Saturday's NHL Playoff Capsules
Originally published April 22, 2012 at midnight, updated April 22, 2012 at 12:55 a.m.
NEW YORK (AP) — Craig Anderson stopped 41 shots to make Jason Spezza's first-period goal stand up, and the Ottawa Senators pushed the top-seeded New York Rangers to the brink of elimination with a 2-0 victory Saturday night in Game 5.
The Senators, the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, have won two straight and will have a chance to knock out the Rangers on Monday night in Ottawa. If New York can stay alive, the deciding Game 7 would be back at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night.
Spezza added insurance by scoring an empty-net goal with 55.3 seconds remaining, and Anderson was perfect in earning his second career NHL playoff shutout. He stood tall in the third period when the Rangers pressed for the tying goal. Since New York took a 2-0 lead in the first period of its 3-2 overtime loss in Game 4, Anderson has gone 116 minutes, 32 seconds without allowing a goal.
Henrik Lundqvist was nearly as good in making 28 saves for New York.
CAPITALS 4, BRUINS 3
BOSTON (AP) — Troy Brouwer scored on a power play with 1:27 left, giving Washington the victory and moving defending champion Boston a loss away from elimination.
Brouwer gave the Capitals a 3-2 series lead with his second goal of the playoffs, beating Tim Thomas over the glove with a wrist shot with 37 seconds left on Benoit Pouliot's slashing penalty.
The Capitals can wrap up the best-of-seven series at home Sunday.
The Bruins have been in this predicament before. They trailed the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 last year in the Stanley Cup finals, then won the last two games on the road to capture their first title since 1972.
The Bruins, who trailed 2-0 and 3-2, tied it at 8:47 of the third period on Johnny Boychuk's goal.
Alexander Semin and Jay Beagle scored in the second period to give Washington a 2-0 lead, and Dennis Seidenberg and Brad Marchand tied it with goals in a 28-second span late in the period. Washington regained the lead 3:21 into the third period when Mike Knuble scored off a rebound.
BLACKHAWKS 2, COYOTES 1, OT
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Jonathan Toews scored 2:44 into overtime and Chicago Blackhawks staved off elimination with a 2-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night.
The Blackhawks came up with a tying goal in the third period for the fourth time in the series, though this one came a little earlier than the others with Nick Leddy scoring at 9:15.
That led to the fifth straight overtime game — a first since 1951 — and Toews ended it, beating Mike Smith stick side to pull the Blackhawks to 3-2 in the series.
Chicago rallied from a 3-0 deficit to force Game 7 against Vancouver in the second round last season and will have a chance to even the series in Game 6 on Monday night in Chicago.
Gilbert Brule scored in the second period for Phoenix.
Corey Crawford made 18 saves for Chicago, and Smith stopped 36 shots.
BLUES 3, SHARKS 1
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jamie Langenbrunner and David Perron scored in a 45-second span in the third period, and St. Louis beat San Jose to wrap up the series in five games.
Joe Thornton scored in the final minute of the second period for San Jose, and the Sharks were seemingly in control before the flurry that ended their season.
Brian Elliott made 26 saves, and Andy McDonald ended all doubt with an empty-net goal in the final minute. St. Louis, the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, won a playoff series for the first time in a decade against a franchise that reached the conference finals the previous two years. Before this series, St. Louis hadn't won a playoff game in eight years.
PANTHERS 3, DEVILS 0
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Kris Versteeg scored a goal and set up another, Jose Theodore made 30 saves for his second playoff shutout, and Florida beat New Jersey to move a win away from its first series win in 16 years.
Scottie Upshall also scored for Florida, which leads the Eastern Conference first-round series 3-2. The Panthers' last series victory came in the 1996 East finals, and they'll have two chances to snap that drought.
Tomas Kopecky was credited with an empty-net goal with 34 seconds left, after Ilya Kovalchuk impeded his clear path to the net.
Martin Brodeur made 30 saves for New Jersey, which hosts a win-or-else Game 6 on Tuesday night. If necessary, Game 7 is at Florida on Thursday night.