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 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.
Offence. More offence. Even more offence.
So far that has been the common trend of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Day three wasn’t much different.
Two of the three games ended in a 3+ goal differential with a couple of one-sided victories.
Lets’ look back on the action from tonight’s games.