We have reached the Game 3 mark for four teams. You know what that means? After Sunday’s meetings some of these teams may only have one more game left in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Our first hat trick of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs came at the Fortress, also know as T-Mobile Arena.
As things stand after two games:
➜ Columbus Blue Jackets lead the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0
➜ The New York Islanders lead the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-0
➜ St Louis Blues lead the Winnipeg Jets 2-0
➜ Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks are tied 1-1
Teams that lead a best-of-7 Stanley Cup playoff series 3-0 have a series record of 186-4, and teams that win Game 3 of a best-of-7 NHL playoff series that was tied 1-1 have a series record of 212-100.
New York Islanders v Pittsburgh Penguins
The New York Islanders moved within one victory of eliminating the Pittsburgh Penguins from the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 4-1 win in Game 3.
Robin Lehner made 25 saves for the Isles, who lead the series 3-0 and can complete their first series sweep since defeating the Edmonton Oilers in the 1983 Stanley Cup Final, if they win Game 4 in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
Jordan Eberle and Brock Nelson scored 1:02 apart in the first period after Garrett Wilson had given Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead. Their goals were the fastest pair of playoff goals scored by the Islanders since Kip Miller and Mariusz Czerkawski scored 38 seconds apart in Game 6 of the 2002 Eastern Conference quarter finals versus the Toronto Maple Leafs. Whilst Eberle is the second player in franchise history to score in each of his first three playoff games with the Isles; Ray Ferraro did it in 1993.
Leo Komoraov also netted, before Anders Lee sealed the victory with an emptynetter for New York, who have outscored the Pens 11-5 through three games.
Sid Crosby has been held without a point in all three games, and Matt Murray made 32 saves for the hosts, who have lost the first three of a series since 2013, when they were swept by the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Final.
Murray has lost his last five starts in the playoffs, including Games 5 and 6 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Second Round against the Washington Capitals. The Penguins have had the lead twice in the series for a combine 3:17.
Islanders v Penguins – Tuesday, April 16 (7:30pm – NBCSN)
Tampa Bay Lightning v Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets moved within one victory of a sweep after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference First Round series.
The Blue Jackets, who are the only current NHL team to never win a Stanley Cup Playoff series, is the second team in league history to take a 3-0 series lead in the first round over the Presidents’ Trophy winner, joining the L.A. Kings, who defeat the Vancouver Canucks in five games in 2012.
Ondrej Palat scored, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 27 saves for the Bolts, who played without the suspended Nikita Kucherov and injured defenseman Victor Hedman (undisclosed).
Kucherov‘s suspension is a result boarding Columbus’ Marcus Nutivaara, who missed Sunday’s game with an upper body injury.
Matt Duchene, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Cam Atkinson scored, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves for Columbus, who allowed three shots in the first period, the fewest in a home playoff game in their history.
The Blue Jackets have the chance to become the 10th team in NHL history to win a playoff series against a team that finished at least 30pts ahead of them in the regular season (128-98). The last time this happened was when the Montreal Canadiens (88pts) defeated the Washington Capitals (121) in the 2010 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
Lightning v Blue Jackets – Tuesday, April 16 (7pm – CNBC)
Winnipeg Jets v St Louis Blues
Kyle Connor scored twice for the Winnipeg Jets in a 6-3 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round. The Jets trail the series 2-1.
Patrik Laine and Dustin Byfuglien both had a goal and an assist, Kevin Hayes and Brandon Tanev also scored, and Connor Hellebuyck made 26 saves for the Jets, who scored three goals on four shots in the third period.
Winnipeg are 3-0-0 at Enterprise Center this season, including two regular-season wins, and have outscored the Blues 19-8.
David Perron, Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen scored, with Jordan Binnington making 23 saves for the hosts, who won Games 1 and 2 in Winnipeg.
Rookie goalie Binnington had an assist, the first for a Blues goaltender in the playoffs since Chris Osgood on April 12, 2004 against the San Jose Sharks. The 25-year-old made 13 first-period saves but allowed six goals on 16 shots the rest of the game. It was the first time he’s allowed more than four goals in an NHL game.
Jets v Blues – Tuesday, April 16 (9:30pm – CNBC)
San Jose Sharks v Vegas Golden Knights
Mark Stone scored not just his first career hat trick, but the first in Vegas Golden Knights postseason history and the first of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, to help lift his team to a 6-3 victory and a 2-1 series lead over the San Jose Sharks.
Stone, who also had two assists, scored 16 seconds into the game. It was the fastest goal in Vegas playoff history, surpassing Jonathan Marchessault‘s goal 35 seconds into Game 3 of the Western Conference Final against the Winnipeg Jets.
Paul Stastny scored two and assisted three, Max Pacioretty scored one and assisted one, and Shea Theodore had three assists for Vegas, who became the second team in NHL history to score a goal in the first minute of each period in a playoff game (Boston Bruins, 1981).
Stone and Stastny each set an NHL playoff career high in points. Stastny‘s previous high was four (1g, 3a) with the Colorado Avalanche in 2014. Stone has never had more than two points in a postseason game.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves in his 77th playoff victory, tying Mike Vernon for seventh in NHL history.
Kevin Labanc, Logan Couture and Timo Meier scored, and Martin Jones made 34 saves for San Jose.
Sharks v Knights – Tuesday, April 16 (10:30pm – NBCSN)
ALL TIMES U.S. EASTERN