Play-offs Open Thread: May 16th
We’re off and running!
While the Ottawa Senators did not qualify for this year’s post-season tournament, there’s a lot of great hockey yet to be played this spring. So while we’ll of course continue with our off-season coverage of the Sens, we also want to give folks a place to talk about the NHL hockey that’s still being played. Look for these daily open threads with a quick recap of the games that were played the night before, as well as a look ahead to the contests of the day.
Last Night’s Games:
Washington Capitals 3, Boston Bruins 2 (OT), WSH Leads Series 1-0
Tom Wilson, who you could persuasively argue shouldn’t even be eligible to be playing right now, scored the opening goal of the 2021 play-offs and Nic Dowd potted the winner in overtime on a deflection as the Caps took the opener of their series against the Bruins 3-2 in overtime. Craig Anderson also became the 4th oldest goalie in NHL history to record a win in the Stanley Cup play-offs after he was forced into action when Washington starter Vitek Vaneck suffered an injury in the first period.
Full highlights: https://www.nhl.com/news/boston-bruins-washington-capitals-game-1-recap/c-324663564
New York Islanders @ Pittsburgh Penguins, 12 pm ET, Series tied 0-0
After a quick start to the year, the Isles struggled badly down the stretch and with the Penguins once again healthy and firing on all cylinders this could be a short series; but that’s also the kind of thing that’s been written several time about this iteration of the team and they have defied expectations on several occasions.
Minnesota Wild @ Vegas Golden Knights, 3pm ET, Series tied 0-0
The Wild have been a surprisingly feisty team this year but the Vegas Golden Knights are one of the true contenders to win the Cup this year in my estimation. Minnesota will put up a fight but I’d expect Vegas to walk out of this first round matchup fairly unscathed.
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Florida Panthers, 730 PM ET, Series tied 0-0
The first ever Battle of Florida, as the two teams from the Sunshine State face off in the play-offs. The Panthers were one of this year’s most pleasant surprises, but the defending champion Lightning have a fully healthy squad — including Nikita Kucherov. Expect some fireworks, but the Bolts should prevail; especially if the Panthers remain committed to playing Sergei Bobrovsky as they intend to do in Game 1.