hagelin, who has served his three-game suspension for his elbow to the head of Alfredsson, is eligible to return Monday. He'll likely replace Boston College star Chris Kreider -- or Boyle, if he is unable to play.Pick:
SenatorsPhoenix Coyotes at Chicago Blackhawks (-145, 5)
The Blackhawks hope to keep a pair of dubious streaks in play when they host the Coyotes on Monday in Game 6 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series. The Blackhawks staved off elimination and sent the series back to Chicago with a 2-1 overtime victory in Phoenix on Saturday. Jonathan Toews' goal prevented the Coyotes from ending a string of 13 straight postseason series losses and kept alive Chicago's hopes of ending an 0-for-10 skid when trailing a series 3-1.
Prior to Game 5, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville
implored his star players to step up their play, and his biggest star
responded when team captain Toews delivered the game-winner with a
perfect shot. Toews, who missed the final 22 games of the regular season
with a concussion, scored his second goal of the series after recording
only one assist in the previous three games. Viktor Stalberg had an
assist on the winning tally, a major relief after he committed four
minor penalties in the contest.
The Coyotes were unable to protect a third-period lead for the fourth time in the series. Phoenix was outshot by a 2-to-1 margin and failed to capitalize on four power-play opportunities. Gilbert Brule scored the only goal for the Coyotes, who have given up the tying goal three times in the final 86 seconds of regulation to keep the Blackhawks breathing. Goaltender Mike Smith turned aside 36 shots and also had an assist on Brule’s goal. He hasn’t lost in regulation since March 15 against Calgary, a span of 14 games.
Phoenix was 33-1-0 when leading after two periods in the regular season, but has seen Chicago score the tying goal with 14.2 seconds, 5.6 seconds, 1:26 and 10:45 in the third period.Pick: