Written by: Liam Horrobin & Ian Sheppard
Apparently, defence doesn’t exist in day four of the Stanley Cup playoffs with 27 goals being scored in the first three games and five in the final game of the night.
Tampa continued to buzz against the Devils, and Nashville nudged out the Avs while the Bruins dismantled the Leafs, and the Sharks outlasted and outmuscled the Ducks.
Here’s how they went:
Tampa Bay Lightning 5 – 3 New Jersey Devils
(Tampa Bay leads the series 2-0)
Tampa Bay left the Devils with a decision to make between the pipes after another dominating offensive performance.
The second period was when it slipped away for New Jersey. Heading into the second, the game was tied at 1-1 after Brayden Point, and Nico Hischier both scored their first goals of the postseason.
— NHL (@NHL) April 14, 2018
Tampa would go on to score four goals on 15 shots with Alex Killorn getting the scoring start at the three-minute mark. That goal was soon followed by three more coming from Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov, and Killorn, again. Keith Kinkaid was not in good form, yet, the Devils still opted to keep him between the pipes. Kinkaid may have got them to the playoffs, but it’s time for the Devils to go back to Cory Schneider.
Sami Vatanen and Blake Coleman brought New Jersey back within two, but Tampa held them off to extend their series lead to 2-0.
Again, New Jersey will have to make a decision of what they want to do in goal heading into game three.
Nashville Predators 5 – 4 Colorado Avalanche
(Nashville leads the series 2-0)
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) April 14, 2018
Colorado gave the Predators one hell of a game, but it was not enough to tie up the series.
The Avs would open up the scoring on the first shot of the game. Former Predator, Gabriel Bourque ripped a shot past Rinne from the high slot to give his team a 1-0 lead for the second straight game. That would be the only goal of the opening frame with both Pekka Rinne and Justin Bernier making a number of critical stops to keep the scoreline close.
Nashville started out the second on a powerplay and capitalized on the odd man advantage a minute into the frame. Kevin Fiala was credited with the goal after he finished off a nice tic-tac-toe play between himself, Kyle Turris, and Colton Sissons. An unfortunate goal for Colorado to concede as the shot was going wide.
The Predators went on to add two more goals in the period from Viktor Arvidsson and Ryan Johansen. Colorado responded immediately to the home team’s third goal when Nathan MacKinnon out muscled two Nashville defenceman to then put a backhanded shot past Rinne.
Four more goals were added in the final 20.
Austin Watson grabbed his second goal on the playoffs, but again, the Avs responded two minutes later with a goal from Gabriel Landeskog.
Nashville secured game two with just over a minute left with a goal from Ryan Hartman. Colorado, of course, once again grabbed a goal quickly after but it proved to be not enough.
Colorado has matched the Predators at every level. These next two games for them at home should be fun to watch.
Boston Bruins 7 – 3 Toronto Maple Leafs
(Boston leads the series 2-0)
What a start in Beantown. pic.twitter.com/jlTQY5tlj5
— NHL (@NHL) April 15, 2018
The offence did not stop with the Bruins. They scored four goals in the first period on eight shots. David Pastrnak scored his first of his two goals in this game, six minutes into the period. Jake DeBrusk scored his first career playoff goal on the powerplay after Kasperi Kapanen hit the post on a break-away.
Three minutes later Kevin Miller banked a shot off Nikita Zaitsev for a 3-0 Boston lead.
Ron Hainsey took a roughing penalty after Tim Schaller rode Mitch Marner into the boards. Hainsey stood up for his young teammate but took a roughing penalty with Schaller going unpunished.
On the powerplay Rick Nash scored his first playoff goal as a Bruin 10 seconds into the powerplay to take a commanding early lead.
Frederik Andersen was pulled after Boston’s third goal on five shots. Curtis McElhinney replaced Andersen early in the first period.
The Leafs tried to make it interesting in the second with Zach Hyman setting up Mitch Marner for the first goal of the game for TO.
Boston however answered two minutes later with David Krejci deflecting in his second goal of the playoffs off of a Ron Hainsey turnover.
Tyler Bozak did score in the second period for the Leafs to bring the deficit to three but taking a 5-2 lead into the third period proved to be enough for a Boston team that was too much to handle for Toronto. David Pastrnak added his second of the game to make it 6-2 for Boston, who coasted to a 7-3 win.
The Leafs look to be in a bit of a hole taking that series back home, but it should make for one hell of a dog fight.
Anaheim Ducks 2-3 San Jose Sharks
(San Jose leads the series 2-0)
— NHL (@NHL) April 15, 2018
The scoring did not slow down in the fourth game of the day!
Jakob Silfverberg scored his first of the playoffs 40 seconds into the game to give Anaheim a very early 1-0 lead.
The lead did not last very long however, as San Jose scored twice in the opening frame. Marcus Sorensen tied it at one 10 mins into the period. Logan Couture then scored a beautiful powerplay goal five mins later to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead heading into the second.
The Sharks jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the second, with Tomas Hertl dangling past Brandon Montour and netting his first of the playoffs and San Jose’s third unanswered goal.
The Ducks got right back into it with Hampus Lindholm bringing them within one six minutes after Hertl’s goal.
After missing 19 games with a facial fracture, Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf took a puck to the face. He went to the dressing room for all of two minutes before showing his signature toughness and returning to the bench.
On a day that was full of offensive explosion, both goaltenders held their own in this one. Martin Jones held the Sharks in it, with heavy Anaheim pressure, especially late. Jones made 28 saves on 30 shots.
John Gibson did much of the same for the Ducks keeping his team in it until the clock read zeroes. The Sharks had a powerplay late with Corey Perry in the box for interference. Gibson made 32 saves on 35 shots.
The first two games of this series as been what you could expect from division rivals who don’t like each other. With the Ducks having their backs against the wall, the next two games are about to be entertaining.