RTP Daily August 14th: The Underdogs fight back

The first round heats up, with three of the four series knotted up at one apiece

One of hockey’s great truisms is that the most important game is the next one. But for many of these teams, particularly the underdogs in each series, winning game two to keep from falling behind 2-0 was absolutely paramount. For the folks cheering for chaos, you got your wish on Thursday as only Vegas was able to double its lead. Everywhere else, we’re on level ground and maybe getting ready for some long series ahead. Here’s to the chaos.

Thursday’s Games:

Columbus Blue Jackets 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 1, Series Tied 1-1

  • This game required far less drama than the first, and Columbus acquitted themselves much better than in the first game; after Tampa absolutely dominated the first ten minutes and went up 1-0, the rest of the game was played fairly evenly with the Blue Jackets capitalizing on their chances. Can Columbus bring down the Tampa juggernaut twice in a row in the first round?/

Vegas Golden Knights 4, Chicago 3 (OT), VGK Leads Series 2-0

  • Reilly Smith netted the OT winner for Vegas who appear to have a firm hold on the series after taking the first two games against Chicago. Patrick Kane netted three assists but Chicago’s depth struggled against a Golden Knights team that has four rock solid lines it can roll at any given time. This series could be over quickly./

Carolina Hurricanes 3, Boston Bruins 2, Series Tied 1-1

  • Dougie Hamilton blasted home the game-winner in the third period and Carolina salvaged a split of the first two games of the series in no small part thanks to some stellar goaltending from James Reimer. The Bruins peppered the Carolina net with 35 shots, but Reimer stood tall — particularly in the back half of the third as the B’s pushed for the tie. Boston’s probably been the better of the teams through the first two games but Carolina can hang and this could go right down to the wire./

Dallas Stars 5, Calgary Flames 4, Series Tied 1-1

  • The Flames got off to a flying start thanks to a goal 19 seconds into the first period from Dillon Dube, but the Stars walked away with a 5-4 win thanks to a “star” turn from Miro Heiskanen and a last minute goal from Jamie Oleksiak. I wouldn’t describe this as a particularly well-played game, but it sure was exciting! /

Friday’s Games:

Arizona Coyotes @ Colorado Avalanche, 2pm ET, COL Leads Series 1-0

Montreal Canadiens @ Philadelphia Flyers, 3pm ET, PHI Leads Series 1-0

Vancouver Canucks @ St. Louis Blues, 6:30pm ET, VAN Leads Series 1-0

New York Islanders @ Washington Capitals, 8pm ET, NYI Leads Series 1-0

Dallas Stars @ Calgary Flames, 10:30pm ET, Series Tied 1-1

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