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)
Pittsburgh 4, COLUMBUS 3 – PIT leads 2-1
MINNESOTA 1, Colorado 0 (OT) – COL leads 2-1
CHICAGO 2, St. Louis 0 – STL leads 2-1
DALLAS 3, Anaheim 0 – ANA leads 2-1
SPECTACULAR GOAL CAPS WILD OT VICTORY
Mikael Granlund scored his first career Stanley Cup Playoff goal in stunning fashion to break a scoreless deadlock 5:08 into overtime and give Minnesota a 1-0 victory over Colorado. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Granlund is only the fifth NHL player in the last 75 years to score his first career playoff goal in a 1–0 overtime game. The other were San Jose’s Andrei Zyuzin (1998), Philadelphia’s Ruslan Fedotenko (2002), San Jose’s Niko Dimitrakos (2004) and Colorado’s Ryan O’Reilly (2010).
* Minnesota rookie Darcy Kuemper (22 saves) registered the first playoff shutout in franchise history and became the first NHL goaltender to record a shutout in his first postseason start since Anaheim’s Jonas Hiller blanked San Jose on April 16, 2009. In addition, Kuemper is the first netminder to post the milestone in a 1–0 overtime win since Detroit’s Normie Smith in 1936.
* The Wild set playoff franchise records with 22 shots in the first period and 46 overall.
* The Wild and Avalanche went to overtime for the seventh time in their 16 Stanley Cup Playoff meetings, with Minnesota improving to 5-2 in those games. Eleven of their 16 contests have been decided by one goal, including 10 of the past 12.
PENGUINS, BLUE JACKETS PROVE NO LEAD IS SAFE
Trailing 3-1 early in the third period, the Penguins rallied to score three times in 2:13 to defeat Columbus 4-3. The winning team has come back from a 3-1 deficit in each of the first three games of the series. Pittsburgh picked up their fourth win of the season at Nationwide Arena (4-0-0) and improved to 8-2-1 all-time in Columbus.
* Evgeni Malkin assisted on the game-winning goal, becoming the sixth player in Penguins history to earn 100 career postseason points (36-64—100).
* Sidney Crosby earned an assist, passing Ron Francis for sole possession of third place on Pittsburgh’s all-time playoff points list. Crosby has 40-69—109 in 85 games, trailing only Mario Lemieux (76-96—172) and Jaromir Jagr (65-82—147) in both postseason assists and points for the franchise.
* As he did in Games 1 and 2 of the series, Pittsburgh’s Paul Martin recorded 0-2—2 in last night’s win. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Martin is the first Penguins player to record three consecutive multi-assist playoff games since Paul Coffey did so in four straight contests in April 1989.
STARS SHINE ON HOME ICE
Making their first home playoff appearance since Game 6 of the 2008 Western Conference Final, the Stars blanked Anaheim 3-0. Goaltender Kari Lehtonen made 37 saves in recording his first postseason win/shutout and nine different Stars players found the scoresheet in cutting the Ducks’ series lead to 2-1. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Lehtonen is the first goalie in franchise history to earn a shutout in his first career playoff win.
* Stars forward Jamie Benn, who earned an assist, has posted points in each game of the series (1-3—4). Benn has recorded 4-4—8 in his last five games dating back to the regular season.
* 19-year-old Valeri Nichushkin became the first teenager to record a postseason goal for the Stars since the club relocated from Minnesota in 1993 and the first for the franchise since the Minnesota North Stars’ Mike Craig tallied against Chicago at 19 years of age on April 10, 1991.
BLACKHAWKS BLANK BLUES
Corey Crawford made 34 saves to earn his third career postseason shutout as the Blackhawks cut St. Louis’ series lead in half with a 2-0 victory. Chicago won their 2014 home playoff debut after posting an 11-2 record at United Center en route to winning the Stanley Cup in 2013.
* Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews scored his seventh postseason game-winning goal, one behind Jeremy Roenick for the Chicago franchise record. Toews also won 19 of 24 face-offs (79%).
2014 NHL AWARDS RETURN TO LAS VEGAS
Trophy finalists for the 2014 NHL Awards, which returns to
Las Vegas on Tuesday, June 24, will be announced each weekday through Tuesday, May 6. The daily announcement schedule of trophy finalists can be found here.
The NHL has created a social hub for the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, tracking team mentions head-to-head during each series and the top trending players throughout the postseason. Some of the teams with playoff specific social hubs include the Columbus Blue Jackets, Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues, San Jose Sharks and Tampa Bay Lightning.
* Home teams are 15-6 (.714) in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. All 11 Western Conference games have been won by the home team.
* The winning team has overcome a two-goal deficit in six games, just two fewer than the total for the entire 2013 postseason.
Columbus’ Jack Johnson became the first defenseman since Vancouver’s Kevin Bieksa in 2011 to score in each of the first three games of a playoff series (Elias)…Columbus forward Boone Jenner scored his first playoff goal. He has a point in each of his three postseason appearances (1-2—3), and has 2-4—6 in his last five games overall…Colorado goaltender Semyon Varlamov set a franchise record by making 22 saves in the first period… Minnesota forward Matt Cooke has been offered an in-person hearing with the Department of Player Safety for kneeing Avalanche defensemanTyson Barrie.
SNEAK PEEK AT TUESDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Tampa Bay @ Montreal, MTL leads 3-0, 7:00 p.m., CBC, RDS, NHLN-US, FS-F
Boston @ Detroit, series tied 1-1, 7:30 p.m., TSN, NBCSN, NESN, FS-D
NY Rangers @ Philadelphia, series tied 1-1, 8:00 p.m., TSN2, CNBC, MSG, CSN-PH
San Jose @ Los Angeles, SJ leads 2-0, 10:00 p.m., CBC, RDS (JIP), NBCSN, CSN-CA, PRIME
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