Last night, all but one of the ongoing playoff matchups resulted in the series evening up.
While the Carolina Hurricanes took a commanding 2-0 lead against the Boston Bruins, all of Tampa Bay, Minnesota and Edmonton made up for their game one losses by registering a win in game two. Not only did these three teams get on the board, they did so in relatively convincing fashion, outscoring their opponents by a collective 17-5.
Let’s visit the four games on the schedule for tonight.
Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins @ New York Rangers (PIT Leads 1-0)
Following an incredibly lengthy game one where the Penguins came out as victors, look for the New York Rangers to show up ready to play again tonight. All eyes will be in two places. First, on Igor Shesterkin who was a brick wall during the marathon game one and gave his team every chance to win. Second, on the Rangers forward group. You can’t look at what Shesterkin did and do anything but place some blame on the Rangers inability to capitalize at some point during the many overtime periods they played.
Game 2: Washington Capitals @ Florida Panthers (WSH Leads 1-0)
Perhaps one of the biggest surprises early in these playoffs was Washington taking game one from the Panthers earlier this week. We can never count this Panthers offense out of anything, as they proved over and over in the regular season that they’re more than capable of a hefty comeback. But what Washington has on their side is a ton of deep playoff experience.
Game 2: Nashville Predators @ Colorado Avalanche (COL Leads 1-0)
To be honest, this series already feels like it’s over. I know, I know, it’s the NHL playoffs and anything can happen! But the Predators were already the heavy underdogs before it was announced that Juuse Saros wouldn’t be available for game one - a game in which Colorado essentially secured their victory within the first ten minutes of the game. You can’t discount how a player like Roman Josi or the 2022 version of Matt Duchene can take over a game, but this is an uphill - maybe up-mountain? - battle for the Preds.
Game 2: Dallas Stars @ Calgary Flames (CGY Leads 1-0)
Earlier this week, Calgary secured a 1-0 lead of the series with a 1-0 victory in game one. Jacob Markstrom was fantastic but so was Jake Oettinger. The Flames were able to score on the powerplay in the first period and ride solid defensive structure the rest of the way. For me, this is the biggest toss up of a series. While Calgary had a really strong regular season, game one didn’t show nearly as much of a distance between the two clubs as I was expecting.