Sunday, May 06, 2018
Morning Playoff Notes (May 6)
Another back-and-forth affair in the Pittsburgh/Washington series, as Game 5 in DC was a pretty good battle to the bitter end. The Penguins go up 1-0 early, but fall back to 2-1 before the 1st intermission. The Pens retake the lead, 3-2, midway through the 2nd, but the Caps answer back at the start of the 3rd, tying the game up, 52 seconds in. Once it was tied at 3-3, then it was time to see who would bend, but not break... and it was Washington! Jakub Vrana, a non-pool forward, playing on the top line, invigorated hope again amongst the Washington faithful, scoring with less than five to go and a couple of empty-netters sealed it, a 6-3 Game 5 victory.
Braden Holtby stood tall, making 36 saves for the win, while Evgeny Kuznetsov led the way for the pool skaters, scoring a goal and adding a pair of assists for a 3-point night. Lars Eller and T.J. Oshie rounded out the notable Caps, while Phil Kessel had a couple of assists in the loss.
Game 6 is scheduled for Monday night, back in Pittsburgh, where there Penguins will try and get out from behind the 8-ball.
Mathieu Perreault returned to the Jets lineup after missing eight games to injury, while Kevin Fiala returned to the Predators' lineup after being a healthy scratch in Game 4 and would either of these two make a difference in Game 5? Oh, how curious!
After a good tug-of-war in the 1st period, which remarkably had no scoring, the 2nd period was all about the goals and Winnipeg was really getting the best of them, with Kyle Connor scoring a pair in the frame and the Jets put the hammer down, finishing the frame up 4-2. The Predators showed flashes that this would be more of a contest, but the Jets were not leaving Nashville without the series lead and a couple more goals in the 3rd, including a power play goal from Perreault, salted it all away, winning 6-2.
Connor finished with 3 points, adding an assist in the 3rd period, Blake Wheeler had 3 assists in the game and the scoring was rounded out by Mark Scheifele and Dustin Byfuglien, each with a goal and an assist. Connor Hellebuyck was busy, making 38 stops in the win, earning his 2 points.
Game 6 in Winnipeg is also set for Monday night, but the home team in this one is trying to close it out.