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)
CHICAGO 4, Minnesota 1 – CHI leads series 2-0
PITTSBURGH 3, NY Rangers 0 – series tied 1-1
FLEURY, LETANG HELP PENGUINS EVEN SERIES
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 22 shots he faced and Kris Letang (1-2—3) matched a playoff career high with three points to help the Penguins even their series with the Rangers.
* Fleury recorded his seventh career postseason shutout to pass Tom Barrasso for sole possession of first place in franchise history. He also became the 17th goaltender in NHL history, and second in Penguins history (Barrasso: 56), to earn 50 career playoff victories (50-37 in 88 GP).
* Fleury also shut out the Rangers in Game 2 of the 2008 Eastern Conference Semifinals (26 saves in 2-0 victory), the only other time the Penguins have shut out the Rangers in the postseason.
* Letang posted his fourth career game-winning goal in the playoffs and third performance of three or more points. His others came in consecutive outings last year: May 22 at OTT (0-4—4) and May 24 vs. OTT (1-2—3).
* Letang also registered his 15th career postseason goal, tying Larry Murphy’s franchise record for a defenseman.
* Jussi Jokinen scored with 3:30 remaining in regulation to extend his point streak to six games (3-3—6), a career long in the playoffs.
* Evgeni Malkin recorded 1-1—2 and now has 4-2—6 in his last three games. With his performance, Malkin passed Kevin Stevens for fourth place on the franchise’s all-time postseason points list (40-67—107 in 91 GP).
BICKELL, HOSSA LEAD BLACKHAWKS PAST WILD
Bryan Bickell (1-2—3) and Marian Hossa (0-3—3) both posted three points to power the Blackhawks to a 2-0 series lead over the Wild.
* The Blackhawks earned their sixth consecutive victory. They also picked up their 16th win in their last 18 playoff games at United Center, including six straight (5-0 in 2014).
* Bickell recorded his first career three-point game in the postseason and his fourth all-time (last, March 16, 2013 at DAL: 0-3—3). He now has multiple points in six of his 46 career playoff games (13.0%), compared to nine such performances in 279 regular-season contests (3.2%).
* Bickell also extended his point streak to five games (5-3—8) and tied Patrick Kane,Marian Gaborik and Paul Stastny for the most goals in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs (5).
* Hossa registered his second consecutive three-point game, following 1-2—3 in Game 1 of the series. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other Blackhawks player since 1995 to post consecutive three-point games in the postseason is Jonathan Toews, who did so in Games 3 (0-3—3) and 4 (3-2—5) of the 2010 Western Conference Semifinals versus the Canucks.
* Hossa also matched a playoff career high with three assists. He now has 4-8—12 in seven career postseason games versus the Wild, including a trio of three-point performances (also, 2-1—3 on May 9, 2013).
* Brandon Saad (2-0—2) recorded his first career multi-goal/point playoff game, including his first career game-winning goal in postseason play. He also snapped a 19-game scoring drought dating to the regular season.
* Toews added his fourth goal of the playoffs to extend his point streak to six games (4-3—7), his longest in the postseason since a career-high, 13-game run April 22-May 23, 2010 (7-18—25).
* Brent Seabrook collected an assist and now has registered at least one point in all five of his playoff appearances this year (2-7—9).
* Corey Crawford made 18 saves to stretch his winning streak to a career-long six games.
Home teams improved to 36-19 (.655) in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs . . . Making his franchise-record 75th consecutive postseason start, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist stopped 32 shots, including 15 in the second period. He now has appeared in 76 career playoff games, tied for first on the club’s all-time list with Mike Richter . . . Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (0-2—2) recorded four blocked shots and now leads all players with 30 blocked shots in the postseason . . . Wild forward Cody McCormick scored his second career playoff goal and first since April 16, 2011 . . . Blackhawks forward Jeremy Morin made his postseason debut . . . Penguins defenseman Paul Martin logged a +2 rating and now leads all players with a +9 rating in the playoffs . . . The Rangers now have dropped 13 consecutive games when holding a series lead . . . ICYMI: Corey Crawford made a midair stick save to preserve Chicago’s lead in the third period.
SNEAK PEEK AT MONDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Pittsburgh @ NY Rangers, Game 3, series tied 1-1, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, RDS
Los Angeles @ Anaheim, Game 2, LA leads 1-0, 10:00 p.m., NBCSN, TSN, RDS
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