In Toronto the Philadelphia Flyers were looking to take a 3-1 series lead over the Montreal Canadiens, and the New York Islanders were hoping to sweep the Washington Capitals.
In Western Canada the Calgary Flames faced the Dallas Stars, both whom were looking to take a series lead, and the Chicago Blackhawks fought to stay in the running against the Vegas Golden Knights who led the series 3-1 heading in to the late game.
Philadelphia Flyers v Montreal Canadiens
Carter Hart made 29 saves for his second consecutive shutout as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Montreal Canadiens 2-0 in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference First Round series.
The Flyers, who haven’t won a Stanley Cup Playoff series since defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, can win the best-of-7 affair in Game 5 in Toronto on Wednesday.
Teams that take a 3-1 lead are 278-29 (90.6%) at going on to win a best-of-7 NHL series. 173 of those series ended in Game 5 (56.4%).
Hart is the first NHL goalie with consecutive postseason shutouts since Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals in Games 6 and 7 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Final, and the first to do it for the Flyers since Michael Leighton against the Canadiens in Games 1 and 2 of the 2010 Eastern Conference Final.
Hart extended his shutout streak to 120:00, the longest in the playoffs for the Flyers since Leighton had a streak of 172:55 in 2010.
At 22 years and 5 days old, he is the second-youngest NHL goalie with back-to-back playoff shutouts. Harry Lumley of the Detroit Red Wings was 18 years and 161 days old when he shut out the Toronto Maple Leafs in Games 5 and 6 of the 1945 Stanley Cup Final.
Michael Raffl and Philippe Myers scored for Philly, the No.1 seed in the East.
Raffl gave Philadelphia a 1-0 lead at 6:32 of the first period after they forced a turnover as the Canadiens were trying to exit their zone, with Jakub Voracek getting the puck to the forward, who kicked it ahead to Sean Couturier, who left it for Raffl in the left circle, and his shot beat Carey Price over his blocker.
Price made 20 saves for Montreal, the No.8 seed.
Raffl had been shifted to left wing on the top line in place of Claude Giroux.
Myers put Philly up 2-0 with 2:56 remaining in the second on a shot from the right side off the rush which deflected off Habs defenseman Brett Kulak‘s stick and over Price‘s right pad.
The victors blocked 13 shots, led by forward Nate Thompson (3).
Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher leads the NHL with 34 shots on goal, including three in this game, but has yet to score. He tied Tomas Tatar for Montreal’s lead with 22 goals during the regular season.
Canadiens v Flyers – Weds, Aug. 19 (8pm ET – NBCSN, NBCSP)***
Washington Capitals v New York Islanders
Alex Ovechkin scored twice, lifting the Washington Capitals to a 3-2 comeback victory over the New York Islands, avoiding elimination in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference First Round Series.
Evgeny Kuznetsov had a goal and an assist, John Carlson had two assists, and Braden Holtby made 24 saves and got an assist for the Capitals, the No.3 seed in the East.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Mathew Barzal scored for the Isles, the No.6 seed, and Semyon Varlamov made 26 saves.
Washington, who outshot the Islanders 15-7 in the second, trailed 2-0 halfway through the first period but tied it with goals 1:54 apart early in the second.
Pageau made it 1-0 on a redirection on Scott Mayfield‘s shot at 3:50 of the first, before Barzal scored at 9:16 after taking a pass from Nick Leddy and quickly putting a shot under Holtby‘s left arm for the 2-0 lead.
Capitals head coach Todd Reirden used his timeout after Barzal‘s goal.
New York went 0-for-5 on the power play and are 1-for-19 in the entire series.
Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck did not come back out for the third period after suffering a hit from Radko Gudas at 15:14 of the second period.
Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom (concussion protocol) missed a third straight game, whilst defenseman Martin Fehervary (unfit to play) was replaced by Jonas Siegenthaler.
Islanders v Capitals – Thurs, Aug. 20 (TBD)***
Calgary Flames v Dallas Stars
John Klingberg broke a tie in the third period as the Dallas Stars held on to defeat the Calgary Flames 2-1 in Game 5 of their Western Conference First Round series, which Dallas now lead.
Teams that win Game 5 after a series is tied 2-2 are 211-58 (78.4%) at going on to win in a best-of-7 series.
Jamie Benn also scored, and Anton Khudobin made 28 saves for Dallas, who are the No.3 seed in the West.
The Stars have a series record of 15-3 (.833) after leading 3-2 in a best-of-7 series.
Benn drove to the net, redirecting a pass from Tyler Seguin to put Dallas 1-0 up before Klingberg, who assisted Alexander Radulov‘s overtime winner in Game 4, scored his first of the postseason on a wrist shot from the point to secure the 2-1 victory at 1:12 of the third.
Mikael Backlund scored from the high slot through traffic to tie the game 1-1- with 46 seconds remaining in the first period., and Cam Talbot made 30 saves for Calgary, who have a series record of 0-9 after trailing 3-2 in a best-of-7 series.
Rasmus Andersson hit the post for the Flames on a shot from the slot at 6:03 of the third, before Khudobin made a glove save on Erik Gustafsson‘s slap shot at 18:06.
Calgary forward Matthew Tkachuk, who hasn’t played since he was injured in Game 2, was still unfit to play, as was Dallas goalie Ben Bishop, who started and won Game 2 but was out for Game 4.
Stars v Flames – Thurs, Aug. 20 (TBD)***
Chicago Blackhawks v Vegas Golden Knights
Alex Tuch scored the go-ahead goal, ensuring that the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in Game 5 to win their Western Conference First Round series.
Chicago are the first team to be eliminated this round.
Max Pacioretty had a goal and an assist, Mark Stone and Alex Martinez also scored, William Karlsson had two assists, and Robin Lehner made 23 saves for Vegas, the No.1 seed in the West.
As the first team overall to qualify for the Second Round, the Knights will play the lowest remaining seed in the Western Conference.
In a game that saw six goals scored by 7:28 of the second period, Tuch scored on a rebound at the left post to give the Golden Knights a 4-3 lead 1:34 into the third.
Jonathan Toews, Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane scored, and Corey Crawford made 35 saves for the No.8 seeded Blackhawks, who avoided being swept by winning Game 4 on Sunday 3-1.
Toews scored on a rebound in the slot to give Chicago the lead at 10:32 of the first, before DeBrincat made it 2-0 on a snap shot from the right post at 18:19.
Pacioretty scored his first point of the postseason in his fourth game on a wrist shot from the bottom of the right face-off circle to make it 2-1 heading in to the first intermission.
Stone scored from the slot 57 seconds into the second period to tie it 2-2, before Kane scored on a backhand 4:02 into the second, giving Chicago a 3-2 lead.
Martinez drew Vegas level once more with a power play goal off a slap shot from the right face-off circle at 7:28. It was the first power play goal of the series for the Golden Knights (1-for-10).
Tuch appeared to score at 15:13 of the third period, but the goal was overturned after being challenged for goalie interference on Nick Cousins.
Vegas win series 4-1 – Move on to Second Round
Blackhawks – Eliminated
*** Dependent on the results of Wednesday’s games
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