The fun continues at the 2020 NHL playoffs keep on giving daily. Teams are now playing on an uneven field as half are now up in the series with the other half trying to even things up. No marathon games this time but no shortage of great hockey was played in every series game two.
Now disclaimer there were five games played on Friday but the Stars vs Flames one won’t be on here as that’s a game three and will start off the next game article. Now with that out of the way, let’s see what happened in every series game two.
The rematch of the marathon game. Last game between these two team lasted almost the length of three full games. Two NHL records were broken as Joonis Korpisalo had 85 saves in the game, and Seth Jones had over 65 minutes of ice time. The fatigue seemed to show early as Nikita Kucherov opened the scoring with a bank shot off the side of Korpisalo for a 1-0 Lightning lead. The Jackets would respond though As Ryan Murray would beat Andrei Vasilevskiy tying the game at 1-1. They weren’t done there though as a powerplay would give Oliver Bjorkstrand the go ahead goal and make it 2-1 Columbus after one.
The second period would be scoreless, so with one period to go and only a one goal difference, would we see another marathon? The short answer is no because the only third period goal scored came from Alexander Wennberg of the Blue Jackets. This would not only seal the win at 3-1 Columbus, but it would also tie the series at 1-1.
Following the Bolts vs Jackets game that didn’t need extra time, the NHL switches west for the Vegas Golden Knights against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Hawks being behind in the series wasn’t helped at all by their first period as Vegas struck first. First on the board was Paul Stastny who made it a 1-0 Vegas lead. Five minutes later Tomas Nosek would add to the lead making it 2-0 after one period of play.
Chicago rookie Kirby Dach would cut into the Vegas lead in the second period off a scramble in front of Robin Lehner making the score 2-1. Then another Chicago rookie Dominik Kubalik would score on the powerplay, tying the game at 2-2. Vegas would respond late in the period as Mark Stone would Beat Corey Crawford making it a 3-2 game. With next to no time left in the period Dylan Strome would tie the game up at 3-3 after two. The next goal would come in overtime as Reilly Smith would be the beneficiary of a one-timer pass and would give Vegas the win at 4-3. This also extends the series lead to 2-0 Vegas.
Next on tap for the NHL Eastern conference is the Boston Bruins against the Carolina Hurricanes. After game one went to double overtime the Hurricanes decided to switch to James Reimer for game two. The switch didn’t seem to make a difference early as Boston would draw first blood on the powerplay. David Krejci would score his second goal of the series giving Boston the early 1-0 lead after one.
Carolina would tie the game in the second period as Teuvo Teravainen would score on the powerplay to make it a 1-1 game. The Hurricanes would then take the lead off the stick of Andrei Svechnikov putting them up 2-1. Brad Marchand would tie the game at 2-2 with five seconds left in the second period on the powerplay off a nice one-timer. The game winner came in the third as Dougie Hamilton would score his first goal since January on Tuukka Rask. This would give the Canes the 3-2 win and tie the series at 1-1.
Back out west we go to an NHL first match-up between the Dallas Stars and the Calgary Flames. Ben Bishop would get the start for the Stars, and would be beaten early. Dillon Dube would score just 19 seconds into the game to give Calgary a 1-0 lead. The Stars would answer as Alexander Radulov would score two minutes later to tie the game at 1-1. Dallas wasn’t done there though as Miro Heiskanen would put the stars up 2-1 after one.
Heiskanen’s reign of terror wasn’t done yet as he’s open the scoring in the second period with a weak shot that Cam Talbot just missed completely for a 3-1 Stars lead. Calgary would get a weird one of their own as Derek Forbort would fire a shot that would deflect and beat Bishop for a 3-2 Dallas lead. Corey Perry would re-take the two-goal lead on the powerplay to make it 4-2 after two. Calgary’s special teams would come through huge as Tobias Rieder would score shorthanded making it a 4-3 game. Then Sam Bennett would tie the game at 4-4 on the powerplay. The comeback would fall short however as Jamie Oleksiak would score on a one-timer with 30 second to go giving Dallas a 5-4 win and tying the series at 1-1.
After the last game between the Colorado Avalanche and the Arizona Coyotes it was clear who needed to step up. The Avs were the best in the west this year in goal differential as they lead the NHL western conference with a +52 goal differential. So to no one’s surprise they struck first as Nathan MacKinnon would make it 1-0. Arizona would score their first goal of the series as Phillip Grubauer was finally beat by Clayton Keller making it 1-1 after one.
Colorado would re-take the lead on a shot by Tyson Jost to give an early 2-1 second period lead. Arizona would tie it again though on a laser beam from Michael Grabner making it 2-2 after two. It stayed that way for a while until two minutes left in the game when a Nazem Kadri shot would bounce to Andre Burakovsky who beat Darcy Kuemper for the 3-2 game winner for the Avs. With that goal Colorado has a 2-0 series lead and play again tomorrow.
Next up was the Friday NHL games starting with the Philadelphia Flyers taking on the Montreal Canadiens. Philadelphia was barely able to hold on in game 1 so things weren’t looking so good from the get go. Montreal’s first goal would come from Tomas Tatar just a minute into the game and a 1-0 Habs lead. Things kept going well for the Canadiens as Jesperi Kotkaniemi would make it 2-0 on a five-hole goal on Carter Hart taking that lead into the second.
The Habs kept rolling in the second period as Tatar would tally a powerplay goal to make it 3-0. Next on the scoresheet was Joel Armia who’d score on a mad scramble and make it 4-0. That would be the end of Hart’s day but the scoring didn’t stop. The Habs would ice the game as Kotkaniemi would score a powerplay goal on Brian Elliott to end the game at 5-0 Carey Price would record his seventh career playoff shutout as he stopped all 30 Flyers shots. With the win Montreal has now evened the series at 1-1 and handed the Flyers their first loss of the post season.
The NHL attention would stay east as the Washington Capitals try to even the series with the New York Islanders. Things got off to a great start for Washington as Alexander Ovechkin would score his first goal just one minute into the game. This would put the Caps up 1-0 after the first period. The Isles would respond off a powerplay goal from Nick Leddy tying the game at 1-1. Then Matt Martin would put New York in front with a goal to make it 2-1 Islanders. Ovechkin would come through again however and tie the game at 2-2. Less than a minute later though Brock Nelson would give the Islanders the lead back and make it 3-2 after two.
Things went from bad to worse for Washington as Cal Clutterbuck would beat Brayden Holtby to make it 4-2. Finally Anders Lee finished off the scoring a minute later to end the game at 5-2 Islanders. Semyon Varlamov picked up the win and with it the series lead extends to 2-0 Islanders.
Of all the series in the NHL right now this may be the most surprising. The defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues are on the ropes against the young gun Vancouver Canucks. Bo Horvat in particular has been trouble for the Blues as he opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal giving Vancouver a 1-0 lead. That’s all that would happen in the first but there would be two powerplay goals in the second. First came from Tanner Pearson who put the Canucks up 2-0. Then Ryan O’Reilly would get St. Louis within a goal to make it 2-1 after two,
Vancouver would restore the two goal lead in the third as Elias Pettersson would score on the powerplay to make it 3-1 Canucks. The Blues weren’t done though as Sammy Blais would get them within one at 3-2. Then in the dying seconds Jaden Schwartz would tie the game at 3-3 with just seven seconds left. Captain Canuck Horvat would put the game away in overtime as he slipped the puck five-hole on Jordan Binnington putting the Canucks up 4-3 in the game and 2-0 in the series.
The NHL playoffs are heating up. Who have you got winning each series? Who do you think can upset? Let us know in the comments below.