I wasn't able to watch anywhere near all of either of the games last night, but did see chunks of both.
I must say, the Rangers did look like the better team, last night, but weren't able to get it past Fleury (though, admittedly, part of that was penalty differential). Who'd've thought that was going to be the case?
I watched most of the Ducks/Kings game, and that was a very good game. Both teams were definitely going all-out, in a way that the Caps never do (at least not visibly). I think part of that is coaching, though; Oates' system is just too passive. Both Western teams were very aggressively attacking the puck, wherever it was on the ice.
I think the only way to make a "collapse to the goal, play defense all game" work is to be very, very good on the breakout (and have an amazingly good/lucky goalie). Which is to say that I'm not at all sure it's feasible in hockey the way it is in soccer. There are just too many scoring opportunities in a hockey game. The defenders, no matter how good they are, just can't help out blocking shots as much as they can in soccer (just as a function of ball size, I think).
Anyway, getting back to the Ducks and Kings; I still stand by what I said about being comfortable that the Kings would be moving on. The Kings deserved the win they got (and they played Sarge, and he didn't look terribly out of place), though it should be pointed out that Quick also needed to be very good from time to time. The one goal he allowed was on a 4-on-3, where Doughty was one of the players in the box, and it still took a deflection off a defenseman to get past Quick.
At one point, Doughty took a slash to the back of the knee (from Beauchemin), and limped off. I was wondering if that was going to leave them at a point they hadn't reached all season, with three defencemen out, but Doughty came back a minute or two later.
Getting back to the Rangers loss, they were shut out in back-to-back games for the first time since Varly did it to them, and now need to win badly. I hope they can do it (though I'm getting more skeptical).