We’re already on Day 3 of the 2019/20 Stanley Cup Playoff campaign.
The first two days brought us some shocks, edge-of-your seat moments, an overtime and 48 goals.
Day three treated us to four best-of-5 series games (two Eastern, two Western) and two Round-Robin games (one Eastern, one Western Conference), not one, but two hat tricks and our first shootout.
Eastern Conference – Best-of-5
New York Rangers v Carolina Hurricanes
Andrei Svechnikov scored his first NHL hat trick for the Carolina Hurricanes, as they move within one victory of advancing into the Stanley Cup Playoffs after defeating the New York Rangers 4-1 in Game 2.
Not only was it the 20-year-old’s first, but it’s the first postseason hat trick in franchise history.
Andrei Svechnikov had three assists, all on Svechnikov‘s goals. Jordan Martinook also scored and Petr Mrazek made 23 saves, giving the No.6 seeded Canes a 2-0 lead in the best-of-5 series.
Teams with a 2-0 lead in an NHL best-of-5 postseason series are 55-1 (.982 winning percentage). Carolina are yet to trail against New York.
Artemi Panarin scored and Henrik Lundqvist made 30 saves for the Rangers, No. 11 in the East, in his second straight start due to Igor Shesterkin still being day to day.
Svechnikov gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead at 4:32 of the first period, scoring on a quick shot from the left circle, beating Lundqvist on the short side.
Panarin then tied the game with a 5-on-3 power-play goal at 12:05.
Carolina’s No.37 scored again at 1:11 of the second period, three seconds into a power play, making it 2-1 with a high, far-side one-timer from the top of the right circle.
The young Russian is the 10th player in NHL history with at least two multi-goal games in the postseason before his 21st birthday. He scored two against the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of the 2019 Eastern Conference First Round.
Martinook scored just 1:11 later to make it 3-1 Canes, before Svechnikov finished on a 2-on-1 with Aho to ensure a 4-1 victory at 14:02 of the third.
Game 3 is on Tuesday (8pm ET – NBCSN, FS-CR, MSG, SN360, TVAS).
Canes v Rangers – Tuesday, Aug. 4 (8pm ET – NBCSN, MSG, FS-CR)
Montreal Canadiens v Pittsburgh Penguins
Sidney Crosby tied with Dough Gilmour and Joe Sakic for eighth on the NHL’s all-time postseason points list (188) after opening the scoring for the Pittsburgh Penguins in their 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
Jason Zucker and Jake Guentzel also scored, and Matt Murray made 26 saves for the Pens. Conor Sheary had two assists.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored and Carey Price made 35 saves for Montreal, the No.12 seed.
The Habs had a chance to tie it towards the end of the game, but Murray handled everything thrown his way. It was truly game over for the Canadiens after Guentzel scored in to an empty net with 10 seconds remaining.
The best-of-5 series is now tied 1-1 with Game 3 on Wednesday (8pm ET – NBCSN, SN, TVAS, ATTSN-PT).
The series winner will advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, whilst the loser will have a chance at the No.1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft in the Second Phase of the NHL Draft Lottery, to be held on Aug. 10.
Pens v Canadiens – Wednesday, Aug. 5 (8pm ET – NBCSN, ATTSN-PT)
Eastern Conference – Round-Robin
Washington Capitals v Tampa Bay Lightning
Nikita Kucherov scored twice in a 3-2 shootout win over the Washington Capitals in the sides’ first round-robin game.
Kucherov scored in the first period, before scoring the winner in the shootout.
Brayden Point also scored in the shootout for Tampa, who play the Boston Bruins on Wednesday and the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, to determine seeding for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves for the Bolts and saved two of three shots in the shootout.
Richard Panik and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored for Washington, who will play the Flyers on Thursday and Boston on Sunday.
Braden Holtby made 26 saves for the Caps before making one on three shots in the shootout.
Defenseman John Carlson did not play for Washington. He left their 3-2 exhibition game win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday during the third period with an injury.
The Lightning, who led 2-0 at 7:48 of the second thanks to a goal by Mitchell Stephens, were without forward Steven Stamkos, who is out with a lower-body injury.
Round-robin games in the qualifiers are played with regular-season overtime and shootout rules.
