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.
No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 7 Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets came into this one looking to even up the series, and their chances seemed good, as it looked like they were going to get the early lead and be able to pick up the initial momentum, as Oliver Bjorkstrand got them on the board early in the first, but not so fast! Tampa Bay challenged for offsides, and it was, so the goal came back and were were scoreless again.
Despite that early jump from the Blue Jackets, the disallowed goal was a real turning point and the Lightning took over the momentum from there—Barclay Goodrow got them on the board get 16 seconds into the second period, and Yanni Gourde extended their lead to two goals just under three and a half minutes later, and the Lightning really looked like they were starting to figure out the Blue Jackets. Cam Atkinson would get one back for Columbus about and minute and a half after the Gourde goal, and they would generate some pressure, looking to tie things up, but they didn’t quite have enough in them. And suddenly, the Blue Jackets find themselves on the brink of elimination.
No. 2 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 7 Arizona Coyotes
After a low scoring affair in our first game of the day, we pivoted out West for a game that was, well, not that. The early part of the first period saw both sides trading chances and this one looking like it might go either way, but then things really broke open in the last five or so minutes of the period. First, Matt Nieto got the Avalanche on the board, and then two power play goals from right in front of the net from Nazem Kadri had them coasting into the first intermission with a three goal lead.
Joonas Donskoi made it a four goal lead about midway through the third period, and while Jakob Chychrun got one back for the Coyotes not long after, that was about all the response they had in them. The third period saw all hell breaking loose—Cale Makar scored a stunning goal on a breakaway 19 seconds into the period, then Matt Calvert added another about two and a half minutes later, and finally a power play goal for Mikko Rantanen made it seven goals for the Avalanche by the end of the third. And add in a Big Scrum after Makar took a big hit along the boards, and this game really did have just about everything. It sure was something.
No. 4 Boston Bruins vs. No. 5 Carolina Hurricanes
Back in the East, the big development of the game was that a once struggling Bruins team is starting to look like themselves again. It wasn’t a pretty start to this game for them—despite the fact that they did get a couple of good chances, the Hurricanes were much more opportunistic, and jumped out to a two goal lead, with Justin Williams picking up their first midway through the first period, and then Jordan Martinook early in the second. It was looking like the Hurricanes might be able to pull this one off and collect a win to tie the series, but then the third period hit and the wheels came off.
The Hurricanes found themselves really on their heels in the third period, and were generating nothing—really, nothing, they had no shots on goal until under two minutes to go in the period—and the Bruins were able to get to work. Jake Debrusk capitalized on a mistake by James Reimer, coming out to play the puck and flubbing the play, and the Bruins had some life. Connor Clifton tied things up midway through the period, and about a minute later, Brad Marchand on the breakaway puled them into the lead, and then ultimately Debrusk would get his second of the night to make it a 4-2 game. The Hurricanes created a bit of something in the last two minutes with the goalie pulled, their only shot of the period turned into a goal by Teuvo Teravainen, but that was all the offense they could muster.
No. 5 Vancouver Canucks vs. No. 4 St. Louis Blues
After a pretty dramatic overtime win for the Blues on Sunday night, Vancouver and St. Louis were right back at it last night, with the Blues looking to tie the series and pick up their second win in the bubble. Seemingly riding the momentum from the previous night’s win, they had noticeable jump early, and really seemed to be giving the Canucks some trouble. They picked up their first lead of the game late in the first period with a power play goal from Ryan O’Reilly, as their power play also seemed to be getting going again.
The second period saw the Canucks tie things up early, with J.T. Miller picking up a goal just 40 seconds into the period, but the Blues really took back over after that. Just shy of the seven minute mark, O’Reilly picked up his second of the game to reclaim the lead, and then at the end of the period, Alex Pietrangelo also picked up a power play goal, and the Blues’ lead grew a bit more comfortable. Both sides had a few more nice chances in the third, and Canucks made a push late in the period as they looked to tie the game and send this thing to overtime again—even having a power play to work with for the last minute and a half or so—but they just couldn’t seem to close on any of their chances. And so the series is tied and things are getting interesting.