For the second straight year, the Minnesota Wild have unfortunately passed away after game five of the first round. Sixteen of the Wild’s last twenty playoff games have ended in a loss, and the team has now failed to move past the first round for three straight years.
Day 12 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs was back to the norm as an offensive explosion broke out between four teams. A total of 18 goals were scored in both games with the Penguins and Predators moving onto the second round.
Here’s how it went down:
Pittsburgh 8-5 Philadelphia
Pittsburgh wins series 4-2
— NHL (@NHL) April 22, 2018
It didn’t take long for the offense to pour out in an offensively explosive game. Pittsburgh jumped out to an early 2-1 lead in the first period.
It was Philadelphia who scored first, however, as Sean Couturier scored his third goal of the playoffs and his second in consecutive games two minutes into the game.
The Penguins wouldn’t stand for that, as their Captain Sidney Crosby scored his playoff-leading sixth goal four minutes later, off the rebound glove side, tying the game at one.
Less than a minute later the Pittsburgh would take a 2-1 lead. Carl Hagelin would score his second of the postseason, waiting all alone in front of the net and capitalizing on a turnover by Shayne Gostisbehere from behind his goaltender.
The offense continued as each team seemed to trade goal for goal. Andrew MacDonald blasted one from the blue-line past Matt Murray scoring with five minutes left in the period to tie the game at two heading into the second.
Sean Couturier added to his goal total, off of a Patric Hornqvist turnover, on a breakaway, Couturier made a nice deke around Murray to score low blocker side. The Flyers goal came 40 seconds into the second period restoring the lead for Philly 3-2.
Philadelphia would add to the lead with Scott Laughton breaking out up the wing and sending a laser shot blocker side to the back of the net for his first career playoff goal.
The Penguins did not waste time answering as Patric Hornqvist finished off a tic-tac-toe play with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel to bring the Pens within one goal in the second period.
It was then that the Jake Guentzel show started.
After a break-out playoff where he scored 13 goals last year, the young forward went off for four unanswered goals in Game 6. The first, off of a rebound with less than a minute left. The second 30 seconds into the third period came off of a steal by Phil Kessel who then set up Guentzel on a short two-on-none to make it 5-4 Pens.
With seven minutes left in the game, Guentzel slapped one past Michal Neuvirth, scoring the natural hat-trick off of what looked like a missed tripping call on Kris Letang. Adding to the impressive day the young forward scored his fourth on a break out with Patric Hornqvist as the Penguins first line scored six of their total eight goals in the game. Guentzel finished with five points in 15:23 of ice time.
Sean Couturier added a goal late for a hat-trick of his own, which is especially impressive with him playing on a torn MCL. However, it was nowhere near enough to come close to a comeback.
— NHL (@NHL) April 22, 2018
The Penguins overpowered the Flyers on their way to a 8-5 win and a ticket into the second round. Getting an outstanding performace by Guentzel in this one, similar to last year could be a scary vision into what’s around the corner for whoever has to face the defending champions.
Nashville 5-0 Colorado
Nashville wins series 4-2
— p-Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) April 23, 2018
The offense continued in the second game of the day, but this one was one-sided as Nashville scored a pair of goals in the first and second periods respectively.
Mattias Ekholm blasted his first of the playoffs past the Game 5 hero Andrew Hammond for an early 1-0 Nashville lead. Austin Watson made it 2-0 a little over three minutes later, pulling the puck around Hammond down low sneaking the puck past the goaltender’s outstretched pad.
The Preds added to their lead in the second period. Filip Forsberg added to his impressive post-season, scoring his fourth, after stealing a pass at his blue-line and sneaking one past the Avs netminder on the break. Seven minutes later Nick Bonino scored making it 4-0 Nashville heading into the third period.
Viktor Arvidsson added a goal early in the third, as he blew past the Colorado defenders while holding only half of his stick. The goal led to a 5-0 Nashville victory. Nashville peppered Hammond with 37 shots on goal as they powered their way to the second round.
Pekka Rinne stopped all 22 shots he faced from the Avalanche in a strong showing, the type his team will need if they wish to compete with a strong Winnipeg Jets team in the next round.
