Horvat OT Winner Steals the Show

The fourth day of the Stanley Cup Playoffs was a little more relaxed than the first three, but there was still plenty of excitement and upset.

The Arizona Coyotes faced the Colorado Avalanche in Edmonton for the early game, before the Montreal Canadiens looked to level their series with the Philadelphia Flyers in Toronto.

The Vancouver Canucks headed in to the day hoping to extend their series lead against the St. Louis Blues,the New York Islanders aimed to upset the Washington Capitals once more, and the Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames played their first back-to-back game of the series in then late game in Edmonton.

We saw another overtime and 26 goals.

Eastern Conference

Montreal Canadiens v Philadelphia Flyers

Carey Price made 30 saves for the shutout to help the Montreal Canadiens defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-0 in Toronto and even out their Eastern Conference First Round series.

Tomas Tatar and Jesperi Kotkaniemi both scored two goals, Joel Armia also scored, Max Domi registered 3 assists, and Victor Mete had two assists for Montreal, who caused a huge upset in the Qualifiers by knocking out the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Kirk Muller coached the Canadiens, who outshot Philly 32-30, in place of Claude Julien, who returned to Montreal following the stunting of a coronary artery Thursday. He is not expected to return during the series.

Carter Hart allowed four goals on 26 shots for Philly, the No.1 seed, before being pulled at 17:57 of the second period. Brian Elliott made five saves in relief.

Travis Konecny did not play the final 8:26 of the third period for the Flyers after being taking a puck to the left ankle.

Game 3 of the best-of-7 series is Sunday (8pm ET – NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

Up Next:
Flyers v CanadiensSunday, Aug. 16 (8pm ETNBC)

New York Islanders v Washington Capitals

The New York Islanders defeat the Washington Capitals 5-2 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round, extending their series lead.

Teams with a 2-0 lead are 324-51 (86.4%) at going on to win their best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series.

Nick Leddy, Matt Martin and Brock Nelson all scored in the second period, Cal Clutterbuck and Anders Lee scored in the third, Jean-Gabriel Pageau had two assists, and Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves for the sixth-seeded Isles.

Alex Ovechkin scored two goals for the Caps, the No.3 seed in the East, who were without Nicklas Backstrom after the center was injured in the first period of Game 1 on Wednesday. Braden Holtby made 27 saves.

Backstrom was replaced by center Lars Eller, who played for the first time since Aug.3. He was in quarantine after briefly leaving Toronto to be with his wife for the birth of their child.

Washington went 0-for-2 on the power play after going 2-for-7 in Game 1.

Ovechkin scored his first goal of the postseason just 56 seconds into the game, slipping a backhand shot past Varlamov to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead.

New York scored three of the next four goals, all coming within 3:58 of each other.

Washington had three shots on goal in the first 43 seconds of the third period but failed to score, Varlamov later preserved the Islanders’ lead with a glove save on John Carlson‘s slap shot from the right point at 6:59.

Ovechkin had a chance to tie it on the power play but shot wide on an open net at 10:14. He later told the media,”I just missed the net…Stuff happens.”

The Capitals were limited to just two shots between Carlson‘s chance and Clutterbuck‘s goal.

Eller and forward T.J. Oshie both had a minus-4 rating for Washington.

Game 3 will be played in Toronto on Sunday (12pm ET – USA, SN360, TVAS, MSG, MSG+, NBCSWA). 

Up Next:
Capitals v IslandersSunday, Aug. 16 (12pm ETUSA, MSG, MSG+, NBCSWA)

Western Conference

Arizona Coyotes v Colorado Avalanche

Andre Burakovsky scored with 2:53 remaining in regulation to lift the Colorado Avalanche to a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes for a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference First Round series.

Nathan MacKinnon and Tyson Jost also scored, and Philipp Grubauer made 30 saves for the Avs, the No.2 seed in the West.

Clayton Keller and Michael Grabner scored, and Darcy Kuemper made 25 saves for Arizona, the No.7 seed in the West.

MacKinnon gave Colorado a 1-0 lead at 3:40 of the first when he skated down the left wing after a Coyotes turnover and shot far side.

