Two overtime games and an absolute barn burner in front of a wild crowd in Florida. The road teams went 3-0. Nobody had more than a one-goal lead. Day two of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs brought the heat. And to think half of the series hasn’t even started.
Two of these series that have not yet started include # 1 seed. The Colorado Avalanche was the top team in the West Division and also took home the Presidents’ Trophy as # 1 overall seed. They will begin their series against the St. Louis Blues. Meanwhile, the Central Division Champion Carolina Hurricanes takes on the Nashville Predators.
Check out the ESPN NHL Playoffs Daily to catch up on each post-season day until the Stanley Cup hits out in July.
First round, game 2: Boston Bruins No. 3 in Washington Capitals No. 2 (Caps lead 1-0) | 7:30 p.m. ET
Before the close of trading, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, the top line of the Bruins, carried the offense and accounted for 48% of the Bruins goals. Boston wants a more balanced attack but will seek more of its top stars who only had one assist at the start of the series. Washington goalkeeper Ilya Samsonov was back on the ice for the Caps on Sunday after leaving COVID-19 logs. Eligible to play, will coach Peter Laviolette ride the suddenly hot hand of Craig Anderson, the 39-year-old unlikely savior in Game 1?
First round, game 1: No. 4 Nashville Predators at No. 1 Carolina Hurricanes | 8 p.m. ET
The Predators went 19-7-1 for the past two months to save a losing season. Another series to watch: It may be Pekka Rinne’s last appearance in Nashville when the 38-year-old meets the free agency this summer. The canes have been one of the best teams in the NHL all season – they have depth, great talent, and play fast. Carolina is likely to start veteran goalkeeper Petr Mrazek for Game 1, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see it go to Alex Nedeljkovic at some point in this series. After making waivers earlier this season, the rookie started 23 times, realizing a 0.932 percent saving and an average of 1.90 goals versus the average. Series preview
First Round, Game 1: No. 4 St. Louis Blues at No. 1 Colorado Avalanche | 10 p.m. ET
These teams meet in the playoffs for the first time since the 2001 Western Conference final, which Colorado won en route to the last Stanley Cup. The Presidents’ Trophy-winning Avs are hugely popular and welcome Nathan MacKinnon back to the line-up after missing four of the last five regular season games with minor injuries. That’s good news as he has scored 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in eight games against the Blues this season. St. Louis could do without its top scorer David Perron, who was added to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list over the weekend. Series preview
Because of last night
New York Islanders 4, Pittsburgh Penguins 3 (OT) (Islands lead 1-0)
No Evgeni Malkin for the penguins, no Semyon Varlamov for the islanders, but a lot to like in this game. Sidney Crosby scored an outstanding goal for Pittsburgh in his 69th career playoff goal – what Alex Ovechkin has in common for the 18th time ever. Tristan Jarry was shaky in his second career post-season start, allowing two goals from low risk shots per Natural Stat trick. The islanders have done it, and GM Lou Lamoriello’s acquisitions in the last two trading deadlines have become the stars. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who joined the team in 2020, had one goal and two assists, while Kyle Palmieri – the New Jersey Devils’ longtime winger who joined in 2021 – scored twice, including the overtime winner. Complete summary
Minnesota Wild 1, Vegas Golden Knights 0 (OT) (Wild lead 1-0)
That game was 0-0 for 60 minutes, but it was far from boring. This was the ultimate goalkeeper duel between Marc-Andre Fleury and Cam Talbot. Vegas leaves in frustration after controlling most of the game, including an 81-47 lead on shot attempts. The one that finally got through required a diversion from Vegas defender Alec Martinez’s ice skate. But the goalscorer Joel Eriksson Ek was a deserved hero. It was a breakout season for the 24-year-old who increased his overall goal from eight last season to 19 in 2021. “Obviously it was a big moment,” said coach Dean Evason. “He does everything for us.” Complete summary
Joel Eriksson Ek’s shot distracts Golden Knights defender Alec Martinez and goes into the net in Wild’s 1-0 win.
Tampa Bay Lightning 5, Florida Panthers 4 (Lightning lead 1-0)
It was the only game of the opening weekend that didn’t require overtime, but it was perhaps the most fun. The Panthers greeted 9,000 fans in the building and the power was electric. Relentless pace, along with a little meanness. “Of course Game 1 is a play-out game,” said Lightning captain Steven Stamkos. “And they came out extremely hard.” The stars came out too; Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov were all fantastic. There have been four changes in leadership in total, but the most important detail is this: The Lightning was the only regular season team that did not lose a game if they led after two periods. After going 3-2 into the third round, they kept that streak alive. Complete summary
Three stars of the night
Kyle Palmieri, RW, New York Islander
The Islands abandoned a first round selection to acquire Palmieri and Travis Zajac from division rivals Devils. Palmieri scored just two goals in 17 regular season games with the Islanders but was won for the postseason. Has he ever. The Smithtown native New York scored twice against the Penguin, including the overtime winner.
Coach Barry Pots said: “He wanted to show that he was worth whatever we gave up at close of trade so there is another pressure on him and we just worked it through and stayed at it and hopefully we get through the playoffs rewarded. ” “”
Cam Talbot, G, Minnesota Wild
After a 42 performance against the Golden Knights in the opener, which resulted in a 1-0 win in extra time, Talbot has now recorded playoff shutouts with three franchises: Wild, Flames and Oilers. Only Curtis Joseph has recorded a playoff shutout for other franchises (four).
CAM REALLY IS THAT BOY 😎 pic.twitter.com/Q77X724ccM
– x – Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) May 16, 2021
Brayden Point, C, lightning in Tampa Bay
In Game 1 of the first round of Blitz against the Blue Jackets last season, Point scored two goals, including the game winner in the fifth overtime. In game 1 of this year’s first round series … Point scored two goals, including the game winner 1:14 in the third half.
This one came up on an outlier, and it was a beauty:
Brayden Point scores the transition goal and puts Tampa in the lead by just over a minute in the third half.
Talking topic of the day
Nikita Kucherov missed the entire regular season after hip replacement. It was a blow to the Lightning to miss their top winger, who was only two years away from the MVP of the winning league. It was a relief too.
Tampa Bay was tight against the salary cap, and placing Kucherov and his $ 9.5 million cap on the long-term injured reserve made life a little easier for GM Julien BriseBois in the regular season. Conveniently, Kucherov has been considered well suited for the playoffs – when the salary cap is controversial.
Lots of fans cried to be bypassed the cap, though Blitz insists it’s a confluence of luck and timing (don’t you think they wanted their top scorer for the regular season?). Now all we know is that the 27-year-old is back and making an incredible impression. Kucherov scored two power play goals and scored the first on another.
Team-mate Victor Hedman said: “It’s very impressive to see how he delivers in the first game. The scary part is that he only gets better.”
Two power play goals in his first second leg?
Certainly not surprised 😅 pic.twitter.com/DFKrHnPwjm
– Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) May 17, 2021
Record breaker of the day
Marc-Andre Fleury started the first game for the Vegas Golden Knights a year after losing his starting job to Robin Lehner in the 2020 bubble. (You can expect Vegas to turn both goalkeepers this spring).
Fleury was the first goalkeeper in NHL history to appear in 15 consecutive postseason.
It’s an amazing accomplishment, and even more incredible when you consider it came after the toughest season in Fleury’s professional career, when he continued to mourn the loss of his father André. The 36-year-old scored 29 saves on Sunday, including some spectacular ones:
Another spectacular rescue! 🥵 pic.twitter.com/316zKmQCw6
– NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) May 16, 2021