Day 11 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs saw one team move onto the second round as Tampa Bay eliminated New Jersey, one team took a step closer to moving on as Washington won the fourth game to go knto OT in their series, and the Leafs earned another game to stay alive with .
Here’s how it went down:
New Jersey 1-3 Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay wins series 4-1
— #GoBolts (@TBLightning) April 21, 2018
The Tampa Bay Lightning had the opportunity to eliminate the Devils and move on to the second round and they did not hesitate one bit. They totalled 38 shots on net, 10 in the first 18 in the second and 10 in the third period.
Mikhail Sergachev scored his first of the playoffs eight minutes into the game, rifling one home from the top of the circle for a 1-0 Lightning lead.
The scoring continued in the third period where Nikita Kucherov scored his fifth goal of the playoffs tying him for most in the post-season with Sidney Crosby.
Five minutes later the Devils got back into it with their net empty. Patrick Maroon scored his fourth goal as a Devil and his first of the playoffs to bring New Jersey within one.
Ryan Callahan added an empty net goal with two seconds left to seal the deal for Tampa Bay and send them to the second round.
Honorary mention to Cory Schneider who stood on his head in this game, especially late to give the Devils a chance and keep them in it until the last two seconds of the game. Schneider turned away 35 of 37 Lightning shots including some amazing glove saves late.
The Devils put up a fight but the offensive line-up of Tampa Bay was too much, outscoring New Jersey 18-12 in the series and held the Devils to one goal a game for the last two games of the series.
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) April 21, 2018
Tamp Bay will play either Boston or Toronto in the second round, and regardless of who it is it should make one explosive series.
Columbus 3-4 Washington-OT
Washington leads series 3-2
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 21, 2018
This series has been one of the more exciting ones to watch with Columbus taking the first two on the road and Washington winning the next three, after Alex Ovechkin guaranteed his Caps would tie the series at two.
Ten minutes into the first period Ovechkin turned the puck over on the powerplay sending Matt Calvert on a two-on-one with Josh Anderson. Calvert opted to shoot and pushed it past Braden Holtby for a 1-0 Jackets lead.
Three minutes later Nicklas Backstrom banked a shot off Sergei Bobrovsky and over his back into the back of the net to tie the game at one in the first period.
Washington took the lead in the second period, catching Columbus on a change. The odd-man rush lead to Evgeny Kuznetzov putting one through Bobrovsky’s five-hole for his fourth goal of the playoffs and a 2-1 Caps lead.
Columbus tied it at two, one minute later, with the puck sneaking past TJ Oshie sending Calvert on a breakaway where he scored a lucky back handed goal on a spin move after fanning on his original shot.
— x – columbus blue jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) April 21, 2018
Oshie would redeem himself however, later in the second period as he tipped in a John Carlson shot in for his second powerplay goal in back to back games, giving the Caps a 3-2 lead.
Two and a half minutes into the third period, Oliver Bjorkstrand tipped an Ian Cole point shot past Holtby to tie the game at three, sending the game to overtime for the fourth time this series.
Both goaltenders turned away scoring chance after scoring chance in overtime with Braden Holtby turning away all six OT shots he faced and Sergei Bobrovsky seven of eight faced by the Caps.
Holtby made 39 total saves on 42 Columbus shots in the game, which is especially outstanding considering the Caps were outshot 16-1 in the third period alone.
With eight minutes left in OT Nicklas Backstrom scored his second of the game on another tipped shot from the point bringing Washington within one win of the second round.
Look for Columbus to come out hungry wanting to send this series to a seventh game, especially after a 42 shot game. Game 6 will take place in Columbus on Monday night.
Toronto 4-3 Boston
Boston leads series 3-2
— NHL (@NHL) April 22, 2018
With the Leafs having their backs against the wall, they were going to have a tough fight at the TD Garden Saturday night. Lucky for them them Nazem Kadri was back from his three suspension after Game 1.
The Leafs started out strong with their first line with Connor Brown scoring his first career playoff goal, batting a rebound out of mid-air, giving Toronto an early 1-0 lead.
