Welcome to the “Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition,” a daily collection of the latest news and notes from around the NHL.
(Home Team in Caps)
COLUMBUS 4, Pittsburgh 3 (OT) – series tied 2-2
DALLAS 4, Anaheim 2 – series tied 2-2
CHICAGO 4, St. Louis 3 (OT) – series tied 2-2
IT AIN’T OVER . . .
All three of Wednesday’s games saw teams overcome deficits to even their series at 2-2: the Blue Jackets overcame a three-goal deficit, the Stars overcame a two-goal deficit and the Blackhawks overcame a one-goal deficit.
Of the 28 games contested thus far in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, 22 (78.6%) have featured a comeback of at least one goal (courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau):
* 1-goal comebacks: 14
* 2-goal comebacks: 7
* 3-goal comebacks: 1
The eight games in which the winning team has overcome a deficit of two or more goals already match the total for the entire 2013 postseason.
60 IS NOT ENOUGH
Two of Wednesday’s three games required overtime. There now have been nine overtime games through the first 28 contests of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs (32.1%). In 2013, there were 27 overtime games (in 86 total games played, 31.4%), including a record 17 in 47 first-round contests (36.2%).
HOME SWEET HOME
With three victories on Wednesday, home teams improved to 19-9 (.679) in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including a 13-1 mark (.929) by Western Conference clubs. Last year, home teams earned a record 59 wins in the postseason (59-27, .686), including a 30-17 mark in the first round (.638).
DUBINSKY, FOLIGNO HELP BLUE JACKETS POST HISTORIC COMEBACK
Brandon Dubinsky scored the tying goal with 22.5 seconds remaining in regulation andNick Foligno potted the winner 2:49 into overtime to help the Blue Jackets overcome an early three-goal deficit and even their series with the Penguins.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this marks the first series in Stanley Cup Playoffs history in which four consecutive games have been won by a team trailing by two or more goals:
Game 1: PIT overcame 3-1 deficit (4-3 W)
Game 2: CBJ overcame 3-1 deficit (4-3 W in OT)
Game 3: PIT overcame 3-1 deficit (4-3 W)
Game 4: CBJ overcame 3-0 deficit (4-3 W in OT)
* Elias also says the Blue Jackets’ victory in Game 4 marks the first time the team has overcome a three-goal deficit since Jan. 5, 2007, when they scored four goals in the final 10:02 of the third period to pick up a 4-3 regulation win over the Ducks.
* Dubinsky posted 1-1—2 and now leads the Blue Jackets with 1-5—6 in the playoffs, including at least one point in all four games.
* Boone Jenner tallied his second goal of the postseason. He has found the scoresheet in all four games during the playoffs (2-2—4) and now has a six-game point streak dating to the regular season (3-4—7).
* The Blue Jackets went 2-for-6 on the power play and now have scored at least one goal with the man-advantage in 12 of their past 14 games dating to the regular season (17-for-48, 35.4%).
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
Foligno tallied his first career playoff overtime goal. His father, Mike, also scored a postseason overtime goal – for the Maple Leafs in Game 5 of the Norris Division Semifinals against the Red Wings on April 27, 1993. Last Thursday, Colorado’s Paul Stastny tallied his first career OT goal, joining his father, Peter, who notched three.
FATHER-SON DUOS WITH STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF OVERTIME GOALS
Max (1) and Peter McNab (2)
Bobby (1) and Brett Hull (3)
Peter (3) and Paul Stastny (1)
Mike (1) and Nick Foligno (1)
DID YOU KNOW?
