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Stanley Cup Playoffs wrap up: Three teams on the brink

Your daily recap of the 2020 NHL playoffs.

Colorado Avalanche v Dallas Stars - Game Four Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

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 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 3 Dallas Stars

In a word, this series has been ridiculous. This game was no different. The Stars took a commanding 3-0 lead in the first period, thanks to goals from John Klingberg, Radek Faksa, and Jamie Benn, but the real story of the period was more about the Avalanche. It took over 18 minutes for Colorado to record their first shot on goal. Almost an entire period with none! They actually had a decent late period push, with five shots on goal in the final minute and half, but it was a shockingly flat start by one of the league’s most exciting teams.

Score effects did, well, take effect, from then on as the Avalanche pushed to tie the game, and tie the series. Midway through the second period Valeri Nichushkin put the Avs on the board with his first tally of the post-season. Cale Makar got the Avalanche within a goal with under 30 seconds to play in the period, and then would like to forget what happened (almost) next. OK first Roope Hintz regained the Stars’ two-goal lead, and then, and Pavel Francouz left the puck for Makar, he lost control of the puck behind the net and it went right through the blue paint to Denis Gurianov. To borrow Gabriel Landeskog’s words, shit happens. That goal would become the game-winner. Ouch.

Nichushkin would add another on a weird long-range shot, and Vlad Namestnikov scored their fourth and final goal with four seconds left in the game.

Final: Dallas 5, Colorado 4
Series: 3-1 Dallas
SB Nation team perspective: DAL | COL
Highlights: NHL

No. 1 Philadelphia Flyers vs. No. 6 New York Islanders

Thomas Greiss, man. Believe it or not, this was one of the Flyers better games since the end of the round robin. The first period was pretty even, except in the special teams department. One terrible power play and penalty kill later, and things were looking lopsided. But, they got out of the period unscathed, and just had to reset. And you know what? They did. They were fantastic in the middle frame, but Greiss would allow one goal, a Sean Couturier redirect. Prior to that, Brock Nelson had opened the scoring after being left alone in front.

Claude Giroux had a great chance for his first of the playoffs, but his diving attempt couldn’t beat Greiss. On the very next shift J.G. Pageau broke free and beat Brian Elliott on the breakaway. A similar situation occurred later when, after Travis Konecny was robbed by Greiss, and Nelson added his second of the game. With the goalie pulled Ivan Provorov scored to set up possible late-game heroics, but the Flyers couldn’t complete the comeback.

Final: New York 3, Philadelphia 2
Series: 3-1 New York
SB Nation team perspective: NYI | PHI
Highlights: NHL

No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 5 Vancouver Canucks

Vegas, on the other hand, did pull off the third period comeback last night. Max Pacioretty opened up the scoring with a power play goal, and less than two minutes later Elias Pettersson answered with a power play marker of his own for Vancouver. Before the first came to a close, Vegas went in on an odd-man rush that led to Chandler Stephenson’s second of the post-season. Vancouver would take over in the second period with goals from Bo Horvat and Tyler Toffoli, but then things would take a turn south for the Canucks.

Just over two minutes into the third period Nate Schmidt tied the game with a one-timed rocket from the point. And four minutes later it’d be Pacioretty with his second of the game, and fifth of the playoffs. Soon after the dagger would come from William Karlsson, Pacioretty picked up the primary assist on the goal, and was the Golden Knights’ best player. Marc-Andre Fleury made a number of key stops to keep Vancouver from making their own comeback bid.

Final: Vegas 5, Vancouver 3
Series: 3-1 Vegas
SB Nation team perspective: VGK | VAN
Highlights: NHL