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Cullen: Leafs, Rangers send it to seven; Wings move on

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Scott Cullen
5/13/2013 1:47:48 AM
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The Maple Leafs and Rangers aren't ready to pack up just yet and the Detroit Red Wings are going to face the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round of the playoffs. Scott Cullen has stats and notes from Sunday's NHL action.

LEAFS FORCE GAME SEVEN
G James Reimer stopped 29 of 30 shots and the Toronto Maple Leafs got goals from D Dion Phaneuf and RW Phil Kessel to win 2-1 and force Game Seven against the Boston Bruins Monday night.

Before the series started, there was pressure on Reimer to outperform Bruins G Tuukka Rask because Boston consistently outshot opponents while the Maple Leafs were consistently outshot during the regular season. Through six games, they've battled to a draw, with each stopping 93.2% of the shots faced in the series.

Maple Leafs LW James van Riemsdyk had two assists and was plus-2 in Game Six. He leads Toronto with five points, and 29 shots on goal, in the series.

C Patrice Bergeron and D Dougie Hamilton (in 10:49 of ice time) led the Bruins with five hits, while Maple Leafs defencemen Ryan O'Byrne and Cody Franson each recorded seven hits. Hamilton returned to the Bruins' lineup, for his second game of the series, due to an injury to Andrew Ference.

The Bruins have been dominating in the faceoff circle and, with C Tyler Bozak out for the Leafs, the Bruins won two-thirds of faceoffs in Game Six. C Joe Colborne was inserted into the Toronto lineup in Bozak's absence and Colborne had six hits while playing 15:05. With such a quick turnaround to Game Seven, it seems likely that Colborne will be part of the lineup again.

Maple Leafs D Jake Gardiner led Leafs with five takeaways, giving him 10 in five games this series. Mikhail Grabovski, with seven in six games, is the only other Leaf with more than one per game in the series.

If the Bruins are going to avoid blowing their 3-1 lead in the series, they could really use some of their forwards to find the scoresheet. RW Jaromir Jagr, LW Brad Marchand and RW Tyler Seguin have yet to score in the series, despite generating 63 shots on goal. Odds are that can't continue but, for the Maple Leafs' sake, they only need it to continue for one more game.

Not that anyone is looking for moral victories but, even if they lose Game Seven, the Maple Leafs have to feel positive about their showing in this series. They've acquitted themselves well against a team with a roster that has experienced playoff success.

From the Bruins' perspective, they've been inconsistent for much of the season, but they can quiet doubters and get a fresh start with a Game Seven win.

RANGERS TAKE CAPITALS TO THE LIMIT
C Derick Brassard scored midway through the game and Henrik Lundqvist had a 27-save shutout to give the New York Rangers a hard-fought 1-0 win in Game Six, forcing a Game Seven in Washington, D.C. Monday.

The home team has taken the first six games in this series and the Capitals have outscored the Rangers by one, so it's been a virtual toss-up thus far.

Brassard leads the Rangers with seven points in the series, his emergence helping to offset C Brad Richards' struggles. Richards has one point in six games and played 9:34 in Game Six -- his lowest ice time in a game since his rookie season, 2000-2001.

RW Alex Ovechkin led the Capitals with five shots on goal, yet it was the fourth straight game in which he was held without a point. The Capitals didn't have a single power play in Game Six, which affects Ovechkin -- both of his points in the series have come on the power play and 27 of 56 points during the regular season game with the man advantage.

Ovechkin isn't the only high-profile scoring winger who isn't scoring in this series. Rangers RW Rick Nash has 20 shots on goal, to lead the Rangers, but has mustered just one assist in six games.

With one-goal games the order of the day in this series, a big performance (or any production whatsoever) in Game Seven from Nash, Ovechkin or Richards could spell the difference.

RED WINGS ROLL DUCKS
LW Henrik Zetterberg and C Valtteri Filppula both had a goal and an assist and G Jimmy Howard stopped 31 of 33 Anaheim Ducks shots to give the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 win in Game Seven.

Zetterberg was plus-2 in the game and tied C Pavel Datsyuk for the team lead with six shots on goal. Not surprisingly, if the Red Wings were going to win they needed big performances from Zetterberg and Datsyuk and the duo combined for 15 points in the series.

With the season on the line, the Red Wings limited the ice time of forwards Todd Bertuzzi, Mikael Samuelsson and Patrick Eaves, all of whom were kept under eight minutes.

D Francois Beauchemin had a goal and an assist for the Ducks, but he, along with C Saku Koivu and D Sheldon Souray finished minus-2 for the Ducks.

Beauchemin and C Ryan Getzlaf led the Ducks with six points in the series, but rookie LW Emerson Etem showed flashes of his potential, on his way to five points and a plus-4 rating.

D Ben Lovejoy led the Ducks with five shots on goal in Game Seven, playing 26:06, second only to Cam Fowler on the Ducks' blueline.

What proved to be the undoing for Anaheim was that, in a series with such a close margin -- the Ducks outscored Detroit by three goals yet still lost the series -- they couldn't get more production from RW Corey Perry, who had zero goals and two assists while playing more than 20 minutes per game. With the Wings winning three games in overtime, a timely goal from Perry could have made the difference.

This series could also mark the end of Teemu Selanne's NHL career. The Finnish Flash has had an exceptional career (675 G, 755 A, 1430 PTS, 1387 GP) but, at 42, he was slowing down. He had one assist (along with eight goals) in his last 33 games of the regular season and had three points while playing under 14 minutes per game in the first-round loss to Detroit.

By upsetting the second-seeded Ducks, the Red Wings are rewarded with a shot at the first-seeded Chicago Blackhawks. Detroit doesn't have Chicago's depth, but if G Jimmy Howard plays well, he could give the Wings a chance.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.

David Krejci Phil Kessel (Photo: Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
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