We’re closing in on two weeks of this play-off bubble experiment the NHL is trying to pull off. We haven’t been short on exciting story-lines so far and Wednesday’s games were no different:
- Game 1 of this series was supposed to go on Tuesday night after Tampa Bay - Columbus, but since that tilt went into five (!) overtimes the NHL was forced to postpone until Wednesday morning. Once the game was played, Patrice Bergeron notched the game winner in only the second OT off a pretty feed from David Pastrnak. After demolishing the Rangers in their opening round series, Carolina looked slightly over-matched against the B’s — who had looked pretty rough in their round-robin series. Momentum? What’s that?
- Mid-way through this one, it was 2-0 Washington after two power-play tallies by TJ Oshie and it looked like the Caps might just cruise to a series opening win. But this Isles group is nothing if not scrappy and they responded with four unanswered goals, heavily outplaying Washington for long stretches in the process. The Caps might have the edge talent-wise, but NYI are no slouches; this could be a good series.
- If there was ever a 3-0 scoreline that flattered the losing team, this was it. The whole game had the feeling of a dam about to burst, and though Arizona gamely hung on until just less than seven minutes remaining in the third the floodgates did indeed open. Colorado scored all threes of their goals in less than 3 minutes to secure a win they thoroughly deserved. Shots were 40-14 in favour of the Avs. Maybe the Coyotes can steal a game, but this feels like the most lop-sided series of the first round.
- This was maybe the best-played game of the day, thanks to both teams creating chances with highly skilled plays and the goaltenders matching each other save-for-save. Philadelphia was probably slightly to the good on the whole, but Philly needed a late shot to go off the cross-bar from Nick Suzuki in order to preserve the win. Montreal are undoubtedly the underdogs, but their play in the opener should have them feeling encouraged about their prospects of keeping this series competitive.
- Troy Stecher broke a 2-2 tie with a goal just over five minutes into the third and the Canucks were able to hold the Blues off after that. Stecher’s celebration of his game-winning goal was an emotional one; it was his first tally since his father passed away in June.
Woo, it’s just a bit dusty in here right now yanno?
Chicago @ Vegas Golden Knights, 5:30pm EST, VGK leads Series 1-0
Carolina Hurricanes @ Boston Bruins, 8pm EST, BOS leads Series 1-0