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
We had a pair of Game 7s on the docket yesterday, and this first one sure was a wild one. The Dallas Stars got out to an early lead, with a power play goal from Alexander Radulov just 2:39 into the period, but that lead did not last long, as the Avalanche came right back just over a minute later and Vladislav Namestnikov got them on the board. They picked up some momentum from there and with a goal from Andre Burakovsky just before the midpoint of the period, pulled into the lead.
But Dallas came out with some jump in the second period, and Joel Kiviranta (just inserted into the lineup for this game) tied things up for them. But not so fast! A trend is emerging here! Once again, the Avalanche were able to come right back with a response goal again, this time just about two and a half minutes later, care of a power play goal from Nazem Kadri. The third period saw this same kind of quick strike offense happening, with the flurry coming in the back half of the period. Radulov picked up his second of the game at 11:28, and then Namestnikov picked up his second of the night about five minutes later, but the Stars got the equalizer 10 (yes, ten) seconds later, as Kiviranta picked up his second goal of the night. Oh my. And that meant we were getting a Game 7 overtime. We saw a fair few really good chances from both sides, but in the end, it was the Stars who came out on top. Kiviranta completed the hat trick for the winner, and punched the Stars’ ticket to the conference final.
No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 5 Vancouver Canucks
We obviously had a high scoring affair in our first game of the day, but the same can’t really be said of the Vegas vs. Vancouver Game 7. The big story from Game 6 was the play of Thatcher Demko, and how Vegas threw just about everything they had at him and he shut them down completely. We got even more of this early in this game, as the Golden Knights’ offense was clicking well and just not catching a break, while the Canucks struggled to generate much of anything (like, really struggled, we were in the second period and the Canucks only had six shots on goal).
Demko kept them in the game even through much of the third period, but he wasn’t able to maintain that same clip all the way to the end, and certainly not without help. The Golden Knights got a power play with just over six minutes left in the third period, and Shea Theodore picked up a deflection goal that Demko didn’t really stand a chance on, and Vegas was on the board. Vancouver tried to rally, and did have a couple of good chances, but in the end, it was empty net goals for Alex Tuch and Paul Stastny to seal the win, and the Golden Knights are moving on.