Buckle up everyone, we’ve got Game Sevens galore!
Despite being on the wrong side of lopsided shot clocks, the Philadelphia Flyers and Vancouver Canucks pulled through to knot up their respective second-round playoff series. Let’s go over how they did it.
Philadelphia Flyers 5, New York Islanders 4 (2OT), Series tied 3-3
As mentioned before, the shots were well in favour of the Islanders in this game; 53-31 to be exact. Despite the uphill battle, the score was rather back-and-forth, with the Flyers going up 2-0 early on, only to blow that lead early in the second period, and a poorly timed challenge by Alain Vigneault resulted in the Islanders taking the lead shortly after. Both teams traded goals in the second, before Scott Laughton tied things up at 9:53 of the third. Ivan Provorov was the hero in double overtime, scoring on a wrist shot from outside the slot at the 15:03 mark.
Carter Hart was outstanding, while Semyon Varlamov was shaky; we may see Thomas Greiss start the deciding game. Either way, something tells me the Flyers won’t win this series without a much better performance on Saturday; the Islanders have looked downright deadly throughout this series. One more thing, it’s freaking awesome to see Oskar Lindblom back on the ice. How do you choose between him and Bobby Ryan for the Masterton trophy?
Vancouver Canucks 4, Vegas Golden Knights 0, Series tied 3-3
What Hart’s doing in Toronto, Thatcher Demko is doing in Edmonton. The 24-year-old followed up his fantastic Game 5 performance with a 48-save shutout, cementing himself as a frontrunner for the Conn Smythe, if the Canucks go all the way. It’s only been two games, and his body of work this season overall hasn’t been great, but this could be a sign of a young star in net reaching his potential. Vancouver can only hope. Jake Virtanen, J.T. Miller, Quinn Hughes and Bo Horvat scored for the “home” team. Hughes in particular, continued to make Jim Benning look like a drafting genius.
Quinn Hughes deserves two for this set-up. WOW. pic.twitter.com/q34fnFanms— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) September 4, 2020
The Knights, as they’re well known for doing, peppered the opposition with scoring chances throughout the game, however Demko was up to the hefty task of shutting them down. It also seemed like the Knights were too pre-occupied to finish on their chances:
Jake Virtanen is down, injured, after being Kronwall hit by Brayden McNabb.— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) September 4, 2020
The Vegas bench heckled him as he lay on the ice, awaiting help from the trainer.
Despite Vegas being the much better team overall (obviously, they’ve got Mark Stone), a red-hot Thatcher Demko may very well be all the Canucks need to reach the Conference Final for the first time since 2011.