The remaining eight NHL teams are giving fans their money's worth in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
No sweeps will send a squad home early, and no favorites are enjoying an easy path to the next slate. The Chicago Blackhawks are entrenched in a tough battle with the Minnesota Wild while the Boston Bruins are getting all they can handle from the Montreal Canadiens.
The possibility of a Stanley Cup rematch is still in play, but the two premier clubs will have to grind out a best-of-seven series this week to advance.
Here's a look at the updated schedule, along with odds to win the Stanley Cup as of Saturday, May 10.
|1||Canadiens 4, Bruins 3||May 1||7:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|2||Bruins 5, Canadiens 3||May 3||12:30 p.m.||NBC|
|3||Canadiens 4, Bruins 2||May 6||7 p.m.||NBCSN|
|4||Bruins 1, Canadiens 0 (OT)||May 8||7:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|5||Bruins 4, Canadiens 2||May 10||7 p.m.||NBCSN|
|6||Bruins at Canadiens||May 12||7 p.m.||NBCSN|
|7*||Canadiens at Bruins||May 14||TBD||TBD|
|1||Rangers 3, Penguins 2||May 2||7 p.m.||NBCSN|
|2||Penguins 3, Rangers 0||May 4||7:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|3||Penguins 2, Rangers 0||May 5||7:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|4||Penguins 4, Rangers 2||May 7||7:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|5||Rangers 5, Penguins 1||May 9||7 p.m.||NBCSN|
|6||Penguins at Rangers||May 11||7 p.m.||NBCSN|
|7*||Rangers at Penguins||May 13||TBD||TBD|
|1||Blackhawks 5, Wild 2||May 2||9:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|2||Blackhawks 4, Wild 1||May 4||3 p.m.||NBC|
|3||Wild 4, Blackhawks 0||May 6||9 p.m.||CNBC|
|4||Wild 4, Blackhawks 2||May 9||9: 45 p.m.||NBCSN|
|5||Wild at Blackhawks||May 11||9 p.m.||CNBC|
|6||Blackhawks at Wild||May 13||TBD||TBD|
|7*||Wild at Blackhawks||May 15||TBD||TBD|
|1||Kings 3, Ducks 2 (OT)||May 3||8 p.m.||NBCSN|
|2||Kings 2, Ducks 1||May 5||10 p.m.||NBCSN|
|3||Ducks 3, Kings 2||May 8||10 p.m.||NBCSN|
|4||Ducks 2, Kings 0||May 10||9:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|5||Kings at Ducks||May 12||10 p.m.||NBCSN|
|6||Ducks at Kings||May 14||TBD||TBD|
|7*||Kings at Ducks||May 16||TBD||TBD|
NHL.com; *=if necessary
|Los Angeles Kings||5/1|
|New York Rangers||40/1|
Round 2 Roundup
The New York Rangers dug themselves into a 3-1 series hole, but they won't go down easily.
With their season on the line on Friday night, they stomped the Pittsburgh Penguins on the road in a 5-1 victory. New York had scored a combined five goals in the series' previous four games.
During the first period, Chris Kreider capitalized on an early Pittsburgh penalty. ESPN Stats & Info notes that the goal broke an embarrassing drought that had plagued the Rangers in power plays:
New York Rangers score on 1st power-play opportunity in Game 5; had gone 9 straight games without power-play goal.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 9, 2014
The Rangers will have to maintain that newfound offensive production over the remaining two games to pull off a seven-game victory over the Penguins, who ranked fifth in the NHL by killing 85 percent of their penalties in the regular season.
Elsewhere in the Eastern Conference, Matt Fraser saved the Bruins from also experiencing a 3-1 deficit. The 23-year-old, who scored two goals during the season, notched the game-winning score in overtime to give Boston a Game 4 victory.
He described the elation of evening the series to the Associated Press (h/t SI.com):
It's something I dreamed about many times on the outdoor rinks growing up. It's every kid's dream to score in overtime. ... Words can't even describe that feeling. I just watched the replay of it and I don't even want to begin to try to explain that because it's something I wish that every kid could feel.
Boston regained its offensive rhythm on Saturday night, earning a 4-2 victory to take Game 5 at home. Montreal suffered a costly power play during the second period that netted the Bruins two decisive scores.
After taking a 2-0 lead on the Wild, the Blackhawks looked well on their way to cruising to the Western Conference Final. The defending champions, however, gave up four goals in each of the ensuing two games.
Just like that, the series is tied at 2-2 heading into Sunday.
Wild even the series! Minnesota beats the Blackhawks, 4-2, tie the series at 2 games apiece. pic.twitter.com/7Iy7Vc9vNy— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 10, 2014
There's never a dull moment with the Los Angeles Kings involved. The league's best defense couldn't buy a stop in the first three games of the opening round, allowing 17 goals to dig itself a cavernous 3-0 hole against the San Jose Sharks.
The Kings roared back to win the series, and they now must preserve a 2-0 lead against the Anaheim Ducks after dropping Games 3 and 4. Through the first four games, the two squads scored a combined 16 goals in a series of low-scoring affairs.
That style usually favors the Kings, who have Jonathan Quick shielding the net against the NHL's most potent offense during the season. Yet it was John Gibson who earned the shutout for the Ducks on Saturday night, recording 28 saves during a 2-0 victory.