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.
Stanley Cup Qualifiers: No. 11 New York Rangers vs. No. 6 Carolina Hurricanes
After picking up a pretty tidy win in Game 1 of their series, the Hurricanes came into this one looking to keep the ball rolling, and keep it rolling they did. They jumped out to an early lead, with Andrei Svechnikov picking up the Hurricanes’ first goal just four and a half minutes into the game. The Rangers would get one back later in the period, a power play goal for Artemi Panarin, and we hit the first intermission with a game suddenly looking like it could go either way. But it was just about all Hurricanes the rest of the way, as a power play goal for Svechnikov got them the lead back, and a goal for Jordan Martinook extended their lead to two just over a minute later, and just like that, the Hurricanes were back to a much more comfortable position. They would seal off the game in the third period with a final goal by, you guessed it, Svechnikov to complete the hat trick and drive the nail in the coffin. The Canes skated away with another comfortable victory, and the Rangers now sit on the brink of elimination.
Stanley Cup Qualifiers: No. 8 Calgary Flames vs. No. 9 Winnipeg Jets
So the Jets came into yesterday’s game down one in the series and without both Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine, and that may sound like they had the cards stacked pretty well against them, so naturally that means that they were going to be able to pull out an upset win, in the end. They had the early momentum in this game, and jumped out to a two goal lead with a first period goal from Jansen Harkins and another early in the second from Adam Lowry. The Flames would find their footing a bit and work on a comeback, tying things up by the second intermission thanks to Elias Lindholm and Sam Bennett. But any excitement that Flames had building would be short lived—Nikolaj Ehlers would pick up a power play goal midway through the third to propel the Jets back into the lead, and despite their best efforts, the Flames couldn’t find a way to equalize again. So the Jets enacted a bit of revenge, and were able to tie up the series, in turn.
Round Robin: Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
This afternoon also saw the second game of the Eastern Conference round robin, and it sure did not disappoint. This stood out, chiefly, as a somewhat uncharacteristically physical meeting between these teams, but we also know the skill they have, and that was on full display as well. Tampa picked up the early momentum and nabbed the first two goals, care of Nikita Kucherov and Mitchell Stephens, but the Capitals weren’t going to be bested so easily. The third period saw goals for Richard Panik and Evgeny Kuznetsov as the Capitals worked well to surge back, but they didn’t have quite enough for a third goal to wrap things up in regulation. So to overtime we went, and despite a fair share of good chances for both sides, neither could seem to break through, so we got a shootout! T.J. Oshie scored for the Capitals, but Brayden Point and Kucherov beat Brayden Holtby, and that sealed the win for the Lightening, putting to bed a strange but exciting game.
Round Robin: Dallas Stars vs. Vegas Golden Knights
Shifting to the West for our second round robin game of the day, this one certainly brought its own fair share of excitement. The big headline coming out of this one, of course, was that Vegas’s Ryan Reeves chose to kneel for the anthems, and he was joined in solidarity by his teammate Robin Lehner as well as Dallas’s Tyler Seguin and Jason Dickinson. It was a powerful moment and a strong statement, to be sure, and welcomed to say the least.
And as for the hockey, well, this game was certainly a ride. The Golden Knights got out to a very early lead, with a goal for Chandler Stephenson just 1:04 into the first period. And this may have had some folks worried that this was going to be a bloodbath for the Stars, but not so fast! The Stars came back strong for the second period and put up three unanswered goals, thanks to Joe Pavelski, Jamie Oleksiak, and Corey Perry. And then maybe we were thinking that the Golden Knights were really in trouble, but not so fast! Just shy of ten minutes into the period, Mark Stone got on the board. A minute and a half later, Nate Schmidt tied things up, and we had ourselves a game again! Tallies for William Carrier and William Karlsson would seal up the win and close out what we can only describe as an emotional roller coaster. Whew.
Stanley Cup Qualifiers: No. 12 Montreal Canadiens vs. No. 5 Pittsburgh Penguins
After Montreal pulled off a surprise upset win in their first game to take the lead in the series, many eyes were trained on them to see if they could continue those winning ways. They got off to a bit of a shaky start, giving up the first goal of the game to Sidney Crosby, and were left to play catch up.
And we had a bit of drama! The Canadiens almost had their first goal just past the midway point of the first period, which would have been shorthanded, but the net was dislodged and maybe the puck didn’t go in after all, maybe it did, so we had to review. It wasn’t a goal, but in all that mess, the Habs drew a penalty, so they would get a brief power play out of all of that. Very brief, as is would turn out, as they took a too many men penalty very early into it. Doing great out here.
What would ensue was a goaltending masterclass, as each side traded great chances, and Carey Price and Matt Murray shut down everything thrown at them. It took until around the last five minutes of the game for the offenses to really get going again. Jason Zucker extended the Penguins’ lead to two, and then Jesperi Kotkaniemi got the Habs back within one, and they looked to tie things up with the goalie pulled, but Jake Guentzel got the empty netter, and that was all she wrote. We’ve got a tied series, folks!
Stanley Cup Qualifiers: No. 12 Chicago Blackhawks vs. No. 5 Edmonton Oilers
After getting pretty thoroughly torched in their first outing, a big question heading into this one was on how the Oilers would respond for game two. And the answer came pretty quickly, that is was with force, as Connor McDavid came out and did normal Connor McDavid things, opening up the scoring just 19 seconds into the game. And then he did it again at the 4:05 minute mark, and things sure were getting interesting. But the Blackhawks weren’t just going to wither and go away quietly, and they came right back and Patrick Kane got them back within one.
The second period would see the Oilers pull further ahead again, as a defensive breakdown lead to a chance for Tyler Ennis, and the Oilers were back up by two. But not for long! The Blackhawks had an answer thanks to Slater Koekkoek and we were back to a one-goal game. And the comeback kept rolling, as after three unsuccessful power plays, the Blackhawks stayed cool and found their chance at even strength, and Olli Maata was able to tie things up. But again this was short lived, as the Edmonton offense saw another outburst, and the Blackhawks didn’t have an answer. McDavid completed his hat trick with a power play goal late in the second, and then James Neal and Alex Chiasson picked up goals in the third to close things out. Another series all tied up!