It didn’t take long for Kadri’s presence to be felt, as he threw a perfect saucer pass through two Bruin’s defenders to Andreas Johnsson in front of the crease, who made a nice move around Tuukka Rask to score his first career playoff goal.
After Nikita Zaitsev took a tripping penalty to save a goal, the Bruins drew within one on the powerplay. David Backes scored his second of the playoffs 17 seconds into the man advantage, after the puck bounced in front of the net off the glass behind Frederik Andersen.
Toronto didn’t take long to pull ahead again, with Morgan Rielly breaking out with Tyler Bozak, threading a pass through the seam where Bozak finished it off glove side for a 3-1 Leafs lead.
Matt Grzelcyk was called for tripping on Mitch Marner one minute after the Bozak goal. On the powerplay, James van Riemsdyk roofed one over the shoulder of Rask.
The fourth Leafs goal was the last for Rask as he was replaced by Anton Khudobin, after making just nine saves on 13 shots.
Khudobin held his own early stopping two big scoring chances, setting up his team to get back into the game. On a defensive break-down by the Leafs, Sean Kuraly made it a two goal game, scoring his second of the playoffs.
Boston pulled within one, five minutes into the third period with Noel Acciari scoring his first of the playoffs making it 4-3. It wasn’t enough however, as the Leafs were able to hold on just long enough to force a Game 6 back at the ACC on Monday night.
Frederik Andersen was very impressive in this one making 42 saves on 45 shots. In an elimination game Andersen stood tall against all sorts of scoring chances from a Bruins team who were desperate to move onto the second round. Andersen’s performance was especially fascinating considering the Bruins had a total of eight powerplays and were only able to score on one. The Leafs netminder will be the backbone to them pushing for a Game 7.
Day 10 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs saw an elimination and a team staying alive. The Jets dominated their way into the second round, the Flyers lived to fight another day and Andrew Hammond stole the show keeping his team alive for another game.
Heres’s how it went down:
Philadelphia 4-2 Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh leads series 3-2
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) April 21, 2018
With the Flyers on the brink of elimination they had no choice but to come out early and set the tone. Philadelphia outshot the Penguins 9-5 in the first period.
The Flyers not only outshot Pittsburgh in the first period but also got on the board first. Philly took a 1-0 lead thanks to Claude Giroux with just under three minutes left, as the captain rifled home a one-timer from Jakub Voracek. It was Giroux’s first playoff goal since the 2013-14 season.
The lead did not last long as the Penguins turned it on in the second period outshooting the Flyers 14-8.
Bryan Rust scored his second of the playoffs to tie the game at one, as he deked his away around three Flyers’ defenders to burry the wrap-around goal.
Jake Guentzel netted his second of the playoffs and has now scored a point in three straight games as well, giving the Penguins a 2-1 lead with just under four minutes left.
Philly would not let that go however, as Valtteri Filppula scored his first of the playoffs burying his own rebound to tie the game at two heading into the third period.
In a hard fought third period it took until 1:15 left in the game for Sean Couturier to score from the blue line to give the Flyers a late 3-2 lead. It was Couturier’s first game back since missing Game 4 with an injury.
Michal Neuvirth had an outstanding performance stopping 29 of 32 Penguins shots including robbing Sidney Crosby on the glove side in the dying seconds of the game to hold onto the victory for Philadelphia. Neuvirth is the third goaltender to start these playoffs for the Flyers.
The Flyers were able to stay alive with a Game 5 win, sending the series back to Philadelphia for Game 6 on Sunday. It will be an exciting game with Philly having their backs against the wall and able to push for a seventh game.
Minnesota 0-5 Winnipeg
Winnipeg wins series 4-1
Tonight's Three Stars:
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) April 21, 2018
The Jets came out fast and hard as they scored four goals in the first period putting the Wild into a hole they could not climb out of.
The first goal came 30 seconds into the game with Jacob Trouba scoring his first of the playoffs sneaking one through the five-hole of Devan Dubnyk.
Four minutes later another Jet scored his first of the post-season as Bryan Little deflected a shot by Dustin Byfuglien past the Wild net minder.
