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 wins series 4-2
MINNESOTA 5, Colorado 2 – series tied 3-3
LOS ANGELES 4, San Jose 1 – series tied 3-3
KINGS RALLY TO TIE SERIES 3-3
A three-goal outburst in 2:46 of the third period gave the Los Angeles Kings their third straight victory, evening their series and forcing Game 7.
* The Kings became only the ninth team in NHL history to force a seventh game after trailing a series 0-3. Only three teams have come back to win a Game 7 after losing the first three games. Most recently, Philadelphia won four straight to win a seven-game series against Boston in the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals – a Flyers team which featured current Kings Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.
* Dating back to 2011, Los Angeles improved to 12-1-1 in their last 14 home games against San Jose. The Kings defeated the Sharks in seven games in the 2013 Western Conference Semifinal.
* Anze Kopitar tallied 2-1—3 for his first three-point postseason game. Kopitar now has a point in each game of the series, posting 3-5—8 over that span. Dating back to the regular season, he has points in each of his last nine contests (7-6—13).
* Justin Williams scored twice for the second time this series and added an assist for his third career three-point postseason game and first since April 4, 2009. According the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other Kings player in the last 20 years to record two multiple-goal games in one playoff series was Zigmund Palffy against Colorado in 2002.
PARISE, WILD FORCE GAME 7
The Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche will play a seventh and deciding game after a 5-2 Minnesota victory evened their series at three games apiece.
* The Wild improved to 3-0 all-time in Game 6s at home. Minnesota and Colorado last played a seven-game series in the 2003 Western Conference Quarterfinal. The Wild trailed the series 3-1 after four contests, but won Game 7 by a score of 3-2 whenAndrew Brunette scored the overtime winner on Patrick Roy in Roy’s last game.
* Zach Parise posted 2-2—4, tying a career-high for points in a postseason game. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Parise is the first player in Wild franchise history to post four points in a playoff contest and the first player to tally four points in an elimination playoff game since Duncan Keith tallied four points (2-2-4) against Vancouver in 2011.
* Parise has found the score sheet in each game of the series, tallying 3-7—10 to tieNathan MacKinnon (2-8—10) for the playoff points lead. His opening goal 0:49 into the first period of Game 6 set a new Wild franchise record for fastest goal to start a playoff game.
MALKIN POWERS PENS TO SERIES VICTORY
Leading 4-0 to start the third period, the Penguins surrendered three goals to Columbus in 4:52, but held on for a 4-3 victory to advance to the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* Pittsburgh’s victory marked the fifth one-goal game of the series, all decided by a 4-3 score. The Penguins Game 6 victory was the only game of the series in which the team who scored the first goal went on to win the game.
* Evgeni Malkin scored his first three goals of the postseason, earning his second career playoff hat trick (May 21, 2009 vs Carolina). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is only the third player in Penguins franchise history to record multiple hat tricks in the playoffs, joining Mario Lemieux (3) and Sidney Crosby (2).
* It marks only the second time in franchise history that a Pittsburgh player has recorded a hat trick in a game where they can eliminate their opponent from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Lemieux last accomplished the feat on May 11, 1996 in Game 5 of Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers.
* Malkin recorded three points in a postseason game for the 12th time in his career, the fourth most of any player in Penguins franchise history. (Elias)
Playoff Games with 3+ points in Penguins Franchise History
Mario Lemieux – 18
Jaromir Jagr – 14
Kevin Stevens – 13
Evgeni Malkin – 12
* Malkin netted the ninth game-winning goal of his postseason career, moving him into a tie with Kevin Stevens for third in Penguins franchise history.
* Matt Niskanen (0-2—2) posted his third multi-point game of the series, and now sits tied with teammate Paul Martin for the defensive scoring lead (2-6—8).
DID YOU KNOW?
There have been 12 shorthanded goals scored in the First Round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs after Columbus defenseman Fedor Tyutin and Colorado forward Paul Stastny each scored shorthanded on Monday night. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marks the most shorthanded goals in a single round since 13 were scored in the first round of the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Pittsburgh forwards Jussi Jokinen (2-2—4), Chris Kunitz (2-3—5) and Brandon Sutter (2-2—4) each extended their respective point streaks to four games . . . Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson recorded 0-2–2 to lead the Blue Jackets in playoff scoring with seven points (3-4–7) . . . Mikael Granlund (2-2—4) and Jason Pominville (1-4—5) each scored for the Wild to extend their point streak to four games . . . Colorado forward Matt Duchene, playing in his first game since Mar. 29, logged 18:24 of ice time and recorded an assist . . . San Jose goaltender Alex Stalock made 26 saves in his first postseason start . . . The Carolina Hurricanes announced that Ron Francis has been promoted to Executive Vice President and General Manager. In addition Brian Tatum will now serve as Assistant General Manager, and the team has hired Mike Vellucci as Assistant General Manager and Director of Hockey Operations.Jim Rutherford will remain with the team as President in an advisory role . . . The Calgary Flames announced the hiring of Brad Treliving as their new general manager.
SNEAK PEEK AT TUESDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
NY Rangers @ Philadelphia, NYR leads 3-2, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN, RDS, CSN-PH, MSG
FLYERS LOOK TO FORCE GAME 7
Philadelphia, which has bounced back all season, will look to force Game 7 against the Rangers. New York is 13-2 in series when leading a series 3-2, but the Rangers have lost 11 straight games in which they have had a series lead and have not won a series in fewer than seven games since the first round of the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Philadelphia goaltender Steve Mason has stopped 55 of 59 shots since taking over the Flyers starting position and will look to repeat his 37 save Game 4 performance at Wells Fargo Center. Since 2011, home teams facing elimination (at any point in the series) are 31-16 (66%).
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