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Stanley Cup Daily 4/14: What Happens In Vegas...

Two teams are on the ropes heading back home, and the Flyers are not one of them.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Los Angeles Kings at Vegas Golden Knights Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Friday’s Recaps

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Flyers 5, Pittsburgh Penguins 1 (Series tied 1-1)

This series must be taking place on a playground because these two teams are on a teeter-totter. On Friday, the series tilted back towards the Philadelphia Flyers as they topped the Penguins 5-1. The Flyers’ balanced offense had five different goal scorers and Sean Couturier had a three-point night (one goal, two assists).

Brian Elliott bounced back from his horrendous Game 1 as he stopped 34 of 35 shots, including a crucial breakaway attempt from Sidney Crosby. Elliott stopped all six shots taken by the duo of Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Matt Murray struggled for the Penguins despite facing significantly fewer shots, allowing four goals on 19 shots.

The game didn’t lack for animosity. Both teams played an extremely physical game, each finishing with 31 hits. The penalty box was a frequent pit stop for both teams, combining for 42 penalty minutes split nearly evenly including a pair of misconducts. Penguins defenseman Kris Letang took a nasty hit in the second period but returned in the third and should be good for Game 3 on Sunday. - Justin Lape

Minnesota Wild v Winnipeg Jets - Game Two Photo by Jason Halstead /Getty Images

Winnipeg Jets 4, Minnesota Wild 1 (WPG leads 2-0)

It was more of the same for Game 2 of the divisional round series between the Jets and Wild. What started out as a tight-checking, close affair, finally tilted in the Jets’ favor when the clock ran out in the third period.

After coming to a scoreless draw to wrap up the first, Tyler Myers scored the game’s first goal with a nifty play to beat Devan Dubnyk. Considering the shot differential, outshot 27-14 through two periods and seeing the Jets take as many shots in the second period alone as the Wild had in the entire game to that point, Minnesota was probably happy to get out into the second intermission down by only one tally.

However, following goals by Paul Stastny, Andrew Copp and Patrik Laine, the Jets were in firm control of the game by the time Zach Parise scored his second of the series on the power-play to spoil Connor Hellebuyck’s shutout bid with less than a minute left. Devan Dubnyk played very well despite the 4-1 score while his Winnipeg counterpart didn’t have to face too much of a battle, facing only 17 total shots.

The series now heads to St. Paul for a must-win game three for the Wild. Luckily for them, they are one of the toughest teams to play on home ice and look to turn momentum in their favor. - Liam Goff

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Los Angeles Kings at Vegas Golden Knights Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Vegas Golden Knights 2, Los Angeles Kings 1 (2OT) (VGK leads 2-0)

Erik Haula collected a pass from James Neal and raced past opposing defenders before slipping the puck through Jonathan Quick’s legs to push the Vegas Golden Knights to a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in double overtime at T-Mobile Arena Friday night. The win continues Vegas’ perfect record in franchise postseason play, and the contest marked the longest game in Kings franchise history at 95:23.

Vegas also opened the scoring on the night as Alex Tuch notched his first career playoff tally at 14:47 in the first period. Tuch gathered a Jonathan Marchessault shot that had careened off the boards behind the net and back towards the front of the net, where he deposited it past the outstretched Quick.

The Kings got themselves on the board with a first of their own late in the middle frame. Paul LaDue wired a quick snap shot off of Vegas defenseman Deryk Engelland and past Marc-Andre Fleury, but Haula’s overtime winner sent the Kings home in a 2-0 hole.

Despite the loss, Quick finished with 54 saves on 56 shots while Fleury posted 29 saves on 30 shots. The two teams face off again at Staples Center on Sunday. - Peter Dewar

Saturday’s Previews

New Jersey Devils v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

New Jersey Devils at Tampa Bay Lightning (TBL leads 1-0)

