Farewell to the Washington Capitals and St. Louis Blues, two youngest Stanley Cup champions who were eliminated on Sunday.
Three other teams – the Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild and, rather shockingly, the Edmonton Oilers – could join them after Monday night’s action.
Check out the ESPN NHL Playoffs Daily to catch up on each post-season day until the Stanley Cup hits out in July.
More: Playoff Schedule | Playoff Central
Game 5: New York Islanders at Pittsburgh Penguins | 7 p.m. ET (tie 2-2)
The penguins allowed the islanders to control the pace of the game and get into their heads if they were defeated in game 4. It is never a good sign when Evgeni Malkin has three minor penalties and no shot attempts. “I’ll be more disciplined in the next game. We’re not happy. Not just me, the whole team is not happy with what we did tonight,” said Malkin. “We have to forget this day and forget this game. It’s the best of three right now.” Expect rookie Ilya Sorokin (29 saves) to be back in the fold for the islanders after winning both starts of this series.
Game 3: Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens | 7 p.m. ET (draw 1-1)
The Maple Leafs’ power play helped tip the scales in Game 2, scoring twice on six occasions. Canadians know this cannot happen again. “We have to finish every check, be tough with them but be smart at the same time because they have good power play and lots of shooting options. That’s where they thrive, so we just have it.” I have to be smart, “said Montreal defender Joel Edmundson. Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said the Canadians had made it clear that they wanted to be physical.” I think the quote or phrase was they want to make it a war. If you do that, you run the risk of facing penalties. It’s our job as a power game to make them pay for it, “he said.
Game 5: Tampa Bay Lightning at Florida Panthers | 8 p.m. ET (Blitz Tour 3-1)
It could be knighthood for the panthers. Rookie Spencer Knight, who was 4-0 in his first four NHL games, worked in the starter network during training on Sunday, while Sergei Bobrovsky and Chris Driedger shared one. In the meantime, Blitz will tell us on Monday if Nikita Kucherov and Mikhail Sergachev are good for Game 5 after injuries in Game 4. And then we’ll find out if coach Jon Cooper complains that the Panthers are taking “liberties.” leads to a closer office in this playoff.
Game 4: Edmonton Oilers at Winnipeg Jets | 9.45 p.m. ET (Jets lead 3-0)
We’ll get to what happened in Game 3 in a moment, but the Oilers played themselves on the verge of elimination with a breakdown in the third period. The silver lining from Game 3 is that the Oilers big stars finally land on the board after being closed for the first two games. Leon Draisaitl scored two goals and had one assist and Connor McDavid had three assistants. You will need them again to expand the series. “We dug a really big hole. But we’re going to play it one game at a time. That’s all we can do at this point. We’re not going to turn around and play dead for these guys,” said McDavid.
Game 5: Minnesota Wild at Vegas Golden Knights | 10:30 p.m. ET (knights lead 3-1)
The Wild had regular season success against Vegas, winning their first game in overtime 1-0. Fast forward to Monday night, and Minnesota has since been beaten 12-3 and is on the verge of being out. Marc-Andre Fleury has won three times in a row, saving 0.966 percent and an average of 0.99 goals against the series.
Because of last night
Nashville Predators 4, Carolina Hurricanes 3 (2OT) (2-2 draw)
The Hurricanes went to Nashville with a 2-0 lead. Two heartbreaking, double overtime losses later, and it’s a best-of-three streak now. Luke Kunin scored his second goal at 4:10 p.m. in extra overtime while Juuse Saros made 58 saves for the Predators. Still happy with the Canes’ efforts, coach Rod Brind’Amour said they just couldn’t take their chances. “We felt like we played most of the game. In overtime we felt like we were finished. After all, if we don’t score, they’ll score a goal. We couldn’t find a way to get one to get.” But I love the way our boys play, “he said. Will Carolina stay with rookie goalkeeper Alex Nedeljkovic for Game 5 or join veteran Petr Mrazek? Complete summary
Colorado Avalanche 5, St. Louis Blues 2 (Avs win 4-0)
The blues were swept out of the playoffs with another impressive avalanche attempt. Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon each had a goal and an assist. They beat St. Louis 20-7 in the four games. Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice for the blues. It turns out that Ryan O’Reilly’s pre-series proclamation – “We’re going to have fun and beat them” – was bulletin board material for the Avalanche. “Yes, it did,” said Landeskog when asked if it motivated her. “If you can finish this streak without giving life or hope to your opponents, that’s definitely what we wanted and what is not easy on the road.” Complete summary
Mikko Rantanen scores the winning goal in Colorado’s 5-2 win over St. Louis to win the series.
