New York Rangers 3, Montreal Canadiens 1 (NYR wins series 4-2)
Led by Norwegian winger Mats Zuccarello, the New York Rangers closed out the Montreal Canadiens with a 3-1 victory on MSG ice.
The Canadiens took a 1-0 lead off a goal from Alexei Emelin in into the first intermission, and they looked capable of building on that advantage as they outshot New York 11-6 in the first period.
In the second, though, it was the Rangers who came up with the inspired effort. Zuccarello scored twice in the period, once on the power play and once at even strength. The Rangers punched back as a team, outshooting the Canadiens by a 12-9 margin in the second.
The Habs pressed for an equalizer in the game's final period, but Henrik Lundqvist, who stopped 27 of 28 shots in the effort, stood tall. An empty netter from Derek Stepan sealed the deal, and now the Rangers will await the winner of the series between Boston and Ottawa in their second round matchup. -Kyle Morton
St. Louis Blues 4, Minnesota Wild 3 (OT) (STL wins series 4-1)
The Blues finished off the Wild with an overtime win Saturday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center. Magnus Paajarvi scored 9:42 into the extra session to give the Blues the win, sending the Wild home after one round despite a 106-point regular season that set a team record.
In the second period, the Wild sustained a scare after former Hurricanes captain Eric Staal slid headfirst into the boards. Staal was taken to the hospital and was treated and released later in the night.
Vladimir Tarasenko finally broke his scoring drought to open the scoring at the 7:16 mark of the first period, doubled less than three minutes later by Alexander Steen’s second of the playoffs. The Wild went into the first intermission down 2-1 but took 26 shots over the final two periods, finally breaking through and tying the game on third-period goals by Mikko Koivu and Jason Zucker to send the game to overtime.
Blues goalie Jake Allen, outstanding once again, made 34 saves in the win. He finished the series allowing just eight goals in five games with a .956 save percentage, and the three he allowed Saturday were the most in any game of the series.
The Blues advance to host Game 1 of the Central Division final against the Predators later this week. -Brian LeBlanc
Edmonton Oilers 3, San Jose Sharks 1 (EDM wins series 4-2)
Edmonton finished off their first playoff series win since 2006 with a 3-1 victory over San Jose last night. Despite being outshot 28-21, the Oilers again leaned on goaltender Cam Talbot to carry them to the road win.
After a scoreless first period, Leon Draisaitl and Anton Slepyshev potted goals less than a minute apart to open the scoring in the second. It would be the only scoring in the period, and the score remained 2-0 until Patrick Marleau scored for the Sharks halfway through the third period. Despite their 10 third period shots, San Jose could not find the tying goal they needed before Connor McDavid closed the game and the series out with an empty netter.
The Oilers will now face Anaheim in round two, after the Ducks swept the Calgary Flames in their opening playoff series. -Kevin LeBlanc
Ottawa Senators at Boston Bruins (OTT leads 3-2)
3:00 p.m. ET, NBC
- I’ve Said It Before, I’ll Say It Again… Boston has still not scored a goal in the first period, while the Senators have scored three. It would really benefit the Bruins to have a goal early, especially in this 3-2 series elimination game. I expect it to be hard for them to lull into a mindset of sleeping on an early lead, given the stakes of the game, so they will look to score first and then score more.
- Life in the Fast Lane: The Senators scored both of their goals Friday on breakaways, the first of which was an egregious defensive mistake. Boston will be thinking net pressure, but first they’ve got to hold the line. Derick Brassard, Bobby Ryan and crew will hungry for a quick goal however they can get it.
- At Full Strength: Another day, another injury in this series. David Krejci had to leave Game 5 after being flown into by Ottawa’s Chris Wideman, resulting in a knee-on-knee collision that has Krejci listed as day-to-day. If he can’t return, that adds to the list of Boston injuries (Carlo, Krug and McQuaid). Mark Borowiecki remains out for the Senators, their only key injury, but a big one if they want to knock the Bruins out of their comfort zone early in Game 6.
(Bonus point: If the Bruins go without a win at home tonight, they’ll be winless at home in the 2017 playoffs. I don’t know how Boston fans will recover.) -Jake Crouse
Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs (WAS leads 3-2)
7:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN
- Caps go for the Clinch: With two games left, plenty of pressure is on the Toronto Maple Leafs who now have to win two straight to advance. Fatigue hasn't been a factor for either team. Despite all but one game going to overtime, neither team has let up on the hits or the speed. Game 6 will be a fun one to watch with everything on the line.
- Which Goalies will Show Up? In Game 4, both goalies were underwhelming, with both Frederik Andersen and Braden Holtby had save percentages under .900. In Game 5, both goalies played much better, stopping a combined 50 out of 53 total shots.
- Battle of the Top Lines: The top lines have been leading the way for both teams this series. The Caps top line of Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, and Nicklas Backstrom has combined for eight total goals which are half of the Caps’ total production. The Leafs have seen more diverse scoring, but the top line of Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and Zach Hyman has combined for five of the team's total 15 goals. -Zeke Lukow