We had the first two of this season’s three Game 7s on Tuesday night.
The Boston Bruins hosted the Toronto Maple Leafs, whilst the Vegas Golden Knights travelled to San Jose.
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins
Tuukka Rask made 32 saves to help the Boston Bruins advance to the Eastern Conference Second Round with a 5-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of their first round series.
Sean Kuraly and Joakim Nordstrom each had a goal and an assist, and Marcus Johansson, Charlie Coyle and Patrice Bergeron also scored for Boston, who won the final two games of the series and will host the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of the second round on Thursday.
Zdeno Chara played his 13th Game 7, tying the record – joining Patrick Roy and Scott Stevens, whilst Bruins center David Krejci has five points (2g, 3a) in a five-game point streak.
John Tavares scored and Frederik Andersen made 27 saves for the Leafs, who haven’t won a playoff series since 2004 and were also eliminated by the Bruins in Game 7 of the first round last season.
Toronto are 12-12 in Game 7, including 5-11 on the road, losing their last six. Whereas Boston are 15-12 in Game 7s, including 14-8 at home. The Bruins have the most Game 7 wins in league history, passing the Montreal Canadiens (14-9) and Detroit Red Wings (14-11).
Leafs – Eliminated
Blue Jackets v Bruins – Round 2, Game 1 – Thursday, April 25 (7pm – NBCSN)
Vegas Golden Knights v San Jose Sharks
Barclay Goodrow scored 18:19 into overtime as the San Jose Sharks railed with a four-goal, third-period power play in a 5-4 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 7 of their First Round series.
The Sharks won three games in a row, including Game 6 in the second over time, winning the best-of-7-series 4-3, and will play the Colorado Avalanche in the second round. It was the first Game 7 to go to overtime since the Eastern Conference Final in 2017.
Kevin Labanc scored one and assisted three, Logan Couture scored twice, Tomas Hertl also scored, all on the five minute power play after Cody Eakin‘s major penalty and game misconduct for cross-checking Joe Pavelski.
The penalty and ejection was very controversial and a trending subject on social media. Replays showed that Eakin lost his balance, fell into Pavelski who then fell into Paul Stastny, and hit the ice head first. It did not look like a five minute major, more of a two minute minor, if anything.
Hertl and Couture each had six goals in the series, and Martin Jones made 34 saves for San Jose, including nine in overtime.
Erik Karlsson had two assists in the game to take his series total to nine. The only defensemen with more assists in an NHL playoff series are Paul Coffey (11 for the Edmonton Oilers, 1985 Campbell Conference Final) and Al MacInnis (11 for the Calgary Flames, 1984 Smythe Division Final).
William Karlsson, Eakin and Max Pacioretty all scored before the power play that changed it all. Jonathan Marchessault scored with 47 seconds remaining in the third to tie the game for the Knights and send it to overtime.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 43 saves for Vegas, who played their first Game 7. Fleury lost a Game 7 on the road for the first time – he was 3-0, all with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Knights – Eliminated
Avalanche v Sharks – Round 2, Game 1 – Friday, April 26 (10pm – NBCSN)
All TIMES U.S. EASTERN