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. 8 Montreal Canadiens vs. No. 1 Philadelphia Flyers
After the Flyers took Game 3 in admittedly a pretty boring 1-0 win, we buckled in for this one expecting much of the same. The first period was a little bit more wide open, with some frequent line shuffling on the Flyers’ part and some mistakes opening up space to work with. The Flyers picked up the first goal of the game early in the period off a great shot from Michael Raffl, and the Canadiens were scrambling some looking to respond.
The second period saw us slipping back into a tighter forechecking style, but the Flyers were still able to make the best of it—they weathered Montreal’s surge, and late in the period, Philippe Myers sent a shot in on Carey Price that he sort of just deflected into his own goal, and the Flyers had the two goal lead. The Canadiens kept pushing in the third period, but they couldn’t seem to make anything happen, and with that, the Flyers were able to pull off their second consecutive shut out, as well as the 3-1 lead in the series.
No. 6 Calgary Flames vs. No. 3 Dallas Stars
Back out west, we had a tied series between Calgary and Dallas, after Dallas picked up an overtime win on Sunday. The Stars seemed to be rolling with that momentum, and came into this one with some serious jump. Jamie Benn opened up the scoring for the Stars with a shorthanded goal midway through the first period. He fully took out the net on that goal, but the puck crossed the line before the net came off, so it just because A Scene or something.
The Flames tied things up with a goal from Michael Backlund with just 46 seconds left in the period, and they were looking to get back into the mix after Dallas had grabbed that early momentum. The Stars ended up just being too much for them—they didn’t slow down as the game went on, and ultimately a goal from John Klingberg early in the third period had them back in the lead and the Flames pressing. They got a couple of chances late in the period with the goalie pulled, but it was too little too late. The Stars shut them down and made it out of this one with a 3-2 lead and a chance to advance with a win on Thursday.
No. 6 New York Islanders vs. No. 3 Washington Capitals
The Islanders came into this one with a 3-0 lead in the series, and were likely feeling pretty hot, looking to punch their ticket to the second round early, with a win to complete the sweep. And it looked like they were going to be able to do that with relative ease, as they jumped out to an early lead with two unanswered goals from Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Mathew Barzal in the first period.
Some of us were probably writing the post-mortems already, but the Capitals weren’t going to go away quietly. We hit the second period and it was like a switch flipped, it was all Caps from then on out. Evgeny Kuznetsov picked up the first goal of the game early in the period, and then Alex Ovechkin tied things up on the power play just a few minutes later. Ovechkin would pick up his second of the night early in the third period, and then for the Capitals it was just a matter of weathering the storm, and that they did, successfully avoiding getting swept.
No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 8 Chicago Blackhawks
And for our last game of the night, we went back out west as the Golden Knights were looking to knock off the Blackhawks and advance to the second round. This one wasn’t going to be easy on them, either. The Blackhawks opened up the scoring midway through the first period and a deflection goal for Jonathan Toews, and then with just over a minute and a half left in the period, Alex Debrincat made it ta two-goal game. The Golden Knights would make a statement in the final minute of the period, though, as Max Pacioretty got them on the board before we hit the first intermission.
Things got decidedly more run and gun from there—Mark Stone tied things up inside the first minute of the second period, then just past the four minute mark, Patrick Kane got Chicago their lead back, but not for long, and three and a half minutes later, Alec Martinez tied things up again. Vegas extended their lead with a goal by Alex Tuch about a minute and a half into the period. Tuch looked to add his second of the night inside the final five minutes of the period, but that one came back due to goaltender interference. But no matter, what they had done was enough, and they were able to hold off the Blackhawks and ride the one goal lead to the win.