Rangers defeat Lighting in Game One of the Eastern Conference Final, plus updates on the Ducks, Blackhawks and more.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/THE TAMPA TRIBUNE: Dominic Moore’s goal with 2:25 remaining in the third period lifted the New York Rangers to a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the opening game of the Eastern Conference Final. Derek Stepan also scored for the Rangers, while Ondrej Palat tallied a power-play goal for the Lightning.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bit of a dull start to this series, as there were not many quality scoring chances in Game One. Both goaltenders were sharp, as the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves while the Lightning’s Ben Bishop turned aside 28.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks, and especially Jonathan Toews, are set to renew their old rivalry with Anaheim Ducks’ center Ryan Kesler, which stretches back to Kesler’s days with the Vancouver Canucks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kesler’s agitating style played a key part in the Blackhawks’ once-fierce rivalry with the Canucks, He could bring an extra level of intensity to this series, which could also work in the ‘Hawks favor.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen has quietly and steadily improved his performance over the course of this year’s playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Entering this year’s playoffs I had concerns about Andersen’s limited postseason experience and performance, but he’s been rock solid thus far for the Ducks .
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: James Mirtle examines how the first two rounds of this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs offered great examples of the strengths and limitations of advanced stats.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s always exceptions to every rule and advanced stats is no different. They’re not the end-all and be-all in determining the outcome of an unpredictable game like hockey, but they certainly play a significant part.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, disappointed over his performance and the outcome of this season, is charting a course for a healthy return next season.
STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues goaltending issues are compounded by the success of former Blue and current Lightning starter Ben Bishop.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For Blues fans, Bishop is the one that got away. One wonders how different the Blues recent playoff history might be had they not dealt away Bishop. At the time, of course, it made sense to move him, as Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott were playing so well.