Welcome to the “Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition,” a daily collection of the latest news and notes from around the NHL.
(Home Team in Caps)
Boston 1, MONTREAL 0 (OT) – series tied 2-2
Anaheim 3, LOS ANGELES 2 – LA leads series 2-1
FRASER LIFTS BRUINS IN POSTSEASON DEBUT
Making his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut, Matt Fraser scored at 1:19 of overtime to help the Bruins even their series against the Canadiens.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Fraser became the third player in Bruins history to record an overtime goal in his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut, following Mel Hill in 1939 and Don Gallinger in 1943. The last player to accomplish that feat for any team wasBenn Ferriero, who scored the overtime winner for the Sharks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals versus the Red Wings on April 29, 2011.
* Elias also says that Fraser became just the sixth player in the last 75 years to score his first career postseason goal in a 1-0 overtime game. Wild forward Mikael Granlund also accomplished that feat this year in Game 3 of the team’s First Round series versus the Avalanche. The others to do so: Andrei Zyuzin (1998), Ruslan Fedotenko (2002),Niko Dimitrakos (2004) and Ryan O’Reilly (2010). Only Fraser and Dimitrakos, however, have scored such a goal in their playoff debut.
* Fraser, who was recalled from the team’s AHL affiliate on Thursday, also potted an overtime goal for Providence in Game 2 of its opening-round playoff series versus Springfield.
* Tuukka Rask made 33 saves, including 14 in the third period, to record his fifth career postseason shutout and second of 2014 (also April 22 @ DET). He improved to 9-5 in 14 career playoff overtime games, including a 2-1 mark this year.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Rask became the third goaltender in Bruins history to register a postseason shutout in a 1-0 overtime victory. The others: Tiny Thompson on March 23, 1935 vs. TOR (2OT) and Tim Thomas on April 12, 2012 vs. WSH.
* Rask now leads all goaltenders in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 1.67 goals-against average, .941 save percentage and two shutouts (tied with Marc-Andre Fleury) in nine appearances.
* Rask became the first Bruins goaltender to earn a postseason shutout versus the Canadiens since April 7, 2004, when Andrew Raycroft made 31 saves in a 3-0 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
* Game 4 marked the 10th 1-0 outcome between the Bruins and Canadiens in the postseason (174 GP) and the first since April 15, 2008 (both teams are 5-5 in those contests). The only other 1-0 overtime playoff game between the clubs was on April 16, 1953, when Elmer Lach scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal for the Canadiens at 1:22 of the extra period.
MORE ON MATT FRASER
* Fraser spent four seasons with the Kootenay Ice of the WHL, helping the team capture the league championship in 2010-11.
* The 23-year-old native of Red Deer, Alta., was signed by the Stars as an undrafted free agent on Nov. 17, 2010.
* Fraser made his NHL debut on Jan. 24, 2012, with the Stars. He recorded his first career goal/point on Feb. 25, 2013 at NSH (his second NHL game).
* The Bruins acquired Fraser – along with Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith and Joe Morrow – on July 4, 2013, in exchange for Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley and Ryan Button.
* Fraser made his Bruins debut on Dec. 8, 2013 at TOR. He scored his first goal with the team on Dec. 23 at NSH and totaled 2-0—2 in 14 regular-season appearances in 2013-14, the last of which was on Jan. 9 at LA.
* In 27 career regular-season games with the Stars and Bruins, Fraser has 3-2—5 and 10 penalty minutes.
* Fraser also played in 44 regular-season games with Providence (AHL) in 2013-14, compiling 20-10—30. He ranks second on the team with 3-2—5 in five games during the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
“Words can’t even describe that feeling [of scoring the overtime winner]. I just watched the replay of it and yet, I don’t even want to try to explain that because that’s something I wish every kid could feel. I wish I could remember it; it just happened like a blur. The puck got to the net and it was bobbling in front. I just tried to sniff it out and whack it in . . . Words can’t even describe it. I said earlier
today that I’ve played for the Stanley Cup thousands of times on an outdoor rink and my buddies’ outdoor rinks, but to do it in a place like this is amazing.” – Bruins forward Matt Fraser
“It’s a great story. Those are what you dream of as a little kid, getting called up and an OT goal. Not just an OT goal, but the one goal in the whole game. We’re happy that anyone scored it, but it was a pretty cool story.” – Bruins forward Jarome Iginla
“It’s definitely a great feeling and probably the biggest goal of his career, I’m sure. Definitely a great moment. He’s got to enjoy it, and he had a great game. It was a big way for him to end this.” – Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron
“Man, it’s unbelievable. Good for him. I don’t know if he has many words to describe how he feels right now. If he does, good for him because I had trouble describing it last year.”– Bruins defenseman Torey Krug
“It’s great. A lot of times that’s the kind of guy that scores those goals; nobody knows he’s even out there. I’m happy for him.” – Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask
“We’ve seen him this year and he’s been playing well lately in Providence and actually has been scoring some goals and has been playing some pretty good hockey and he showed that tonight. I liked his game. Not because he scored, but his whole game he seemed to be strong on the puck, making decisions, wasn’t turning pucks over and seemed to be skating well and it was nice to see that happen, but the GM probably deserves that credit, he’s the one who called him up so no doubt, he’s a good player. We knew that when we had him for quite a while there this year, he can certainly shoot the puck, but he seems to have a knack to score some goals so as you can see in this series, we need that.” – Bruins head coach Claude Julien
SELANNE, LOVEJOY HELP DUCKS CUT SERIES DEFICIT
Knotted at 1-1, Teemu Selanne scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and Ben Lovejoy potted the eventual game-winner to help the Ducks cut their series deficit in half.