Brandon Dubinsky’s goal with 22.5 seconds remaining in the third period marked the third game-tying goal scored in the final minute of regulation of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The team that has scored the tying goal has gone on to win all three games:
GAME-TYING GOALS IN FINAL MINUTE OF REGULATION
Paul Stastny, COL – 19:46 of Game 1 (COL won 5-4 in OT)
Vladimir Tarasenko, STL – 19:53 of Game 2 (STL won 4-3 in OT)
Brandon Dubinsky, CBJ – 19:36 of Game 4 (CBJ won 4-3 in OT)
STARS SCORE FOUR UNANSWERED GOALS TO KNOT SERIES WITH DUCKS
Trailing 2-0 after 20 minutes, the Stars scored four unanswered goals, including the go-ahead and insurance markers 1:22 apart in the third period, to even their series with the Ducks.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Stars last overcame a two-goal deficit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 12, 2004, when they rallied to defeat the Avalanche 4-3 in overtime in Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. The last time the Stars overcame a two-goal deficit in the postseason and won in regulation was on April 25, 1999, when they defeated the Oilers 3-2 in Game 3 of the first round.
* Jamie Benn scored Dallas’ first goal to extend his point streak to nine games dating to the regular season (7-5—12), including 3-1—4 in the playoffs. Elias says he is the first Stars player to register at least one point in each of his first four postseason games since the 1980 Stanley Cup Playoffs, when both Steve Payne and Bobby Smith posted points in five consecutive games to begin their postseason careers.
* Cody Eakin scored the game-winning goal, the first tally of his playoff career.
* The Stars improved to 7-3 in their last 10 playoff games at American Airlines Center, including wins in three of their past four. They also improved to 12-2-2 in their last 16 games at home dating to the regular season.
A RARE LOOK BEHIND THE SCENES
Immediately following the emotional comeback victories by the Blue Jackets and Stars, NHL cameras in Columbus and Dallas followed Brandon Dubinsky and Jamie Benn to their respective locker rooms and captured post-game coach and player speeches. Links to these are here and here.
KANE POWERS BLACKHAWKS IN OVERTIME
Patrick Kane (2-1—3) scored the decisive goal at 11:17 of overtime to help the Blackhawks overcome a late deficit and knot their series with the Blues.
* Three of the four games contested thus far between the Blackhawks and Blues have required overtime, including a triple-overtime affair in Game 1 (won by STL).
* Kane recorded his fourth career game-winning goal in the postseason and third in overtime, tied for first in franchise history. He now has 32-43—75 in 78 career playoff games, which ranks seventh in Blackhawks history.
* Bryan Bickell scored with 3:52 remaining in regulation to tie the game at 3-3. He now has 14-11—25 in 42 career postseason games (0.60 points per game), compared to 51-54—105 in 279 career regular-season contests (0.38 points per game).
Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko (2-0—2) recorded his first career multi-goal postseason game and now leads all players with four goals in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs . . . Penguins defenseman Paul Martin collected two assists for the fourth consecutive game. He now leads all players with eight assists/points in the postseason . . . Ducks defenseman Bryan Allen potted his first goal since Feb. 28, 2012, and first-ever in the playoffs . . . The Penguins scored three goals in the first period, marking the third consecutive game in which they have recorded three goals in one frame (also, 1st period of Game 2 and 3rd period of Game 3). They now have posted three goals in one period nine times in the past two postseasons (19 GP) . . . Forwards Tyler Johnson (TB),Nathan MacKinnon (COL) and Ondrej Palat (TB) were announced as the three finalists for the 2013-14 Calder Memorial Trophy . . . The Department of Player Safetysuspended Wild forward Matt Cooke for seven games for kneeing Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie during Game 3 of the teams’ First Round Stanley Cup Playoffs series . . . Rangers alumni Rod Gilbert and Ron Greschner and Flyers alumnus Joe Watson will ring the NASDAQ Closing Bell Thursday at 4:00 p.m. ET.
SNEAK PEEK AT THURSDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Boston @ Detroit, BOS leads 2-1, 8:00 p.m., TSN, NBCSN, NESN, FS-D
Minnesota, COL leads 2-1, 9:30 p.m., TSN2, CNBC, RDS2, ALT, FS-N, FS-WI
San Jose @ Los Angeles, SJ leads 3-0, 10:30 p.m., CBC, RDS, NBCSN, CSN-CA, FS-W
For the third consecutive year, every Stanley Cup Playoffs game is being televised nationally in the United States, on NBC, NBCSN, CNBC and NHL Network. Not sure where to find the game? Use our channel finder: http://nhl.com/channelfinder.
Source: NHL Media