Sunday gave us five games, three of which went to overtime.
The New York Islanders and Washington Capitals faced off in the early game in Toronto, before the Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames battled it out in Edmonton.
The Chicago Blackhawks knew they had to win their matchup against the Vegas Golden Knights or they’d be packing their bags and heading home.
After being shutout in a 5-0 defeat to the Montreal Canadiens on Friday, the Philadelphia Flyers were looking to bounce back, and the St. Louis Blues were hoping for their first win of their best-of-7 series against the Vancouver Canucks.
Washington Capitals v New York Islanders
Mathew Barzal scored 4:28 into overtime to give the New York Islanders a 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round, giving the Isles a 3-0 series lead.
Barzal won it after taking a pass from Jordon Eberle, skating in alone and tucking a backhand shot past Braden Holtby. His goal came moments after Semyon Varlamov made back-to-back saves against Washington’s Jakub Vrana on a breakaway.
Anders Lee also scored, and Varlamov made 22 saves for New York, the No.6 seed in the east.
Evgeny Kuznetsov scored on the power play, and Holtby made 32 saves for the Capitals, the No.3.
Teams that trail a series 3-0 are 4-190 (2.1%) at turning things around to win a Stanley Cup best-of-7 series; the Capitals are 0-5.
Lee scored for a third consecutive game when he redirected a feed from Adam Pelech at 14:50 of the first period, giving New York a 1-0 lead.
Holtby prevented the Isles from extending its lead by making a glove save on Jean-Gabriel Pageau‘s breakaway at 4:10 of the second period.
Caps defenseman Dmitry Orlov helped preserve the tie when he blocked Devon Toews‘ wrist shot with 2:56 remaining in the third, before Holtby made a save on Brock Nelson with 24 seconds left.
The Islanders were 0-for-5 on the power play and had six shits on goal. They are 1-for-14 in the series.
Washington scratched defensemen Michal Kempny and Jonas Siegenthaler, who were replaced by Radko Gudas and Martin Fehervary. Meanwhile center Brian Pinho made his NHL debut in place of Travis Boyd.
Nicklas Backstrom (concussion protocol) miss his second straight game for Washington.
The Islanders, who can eliminate the Caps in Game 4 in Toronto on Tuesday, lead a best-of-7 postseason series 3-0 for the 11th time. They’ve won each of the prior 10, including seven sweeps, most recently last season in the first round against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Capitals v Islanders – Tues, Aug. 18 (8pm ET – NBCSN, TVAS, MSG, MSG+, NBCSWA)
Philadelphia Flyers v Montreal Canadiens
Carter Hart made 23 saves, lifting the Philadelphia Flyers to a 1-0 defeat of the Montreal Canadiens in game 3 to take the lead in their Eastern Conference First Round series.
Hart‘s shutout was his first in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, coming just two days after being pulled in Game 2, when he allowed four goals on 26 shots in a 5-0 loss.
It is also the first in the playoffs by a Philly goalie since Michal Neuvirth against the Washington Capitals on April 22, 2016.
Hart (22yrs, 3 days) is the youngest player in Flyers history to get a shutout in the playoffs, passing Pete Peeters‘ record (22yrs, 246 days).
Jakub Voracek put Philadelphia ahead at 5:21 of the first period. Sean Couturier won a face-off back to defenseman Robert Hagg, who sent a pass along the wall to center Claude Giroux, who then shot from the hash marks and the puck deflected off Voracek, who had slipped in behind Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot.
Carey Price, who turned 33 on Sunday, made 19 saves for the Habs, who hit the post five times, twice by forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi.
The Canadiens pushed hard after trailing 1-0, outshooting the Flyers 19-12 during the second and third periods.
Philly were 7-0-0 after a loss from Jan.7 to March 12, when the NHL season was paused to coronavirus concerns.
Brendan Gallagher led the Canadiens with three shots on goal. He also leads the NHL with 31 shots in the playoffs but is yet to score a goal.
Teams that win Game 3 after a playoff series is tied 1-1 are 215-106 (67%) at going on to win the best-of-7 series.
Game 4 will on Tuesday at 3pm ET (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS, NBCSP).
Flyers v Canadiens – Tues, Aug.18 (3pm ET – NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS, NBCSP)
Dallas Stars v Calgary Flames
Joe Pavelski netted his first Stanley Cup Playoff hat trick, and Alexander Radulov scored at 16:05 of overtime to give the Dallas Stars a 5-4 victory over the Calgary Flames in Game 4 of their Western Conference First Round series.
Radulov‘s goal tied the best-of-7 series for Dallas, the No.3 seed in the West.
Pavelski completed his hat trick with the tying goal just 12 seconds from time. Denis Gurianov also scored, John Klingberg had three assists, including his shot that Radulov tipped in for the game-winner, and Anton Khudobin made 36 saves.
The 36-year-old is the oldest player to score a hat trick in the playoffs since Brett Hull (37 – for Detroit Red Wings vs Vancouver Canucks, Game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals on April 27, 2002).
It was the fourth playoff hat trick in Stars/Minnesota North Stars history (Dino Ciccarelli x2, Steve Payne, Bob Brooke), and the first since the team relocated to Dallas in 1993/94.
Cam Talbot made 57 saves, Sam Bennett had two goals and an assist, and Johnny Gaudreau and Tobias Rieder also netted for the Flames, the No.6 seed.
