Philadelphia Flyers 2, Pittsburgh Penguins 3 (PHI leads the series, 3-2)
Detroit Red Wings 1, Nashville Predators 2 (NSH wins the series, 4-1)
Those Who Shined
1. Marc-Andre Fleury, Goaltender, Pittsburgh Penguins
Criticize Fleury all you want for his laughable performance in the first three games of this series, but last night he was back at his finest. After allowing two power play goals in the opening period of the contest, he completely shutdown the dangerous offense of the Flyers. This included a heroic effort in the third frame, when Philadelphia threw 14 shots on goal and seemed to spend an eternity in their offensive zone, but were unable to tie the contest. Overall, Fleury made 22 of 24 saves, which was just enough to force a game six back at the Wells Fargo Center. I’ll tell you what, the reemergence of a defensive presence has made Pittsburgh a very favorable pick in this series, despite the terrible odds of winning four straight.
2. Pekka Rinne, Goaltender, Nashville Predators
When the Predators succeed it almost always has a lot to do with Rinne being a wall between the posts. This was the case throughout their series with the Red Wings. Friday night, Rinne sent away 21 of 22 shots in an absolute nail-biter at the Bridgestone Arena, which was key to clinching a trip to the Western Conference semi-finals. More broadly, he allowed just six goals in the four victories and made 30 or 40 saves on numerous occasions. It was truly an impressive feat against a Detroit attack that is typically one of the toughest in the NHL to contain. I believe Nashville is a scary team moving forward. They can score and defend on the level of most clubs that are remaining.
3. David Legwand, Center, Nashville Predators
One of the Predators most dangerous offensive options came through in Friday’s game five in Nashville. Legwand picked up two points, including the game-winning goal just 13 seconds in the third period, which gave him a total of four points in the series. He was quiet in the first three games with just one point recorded, but he woke up in the final two with a pair of goals that were essential to the Preds victories. If Nashville hopes to go deep into the postseason they will need a continued presence on the offensive end of the ice from this man.