Eight teams played Game 2 of their Stanley Cup Playoff First Round on Friday night. It was the chance for those trailing to fight back and prove why they are in the playoffs, and for those already victorious to gain an advantage.
For a quick recap:
➜ Blue Jackets won Game 1 v Tampa (4-3)
➜ The Islanders won Game 1 v Pittsburgh (4-3 in overtime)
➜ St. Louis won Game 1 v Winnipeg (2-1)
➜ Sharks won Game 1 v Vegas (2-5)
Columbus Blue Jackets v Tampa Bay Lightning
Matt Duchene had a goal and three assists to help lift the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference First Round series. They lead the best-of-7 series 2-0.
Cam Atkinson, Zach Werenski, Riley Nash and Artemi Panarin scored for the visitors, who also won the first two games in the first round last season against the Washington Capitals, they went on to lose the series in six games. Sergei Bobrovsky made 23 saves.
Mikhail Sergachev scored for Tampa, who have lost four straight games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs dating back to the 2018 Eastern Conference Final against Washington. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 22 saves.
Lightning v Blue Jackets – Sunday, April 14 (7pm – NBCSN)
Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders
Jordan Eberle scored the tie breaker in the third period for the New York Islanders in a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round.
Eberle also had an assist, whilst Anthony Beauvillier and Josh Bailey also scored, Mathew Barzal had two assists, and Robin Lehner made 32 saves for the Isles, who last led a series 2-0 in 1983 against the Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup Final (won series 4-0).
Erik Gudbranson scored and Matt Murray made 31 saves for the Pens, who have lost four straight Stanley Cup games dating back to the Eastern Conference Second Round last season.
The Islanders lead the best-of-7 series 2-0.
Islanders v Penguins – Sunday, April 14 (12pm – NBC)
St Louis Blues v Winnipeg Jets
Ryan O’Reilly scored the tiebreaker early in the third period, lifting the St Louis Blues to a 4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets in Game 2.
Oskar Sundqvist scored the other two, and Jordan Binnington made 26 saves for St. Louis, who lead the best-of-7 series 2-0.
Binnington is the second rookie goalie in Blues history to win his first two playoff games. Curtis Joseph won Games 1-3 against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1990 Norris Division Semifinals.
Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele each had a goal and an assist, Partik Laine also netted, Dustin Byfuglien had two assists, and Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves for the Jets.
Jets v Blues – Sunday, April 14 (7:30pm – CNBC)
Vegas Golden Knights v San Jose Sharks
The Vegas Golden Knights’ special teams came alive, scoring two shorthanded and one on the power play to defeat the San Jose Sharks 5-3 in their Game 2.
Cody Eakin, Colin Miller (SH), Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone (PPG) and William Karlsson (SH) scored for Vegas, who ended a five-game losing streak in the postseason. They lost four consecutive games in last season’s Stanley Cup Final against the Washington Capitals and of course Game 1 of this season’s playoffs on Wednesday.
Mark-Andre Fleury, who won his 76th postseason game, moving within one of Mike Vernon for seventh all-time, made 34 saves for Vegas.
San Jose pulled goaltender Martin Jones 6:39 into the first period for allowing three goals on seven shots. Aaron Dell made 14 saves in relief. Jones has been pulled five times in 14 starts against Vegas.
Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl and Joe Thornton scored for San Jose, who didn’t look remotely close to the team that came out for Game 1.
The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1
Sharks v Knights – Sunday, April 14 (10pm – NBCSN)
ALL TIMES U.S. EASTERN