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. 1 Philadelphia Flyers vs. No. 6 New York Islanders
We had two Game 6s on deck last night, and two teams looking to avoid elimination again. First up were the Flyers, and the big news coming into this one was that Sean Couturier was going to be absent, but sliding back into the lineup would be Oskar Lindblom, his first game since receiving his cancer diagnosis last fall. Which truly felt like it was going to top anything that came out of the game.
But game itself was an exciting one. The Flyers came out hot and really seemed to have the Islanders on the heels early, and they were able to pick up two goals just 96 seconds apart in the middle of the first, care of Kevin Hayes and James van Riemsdyk. We were riding high, but it was set to come down on us soon enough. Derick Brassard got the Islanders on the board late in the period, and then Matt Martin tied things up early in the second period. Alain Vigneault made an objectively ill-advised challenge on that goal, which he lost, and that sent the Islanders to the power play, where Anders Lee scored to pull the Islanders into the lead. Michael Raffl was able to tie things up for the Flyers just past the 13 minute mark of the period, and the Flyers were looking to make it to intermission with that tie intact, but they ran out of luck—the Islanders were surging and Mathew Barzal picked up a goal with just 30 seconds left in the period to restore the Islanders’ lead.
The third period saw the Flyers scrambling to get back into the game, but for a while it looked like it would all be to no avail. But not so fast! Scott Laughton, Game 5’s overtime hero, came in clutch once again to tie things up and force overtime. And it would end up taking two overtimes, and were they ever nerve-wracking. Both sides came close to scoring, and both goaltenders had to come up with some big saves, and Carter Hart ended up being huge for the Flyers. They picked some momentum in the second overtime period, and with a little bit of luck from an Islander breaking a stick, they got a chance in the offensive zone, and Ivan Provorov got his turn as overtime hero, forcing a Game 7.
No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 5 Vancouver Canucks
Out West, the Canucks were riding high from their Game 5 win and Thatcher Demko’s efforts, and were looking to force a Game 7 of their own. They got off to a hot start as Jake Virtanen got them on the board 2:50 into the first with a nice wraparound goal, but the Golden Knights rallied after that, and were really peppering the Canucks with shots, and again it was up to Demko to stand tall and keep them in the game.
The second period didn’t see any further scoring, but it was more of the same, with Vegas knocking on the door and Vancouver trying to weather the storm. And weather they did, and in the third period, we saw them getting some more chances, and they certainly were efficient in cashing in on their opportunities. J.T. Miller extended their lead to two goals just over a minute into the third, and Quinn Hughes picked up their third of the game with an absolute laser of a shot sent in on Robin Lehner. The Golden Knights were looking to finally get themselves on the board with the goalie pulled with just over six minutes left in regulation, but they still couldn’t find a way to solve Demko, and when the Canucks were able to break out, it was Tanner Pearson feeding Bo Horvat for the empty net goal to seal the win. There was a bit more chippiness in the last couple of minutes of play, but otherwise things ended quietly enough, and the Canucks made it out with the shutout and a Game 7 secured tonight.