NHL News

Stanley Cup Playoffs Daily: Bruins win wildly, Sharks win mildly

The San Jose Sharks won a tightly played game against the Colorado Avalanche. It looked like the Boston Bruins were going to win the same way, and then things got wild in the third period against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Here’s what happened in the NHL last night (check out replays of every playoff game on ESPN+) and what to watch for tonight, in today’s edition of ESPN Stanley Cup Playoffs Daily:

Jump ahead: Last night’s games | Three stars
Play of the night | Today’s games | Social post of the day

About last night …

Game 5: Boston Bruins 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 3 (Bruins lead series 3-2)

Boy did this game ever get interesting in a hurry in the third period. The Bruins had a 2-0 lead and appeared ready to roll to victory with Tuukka Rask stopping everything in sight. Then a Seth Jones shot appeared to sneak through Rask, and a laborious video review confirmed it was a goal at 10:33 of the third. David Pastrnak looked like he snuffed out any rally with a goal 43 seconds later on a 4-on-1 break, but Ryan Dzingel answered it 51 seconds later to make it 3-2. The Blue Jackets’ Dean Kukan then scored his first career goal to tie the game at 3-3.

Was this going to be yet another miraculous rally in a postseason full of them? Nope. Patsrnak scored again at 18:32 — after Artemi Panarin turned the puck over in the attacking zone and then couldn’t get back defensively in time — to give Boston a wild Game 5 win, and leave John Tortorella vowing there will be a Game 7.

Game 5: San Jose Sharks 2, Colorado Avalanche 1 (Sharks lead series, 3-2)

Sharks coach Pete DeBoer put it this way after his team’s win: The team that has “deserved” to earn a victory has won the game when that’s happened. It’s hard to argue with that, or with the notion that the Sharks were the better team in Game 5. Tomas Hertl provided the offense. Marc-Edouard Vlasic — in a superlative effort — and Martin Jones provided the defense. And, most importantly, the Nathan MacKinnon line was held off the score sheet.



Tomas Hertl scores on a power play in the second period and puts another one in the back of the net in the third to give the Sharks a 3-2 series lead.

Three Stars

1. Tomas Hertl, C, San Jose Sharks. Hertl hadn’t scored a goal since Game 7 of the previous round, but he netted both the Sharks’ goals in Game 5 with a presence around the Colorado net that was lacking in Game 4. “He was a horse tonight,” said DeBoer. (But not, like, the kind that wins but then gets disqualified, we assume.)

2. Tuukka Rask, G, Boston Bruins. The score got a little wild in the third period, and he probably wants that Seth Jones goal back, but Rask was superb for most of Game 5 with 33 saves and came up big as the Blue Jackets pressed to tie the game again late in the third period. (Full marks to defenseman Charlie McAvoy in that effort, too, with a painful blocked shot late in the game.)

3. Philipp Grubauer, G, Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche can take solace in the fact that their goalie followed up his 32-save shutout with a stellar 37-save effort that included 28 saves in the first two periods. The Sharks were circling around his net all night, but Grubauer was solid. (And feisty, as he mixed it up with Joe Thornton at one point.)

Play of the Night

It was one of the longest video reviews of the season, and a critical one: Did a shot from Seth Jones sneak through between Tuukka Rask and the goal post? Was that dark blob between the pad and the netting the puck, and was it clear of the goal line? The NHL situation room, in consultation with the officials, ruled “Seth Jones’ original shot completely crossed the Boston goal line. Good goal Columbus.” The Blue Jackets got new life, although not enough to overcome Boston in Game 5.

Dud of the Night

It’s another round of “Don Cherry vs. the Carolina Hurricanes.” This time, Cherry once again said that the team’s “Storm Surge” regular-season celebrations don’t belong in professional hockey and added that the Hurricanes fans that have helped the team go undefeated in Raleigh during the playoffs with their incredible passion and volume are “frontrunners.” One would think Cherry would just move on after the Hurricanes turned his “Bunch of Jerks” taunt into a rallying cry that propelled them to the conference final, thus owning him. One would be wrong.

On the schedule

St. Louis Blues at Dallas Stars, Game 6, 3 p.m. ET (Stars lead series, 3-2)

Where are the Blues in this series? The eye test says the Stars owned Game 5. The stats test says there wasn’t a period where St. Louis didn’t have a shot attempt advantage. Where the Stars have been better: Preventing the Blues from getting too many dangerous chances inside against Ben Bishop. “We just have to get inside more,” forward Jaden Schwartz said. “Pucks were laying there. We just have to find a way to get inside, get body position, and get a little more traffic.” They better, or their season is over.

Social post of the day

The Vegas Golden Knights‘ attempt to find kinship with a horse that had the officials take a victory away from him. The different of course being that Maximum Security didn’t still have a chance to win the Kentucky Derby in overtime.


“You know the answer. Don’t ask stupid questions right now, guys. Ask me some questions that mean something, not that you have the answer to.” — Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella, when asked what kind of lift Columbus got from their first goal.

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