Each day during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Canes Country recaps the night before, previews the games for that night, and gives you game times and broadcast information.
Boston Bruins 5, Toronto Maple Leafs 1 (BOS leads 1-0)
After limping to the finish line at the end of the regular season, a reenergized Boston Bruins club came out and dominated the Toronto Maple Leafs for 60 minutes in Game 1 at the TD Garden, posting a convincing 5-1 win.
While David Pastrnak (1 goal, 2 assists) and Tuukka Rask (26 saves on 27 shots) stole the show for Boston, it was Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri who stole the headlines thanks to a vicious retaliatory hit on a defenseless Tommy Wingels in the third period. Kadri got a game misconduct and will almost assuredly receive a multi-game suspension that will, in turn, put the Leafs at a even bigger disadvantage as the series goes on. We will discover the extent of his punishment following his hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Friday.
Things got ugly in game one, which should only set up for more fireworks between the two Atlantic Division rivals as they square off in Game 2 on Saturday night. The Leafs will have to regain their footing between now and then as another poor showing will put them in danger of getting blown out of the water in the first round. - Brett Finger
Tampa Bay Lightning 5, New Jersey Devils 2 (TBL leads 1-0)
The New Jersey Devils came into their first postseason game in six years and were largely outplayed by the best hockey team in the league. Keith Kinkaid and the New Jersey defense did everything they could to keep the flood gates closed but eventually the Lightning were going to be rewarded for their dominance. This game largely played out like it was supposed to — the Bolts cruised to a Game 1 victory on home ice.
The biggest storyline to emerge from an otherwise unexciting game was the play of Yanni Gourde. The 26-year-old rookie showed great poise in his first career playoff game, notching a goal and an assist. And Gourde could have had more offensive production last night as he generated plenty of scoring chances.
The Devils’ only sign of life was their late second period push. They looked to finally get some momentum going in the right direction after a tripping penalty assessed to Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point. The power play was hounding the Lightning, and Taylor Hall even rang the crossbar at one point. They built on that and Hall found the back of the net a few minutes later. They hoped to carry that into the third period, but the Bolts ultimately shut it down and claimed game one. Despite the loss, the Devils found an offensive formula late in the second period that they can build on as this series continues, but I’d be surprised if this one ever gets interesting. - Andrew Ahr
Columbus Blue Jackets 4, Washington Capitals 3 (OT) (CBJ leads 1-0)
The Blue Jackets came into D.C. and battled back to win Game 1 in overtime by a score of 4-3. The Caps jumped out to a 2-0 lead with back to back goals by Evgeny Kuznetsov, who scored twice in the final three minutes of the first period. But the Blue Jackets climbed back to tie the game with under five minutes left in the third period, and Artemi Panarin was able to finish the job just six minutes into the overtime period with a highlight-reel goal.
Both teams scored twice on the power play, showing the strength both teams have with a man advantage. The Caps also decided to start Philipp Grubauer after his strong run down the stretch, but with a save percentage of just .852, it will be interesting to see if the Caps stay with him or go back to starter Braden Holtby.
And not to rub salt in the wound, but Filip Forsberg scored twice last night for the Nashville Predators, including the game-winner. Martin Erat was unavailable for comment. - Zeke Lukow
Nashville Predators 5, Colorado Avalanche 2 (NSH leads 1-0)
The Western Conference-leading Predators took it to the upstart Avalanche in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series, but it took some time for things to play out that way.
In front of their always raucous home playoff crowd, the Predators found themselves down a goal early when Nikita Zadorov broke the ice about six minutes into the contest. A tying goal from Austin Watson was quickly answered by one from Blake Comeau to put the Avalanche ahead once again. Craig Smith was able to answer once again to knot the game at two after the second period.
The third period is when Nashville’s playoff experience really shone through. Three unanswered goals from Filip Forsberg (twice, including a stunner shown below) and Colton Sissons gave the Preds a 5-2 win. Pekka Rinne turned aside 25 of the 27 shots he faced in the winning effort. - Kyle Morton
Unreal moves by Forsberg. We are not worthy. pic.twitter.com/7T1n3I8o6M— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) April 13, 2018
San Jose Sharks 3, Anaheim Ducks 0 (SJS leads 1-0)
The formula, at least for one night, held true for the San Jose Sharks. Martin Jones notched his fifth career playoff shutout, and Evander Kane tallied two goals en route to a 3-0 shutout win that steals the home ice advantage away from the Anaheim Ducks. The Sharks stifled the Ducks to the tune of only 25 shots on goal, and three goals in the second period (two from Kane, then a marker from Brent Burns) provided all the scoring.
