Round Won and Done

Both of Thursday’s games ended in eliminations – the Washington Capitals were knocked out by the New York Islanders, and the Dallas Stars came from 3-0 down to annihilate the Calgary Flames 7-3.

Friday was another day of will they, won’t they as the Philadelphia Flyers looked to avoid a Game 7 by beating the Montreal Canadiens in Toronto, and the Vancouver Canucks were hoping to send the reigning champions, the St. Louis Blues packing.

Eastern Conference

Philadelphia Flyers v Montreal Canadiens

Carter Hart made 31 saves to ensure the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in Game 6, eliminating them from the Stanley Cup.

Hart saved Montreal’s final 19 shots, including 13 in the third period. The win was made extra special for the young goaltender as he won his first Stanley Cup Playoff series against Carey Price, the goalie he grew up idolizing.

Kevin Hayes had a goal and an assist, with Ivan Provorov and Michael Raffl also scoring for Philly, who won a Stanley Cup Playoff series for the first time since defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

Nick Suzuki scored two goals for the Canadiens, the No.8 seed, and Price made 14 saves.

Montreal were without forward Brendan Gallagher, who sustained a broken jaw on a cross-check by Flyers defenseman Matt Niskanen in the third period of game 5 on Wednesday. Niskanen was handed a one-game suspension by the NHL Department of Player Safety, which he served on Friday.

Philly, who scored 28 seconds in to the game, went 3-1 up at 4:26 of the second period after Raffl drove to the next and had Travis Sanheim‘s shot deflect off him and past Price.

Suzuki got Montreal within 3-2 at 6:05 of the second, scoring from a sharp angle. It was the rookie’s first two-goal NHL game.

Six of the Flyers’ 11 goals in the series went in off a Canadiens player, including four of Philly’s six goals in the final two games. Jakub Voracek‘s two power play goals in their Game 5 loss (5-3) went in off the stick of Montreal defenseman Ben Chiarot.

Despite being outscored 13-11 and outshot 145-132 in the series Philadelphia were able to advance whilst avoiding a Game 7.

Up Next:
Flyers win series 4-2 – Advance – Play Islanders in Second Round
(Monday, Aug. 24, 7pm ET NBCSN)

Canadiens Eliminated

Western Conference

St. Louis Blues v Vancouver Canucks

Jacob Markstrom‘s 34 saves were enough to see the Vancouver Canucks eliminate the defending champions, the St. Louis Blues, from the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 6-2 victory in Game 6 of their Western Conference First Round Series.

Vancouver, the No.5 seed, will play the No.1 seeded Vegas Golden Knights in the Second Round. Game 1 of the best-of-7 series will be in Edmonton on Sunday (10:30pm ET – NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).

This is the first time the Canucks have advanced past the first round since 2011, when they lost to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final.

Tyler Motte scored twice, Jay Beagle scored one and assisted another, Antoine Roussel, Troy Stecher and Brock Boeser also scored, and rookie Quinn Hughes added another assist to his record for the Canucks.

Hughes‘ assist makes him just the fourth rookie defenseman to get 10pts (1g, 9a) in 10 or less postseason games.

This is the first time the Canucks have advanced past the first round since 2011, when they lost to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final.

Jordan Binnington, who was making his first start since Game 2, allowed four goals on 18 shots before being pulled in the second period. He was replaced by Jake Allen, who made five saves for the Blues.

Binnington went 0-5-0 in this season’s playoffs, allowing 19 goals in his final four starts.

Jaden Schwartz scored twice for St. Louis, his second coming with Allen pulled for an extra skater.

The Blues had a 77-46 advantage in shot attempts but had 23 giveaways compared to Vancouver’s 13.

Canucks forward Elias Pettersson had two assists and has 13pts (4g, 9a) in 10 playoff games, tying him with Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche for the NHL lead.

With this being the final game of the first round it’s just the second time since 2002 that the first round didn’t have a game 7 played (also in 2017).

Up Next:
Canucks win series 4-2 – Play Vegas in Second Round (Sunday, Aug. 23

Blues – Eliminated


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