5 Ways History Has Been Made in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Steve SilvermanFeatured ColumnistMay 26, 2013

5 Ways History Has Been Made in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs

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    The Stanley Cup playoffs are always noted for the outstanding performances of individual players and teams that make history with their achievements.

    There has been no shortage of these performances in the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs.

    The last two Stanley Cup champions—the Los Angeles Kings and the Boston Bruins—have put their imprint on this year's postseason with some eye-opening performances as well as amazing consistency.

    Here's a look at five ways history has been made in the 2013 postseason.

Kings Refuse to Yield

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    The Los Angeles Kings have a number of players who can score big goals, but the primary reason they won the Stanley Cup last year and remain in contention this season is the strength and consistency of their defense.

    The Kings have not allowed more than three goals in 31 consecutive playoff games, dating back to last year's Stanley Cup run.

    The Kings have broken the record previously set by the Detroit Red Wings, who did not allow more than three goals in 27 consecutive games, according to Elias, through SportsTalkFlorida.com.

Bruins Rookie Sets Standard

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    The Boston Bruins had an issue as they started their conference semifinal series with the New York Rangers.

    They were shorthanded on the blue line, as Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden were all sidelined with injuries. The Bruins turned to rookies Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski and Torey Krug to fill in for the veterans.

    Hamilton and Bartkowski had both seen significant action with the Bruins, but Krug had only been up for a cup of coffee.

    However, Krug had no interest in merely going along for the ride. He stepped up and asserted himself with four goals in five games. All of the goals came against Henrik Lundqvist, generally regarded as the best goalie in hockey.

    No rookie defenseman had ever scored four goals in his first five postseason games before Krug accomplished the feat.

Sharks Get 1st Sweep

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    The San Jose Sharks accomplished something they had never done before in their history when they took on the favored Vancouver Canucks in the first round.

    They beat the Canucks in the first two games on the road, then came home and completed the sweep when Patrick Marleau scored the series clincher in overtime in the fourth game.

    The Sharks have been in the NHL since 1991-92 and have made the playoffs 16 times, including the last nine postseasons. They had never swept any opponent before disposing of the Canucks in four straight games.

Blackhawks' First 3-Game Losing Skid of 2013

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    The Detroit Red Wings needed a surge in the final week of the regular season just to make the playoffs. After sweeping their last four games of the 2013 season, they earned the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference and defeated the second-seeded Anaheim Ducks.

    That earned the Red Wings a conference semifinal meeting with the Presidents' Trophy-winning Chicago Blackhawks. After dropping the first game of the series, the Red Wings rebounded by winning Game 2 in Chicago, then winning Games 3 and 4 in Detroit.

    That was the first three-game losing streak of the season for the Blackhawks.

    Chicago rebounded in Game 5 with a win at home, but it must win Game 6 in Detroit and Game 7 in at the United Center if it is going to pin a three-game losing streak on the Red Wings and keep its season alive.

Uncharted Territory for Rangers

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    The New York Rangers saw their season come to an end when they were beaten by the Boston Bruins in the conference semifinals.

    However, the Rangers did something they had never done in their history in the first round against the Washington Capitals.

    The two teams exchanged home-ice victories through the first six games of the series. The Capitals appeared to have the advantage in the seventh game because the game was on their home ice.

    However, the Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist would have none of it. They reversed the trend and recorded a 5-0 victory in Game 7 in Washington for their second consecutive shutout after the Capitals led 3-2 after Game 5.

    The seventh-game victory on the road marked the first time the Rangers had accomplished that achievement in their 86 seasons, which includes 55 Stanley Cup playoff appearances.