Devils Dominate Early In Game 5
By Stephen London
The New Jersey Devils tied the New York Rangers at two games apiece earlier this week. Game 5 was mostly in the Devils' hands at the beginning, even though they were at Madison Square Garden. Going up, 3-0, during the first period, the Devils collected the rebounds in front of the net and buried pucks behind Henrik Lundqvist. Although the Rangers outshot the Devils, 28-17, New Jersey got the road win, 5-3, May 23.
Lundqvist stopped only 12 of the 16 shots he faced from the Devils (75 percent). Statistically speaking, this was his worst game of the postseason. Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur made 25 saves on 28 shots (89.3 percent).
The Rangers did mount a comeback for the majority of the game, answering the Devils' first three goals with three of their own. The Rangers got the tying goal during the first 17 seconds of the third period. But Ryan Carter of the Devils got his team the lead with 4:24 left during the game, followed by an empty-net goal.
The series relocates back to New Jersey for Game 6, giving the Devils the chance to eliminate their archrival in front of a home crowd.
Kings' Second All-time Stanley Cup Finals Berth
The Los Angeles Kings have played in the Stanley Cup Finals only one time before this season. During the 1992-93 season, with Wayne Gretzky, the Kings faced the Montreal Canadiens, but lost after just five games. Perhaps this year will be the year that Los Angeles gets their first Stanley Cup Trophy.
Some people are predicting a Kings sweep. The Kings have won all eight of their road games thus far during the playoffs, with the eighth ending the Phoenix Coyotes season.
Game 5 was close, as the teams played almost a full period of overtime. But with just 2:18 left during the first overtime of a 3-3 game, Dustin Penner of the Kings scored the game- and series-winning goal.
The Kings will be tough for either the Devils or the Rangers to beat. With powerful forwards such as Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, the Kings have an offense that can beat any goaltender in the NHL.
Ovechkin and Semin Help Russia Win IIHF Championships
The Russian International hockey team won the IIHF Championships in Helsinki/Stockholm with the help of two Washington Capitals. Alex Semin was named MVP of the finals after he had two goals and an assist during the 6-2 win against Slovakia. Alex Ovechkin also was a main component of Russia's win against the Slovaks, getting two assists.
Semin wants to try the free-agent market. Even though Semin had only four points (three goals, one assist) during the postseason, the 28-year-old Russian scored 54 points (21 goals, 33 assists) during the regular season.
Free Agents For Caps To Target
The Washington Capitals are most likely going to try to move some pieces around during the offseason, especially if Semin signs with a new team. Looking at the possible free agents that are available this offseason, here is a list of players that could help Washington get back to the playoffs in 2013.
Possible forward free agents
Paul Gaustad, Buffalo Sabres/Nashville Predators -- $2.3 million cap hit
Ryan Carter, New Jersey Devils -- $750,000 cap hit
Alexi Ponikarovsky, New Jersey Devils -- $1.5 million cap hit
Brian Rolston, Boston Bruins -- $5.062 million cap hit
Brad Boyes, Buffalo Sabres -- $4 million cap hit
Possible defensemen free agents
Nicklas Grossman, Philadelphia Flyers --$1.625 million cap hit
Barret Jackman, St. Louis Blues -- $3.625 million cap hit
Andy Sutton, Edmonton Oilers -- $2.125 million cap hit
Cory Sarich, Calgary Flames -- $3.6 million cap hit
Johnny Oduya, Winnipeg Jets/Chicago Blackhawks -- $3.5 million cap hit
Posted May 24, 2012