* With his second marker of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Selanne (43 years, 309 days) remained the third-oldest player to record a goal in the postseason (behindGordie Howe: 52 years, 9 days and Chris Chelios: 45 years, 86 days). Selanne, however, became the oldest player in NHL history to post multiple goals in a single playoff year.
* Lovejoy scored his second career postseason goal and first game-winner (25 GP). He has nine goals, including two game-winners (both of which came in 2013-14), in 208 career regular-season outings.
* Patrick Maroon collected an assist to extend his point streak to six games (2-4—6). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that marks the longest playoff point streak by a rookie since 1993, when Warren Rychel registered 4-5—9 during a six-game point streak for the Kings.
* Frederik Andersen made 22 saves before leaving the game midway through the third period due to injury. Jonas Hiller earned the win in relief, stopping 7-of-8 shots.
* The Ducks now have won three consecutive games at STAPLES Center (dating to the regular season) and four straight as visitors against the Kings (including the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series).
KOPITAR EXTENDS STREAK(S)
Kings forward Anze Kopitar picked up an assist on Jeff Carter’s second-period goal and now has registered at least one point in all 10 of the team’s playoff games (4-11—15).
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only one other player in the past 15 years has collected points in each of his team’s first 10 games of the postseason: Red Wings forward Johan Franzen, who found the scoresheet in all 12 of the club’s games during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs (6-12—18).
* The last Kings player to record points in 10 consecutive postseason games (in one year) was Wayne Gretzky, who posted a franchise-record, 12-game streak in 1993 (9-16—25).
* Kopitar now has a 13-game point streak dating to the regular season (8-12—20). He also has an 11-game playoff point streak dating to June 8, 2013 (5-12—17).
* ICYMI: Kopitar was mic’d up for his assist on Carter’s goal.
There now have been four overtime games in the Second Round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, one fewer than last year’s second-round total. Overall, 18 of the 62 games (29.0%) contested thus far in the postseason have required extra time. Road teams improved to 11-7 (.611) in those games, including six consecutive victories . . . Kings forward Marian Gaborik recorded an assist and now has 6-4—10 in his last eight games . . . Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron saw his point streak halted at seven games. It marked the longest playoff point streak by a Bruins player since 1992, whenAdam Oates registered points in nine consecutive outings . . . Canadiens goaltenderCarey Price made 34 saves . . . Kings forward Mike Richards snapped an 18-game goal drought dating to the regular season . . . Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanentraveled more than 4,400 miles to make his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut. The 22-year-old blueliner was with the team’s AHL affiliate in St. John’s, Nfld., when he was recalled on Wednesday . . . The Maple Leafs extended the contract of head coach Randy Carlylethrough the 2016-17 season. They also announced that assistant coaches Dave Farrish, Scott Gordon and Greg Cronin will not return to the team . . . ICYMI: Ducks forward Matt Beleskey flipped Kings defenseman Drew Doughty over the boards . . . Actors Paul Wesley, Tom Arnold, Eric Stonestreet and Stephen Amell; TV personality Giada De Laurentiis; musicians Eddie Van Halen and Wolfgang Van Halen; Anaheim mayor Tom Tait; and Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti were among those in attendance for the Kings-Ducks game.
SNEAK PEEK AT FRIDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
NY Rangers @ Pittsburgh, Game 5, PIT leads 3-1, 7:00 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, RDS
Chicago @ Minnesota, Game 4, CHI leads 2-1, 9:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN, RDS
For the third consecutive year, every Stanley Cup Playoffs game is being televised nationally in the United States, on NBC, NBCSN, CNBC and NHL Network. Not sure where to find the game? Use our channel finder: http://nhl.com/channelfinder.
Source: NHL Media