It’s day ten of the 2022 National Hockey League playoffs. Today is a great day for hockey. Last night was as exciting as is it gets. Every series from last night is now at 3-2. Every series after tonight has a chance to end. Last night the Boston Bruins played the Carolina Hurricanes. The Tampa Bay Lightning played the Toronto Maple Leafs. The St Louis Blues played the Minnesota Wild. The LA Kings played the Edmonton Oilers.
Boston Bruins vs Carolina Hurricanes. Round one. Game five. In Carolina. The series was tied at 2-2 going into the game. The Hurricanes would score tow goals in the first period including one on the powerplay. They took a 2-0 lead after the first period. The Hurricanes would score one more in the second period. The Hurricanes took a 3-0 lead into the third period. The Hurricanes would score again on the powerplay. The Bruins would finally score. The Hurricanes would get one more goal for good measure. The final score was 5-1 Hurricanes. The Hurricanes now lead the series 3-2. The Hurricanes now have a chance to move on to round two with a win in game six. Game six will be in Boston tomorrow.
I think the big difference in this one was the powerplay. The Hurricanes two powerplay goals really helped them take the Bruins out of the game. Neither team has been able to win an away game in this series. For the Bruins thats not good. The Hurricanes can kind of relax in the next game. The pressure is not on them. All of the pressure is on the Bruins. Sure they want to close out the series but they don’t have to worry as much. They are going to play more relaxed (especially if they get the lead early). They won’t have to rush to make plays. They won’t have to try and force plays. They won’t have players trying to take the game into their own hands. Playing relaxed they should be able to make the smart plays. On the other side the Bruins will probably play more selfish hockey. They are definitely going to try to force things to happen. That will lead to mistakes. The Hurricanes should be able to take advantage of those mistakes. It should be a good game the Bruins are always entertaining when trying to keep their season alive.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Toronto Maple Leafs. Round one. Game five. In Toronto. The series was tied at 2-2 heading into the game. The Lightning took a 2-0 lead after the first period. The Maple Leafs got one back in the second period. The Maple Leafs tied the game early in the third period. The Maple Leafs would take the lead but the Lightning would tie the game. Auston Matthews score the tie breaking goal. The final score was 4-3 Maple Leafs. The Maple Leafs now have a 4-3 series lead. If they win the next game they will advance to round two. Game six will be in Tampa Bay tomorrow.
This was a close game. These are two teams who are built very similarly. Both teams have a lot of speed and talent. Game six will be interesting. The Lightning have their back against the wall at home. The home crowd may just be the thing to them force a game seven. If the Lightning can’t force a game seven, the Maple Leafs will finally get over the hurdle of the first round. I expect a hard fought for close game with plenty of talent on display for game six.
St Louis Blues vs Minnesota Wild. Round one. Game five. In Minnesota. The series was tied at 2-2 going into the game. The Blues scored first on the powerplay. The Wild would answer with two powerplay goals of their own. Both of the goals would come from Kirill Kaprizov. The score was 2-1 Wild after the first period. The Blues would tie it in the second period. The Blues would go on to score 3 unanswered goals in the third period. The final score was 5-2 Blues. The Blues now have a 3-2 series lead. The Blues now have the chance to close out the series with a game six win. Game six will be tomorrow in St Louis.
The Blues fought back in this one. It paid off. Now they have the advantage going back home. The Wild are in a tough spot. They need to win in St Louis to keep their season alive. Game six will be entertaining. I can’t wait to see how both teams respond.
LA Kings vs Edmonton Oilers. Round one. Game five. In Edmonton. The series was tied at 2-2 going into the game. The Kings took a 1-0 lead after the first period. The Oilers would tie the game but the Kings scored two more before the end of the period. The score was 3-1 Kings going into the third period. Connor McDavid would get the Oilers within one on the powerplay early in the third. The Kings would respond with their own powerplay goal. The Oilers would get back within one goal of tying the game with a short handed goal from Leon Draisaitl. He would score again to force overtime. The Kings would score just over a minute into overtime to win the game. The final score was 5-4 Kings. The Kings now have a 3-2 series lead. Game six is a must win for the Oilers. Game six will be in LA tomorrow.
As I was watching the game I said “the game is going into overtime” while the Oilers were still down a goal. My dad asked me “do you really believe that?”. I walked into the kitchen for two seconds as the Oilers scored the goal that sent the game to overtime. My dad said “they scored”. I responded “no way” as I ran back into the living room. My dad asked me “did you really believe they would do it?”. I said “sort of, but it’s unreal that they did”.
So much for Oilers in 6. The Kings now have a chance to move on to the second round with a win at home. The Oilers have their backs against the wall as they have to win game six to keep their season alive. I think the Oilers can force a game seven. It all depends on if they can find the back of the net early. So far in the playoffs, the Oilers play their best hockey when they are in the lead and not chasing the game.
The Colorado Avalanche have advanced to the second round.
The Nashville Predators have been eliminated in the first round.
Here are the upcoming games:
Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Rangers. The Penguins have a 3-1 series lead. They can end the series tonight with a win. The big question in this game is the goaltending. Who will step up in net and who won’t?
Washington Capitals vs Florida Panthers. The series is tied at 2-2. Who will take the lead into game six? Will the Capitals take the 3-2 advantage back home? Will the Panthers have to win game six to keep their season alive?
Dallas Stars vs Calgary Flames. Series is tied at 2-2. Will the Stars win in Calgary? Will the Flames take the 3-2 advantage with them back to Dallas for game six?
*As of writing this, the Penguins Rangers game is in the third period tied at 3, and the Capitals lead the Panthers in the second period.