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Cullen: Bruins, Wild, Kings win Game Fours

Scott Cullen
4/25/2014 2:51:11 AM
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 The Bruins win in OT, the Wild dominate in a 2-1 win and the Kings tell the Sharks to put away the brooms. Scott Cullen has notes on Tatar, Pominville, Hishon, Brown, Voynov and more.

 GETTING IGGY WITH IT

Jarome Iginla deflected a Dougie Hamilton wrist shot off Red Wings D Danny DeKeyser for the overtime winner in the Bruins' 3-2 Game Four victory. Boston leads the series three games to one.

The night started right for the Red Wings, with goals scored by new fathers Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall (who assisted on each other's goals) to give the home side a 2-0 lead, but Torey Krug and Milan Lucic scored to tie the game.

Detroit had good news and bad news on the lineup front coming into the game. LW Henrik Zetterberg was deemed ready to play -- his first game since February 8 -- and he logged 19:34 of ice time. The bad news, coming in, was that starting goaltender Jimmy Howard was unable to play because of the flu, leaving Jonas Gustavsson to handle the job. Gustavsson played well, stopping 37 of 40 Bruins shots, and the winning goal was a bad bounce off his defenceman, not something for which he should take blame.

Forced to play from behind, the Bruins ended up with better possession stats over the course of the game, with their second and third lines both getting more than two-thirds of the even-strength shot attempts when they were on the ice.

Bruins D Matt Bartkowski tied for the team lead with six hits in Game Four and his 26:40 of ice time ranked second on the team, behind Zdeno Chara.

Red Wings LW Tomas Tatar had a game-high eight shots on goal in 14:41 of ice time.

The loss leaves the Red Wings in a 3-1 hole, a deficit that will be very difficult to overcome, particularly with their inability to score. Tatar, Gustav Nyquist and Riley Sheahan were three of the Wings' most important forwards this season and that trio has yet to record a point through four games.

A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

The final score of Game Four between the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild was a 2-1 Wild win, which would denote a close game, but it really wasn't as close as the score appeared.

The Wild outshot the Avalanche 32-12 (47-19 in shot attempts), so it was a relatively easy game for Minnesota G Darcy Kuemper, stopping 11 shots to earn the win.

Leading the way for Minnesota was the line of Zach Parise, Mikael Granlund and Jason Pominville, as all three were on for more than 80% of the shot attempts. Pominville was on the ice for 22 5-on-5 shot attempts for and two against.

Coming into Game Four, the Avalanche knew they would be in tough, missing D Tyson Barrie, and they clearly missed Barrie's ability to move the puck. Ryan Wilson, who was inserted into the Avalanche lineup, was on the ice for 2-of-16 (12.5%) shot attempts at 5-on-5.

The series is even and going back to Colorado, but the signs are tilting in the direction of the Wild. Not only are the Avs missing Barrie and C Matt Duchene, but Minnesota has been the most dominant possession team (and Colorado the mirror image) to this point in the first round.

In a bit of a feel-good story for the Avalanche, C Joey Hishon, a first-round pick in 2010, made his NHL debut. Hishon suffered a concussion at the 2011 Memorial Cup and has battled injuries since, but he played 6:31 for the Avs in Game Four, getting time on the power play to accompany sporadic fourth-line shifts.

STAYING ALIVE

Facing elimination, the Los Angeles Kings avoided the sweep with a 6-3 win over the San Jose Sharks.

 

Marian Gaborik and Justin Williams each scored a pair of goals for the Kings, while rookie RW Tyler Toffoli added a goal and an assist. Kings captain Dustin Brown also had a goal and an assist, along with a game-high 10 hits, though he had the worst possession stats of any Kings forward.

The Sharks outshot the Kings, 39-31 (43-37 5-on-5 shot attempts), while the defence tandem of Robyn Regehr and Slava Voynov was eaten up. With Voynov on the ice, the Kings had 25% of the 5-on-5 shot attempts. With Voynov off the ice, the Kings held 55.4% of the 5-on-5 shot attempts.

Sharks G Antti Niemi was chased from the net after surrendering five goals on 26 shots. Alex Stalock only needed to make four saves in 17:46 of action.

Sharks LW Patrick Marleau picked up a couple of assists, giving him seven points through four games.

Even though the Kings managed to stave off elimination, they have a tall order to catch the Sharks in this series, heading back to San Jose for Game Five and coming out second-best in the series' puck possession battle.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.




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