Recap | Box score
|3||Columbus Blue Jackets|
Goalie report: It is easy to blame Marc-Andre Fleury for everything. It is always easy to blame the goalie. His only job is to stop the puck from going in the net, so if the puck goes in the net, it must be his fault. Fleury gave up a short-handed goal to Fedor Tyutin but was otherwise not out of control, even when the Blue Jackets scored three goals in a 4:52 span in the third period. The team in front of him was playing to not lose, resulting in the Penguins' being outshot 20-12 in the final two periods.
Key moment: No moment was bigger than when the final buzzer sounded and the Penguins survived. After a dominant performance in Game 5, the Penguins seemed to have learned their lesson. So when they went up 4-0, you thought this series was over. Then the Blue Jackets scored three in the third. Everyone had to be thinking that another improbable rally had happened and this game was going to overtime. I imagine there was a collective sigh of relief from the entire city of Pittsburgh when the third period ended and they were still up one goal.
What it means: Yes, the Penguins won, and in the end that is all that matters. But this wasn't the most impressive way to win a series. They gave up big leads in the two games they lost, they had to rally to win in their first two wins and they almost let Columbus come back to steal Game 6. That doesn't exactly scream, "I'm going to win the Stanley Cup."
-- Sarah Goldstein
Recap | Box score
Goalie report: It's the move he's used all series. Avs coach Patrick Roy pulled Semyon Varlamov with 2:44 left in the game in favor of the extra skater. Only this time the Wild scored two empty-netters to make the score look much more lopsided than play indicated.
What it means: Home-ice advantage continues to mean everything in this series. The Avalanche will depend on that in Wednesday's Game 7.
-- Sarah Goldstein
|San Jose Sharks||1||
Recap | Box score
|4||Los Angeles Kings|
Goalie report: Kings goalie Jonathan Quick gave up 16 goals in the first three games, received some goal support in a 6-3 win in Game 4 and came back with a shutout in Game 5. He continues to play like the goalie who led the Kings to the Stanley Cup title two years ago, stopping 25 shots in the Game 6 win.
Key moment: With the score tied at 1 just past the midway point of the third period, Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr took a harmless-looking shot from the left point with traffic in front of the net, and the puck managed to get through to Sharks goalie Alex Stalock -- a surprise starter after Antti Niemi was pulled from the previous two games. Stalock made the stop but couldn't locate the puck, which had settled between his pads. Kings right winger Justin Williams saw it, however, and he jabbed at it to get the rubber sliding toward the goal line. Matt Irwin, in the San Jose lineup because Marc-Edouard Vlasic couldn't play because of an upper-body injury, tried to sweep the puck away but appeared to give it a final nudge across the goal line for a 2-1 lead with 8:04 left. That opened the floodgates, as Anze Kopitar converted a rebound with 6:33 remaining and added a power-play goal with 5:18 on the clock for a 4-1 lead.
What it means: The Kings have bounced back from a 3-0 series deficit and forced a Game 7 for the first time in franchise history. All the momentum seems to be on their side after the big swing to end the game. Based on all the fisticuffs that erupted the final few minutes, the temperature is sure to rise come Wednesday.
-- Dan Arritt
Kings 4, Sharks 1
(Series tied 3-3)
* Kings: force Game 7 after trailing series 3-0 (9th team to force Game 7 when trailing 3-0)
* Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams (LA): 2 goals each
* Sharks: 2nd time being pushed to Game 7 after taking 3-0 series lead (2011 vs Red Wings ... won Game 7)
* Only 3 NHL teams have won a series when trailing 3-0 (1942 Maple Leafs, 1975 Islanders, 2010 Flyers)
Wild 5, Avalanche 2
(Series ties 3-3)
* Wild: scored 3 goals in final 6:29 to break 2-2 tie (including 2 empty-net goals in final 1:26)
* Zach Parise (MIN): 2 goals, 2 assists (career-high 4 points in playoff game)
* Paul Stastny (COL): short-handed goal in 1st period; 1 points in 3 games in Minnesota (8 points in 3 games in Colorado)
* Game 7 is Wednesday in Colorado (home team has won all 6 games)
FROM ELIAS: Zach Parise set a personal high and a Minnesota franchise record for points in a playoff game when he scored two goals and assisted on two more as the Wild tied its series against the Avalanche with a 5-2 win in Game Six. Parise is the first NHL player to tally four points in a playoff game in which his team faced elimination since Duncan Keith produced two goals and two assists in the Blackhawks' 5-0 win in Game Five of a first-round series against the Canucks in 2011.
Penguins 4, Blue Jackets 3
(Penguins win series 4-2)
* Evgeni Malkin (PIT): 2nd career postseason hat trick, 1st since 2009, 8th career multi-goal playoff game
* Penguins: led 4-0 into the 3rd period
* Blue Jackets: scored 3 unanswered goals in 3rd period
* Marc-Andre Fleury (PIT): allowed 3 goals or more in 5 of 6 games in series
* Series: 5 of 6 games ended in 4-3 score
FROM ELIAS: Evgeni Malkin recorded the first hat trick of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs (and the second playoff hat trick of his career), contributing three goals to the Penguins' series-clinching 4-3 win over the Blue Jackets. It's the third consecutive year in which a Penguins player has registered a playoff hat trick; Jordan Staal had one in 2012, and Sidney Crosby and James Neal both scored three goals in a playoff game for Pittsburgh in 2013. The Penguins are the first NHL franchise to have players produce hat tricks in each of three consecutive playoff years since the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche did so in 1995 (Joe Sakic), 1996 (Sakic and Peter Forsberg) and 1997 (Valeri Kamensky).