Each day during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Canes Country recaps the night before, previews the games for that night, and gives you game times and broadcast information.
Winnipeg Jets 5, Minnesota Wild 0 (WPG wins series 4-1)
That’s all, folks!
The Winnipeg Jets finished off their first series victory since relocating from Atlanta, satisfying a rabid fan-base hungry for a deep run this post-season. The Jets put any doubts to rest with a complete-game drubbing of the Minnesota Wild 5-0. The Jets came out of the gate flying, buoyed by a four-goal first period that sucked the life out of the Wild. Jacob Trouba scored just 31 seconds into the game, Bryan Little doubled the lead five minutes later, and a pair of goals by Brandon Tanev and Joel Armia less than a minute apart left little doubt.
Mark Scheifele added an empty-netter, five goal scorers a testament to the Jets’ depth that folks outside the organization have raved about all year. Meanwhile, the Wild return home to the State of Hockey searching for answers, including who might return next season.
Winnipeg will go on to face the winner of the Nashville/Colorado series and Jets fans will be sure to continue to pack the house against another Central Division foe. Minnesota will be forced to regroup and yet again face questions pertaining to another first round exit after solid regular season results. - Liam Goff
Colorado Avalanche 2, Nashville Predators 1 (NSH leads 3-2)
Philadelphia Flyers 4, Pittsburgh Penguins 2 (PIT leads 3-2)
The Philadelphia Flyers will live another day after avoiding elimination with a 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5. This was a closely contested game, unlike the previous four in which one team would inevitably win in blowout fashion. Valtteri Filppula lead the way for the Flyers with a goal and two assists, and Claude Giroux finally woke up and joined the series by scoring the game’s first goal with two minutes left in the first period.
The Penguins took a 2-1 lead in the second period thanks to a five-hole goal from Jake Guentzel. But late in the third period, previously injured Sean Couturier fired a shot that went off Brian Dumoulin’s leg and into the net to give the Flyers the lead. Dumoulin decided to give his leg a talking to afterwards.
“WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY”— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 21, 2018
-Brian Dumoulin, to his own leg pic.twitter.com/sDLolH45mf
Dave Hakstol’s gamble to play Michael Neuvirth paid off as he turned away 30 of 32 shots, and Neuvirth’s stop on Sidney Crosby with a minute to go preserved the game for the Flyers. To Game 6 they go, the Penguins still holding the upper hand but that hold becoming more tenuous. - Justin Lape
Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins (BOS leads 3-1)
8:00 p.m. ET, NBC
- Auston Matthews and William Nylander: Mike Babcock called out Matthews and Nylander by name after Toronto’s Game 4 loss on home ice. While Mitch Marner has been a consistent point producer in round one, the Leafs’ two other young star forwards have combined for just two points in this series. Toronto will have no choice but to get creative with their strategy in game five as they have been outplayed by the Bruins at nearly every turn so far.
- Nazem Kadri: One advantage that the Leafs will have on Saturday is the return of Kadri from his three-game suspension for his thoughtless, vicious hit on Tommy Wingels in game one. Kadri is no stranger to being in the spotlight for the wrong reasons, and he will be on blast tonight as he walks back into TD Garden. All eyes will be on him, and Toronto will need him to rise to the occasion.
- Bergeron Watch 2k18: The big question for Boston ahead of their potential series-clinching Game 5 is the health status of Patrice Bergeron. The star center and Selke Trophy finalist was a late scratch in Game 4 due to injury, and his status was up in the air up until this morning. B’s bench boss Bruce Cassidy gave an update after their morning skate, saying Bergeron “looked good this morning, I anticipate he’ll play. We’ll make a final decision after warmup. Looking good.” So, it looks like the Bruins will be able to match Kadri’s return with Bergeron’s return, which would be bad news for Toronto as the 32-year-old center has logged five assists in three games this postseason. - Brett Finger
New Jersey Devils at Tampa Bay Lightning (TBL leads 3-1)
3:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN
- Defense Without Sami Vatanen: The Devils defenseman took a check up high in the first period on Wednesday and left the game with what was diagnosed as an upper body injury. It was reported that the 26-year-old did not travel with the team to Tampa, so it seems unlikely that he will be in today’s lineup. (But this being the playoffs, who knows?) The Devils, who have been hamstrung on the defensive side of the puck, will need to find a way to get some stability without their best defensemen.
- Cory Schneider: Schneider recorded a big game in the Game 4 loss as he stopped 34 out of 36 shots that came his way. Despite the loss, Schneider’s inspired play is one of the only positives that the team has going into today’s tilt in Tampa. While the goaltending matchup is unconfirmed, Schneider did occupy the starter’s crease in practice yesterday. I’d be willing to bet that John Hynes runs the longtime starter out there today as his team faces elimination against the best team in the Eastern Conference.
- Finishing the Job: The Lightning are looking at one more win to solidify their dominance of a young Devils team that has drastically outperformed expectations this season. The Bolts make a return to their home building tonight with a chance to clinch in front of their fans. If the Lightning play like they can and should, tonight’s matchup will not be much of a game at all. The Devils have been seriously overmatched in this series and its time for the Lightning to finally put them away. If they don’t find a way today, things could get interesting in this series. And if I were Stamkos and the Lightning, I wouldn’t want to travel back to Newark for a Game 6 in enemy territory. - Andrew Ahr
Columbus Blue Jackets at Washington Capitals (Series tied 2-2)
3:00 p.m. ET, NBC
- Road Warriors: With the Capitals’ win on Thursday, the road team has now won every game in the series. The Blue Jackets came home with a commanding 2-0 series lead, only to watch it slip away in Columbus. Now they have to try to regather after two straight losses and try to take back the series lead before heading to Game 6.
- No OT Needed: Game 4 was the first game in the series that did not need overtime to decide the outcome. The Caps dominated the game throughout, taking their first three-goal lead of the series on their way to a 4-1 win that gives them all sorts of momentum. What’s even more impressive is they only let up 24 shots while generating 33 of their own.
- Hotlby’s Back: Since entering the series in the third period of Game 2, Braden Holtby has only allowed four goals on 67 shots. Holtby has looked better and better with each game. The Blue Jackets are going to have to try to get some bodies in front of the net to get deflections and rebounds because Holtby is stopping everything else. - Zeke Lukow