In a night with four one-goal games, Toronto held on to force Game Six at home, Washington and Detroit won in OT and the Kings eliminated the Blues. Scott Cullen has notes and stats from Friday's NHL action.
LEAFS STAY ALIVE IN BOSTON
Toronto G James Reimer stopped 43 of 44 shots to backstop the Maple Leafs to a 2-1 win over Boston, extending the series to a sixth game, which will be in Toronto Sunday.
The game-winning goal was scored by Clarke MacArthur, who led the Leafs in CorsiRelative during the regular season, which makes it unusual to find him battling just to earn a spot in the lineup. Then again Jake Gardiner, who spent plenty of time in the press box too, led Toronto's defence corps in that advanced stat too.
Gardiner led all Toronto skaters with 24:05 time on ice in Game Five.
Not all statistics were favourable for the Leafs in their road win. C Tyler Bozak was 7-for-24 (29.2%) on faceoffs, leaving him at 42.6% for the playoffs, while taking a league-high 148 face-offs.
Boston's attack was led by Zdeno Chara, He scored Boston's goal and had eight shots on goal, a playoff career-high in his 112th career playoff game. Two snakebitten Bruins had a bunch of shots, but it didn't result in a goal.
Jaromir Jagr and Tyler Seguin had seven and six shots on goal, respectively. The pair of right wingers have yet to score in the series despite 44 shots on goal between them. The line of Jagr, Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly was Boston's best in terms of puck possession for Game Five.
Toronto returns home, having shown that they can hold their own with the Bruins through the first five games. Can they do it twice more?
Mike Ribeiro's overtime goal in Game Five gave the Washington Capitals a 3-2 series lead over the New York Rangers. In addition to scoring the winner, Ribeiro was 19-for-27 (70.4%) in the faceoff circle. Ribeiro was also a puck possession star in Game Five.
Capitals RW Alex Ovechkin failed to score a point for the third straight game, for the first time in his career. He didn't score a goal despite recording nine shots on goal.
Capitals LW Matt Hendricks led the team with seven blocked shots, in 9:12 of ice time, while LW Jason Chimera had seven hits, including one that knocked Rangers LW Ryane Clowe out of the game in the first period. Clowe played just 1:55 before leaving.
2012 first-round pick Tom Wilson played in his first NHL game for the Capitals, recording four hits in 6:24 of ice time, though he was stapled to the bench for the last 10 minutes of the third period and overtime. Welcome to the league and all, but it takes time to earn the coach's trust.
Rangers captain Ryan Callahan was held without a shot on goal, while playing 26:28, and Rick Nash had two shots on goal, playing 20:05. Lack of production from Nash and Brad Richards is an issue for the Rangers, and they ranked seventh and eighth in ice time among Rangers forwards in Game Five.
Washington's first goal was scored, on the power play, by Joel Ward, who now has four points in the last three games.
The last four games of this series have been decided by one goal, with two games going to overtime, so fair to expect another close contest when these teams meet in New York Saturday afternoon for Game Six.
GOING BACK TO CALI
Henrik Zetterberg scored a pair of goals, his first two of the series and the second coming in overtime, to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-3 win in Game Six, forcing a Game Seven back in Anaheim.
In a do-or-die game, the Red Wings' brightest stars, Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, combined for six points. The duo has combined for 13 points through the first six games of the series.
Returning from his two-game suspension, RW Justin Abdelkader returned to his spot on the wing with Datsyuk and Zetterberg, contributed an assist and was plus-2 in more than 19 minutes of ice time. He also led the Wings with six hits.
Ducks rookie RW Emerson Etem was a very effective using his speed and finished with a goal and an assist with a plus-2 rating. Etem assisted on Anaheim's first goal, by LW Kyle Palmieri, who is tied for Ryan Getzlaf with a team-high five points through the first six games of the series.
The last three games of this series have gone to OT, with the home side winning in extra time. No surprise, then, that this toss-up of a series is going seven.
KINGS GRIND DOWN BLUES
For the third time in six games, the final score was 2-1 between the Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues. With the Kings emerging victorious Friday, they eliminated St. Louis in six games after falling down two games to none to open the series.
I've mentioned several times that every inch of the ice was contested in this series and the game-of-inches can also be applied to game of seconds. Three times in the series a team scored a tying or winning goal in the final minute of regulation and the series winner, scored by Kings LW Dustin Penner, was scored in the final second of the second period.
Shot totals were modest in Game Six, as well as the series overall. Blues G Brian Elliott stopped 14 of 16 shots, leaving him with a .919 save percentage over the course of the series, facing an average of 24.8 shots per game.
Kings G Jonathan Quick, who had the worst save percentage of any starting goaltender that qualified for the playoffs this year, was outstanding in the series, posting a .944 save percentage.
Blues C David Backes and LW David Perrron each had four shots on goal in Game Six, to lead the Blues. RW T.J. Oshie was held without a shot on goal in nearly 19 minutes of ice time. Oshie struggled throughout the series, finishing with six shots on goal and a team-worst minus-4 rating.
With their season on the line, the Blues leaned heavily on D Jay Bouwmeester, who played 26:25 and was a force when it came to puck possession. D Alex Pietrangelo (21:08 TOI) was the only other Blue to play more than 20 minutes in Game Six.
Kings C Anze Kopitar had his challenges, facing Backes, as Kopitar managed a total of nine shots on goal in six games, while playing 21:02 per game to lead Los Angeles forwards. Kopitar led the Kings with six hits in Game Six.
St. Louis had a slightly more difficult time generating offence. Backes, Alexander Steen and Vladimir Sobotka tied for the team lead with three points. RW Chris Stewart, LW David Perron and LW Andy McDonald combined for zero goals on 39 shots in the series.
The Blues are going to be understandably disappointed. No matter which team lost this series, one was going to be leaving the postseason too soon. Given the questions about goaltending for both teams entering the series, full credit to Los Angeles and Jonathan Quick for rising to the occasion to win a hard-fought series between two very good teams.