After a Wild turnover Brandon Tanev scored low glove side on Dubnyk with 11 minutes left in the period. It only took another 49 seconds before the Jets scored again. Joel Armia deflected another Byfuglien shot into the back of the net for a 4-0 lead.
The four early goals were enough to chase Devan Dubnyk as he was relieved of his duties and replaced with Alex Stalock.
Mark Scheifele put the game away 40 seconds into the third period, as he one-timed a shot from the slot into the net on the powerplay.
Connor Hellebyuck recored his second career playoff shutout and his second of the series. He faced 30 shots and turned away all of them.
The Jets dominated the series outside of Game 4. They were the more explosive, physical and had some of the best performances by a goaltender in the playoffs so far. They look to give whoever they face in the second round a difficult hard hitting competition.
Colorado 2-1 Nashville
Nashville leads series 3-2
— NHL (@NHL) April 21, 2018
The Predators were looking to wrap things up Friday night and get ready for a second round series against Winnipeg.
Andrew Hammond had other ideas however. He got the start for the Avalanche with Jonathan Bernier out with a lower body injury he sustained in Wednesday night’s 3-2 loss. It was Hammond’s third start since January 10 and he held his own early facing and turning away 11 shots in the first period. As the game went on Hammond turned away scoring chance after scoring chance of the Predators.
Hammond finished with 43 saves on 44 shots.
Pekka Rinne quietly had a solid night for Nashville as well stopping 24 of 26 shots.
With under 10 minutes left in the game Nick Bonino scored his first goal of the playoffs, his 17th career playoff goal to break the magical shutout from Andrew Hammond.
Five minutes later, Nathan MacKinnon showed great patience waiting down low in the slot before passing cross crease to Gabriel Landeskog who buried it in the open net to tie the game at one.
With 1:28 left PK Subban was caught cheating up ice on the offensive side which led to a two-on-one for the Avalanche. J.T. Compher threw a shot on net and Sven Andrighetto cleaned up the rebound, scoring his first career playoff game to send the series to Game 6.
Andrew Hammond was an absolute monster and assuming he gets the start Sunday, it could make for a very intense and exciting Game 6. The Avs are going to be looking to send it to a Game 7, and regardless of the outcome Sunday, they have played a very impressive series against the defending Western Conference Champions.
There were just two games on the card tonight in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Game one had the Toronto Maple Leafs looking to tie up their series against arch rivals the Bostons Bruins.
Then 30 minutes later, Washington were hoping to do what Columbus did to them in their home barn and defeat them twice on home ice.
Here’s how your Thursday night hockey went:
We had a little bit of everything today.
Some great goaltending, plenty of goals, and even said goodbye to another Stanley Cup hopefully.
Better luck next year Anaheim.
Here’s how today went:
Six seasons removed from making history as the first #8 seed to win the Stanley Cup, the L.A. Kings are in the record books once again. However, this year it’s for their unfortunate demise at the hands of the expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights, as the Kings failed to pick up a single win in their first-round series and become the first team to be swept by an expansion franchise. While only allowing seven goals all series, the squad from Los Angeles only found the scoresheet three times in the four-game sweep. Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was made to look like the second coming of a sturdily-built brick wall or a Shooter Tutor with no holes; he was simply unbeatable. The Kings popgun offence looked atrocious throughout the series, with only four forwards able to scratch the scoresheet.
The offense finally slowed down on day seven of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with goaltenders stealing the show. Connor Hellebuyck led the Jets to a 2-0 victory, the Capitals getting back into their series and the Knights became the first expansion team to win a playoff series.
Here’s how it went down:
The offence wasn’t about to slow down on day six of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Leafs stayed alive to breathe some life back into their playoff hopes; the Devils did the same scoring three unanswered goals, Colorado got some revenge on Nashville lighting them up for five goals, and the Sharks dominated the Ducks for a 3-0 stranglehold on the series.
Heres what happened:
It was a thrilling Sunday of hockey in the NHL with four games on the card.
The offence was still their for majority of teams, but we still had a few goaltending performances from Matt Murray, Devan Dubynk, and Sergei Bobrovsky.
Washington, however, may now have a decision to make between the pipes heading into the game three down 2-0.
Here’s how the games went: