Throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs we’ll be keeping track of all the action around the league, and bringing you all of the results in one place.
Round Robin: Boston Bruins vs. Washington Capitals
With the Flyers and Lightning playing their last game on Saturday, that left us with just one more round robin game in the East to work out that part of the seeding. It was the Capitals and the Bruins facing off to decide the third and fourth seeds, and this game figured to be an interesting one, with two teams known to be a bit nasty squaring off, but, well, we didn’t quite get that. the first period started off feeling a little disjointed, a little messy, as both teams struggled to string together any momentum. It would still see, despite that, the Capitals jumping out to the lead, as T.J. Oshie notched the first goal of the game with just 16 seconds left in the period. The second period didn’t see any further scoring, but it did see the physicality kicking up a notch, greater intensity coming in spurts. Tom Wilson extended the Capitals’ lead to two early in the third period, and the Bruins still looked like they were floundering a bit, looking for their game. Jake Debrusk picked up one goal to get them back into the mix, but they couldn’t quite put together the late game surge they needed to push this one past regulation. And so the Capitals picked up the third seed, and the Bruins, winless in the round robin, had to settle for fourth.
Round Robin: Dallas Stars vs. St. Louis Blues
We also had one more round robin game out West, also to decide the third and fourth seeds! Dallas and St. Louis, hello!
This game started out a bit more intensity than the last, but still, curiously enough ended up with stretches where it felt flat as well. Anyway, the Blues had a bit of action happen early, with Robert Thomas opening up the scoring just under four minutes into the first period. The Blues picked up another goal from Vince Dunn to double their lead—but wait! Not so fast! The Stars challenged for offsides, and it was, so the goal came back. False alarm.
We fell into a bit of a scoring lull there, until the Stars made a late push and, with the goalie pulled, Joe Pavelski tied things up with 32 seconds left in regulation. Overtime saw them trade some good chances, but in the end it would take a shootout to settle this one. And with Dennis Gurianov picking up the shootout winner for the Stars, they made it out with their first win and the third seed.
Stanley Cup Qualifiers: No. 8 Toronto Maple Leafs vs No. 9 Columbus Blue Jackets
We closed out the night with the final elimination game of the play-in, and this one certainly wasn’t wanting for excitement. The Leafs seemed to grab the early momentum, gaining the edge in chances through the first frame, but it was the Blue Jackets, ever, opportunistic, who opened up the scoring, care of a goal from Zach Werenski. The Leafs continued to get the better of the chances through the middle frame, but just couldn’t seem to beat Joonas Korpisalo. And they got a bit more bad news, as they would lose Tyson Barrie in the second period after he took a big hit from Boone Jenner along the boards, heading to the locker room and not returning to the game. The third period went much like the second, with the Leafs surging but not breaking through, and their job got even harder midway through the period, as Frederik Andersen let in a weak goal on a Liam Foudy shot, and Columbus had the two goal lead. The Leafs pulled Andersen with just over two minutes left in the period, but still came up short. Nick Foligno picked up the empty netter and sealed the win for the Blue Jackets, punching their ticket to the first round where they’ll meet the Tampa Bay Lightning.