Anaheim had a tough stay in Dallas and went home with the series tied at two wins each. Both Hiller and Sbisa didn’t play in the Ducks’ 0-3 defeat on Monday. Things didn’t look much better on Wednesday night, when Dallas tied the series with a 4-2 home win. Sbisa was scratched once again even though defenseman Stephane Robidas sustained a broken leg in Game 3 and will miss the rest of the season. Jonas Hiller relieved fellow goaltender Frederik Andersen with 10:34 left in the 3rd and stopped the only shot he faced. But then, the Ducks bounced back with a 6-2 win back home at Honda Center. Luca Sbisa finally got a chance to play and finished the game with 18:34 TOI and registered the second assist on Rakell’s go ahead goal late in the 1st period. Jonas Hiller backed up Andersen as usual. The Ducks lead the series against the Stars 3-2 and has to play Game 6 in Dallas tonight.
Reto Berra was scratched for all three games this week and saw his team lose twice to the Minnesota Wild. The Avalanche lost a hard fought Game 3 0-1 in overtime before dropping a one-goal game again in a 1-2 regulation loss three days later. Back in Denver, the Avs managed to get back on the winning track with an OT goal from rookie Nathan MacKinnon for a 4-3 win. The Avalanche lead the series 3-2 and have the chance to move into the next round on Monday night on the road in Minnesota.
Nino Niederreiter was demoted to the fourth line and saw very limited ice time this week. He finished with an equal rating in only 9:06 TOI in Game 3, before playing a little bit longer in Game 4 (13:07, -1 rating) and 5 (12:13, -1 rating). He didn’t register any points in those three games. The Wild are down 2-3 in the series against the Avalanche and Niederreiter might join the Swiss national team in Minsk if they will drop out of the tournament as early as in Round 1.
New York Rangers
With a fully healthy defense, coach Alain Vigneault stayed with his usual lineup and scratched defenseman Raphael Diaz for all three games this week. Diaz saw his teammates lose their second home game 2-4 before splitting the two away games in Philadelphia (4-1 win in Game 3, 1-2 loss in Game 4). The series between the two big rivals is tied at two and tonight’s Game 5 at Madison Square Garden is certainly a crucial one.
Mark Streit’s Flyers headed home to Philadelphia with the home ice advantage after a 4-2 win at Madison Square Garden on Sunday and the series tied at one. Streit played 17:22 and finished with one shot on goal and a +1 rating. He saw 21:13 of ice time and scored the lone Flyers goal two days later in a 1-4 defeat, before getting a helper in 19:58 TOI in a 2-1 win on Friday. The series between the Flyers and the Rangers is tied at two.
San Jose Sharks
Sharks prospect Mirco Müller was called up to the NHL team to serve as “black ace” for the playoffs. This means, he most likely won’t play (unless there will be a few injuries) but will practice with the team. He saw his team take a 3-0 series lead with a 7-2 home and 4-3 OT away win, before the Kings managed to get back into the series with two wins (6-3 in game 4, 3-0 in game 5). Thus, the Sharks still lead the series 3-2 and will have their third chance to end it on Monday night in Los Angeles.