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Saturday Stanley Cup Daily: Hold Your Breath

Two major injuries, two overtime games, and a few wild swings of momentum made Friday’s games memorable.

Boston Bruins v Ottawa Senators - Game Five Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images

Canes Country’s morning snap shots recapping last night’s action in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.


Toronto Maple Leafs v Washington Capitals - Game Five Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Washington Capitals 2, Toronto Maple Leafs 1 (OT) (WAS leads 3-2)

The players apparently weren't happy with ending Game 4 in regulation and decided to take another game, the fourth in this series, into overtime on Friday night. Game 5 started slower than previous games with the first goal coming from T.J. Oshie on the power play with just under two minutes remaining in the first period.

But that buries the lead a bit, because the reason the Caps were on a power play in the first place was a low hip check from Nazem Kadri on Alex Ovechkin, penalized as a trip but could have been a major for clipping. Judge for yourself:

In real time it is almost impossible to see the point of contact, but a clip is defined as contact initiated below the knee. The hit was low but looked to possibly contact Ovechkin’s thigh. While he was unable to put any weight on his leg on leaving the ice, Ovechkin did return in the second period. Meanwhile, Kadri was harassed by the Caps for the rest of the night, and this is where we should point out that Tom Wilson was benched in the third period after taking four minor penalties to the surprise of absolutely no one.

The Leafs were able to even the score six minutes into the second period on an Auston Matthews rebound putback. The rest of the game was back and forth with both teams failing to convert on multiple power play chances. With a knotted up score after three the game headed to overtime. Just over a minute in Justin Williams buried a shot from the slot to win the game. Williams now has playoff game winners for four separate teams: the Flyers, Hurricanes, Kings, and Caps.

The series continues on Sunday night at 7:00 pm in Toronto with the Caps having a chance to close out the pesky Leafs and give their fans a chance to exhale. -Zeke Lukow


NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Boston Bruins at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Bruins 3, Ottawa Senators 2 (2OT) (OTT leads 3-2)

Every year in the playoffs, names come out of nowhere to be difference-makers. This year, say hello to Sean Kuraly.

The Ohio native, a product of the Ohio Junior Blue Jackets program and Miami University, scored the first two goals of his playoff career (that comprises all of three games) as the Bruins outlasted the Senators 4-3 in double overtime at Canadian Tire Centre. Kuraly’s two goals were the difference in keeping the Bruins alive after a wild game that featured injuries, disallowed goals, penalty shots that should have been given but weren’t, and much more.

The Bruins will likely need to win two more games in this series without their top-line center. David Krejci left the game in the first period after a knee-on-knee hit from Ottawa’s Chris Wideman, and while he is officially day-to-day he was already playing injured and seems highly unlikely to return tomorrow for Game 6 in Boston.

Mark Stone and Jean-Gabriel Pageau put the Senators up early, but then goals from David Pastrnak and Kuraly tied the game after 40 minutes, where it stayed for another 50 after that.

But that undersells the adventure that was the first overtime, in which the Bruins had what appeared to be the winining goal from Noel Acciari disallowed on account of Kuraly (who else) interfering with Craig Anderson...

...and then had a loud shout for a penalty shot when Pageau apparently covered the puck in the crease, but no luck.

The game-winner came on a broken play, a point shot from Charlie McAvoy that deflected first off the stick of David Backes and then off Erik Karlsson’s skate right to Kuraly, who had a gaping net ten feet away that he hit before Anderson could get into position off the deflections.

After playing over 100 minutes of hockey, the teams have a quick turnaround. Game 6 in this series is the afternoon matinee tomorrow at TD Garden in Boston. -Brian LeBlanc