Boston Bruins 3, Washington Capitals 1 (Bruins win 4-1)
The capitals are done when the Bruins eliminated Alex Ovechkin & Co. in five games. Tuukka Rask made 40 saves, and Patrice Bergeron had the winning goal and a big insurance goal in the third period after TJ Oshie’s turnover. The capitals had another power outage in Game 5 and went with the man advantage 0-4 and only 3-21 for the series. The focus is now on Ovechkin’s contract status as he is a pending unrestricted free agent. “We just lost in a playoff series. Let’s talk about my contract and all that later,” he said. Complete summary
Winnipeg Jets 5, Edmonton Oilers 4 (OT) (Jets lead 3-0)
The Oilers were in control. Your star players Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have finally made it. They had a 4-1 lead in the third half. Josh Archibald then picked a low bridge hit against Winnipeg’s Logan Stanley and received a minor penalty for cutting off 8:49 in the third half. Mathieu Perreault scored a power play goal 30 seconds later. Blake Wheeler scored to reduce the lead to 4-3, and Josh Morrissey followed suit with the record just 14 seconds later. Nikolaj Ehlers won the game in extra time. Both coaches called the Archibald penalty “the turning point” of the game. McDavid said, “We gave them a lifeline there and they took advantage of it.” Injury Insult: Archibald has a hearing with the Player Safety Department for the incident. Complete summary
Three stars of the night
1. Nikolaj Ehlers, F, Winnipeg Jets
Ehlers had not played since April 24 because of a shoulder injury. He missed the Jets’ first two wins at Edmonton but returned to the line-up for Game 3. His goal in the second half reduced the Oilers’ lead to 2-1 after two goals from Leon Draisaitl. After the Jets recovered from a 4-1 deficit in the third half, Ehlers ended it with his second goal at 9: 1 p.m. overtime. “Sure two big goals, but this positive attitude and energy that he brings,” said coach Paul Maurice. “We are clearly happy to have him back.”
Winnipeg returns three goals behind and Nikolaj Ehlers wins the game in extra time to put Edmonton on a 3-0 hole.
2. Luke Kunin, F, Nashville Predators
Talk about having a happy break. In the double OT, Kunin broke his stick in the neutral zone and had to go to the Predators bench to get a new one. That left him wide open and uncontrolled over the winning goal. “I broke my stick, our outfitter finished it,” said Kunin. “I got up in the slot and figured out a way to get it in there. I’m just glad it went in.” How are the predators.
Luke Kunin goes unmarked as he goes on the net, receives the pass and scores a goal to win it in double overtime for Nashville.
3. Tuukka Rask, G., Boston Bruins
The Bruins goalkeeper made 40 saves, 20 of them in the second half, to eliminate the capitals. Rask has a saving of 0.941 percent and an average of 1.81 goals against the playoffs.
Drink of the day
Great job from my colleague Mark Humphrey on recording #Titans @ TaylorLewan77 literally crushing a beer during a #SmashvillestandingO in Period 2. #Preds pic.twitter.com/vGAHd7oEqH
– Teresa Walker (@TeresaMWalker) May 23, 2021
Taylor Lewan, offensive attacker for the Tennessee Titans, doused himself in beer to get the Predators going. Apparently it worked. See more of his frothy antics here:
I had a long drive home from Wynne and told myself it was “not nice” to get her and mom wet … well worth it.
– Taylor Lewan (@ TaylorLewan77) May 24, 2021
quote of the Day
“To be honest, I’m not ready for these questions right now. There are no excuses to answer all of these questions. We have been swept from zero to four. I can [say] Whatever I want to say and say we don’t fight enough but it is what it is. That’s embarrassing.”
– St. Louis Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko on the avalanche.
Old friends of the day
Zdeno Chara goes through the handshake line with all of his former Bruins teammates. With all due respect. pic.twitter.com/WPNHLz09cf
– Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) May 24, 2021
Capitals defender Zdeno Chara had an emotional handshake with his former teammates on the Bruins. Big Z is an unreserved free agent after this season.