The seeds for the playoffs will be determined by points in the round-robin, with regular-season points percentage as the tiebreaker.
Capitals v Flyers – Thursday, Aug. 6 (TBD)**
Lightning v Bruins – Wednesday, Aug. 5 (4pm ET–NBCSN, NHL.TV, NESN, FS-F)
Western Conference – Best-of-5
Winnipeg Jets v Calgary Flames
Nikolaj Ehlers scored his first NHL postseason goal, helping the Winnipeg Jets tie their Stanley Cup Qualifier series against the Calgary Flames with a 3-2 win in Game 2.
The Jets were without forwards Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine, who were injured in Game 1.
Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves for Winnipeg, the No.9 seed in the West. The goaltender, a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, led the NHL with 18 wins in appearances following a loss of any kind during the regular season (18-7-1).
Cam Talbot made 23 saves for Calgary, the No.8 seed.
Ehlers put the Jets up 3-2 at 10:24 of the third, deflecting Neal Pionk‘s point shot on the power play. It was their first power-play goal in 11 attempts in this series. The goal came after the Flames rallied from two goals down in the second period.
Elias Lindholm cut the lead to 2-1 at 11:29 after Ehlers turned the puck over in his own zone.
Sam Bennett tied the game 2-2 at 17:29 when his wraparound attempt deflected in off the skate of Winnipeg defenseman Nathan Beaulieu.
Jansen Harkins opened the scoring at 7:18 of the first period with a shot over Talbot‘s shoulder. Adam Lowry extended the lead to 2-0 at 5:43 of the second, 40 seconds after the Jets’ unsuccessful two-minute 5-on-3 power play.
Game 3 will be on Tuesday at 6:45pm ET (NHLN, NHL.TV).
Flames v Jets – Tuesday, Aug. 4 (6:45pm ET – NHLN, NHL.TV)
Chicago Blackhawks v Edmonton Oilers
Connor McDavid scored his first postseason NHL hat trick for the Edmonton Oilers in a 6-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 2 of their best-of-5 series, which is now tied 1-1.
McDavid scored twice in the first period and once in the second for the fifth-seeded Oilers.
Tyler Ennis, James Neal and Alex Chiasson also scored, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had three assists, and Mikko Koskinen made 23 saves for Edmonton in his first NHL postseason start.
Patrick Kane and Slater Koekkoek each had a goal and an assist, whilst Corey Crawford allowed six goals on 35 shots for the Blackhawks, the No.12 seed in the West.
Olli Maatta scored at 15:13 of the second period to tie the game 3-3, before McDavid completed his hat trick and Neal and Chiasson netted in the third.
McDavid has six points (4g, 2a) through the first two games of the series.
Blackhawks forward Drake Caggiula did not play after receiving a one match ban for an illegal check to the head against Ennis in Game 1.
Game 3 will be played on Wednesday (10:30pm ET – NBCSN, NHL.TV, SN, NBCSCH). The series winner will advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Teams that win Game 3 after a tied series are 21-7 (75%) at winning a best-of-5 NHL series.
Oilers v Blackhawks – Wednesday, Aug. 5 (10:30pm ET – NBCSN, NHL.TV,
Western Conference – Round-Robin
Dallas Stars v Vegas Golden Knights
The Vegas Golden Knights scored four goals in the third period, rallying from behind for a 5-3 victory over the Dallas Stars in the opening game of the Western round-robin portion of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers.
William Carrier broke a tie with 5:13 remaining, and William Karlsson sealed the deal with an empty-netter just 21 seconds from time.
Nate Schmidt, Mark Stone and Chandler Stephenson also scored, and Robin Lehner made 24 saves for the Knights, who play the St. Louis Blues on Thursdays and the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.
Joe Pavelski, Jamie Oleksiak and Corey Perry scored on consecutive shots in a 4:52 span of the second period to give Dallas a 3-1 lead.
Miro Heiskanen had three assist and Ben Bishop made 28 saves for the Stars, who play the Avalanche on Wednesday and the Blues on Sunday to determine the seeding for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Avalanche v Stars – Wednesday, Aug. 5 (6:30pm ET – NHLN, NHL.TV,
Knights v Blues – Thursday, Aug.6 (TBD)**
** Times will be determined after results are known for the Best-of-5 games, due to trying to avoid conflicting games.