One positive for the Ducks was that John Gibson (upper body) was able to play in net, and despite allowing three of the 34 shots on net to get by him, he was very solid. The Ducks were unable to get much of anything going against the Sharks, and aside from a post hit by Ryan Kesler, never consistently tested Jones, even going 0-3 on the power play.
Kane, who was also appearing in his first Stanley Cup Playoff game, was assisted by Joe Pavelski on each of his goals. Three of the biggest available offensive weapons for the Sharks produced points on the night, with Kane, Pavelski and Burns hitting the score sheet. They will need to follow a similar trend, along with welcoming the return of “Playoff Martin Jones” (.928 SV%, 1.95 GAA in 33 playoff games), if the Sharks to make noise throughout the remainder of the postseason.
The Ducks will try to even the series on home ice Saturday night at 10:30 p.m. ET. - Andy House
Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins (PIT leads 1-0)
7:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN
- Goaltending as advertised: Matt Murray stood tall in the opening game posting a shutout by turning aside 24 shots. He was given the day off on Thursday and is expected to start tonight. As for Philadelphia, both goaltenders were embarrassed and posted save percentages below .900. Expect the starter, whether Brian Elliott or Petr Mrazek, to bounce back.
- Shot generation: The Flyers mustered more shot attempts than the Penguins in Game 1 but were not rewarded for it. They controlled 53% of the shot attempts but finished with less shots on goal than the Penguins (33-24). The Penguins were able to get into high-danger zones and scored seven goals as a result. Meanwhile, the Flyers must crack the brick wall that is Matt Murray.
- Dynamic Duo: Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin combined for four of the Penguins’ seven goals on just seven shots in Game 1. It doesn’t take a lot for either star center to be productive and it would be prudent for the Flyers to concentrate their defensive efforts on the duo in Game 2 if they wish to tie the series. - Justin Lape
Minnesota Wild at Winnipeg Jets (WPG leads 1-0)
7:30 p.m. ET, USA Network
- Can Minnesota keep up the physical pace? The Wild wasn’t completely run over by Winnipeg’s larger lineup as many expected. While the Jets still led the game in hits with 39, the Wild countered with 31 of their own. The real question lies in whether or not Minnesota is capable of keeping up the pace. If they aren’t, this series could get ugly rather quickly.
- Special teams play: Winnipeg converted one of its two power-play chances Wednesday night while the Wild came up short in its only attempt with the man advantage. In what was such a close game, special teams play will be more important that ever are the Jets look to take a two-game lead. Look for both coaches to tinker with power-play lines to see what works.
- Bad blood: After Patrik Laine scored the tying goal Wednesday night, he did a little fly-by past the Wild bench. Now, these two teams already don’t like each other, but the Finnish forward’s actions could very well fan the flames in what is expected to be a close series. It’s one of those things that either galvanizes your team or lights a fire under the Wild’s collective back-sides. Look out, game two is going to be intense. - Liam Goff
Los Angeles Kings at Vegas Golden Knights (VGK leads 1-0)
10:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN
- A Sense of Urgency: Following a tense, heated affair in Game 1, both sides will be looking to take contol in Game 2. And though it’s just the second meeting of the postseason for these two teams, each should be ready and raring to take the victory. A win either way would either knot the series at one victory apiece, or give the Golden Knights a massive cushion. Buckle up for what should be an exciting, potential series-deciding contest.
- Attack Like Kings: To reverse the tide and steal a win in Vegas, the Kings’ attack will need to be more clinical in the second go-around. Marc-Andre Fleury did well to earn the shutout in the first outing, but LA’s forwards certainly beat themseves on more than one occasion. And with Drew Doughty serving his suspension for a hit on William Carrier, the scorers in black and white have to carry the team, or they will head home in a 2-0 hole against a team that’s never short on self-belief.
- Vegas Flu: Speaking of self-belief, the Golden Knights probably feel invincible at T-Mobile Arena after an outing like they had on Wednesday. The environment was perfectly “Vegas” in game one, and the team clearly hates to let their city down. And a team with a rabid, LOUD backing like this one has the chance to do something special (see: Predators, Nashville, 2017). The Vegas faithful will be looking to send their team to LA with hopes of a sweep, and the team will be aiming to keep their fans as loud as possible. Can LA do enough to calm things down and control the game in what is sure to be another rambunctious atmosphere? - Peter Dewar