Talbot‘s saves are the second-most in a game by a Calgary Flames goalie (Rejean Lemelin, 61 saves, April 11, 1981 – 5-4 2OT win vs Chicago Blackhawks, Preliminary Round).
In his 138th Stanley Cup Playoff game Pavelski scored on the power play at 18:11 of the first period to put Dallas up 1-0, before Gaudreau tied it 1-1 with a power play goal of his own at 1:54 of the second period.
Pavelski scored with a shot by Talbot‘s blocker off the rush to give Dallas a 2-1 lead at 3:14 of the second.
Sam Bennet scored 43 seconds later with a slap shot on yet another power play to make it 2-2, before netting his second of the game on a rebound off Milan Lucic‘s shot at 14:50 to make it 3-2.
Denis Gurianov one-timed a pass from Miro Heiskanen into the back of the net on the power play to equalize with 37 seconds remaining in the second.
Rieder scored shorthanded to put Calgary up 4-3 at 3:11 of the third period, redirecting a centering pass from Derek Ryan.
He is the only player in Flames history to score three shorthanded goals in a single postseason.
Pavelski‘s third goal came after Jason Dickinson looked to have scored at 17:31, but the Flames successfully challenged for goalie interference by Corey Perry on Talbot.
Game 5 is in Edmonton on Tuesday at 5:30pm ET (NBCSN, SN, CBC).
Flames v Stars – Tues, Aug. 18 (5:30pm ET – NBCSN, SN, CBC)
Vegas Golden Knights v Chicago Blackhawks
Corey Crawford made 47 saves as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 3-1 in Game 4 of their Western Conference First Round series.
It was the most saves Crawford has made in a Stanley Cup Playoff game that did not go to overtime.
Crawford, who missed all but the final day of training camp after tasing positive for COVID-19, has played in every postseason game, including four in their qualifying series against the Edmonton Oilers.
The 35-year-old made 24 saves in a 2-1 loss to the Knights in Game 3 on Saturday in the first of the back-to-back. The last time he played back-to-back Stanley Cup Playoff games was when he won Games 1 and 2 of the 2013 Western Conference Final against the L.A. Kings.
Drake Caggiula, Matthew Highmore and Alex DeBrincat scored for the No.8 seeded Blackhawks, who avoided being swept.
Shea Theodore scored, and Robin Lehner made 22 saves for Vegas, the No.1 seed, who lost for the first time in seven postseason games (6-1-0).
The Knights have outshot the Blackhawks 148-97 in the series, including 49-25 on Sunday, but were held to fewer than two goals for the first time this postseason.
Chicago blocked 32 shots, including a game-high give by defenseman Calvin de Haan.
Lehner, who won Games 1 and 2, lost his first game with the Golden Knights, who acquired him from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Feb. 24 after the Blackhawks traded him to the Leafs earlier that day. Lehner is 4-1-0 in five postseason starts; he was 3-0-0 in the regular season.
Teams that have a 3-1 lead are 278-29 (90.6%) at winning a best-of-7 NHL series; 173 (56.4%) of those series ended in Game 5.
Blackhawks v Knights – Tues, Aug.18 (10:30pm ET – NBCSN, SN, TVAS)
St. Louis Blues v Vancouver Canucks
Brayden Schenn scored on a breakaway 15:06 into overtime, lifting the St. Louis Blues to a 3-2 Game 3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.
Justin Faulk and David Perron scored for the Blues, who won for the first time in the best-of-7 series. Jake Allen made 29 saves in his first Stanley Cup Playoff start since May 7, 2017.
J.T. Miller and Elias Pettersson scored, and Jacob Markstrom made 46 saves for the Canucks, who had won five consecutive games this postseason.
Miller scored on the power play at 1:19 of the second for a 1-0 lead. Quinn Hughes‘ secondary assist extend his point streak to six games (1g, 8a), tying the NHL record for a postseason point streak by a rookie defenseman (Al MacInnis – Flames, 1984; Zarley Zalapski – Penguins, 1989).
Faulk, who has just two goals in 27 games since Jan. 15, tied the game 1-1 scoring off a turnover at 8:16 of the second.
Perron gave the Blues their first lead of the series scoring from the left circle off a Ryan O’Reilly pass to make it 2-1 at 18:02 of the second.
The lead lasted 37 seconds, before Pettersson tied the game at 18:39, skating around Colton Parayko after he and Marco Scandella misplayed the puck.
Allen, who didn’t start a game last postseason when the Blues won the Stanley Cup, made 27 saves in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars in the Round-Robin Qualifiers on Aug.9. He replaced Jordan Binnington, who had lost four starts this postseason.
St. Louis lost all three of their round-robin games, plus their exhibition game, and hadn’t won since March 11, their final game of the regular season (4-2 vs Anaheim Ducks).
Meanwhile Vancouver lost for the first time since August 2, a 3-0 shutout in Game 1 of their Qualifiers against the Minnesota Wild.
Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen (unfit) did not play for the Blues. They are still day to day.
The Canucks were without defenseman Tyler Myers, who left Game 3 in the third period after he appeared to go headfirst into the boards on a hit by Schenn.
Blues v Canucks – Mon, Aug. 17 (10:30pm ET – NBCSN, CBC, SN, FS-MW)