We are now eleven days into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. There was only three games last night. In the Eastern Conference the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning series was tied. The other Eastern Conference was the New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers. That series was also tied. In the Western Conference the Vegas Golden Knights had the chance to win their series against the Winnipeg Jets.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs continue tonight with four more games.
The Toronto Maple Leafs lead the Tampa bay lightning three games to two in their series heading into game five. Morgan Rielly scored the first goal of the game. His goal gave the Maple Leafs the lead. Anthony Cirelli scored for the Lightning to tie the game. The game was tied at 1-1 after the first period.
Michael Eyssimont scored the only goal of the second period. His goal would give the Lightning the lead. The score was 2-1 Lightning heading into the third period.
Nicholas Paul scored to give the Lightning a two goal lead. Austin Matthews scored to cut the lead back down to one goal. Late in the game Alex Killorn scored to get the Lightning back up by a pair. The final score was 4-2 Lighting. The Maple Leafs still lead the series 3-2.
Toronto didn’t hold on to their lead for very long. Then Tampa Bay didn’t let them catch up. This is where a lot of their experience as a cup contending team comes into play. In big games like this they have to show they are willing to step up and they did. On the Other hand Toronto still hasn’t proven itself to be able to preform in elimination games. Are the Maple Leafs going to choke and blow the rest of this series? Falling apart in round one is tradition in Toronto at this point. Will Toronto finally overcome their biggest hurdle (round one of the playoffs since 2004) in franchise history? Will Tampa Bay be able to force a game seven? Will Tampa Bay stun Toronto once again?
Game six will be on Saturday April 28th at 4:00pm PST.
The series between the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers was tied at 2-2 going into game five. The Devils got on the board 39 seconds into the game. Ondrej Palat scored the goal that would give the Devils the lead. The score was 1-0 after the first period.
Erik Haula scored on the powerplayer to give the Devils a two goal lead. Just over halfway through he second period. After a fairly aggressive play with multiple hits, Barclay Goodrow (Rangers) and Kevin Bahl (Devils) would drop the gloves. Goodrow initiated the fight but neither player really had a clear advantage in my opinion. Both players got off one or two decent punches. According to hockeyfights.com Kevin Bahl of the New Jersey Devils won the fight. Dawson Mercer scored scored short handed to give the Devils a three goal lead. The score was 3-0 Devils going into the third period.
Erik Haula scored the only goal in the third period. His goal would would give the Devils a four goal lead. The final score was 4-0 Devils. The Devils now lead the series 3-2.
Outside of one fight the Rangers didn’t do anything in this game. Not scoring isn’t the best strategy in my opinion. That will be chapter on in my book “how to win a playoff series”. The Rangers will have home ice in game six but their back is against the wall. The Devils have been strong in the last few games. They have fought back in this series and now have the lead. The Rangers that played in game one and two have been no where to be found. It’s been a collapse for them in the last three games. I am not sire that the Rangers have it in them right now to defeat the Devils. The Devils will have the chance to eliminate the Rangers in game six. Will the Devils complete the series comeback? Will the Rangers return to their game one and game two form?
Game six will be on Saturday April 28th at 5:00pm PST.
The Vegas Golden Knights came into game five with a three games to one series lead over the Winnipeg Jets. Chandler Stephenson scored the only goal of the first period. His goal came less than a minute into the game. That goal gave the Golden Knights the lead. The score was 1-0 Golden Knights after the first period.
Mark Stone scored for the Golden Knights less than a minute into period two. William Karlsson scored to put the Golden Knights up by three. Chandler Stephenson scored his second goal of the game for the Golden Knights on the powerplay. The Golden Knights would take a 4-0 lead into the third period.
Kyle Connor would score to finally get the Jets on the board. This goal would come in the last five minutes of the game. The final score was 4-1 Golden Knights. The Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Winnipeg Jets in round one in five games. The Vegas Golden Knights are moving on to round two. The Winnipeg Jets have been eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Winnipeg took game one but couldn’t hold on to the series lead. Vegas won game two. They carried that momentum through the rest of the series to win. I was surprised that Winnipeg won game one but I was not surprised that this is how the series ended. I expected more from the Jets though in game five. They were not doing much to stop Vegas. They only had 27 hits. They didn’t start a fight. They didn’t score until it was too late. It’s like they didn’t want it.
To recap this series Winnipeg won game one 5-1. Vegas responded with a game two 5-2 victory. Vegas won 5-4 in double overtime in game three. Vegas won 5-2 in game four. Vegas won the series with a 4-1 win in game five.
The Vegas Golden Knights will now play either the Edmonton Oilers or the Los Angeles Kings. I think the Kings are the better opposite for the Golden Knights. If they have to play the Oilers it will be a goal heavy series. With the Goaltending issues Vegas has right now, I don’t think a series about out scoring one of the top goal scoring teams in the league would work out for Vegas. If Vegas has to play Los Angeles it will be more of a physical series. I think that will benefit the Golden Knights more. They can play physical and they can win those types of games. Either way it is all still to be determined. We don’t Know who Vegas is going to play yet or when that series will start.
The Vegas Golden Knights now advance to the second round. They will face the winner of the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings series.
Game sixes start tonight. The Carolina Hurricanes will have another chance to eliminate the New York Islanders. The Hurricanes were unable to win the series with their first chance in game five. Will the Hurricanes finish off the Islanders in game six? Will the Islanders force a game seven?
The Boston Bruins will have a chance to eliminate the Florida Panthers. The Bruins have already had one chance to win their series with the Panthers. The Bruins have game six and seven to win the series. However, all of the momentum is on the Panthers side right now.
The Dallas Stars can eliminate the Minnesota Wild with a win tonight. After not showing up in game five what will the Wild do in game six? Will the series return to being close? Will the Stars continue to dominate?
The Seattle Kraken in their first ever playoff appearance have the chance to eliminate the defending champions the Colorado Avalanche. This series has been crazy as the Kraken were written off before the series started. The champs are on the ropes. What will they do? Will the Kraken get this huge upset? Will the Avalanche do what it takes to force a game seven?
The Vegas Golden Knights are the first team to advance after eliminating the Winnipeg Jets in five games. They will play the winner of the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings series.