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
Yesterday was elimination Wednesday and we had a whole lot of interesting happenings, and we kicked things off early in the afternoon with Game 5 of the Tampa Bay vs. Columbus series, with the Blue Jackets on the brink. The Lightning came out with some jump and picked up the early lead, with goals from Tyler Johnson and Blake Coleman before we even hit the seven minute mark. The Blue Jackets weren’t going to go away quietly, though, as they had a surge in them—Nick Foligno got them on the board late in the first period, and then they sort of took over in the second, with Kevin Stenlund and Alexander Wennberg picking up goals to pull them into the lead.
Oliver Bjorkstrand made it a two goal game midway through the third, and things were looking a little dicey, but the Lightning still had some good response in them, yet. Kevin Shattenkirk got them one right back, and then Anthony Cirelli was about to tie things up late in the third period, and once again, this series would see overtime.
Both sides traded some really good chances, but in the end it was Brayden Point to bring the heroics again, and he notched the overtime winner just past the five minute mark in the overtime period. And the Lightning would advance to the second round.
No. 4 Boston Bruins vs. No. 5 Carolina Hurricanes
It was a pretty exciting offensive game in that first one of the day, and by contrast, we had a stingier, more defensive game in this one. The Hurricanes brought the first bit of flash, as Haydn Fleury got them on the board midway through the first period, and for a brief moment, those rooting for the Canes in this series felt a little bit of hope.
It was, ultimately, pretty short lived, as the Bruins came out for the second period and pretty well took over. It wasn’t until late in the period when they were able to finally break through, with their first goal coming from David Krejci on the power play. The Hurricanes were hoping to hold onto the tie and just make it to the second intermission without giving up any more, but the Bruins had other ideas. With just six seconds left in the period, Patrice Bergeron beat Petr Mrazek and got the Bruins the lead. The Hurricanes had a couple of chances in the third period to get things tied up again, but Jaroslav Halak had their number. The Bruins picked up the win and punched their own ticket to the second round.
No. 2 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 7 Arizona Coyotes
After their 7-1 beatdown on the Coyotes in Game 4, some of us might have expected a relatively quieter game this time around, and a bit of push back from the Coyotes as they looked to stave off elimination. But, well, that didn’t happen. The Avalache came out hot again, and picked up a 3-0 lead in the first period alone, as Nazam Kadri and Samuel Girard picked up power play goals, and Kadri picked up a second goal at even strength before the end of the period.
The Avalanche’s surge continued, and it honestly didn’t feel fair. Nathan MacKinnon picked up two goals in the second period, then set up another when he switched spots with Nikita Zadorov, threw a shot on net from the point, and Zadorov deflected it in as he was cruising through the slot. Clayton Keller got the Coyotes on the board at least in the third period, but it still wasn’t over, and J.T. Compher recorded the Avalanche’s seventh goal of the evening late in the third period. And then it was, mercifully, over for the Coyotes, and the Avalanche sealed the series win.
No. 8 Montreal Canadiens vs. No. 1 Philadelphia Flyers
With our final potential elimination game of the day, the Flyers had a chance to wrap up this series neatly with a third consecutive win, but as it turns out, it wouldn’t be that easy. What had been a pretty tight defensive series pretty well broke open, as we saw a whole lot of offense generated. The Canadiens got on the board early in this one, with a shorthanded goal from Joel Armia. The Flyers would come back in the second, though, as they were given a five minute power play after Jesperi Kotkaniemi boarded Travis Sanheim, during which Jake Voracek scored two goals. But the Canadiens still had more in them, and Armia picked up his second of the game, and Brendan Gallagher picked up a goal on the power play to restore the Canadiens’ lead.
Joel Farabee picked up a power play goal in the third to tie things up again, but that was the end of what the Flyers could manage offensively. Nick Suzuki got the lead right back for the Habs and despite the Flyers’ efforts, they couldn’t get back into the mix. An empty netter for Phillip Danault sealed the win for Montreal, and this one would go to Game 6.
No. 5 Vancouver Canucks vs. No. 4 St. Louis Blues
With this series tied at two wins apiece, it was the only one that wasn’t a potential elimination game, but we were still in for an exciting game. We had a quiet enough start to this one, and it wasn’t until past the 13 minute mark when we got some scoring, in the form of a shorthanded goal for Tyler Motte to get the Canucks on the board. The Blues pretty well took over after that, though, as they picked up goals from Brayden Schenn and Ryan O’Reilly in the last five minutes of the first.
The Blues would make it a two-goal game early in the second with a goal from Zach Sanford, and things were looking a little dicey for a bit, but the Canucks were able to bear down and do some good work late in the period. In the back half, they got goals from J.T. Miller, Jake Virtanen, and then another for Motte, and they pulled themselves back into the lead. And from there they just had to hold on to it through the third period, and that they were able to do with relative ease, despite a bit of a surge from the Blues. And once again the Canucks were back in the lead in the series.