New York Islanders 5 - Boston Bruins 3 - NYI leads 3-2
The Bruins may have dug themselves into a bit of a whole here as they’ll now have to head to Long Island facing elimination after looking like series favourites early on. Don’t let the shot volume fool you as score effects really took over in this one. David Pastrnak opened the scoring early in period one as the Isles failed to clear the zone against the big Boston line and for most of the frame the Bruins did have legitimate control of the play. Things started to tilt when Mathew Barzal tied it 1-1 on the powerplay late in the first frame and New York negated whatever momentum Boston had established.
The Islanders’ powerplay just kept converting, with deadline acquisition Kyle Palmeiri making it 2-1, but at five-on-five that Boston top line struck again as Brad Marchand tied it 2-2 midway through, and for a minute it looked like we could have had a barnburner on our hands. The Islanders had their own plans as our beloved estranged son, J.G. Pageau set up Josh Bailey who made it 3-2, and Jordan Eberle extended that lead to 4-2 as the Isles’ powerplay converted for the third time in the game. More and more folks are asking if the Bruins’ penalty kill might be bad. Either way, rookie Jeremy Swayman took over for Tuuka Rask and Brock Nelson promptly greeted the young ‘tender with a goal to start the third and now, down by three, Boston applied some real pressure (if only to delay the inevitable).
Pastrnak added his second of the night shortly thereafter and David Krejci kept it interesting scoring a goal with five to go but New York held on to this one for the Guy Boucher special (when in doubt, turtle out (or in)). Stats here.
Montreal Canadiens 3 - Winnipeg Jets 2 - MTL wins 4-0
Still without the services of Dylan “fuckin’ rights ‘Melo” DeMelo, the Jets needed a full-fledged miracle to stay in this series and they absolutely did not get one. Remember that time we wished on a monkey’s paw to see Toronto vanquished in the first round? Well as part of the deal, Montreal now has some sort of supernatural charm in their favour. Not only did they sweep the series, they simply crushed Winnipeg in this game with the Habs outshooting the Jets 42-16 (no score effects here as the Jets never led this game).
Connor Hellebuyck did his usual thing, standing on his head to keep it close enough goal-wise while Montreal held most of Winnipeg’s more key players like Blake Wheeler, Nikolaj Ehlers, and P.L. Dubois, without a point (and just four shots combined). Erik Gustafsson scored first on the powerplay and Artturi Lehkonen added a late first period dagger to take the Jets out of it early. And while hulking defender Logan Stanley of all skaters fooled Carey Price twice to get this game to overtime, Winnipeg never really played like a team on the verge of elimination (unless you mean it in the sense that they just wanted to get it over with). The Jets basically just had one good flurry midway through the third and nothing else cooking in this road loss. Tyler Toffoli ended the Jets misery quickly enough in overtime. Knowing well enough that folks in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, I think the Jets might be bad. Stats here.
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Carolina Hurricanes 6:30PM EST - TBL leads 3-1
Vegas Golden Knights @ Colorado Avalanche 9PM EST - series tied 2-2