3:00 p.m. ET, CNBC

  1. Getting a Win in Enemy Territory: The Devils were completely handled on Thursday night as the Lightning showed why they’re the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Devils need to show up tonight and put up a fight, or else this might be the shortest first round series.
  2. Taylor Hall and Nico Hischier: The Lightning held MVP candidate Taylor Hall to just one point at even strength on Thursday, and it came at a moment when the game was all but over. Rookie Nico Hischier who was also nullified for much of the game. The two forwards were the offensive engine of the Devils this season, and they’re absence in this playoff series would a critical failure. John Hines indicated that he may be tinkering with his lines leading up to Game 2 tonight. He needs to make sure these two are firing on all cylinders.
  3. The Lightning Showing Up: The Lightning had the Devils high strung for the entirety of Game 1. If they play the game at their highest level, then the Devils have no chance. The Lightning are clearly the better hockey team, and they need to keep their foot on the gas tonight. A loss in Amalie Arena would give the Devils momentum going into their home games next week. Another resounding win would bring the Lightning one step closer to a likely sweep. - Andrew Ahr

Colorado Avalanche v Nashville Predators - Game One Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Colorado Avalanche at Nashville Predators (NSH leads 1-0)

3:00 p.m. ET, NBC

  1. Can Bernier Bounce Back?: With Semyon Varlamov on the shelf with injury for this series, Colorado backup Jonathan Bernier is between the pipes once again for Game 2. He started out okay in game one, but fell apart in a third period in which he allowed 3 goals to lose the game 5-2. Given Nashville’s superiority as a team over the Avalanche, Bernier will need to find a way to outduel Pekka Rinne to give his team a chance.
  2. MacKinnon Needs To Steal the Show: Certainly Colorado’s MVP, and possibly the league’s MVP, Nathan MacKinnon put up an assist in game one. For Colorado to level this series, he’ll need to do even more. The Predators are (most likely) going to find ways to score goals against the Avs’ defense, and MacKinnon represents by far Colorado’s best hope to single-handedly keep his team in this series.
  3. Forsberg On a Tear: While MacKinnon is somewhat of a one-man show for Colorado, Nashville’s offense produces on a by-committee basis. With the impressive depth they possess all throughout the lineup, that’s a great way to pile up a ton of wins in the regular season. In the playoffs, however, when things get tighter, some of those options are going to start to be taken away. Enter Forsberg. His two third period goals in game one lifted the Preds to victory, but he’ll need to put up that sort of performance more than once if the Preds are to repeat as Western Conference champions. If he can do it again tonight, they’ll really be cooking with gas. - Kyle Morton

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins (BOS leads 1-0)

8:00 p.m. ET, NBC

  1. Life Without Kadri: Nazem Kadri dished out an illegal hit to Tommy Wingels in Game 1 on Thursday, and the Department of Player Safety fired back, handing Kadri a three-game suspension that will rule him out of the remainder of the series unless the Leafs can win at least a game. Mike Babcock’s squad wasn’t exactly defensively stout to begin with, and losing their top defensive center makes a tall order even tougher.
  2. Murphy’s Law in Blue and White: If it could go wrong for the Leafs in Game 1, it did. Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner combined for seven shots and zero goals. Frederik Andersen continued his shaky form that carried over from the end of the regular season. Morgan Rielly had a monumentally terrible game defensively. Surely they have to get a break from somewhere, but Kadri’s absence makes it that much tougher.
  3. Who’s Stopping the Bruins? The flip side of the above is that Boston was firing on all cylinders, with five different goal scorers and the top line of David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand combining for six points. Keep that pace up and the next game at TD Garden will be in the second round of the playoffs. - Brian LeBlanc

San Jose Sharks v Anaheim Ducks - Game One Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

San Jose Sharks at Anaheim Ducks (SJS leads 1-0)

10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN

  1. Protecting Home Ice: With games 3 and 4 slated for San Jose, the Anaheim Ducks are in desperate need of defending their home ice with a much needed win in Game 2 at home. To do so, top offensive performers such as captain Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Andrew Cogliano, and Ryan Kesler must get in gear on the heels of being shut out in Game 1.
  2. Playoff Marty Jones: For the Sharks, the first game went totally to script. Not only did they get their scoring from the men they expect to produce, but they also celebrated the return of “Playoff Martin Jones.” The fifth career playoff shutout for the man who led the Sharks to their only Stanley Cup Final appearance two seasons ago was the perfect tone to set for the opening game of San Jose’s playoff march.
  3. Sharks Feeding Frenzy: The relentless forecheck of the Sharks made life somewhat easier in Game 1 for Jones in net. The constant offensive zone pressure created turnovers that led to the Sharks getting both more and better scoring opportunities. Solving that pressure up along the boards and cleaning up their exit of the zone will certainly be a top priority for the Ducks and something to look for as the game and series unfolds. - Andy House