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. 7 Vancouver Canucks vs No. 10 Minnesota Wild
It was something of a quiet start to this third game of the Vancouver-Minnesota series, as both teams traded chances early on, but neither could seem cash in on any of those chances, and it was starting to feel like this one might never see any scoring. Indeed, we made it to just shy of the 14 minutes mark of the second period before anyone broke the ice, but Brock Boeser managed it, picking up Vancouver’s first goal of the afternoon on the power play. The Wild were looking to hold on and stage a comeback, to keep this game from getting out of hand, but they had no such luck—Vancouver had the momentum and they were running with it. Antoine Roussel extended the Cancuks’ lead to two goals just over two minutes into the third period, and the game was getting away from the Wild. Elias Pettersson sealed the win with another power play goal with under a minute and a half to go in the third, and Vancouver coasted into a 2-1 series lead.
Round Robin: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Washington Capitals
And for the late afternoon, we shifted to round robin action, and a Metro division rivalry game between the Capitals and the Flyers. Here, too, we saw something of a weird and sloppy start, but the Flyers jumped out to an early lead, care of a goal from Scott Laughton. With that, they grabbed the momentum and just kept on rolling, as Travis Sanheim picked up a goal in the second period to extend their lead to two, and then Laughton would get his second of the game midway through the third period to make it 3-0. The Capitals came right back and got themselves back within two, care of a goal by Travis Boyd that actually was an own goal for Robert Hagg, but that was all they could muster. The Flyers held on and were able to skate away with their second win of the round robin.
Round Robin: Vegas Golden Knights vs. St. Louis Blues
Out in Edmonton, we had another round robin game in the evening, and this one proved to be a thriller. Fresh off of a pretty deflating loss to the Avalanche in their first game (Nazem Kadri buzzer beater, hello), the St. Louis Blues were looking to get back on track, and they sure did get off to a strong start. They jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, with David Perron picking up a goal early in the first, and then Colton Parayko doubling the lead under two minutes into the second. But the Golden Knights weren’t going to go away quietly, as they would score three unanswered in the next twelve minutes (by Shea Theodore, Alex Tuch, and Alex Tuch again) to pull into the lead.
But not so fast! Now we’ve got Colton Parayko picking up his second of the game under a minute after Tuch notched his second! And now Troy Brouwer’s pulling the Blues back up by one just 20 seconds later! Surely this must be it for the Golden Knights, right?
Absolutely not. They came out strong for the third and first it was Zach Whitecloud early in the period tying things up, then Mark Stone got the ultimate game winner midway through, and finally Theodore picked up his second of the night to seal the win. Whew.
Stanley Cup Qualifiers: No. 8 Toronto Maple Leafs vs No. 9 Columbus Blue Jackets
The wild night continued as we jumped back to the East for Game 3 of this series. It was a quiet enough start to the game, and neither side was able to break through until late in the first period, when Cody Ceci picked up a shorthanded goal in the last two minutes of play (yes, you read that right). The Leafs would keep rolling, picking up two more unanswered goals in the second period, care of William Nylander on the power play, and Nicholas Robertson, his first NHL goal. It may have looked like the Leafs had this one in the bag, but things opened up in a bad way for them. Pierre-Luc Dubois got one back for the Blue Jackets before the end of the second period, then Seth Jones got them back within one early in the third, and Dubois got another to ultimately tie things up and send them to overtime. Both teams pretty evenly traded chances through the early part of the overtime period, but couldn’t close on any. It looked like this might be going to a second overtime, but nope, Columbus picked up the game winner care of who else but Dubois, and the Blue Jackets went back up in the series.
Stanley Cup Qualifiers: No. 8 Calgary Flames vs. No. 9 Winnipeg Jets
And we’re back again for the fourth game of this series and we’re about to kick things off and oh, okay, we’re got a fight off the opening faceoff. Milan Lucic and Nathan Beaulieu. Sure. Why not.
Anyway, as for the actual hockey part of this game, it really was all Flames just about from the get-go. Dillon Dube got the Flames their first lead of the game just over three minutes into the first period. They kept rolling nicely, but it looked like they were going to hit the first intermission with just that one-goal lead. That is, of course, until Sam Bennett picked up a second goal with just .7 seconds left in the period to double the Flames’ lead. The second period didn’t see any further scoring, but it did see the Flames continuing to dominate, hemming the Jets in their own end and just about pressuring them to death. The third period, then, did see some pushback from the Jets, and Cam Talbot had to come up with a couple of massive saves. The Flames weathered the Winnipeg storm, and with empty net goals for both Sean Monahan and Rasmus Andersson, the Flames sealed up their win and punched their ticket to the first round.