Keller tied the game for Arizona, with Taylor Hall skating down the left side, passing to the forward, whose rebound was put in by Colorado’s Samuel Girard.

Jost tipped in Cale Makar‘s point shot to give the Avalanche a 2-1 lead, before Grabner chased down a loose puck, skated from the right corner and shot from the lower near circle to tie the game once more.

Avs forward Joonas Donskoi and Arizona forward Nick Schmaltz were both ruled unfit to play. As part of the NHL Return to Play Plan, a team is not permitted to disclose injury or illness information of any player.

Game 3 is in Edmonton on Saturday (3 pm ET – CNBC, SN360, TVAS, FS-A, FS-A PLUS, ALT).

Up Next:
Avalanche v CoyotesSaturday, Aug 15 (3pm ETCNBC, FS-A, FS-A+, ALT)

Vancouver Canucks v St. Louis Blues
4-3 (OT)

Bo Horvat scored his second goal 5:55 into overtime to lift the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-3 defeat of the St. Louis Blues in Game 2 of their Western Conference First Round series, extending their lead in the best-of-7 affair to 2-0.

Jaden Schwartz tied the game 3-3 with seven seconds left in regulation for St. Louis after David Perron‘s shot went in off his leg. The call on the ice had been no goal due to a high stick by Perron, but upon video review it was reversed.

Elias Petterson had a goal and an assist, Tanner Pearson also scored, and Quinn Hughes extended his point-streak with his seventh assist of the postseason for Vancouver, the No.5 seed in the West. Jacob Markstrom made 34 saves.

St. Louis, the No.4 seed and defending Stanley Cup champions, trailed 3-1 (Ryan O’Reilly) before Sammy Blais made it 3-2 scoring unassisted off a turnover at 9:02 of the third.

Horvat‘s first goal was a masterpiece, coming shorthanded on an end-to-end rush at 7:23 of the first period. He skated past Brayden Schenn and around Schwartz before flipping the puck past Jordan Binnington (21 saves) to make it 1-0.

Horvat leads the NHL with six goals in six games this postseason.

J.T. Miller thought he’d scored for the Canucks at 3:58 of the second period only for Blues coach, Craig Berube, to challenge for offside and see the call on the ice overturned after video review.

Defenseman Tyler Myers left the game 1:46 into the third period for Vancouver after he appeared to go headfirst into the boards on a hit by Schenn. No penalty was called.

Teams with a 2-0 lead are 324-51 (86.4 percent) winning a best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series. Game 3 is in Edmonton, the Western hub city, on Sunday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, FS-MW).

Up Next:
Blues v CanucksSunday, Aug. 16 (10:30pm ETNBCSN, FS-MW)

Dallas Stars v Calgary Flames

Cam Talbot made 35 saves for the Calgary Flames in a 2-0 Game 3 victory over the Dallas Stars, extending their lead in their Western Conference First Round best-of- 7 series to 2-1.

Talbot‘s shutout was his second this postseason and fourth of his career in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, becoming the third goalie to record multiple shutouts in a single postseason with the Flames. He joins Miikka Kiprusoff (5, 2004) and Mike Vernon (3, 1989).

Teams that win Game 3 after an NHL playoff series is tied 1-1 are 215-106 (67%) at going on to win their best-of-7 series.

Mikael Backlund and TJ Brodie scored for Calgary, who are the No.6 seed in the West.

Anton Khudobin made 21 saves for the third-seeded Dallas, who outshot Calgary 27-12 in the second and third period, and went 0-for-4 on the power play.

Backlund scored a shorthanded goal at 5:58 of the second period to put the Flames 1-0 up. It’s the third shorthanded goal this postseason, and second in as many days for Calgary, who scored six times whilst on the penalty kill in 70 regular-season games.

Matthew Tkachuk did not play for the Flames after leaving Game 2 in the third period following a collision with Jamie Oleksiak and Jame Benn. He is day-to-day.

Game 4 will be in Edmonton on Sunday (2pm ET – CNBC, CBC, SN, FS-SW).

Up Next:
Stars v FlamesSunday, Aug. 16 (2pm ETCNBC, FS-SW)


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