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Stanley Cup Daily 4/22: Not Repeating History

The Leafs, facing elimination, were up 4-1 over the Bruins. But it didn’t happen again, despite both teams’ best efforts.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Each day during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Canes Country recaps the night before, previews the games for that night, and gives you game times and broadcast information.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs 4, Boston Bruins 3 (BOS leads 3-2)

They didn’t make it easy on themselves, but the Toronto Maple Leafs will live to see a Game 6 on home ice thanks to a 4-3 road win over the Boston Bruins, whose series lead is now cut to 3-2.

Less than seven minutes in, a great individual effort from Auston Matthews led to a net-front pass to Connor Brown, who netted his first goal of the postseason. Just four minutes later, rookie Andreas Johnsson netted his first NHL playoff goal to make it 2-0. Thirty-two minutes into the game, the Leafs had a 4-1 lead. Their three-goal lead went down to two by the end of the second period, and a late third-period goal from Boston’s Noel Acciari likely brought back many bad memories for the Toronto faithful, but the Leafs were able to tread water and stay alive in the series.

Game 6 is slated for Monday night. Boston will have another chance to clinch the series, but if they can’t, Toronto will have a real chance to flip the 2013 script. They’ll have to find a way to win consecutive games for the first time in this series in order for that to happen, though. - Brett Finger

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New Jersey Devils at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning 3, New Jersey Devils 1 (TBL wins series 4-1)

Perhaps the most lopsided series in the NHL Playoffs has drawn to a close, as the Lightning won last night to finish the Devils by a score of 3-1.

Game 5 was not a beatdown, as it very well could have been if Cory Schneider didn’t bring a very strong performance. Unfortunately for New Jersey, he was the only Devil to bring his game last night. The difference in skill level between these two teams is most obvious when you consider that the Devils had a lead only twice in the entire five game series.

The well oiled Tampa Bay playoff machine was led by five goals and five assists from Nikita Kucherov, as well as four goals from Alex Killorn throughout the series. In many ways, the Devils were hanging on by a thread this entire series. They couldn’t make anything for themselves, they were instead taking what the Lightning would give to them. New Jersey wraps up a surprisingly efficient season as the Lightning will take on the winner of the Boston vs. Toronto series. - Andrew Ahr

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Columbus Blue Jackets at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Capitals 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 3 (OT) (WAS leads 3-2)

In what’s become more than a trend at this point, the pivotal Game 5 between the Capitals and Blue Jackets went to overtime, and for the first time this series, it was the home team skating away with the win. The Caps won 4-3 in overtime on a goal by Nicklas Backstrom, who tallied his first two goals of the playoffs, giving Washington their third straight win and putting the Jackets on the ropes.

The Blue Jackets had every chance to take the win in regulation, outshooting Washington 16-1 in the third period, but the past two games have seen the Caps employ better overtime strategy. While Columbus has been working in the zone to get medium or high danger chances, the Caps have been throwing everything on net. Both in game three and in game five, deflections led directly to the game winning goal.

Columbus now has to regroup to try to avoid elimination in Game 6. They can build upon a great performance by suddenly-hot Matt Calvert who had two goals in a losing effort. The Caps will continue to rely on goaltender Braden Holtby who had 39 saves in the pivotal game, making the earlier shaky play of Philipp Grubauer a distant memory. - Zeke Lukow

Sunday’s Previews

Philadelphia Flyers v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Five Photo by Matt Kincaid/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers (PIT leads 3-2)

3:00 p.m. ET, NBC

  1. Elliott is not it: Michal Neuvirth manned the net in Game 5 and it paid off for the Flyers as he swatted aside 30 of 32 in the 4-2 win. Brian Elliott had been a non-factor in the first four games, allowing 14 goals on 97 shots and registering a .856 save percentage. Lineups for today’s match-up have not been confirmed but the Flyers have nothing to lose; it’s likely best to go ahead and start Neuvirth again.
  2. Too few from Giroux: OK, so he got a goal in Game 5 - big deal. There’s still been too little production from Claude Giroux through the first five games of the series. His two points in the series could be the reason the team stays in Philadelphia tonight instead of heading to Pittsburgh for a Game 7.
  3. Reinforcements? Patric Hornqvist skated in practice with Pittsburgh on Saturday and seems likely to draw into the lineup for Game 6. Hornqvist would be a great addition to the Penguins power play, which has struggled. Evgeni Malkin, who fell awkwardly in the first period of Game 5, will be a game time decision. Malkin has three goals and two assists in this series. - Justin Lape

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Colorado Avalanche at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche (NSH leads 3-2)

7:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN