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Stanley Cup Daily 4/23: Leaving No Doubt

The two winning teams on Sunday scored a combined 13 goals, and both Nashville and Pittsburgh are headed to the second round as a result.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Sunday’s Recaps

Pittsburgh Penguins v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Six Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Penguins 8, Philadelphia Flyers 5 (PIT wins series 4-2)

You wanted goals? You got them. 13, to be exact. The Pittsburgh Penguins are moving on to the second round after Sunday’s 8-5 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Jake Guentzel led the way with an impressive four goal performance in the absence of superstar center Evgeni Malkin. Patric Hornqvist returned with a bang in Game 6, potting a goal and a pair of assists.

In a losing effort, Sean Couturier scored a hat trick of his own, the first time players on opposing teams had tallied postseason hat tricks in the same game since Nicklas Backstrom and Andrei Kostitsyn traded three-goal games in Game 2 of a 2010 first-round series between the Canadiens and Capitals. After the game, Couturier revealed that he was playing with a torn MCL that would have cost him about four weeks of recovery time in the regular season.

The Flyers and Penguins exchanged goals and the Flyers held a 4-2advantage midway through the second period until the wheels fell off. Pittsburgh rattled off five straight goals to suck the air out of Wells Fargo Center. Sidney Crosby had another excellent night with one goal and two assists and now leads the NHL with 13 points in the playoffs. Matt Murray was good enough with 21 stops on 26 shots to claim the win. Michal Neuvirth, who played a crucial role in the Flyers Game 5 win, allowed seven goals on 27 shots. The Penguins will face the winner of the Capitals - Blue Jackets series, which Washington leads 3-2. - Justin Lape

Nashville Predators v Colorado Avalanche - Game Six Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Nashville Predators 5, Colorado Avalanche 0 (NSH wins series 4-2)

The Colorado Avalanche put up a good fight in this series, but ultimately they were not able to push their first round series against the league-best Nashville Predators to a seventh game.

Game 6 was a Southern-fried onslaught in the Mile High City as the Preds drubbed the Avs to advance to the second round where they will take on the NHL’s second-best regular season team, the Winnipeg Jets. Mattias Ekholm and Austin Watson scored to give the Predators a 2-0 lead following the first period, with Filip Forsberg and Nick Bonino striking in the second to put the game just about out of reach at 4-0. Viktor Arvidsson provided the exclamation point with a goal in the third to put the game at what would ultimately be its final score, 5-0.

Nikita Zadorov briefly gave the Avalanche a glimmer of hope to pull the game to within 4-1, but the goal was nullified by Blake Comeau’s interfering with Pekka Rinne, and the call was upheld after the Avalanche challenged the call. In the end, Rinne turned aside all 22 Colorado shots he faced in the shutout effort. - Kyle Morton

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

Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs (BOS leads 3-2)

7:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN

  1. Freddy: Frederik Andersen had himself a great game five in Boston. He was able to fend off Boston’s late comeback bid to bring this series back to Toronto, which is more than anyone expected out of this club after their blowout losses in games one and two. Per usual, the ball is in the Danish goalie’s court. With home ice advantage tonight, the Leafs have a chance to push for Game 7, and anything can happen if the series gets there.
  2. Discipline: The Maple Leafs took six minor penalties in Game 5. That’s never a good sign, especially not in the playoffs and especially not against this powerhouse Bruins offense. Thanks to the aforementioned performance of Andersen and company, Toronto was bailed out. That said, they’ll need to to tighten up, because they likely won’t get away with it again. Mike Babcock did have high praise for former Hurricane and reigning Stanley Cup champion Ron Hainsey for his penalty killing in Game 5, saying; “Who would you want out there instead?” The veteran blueliner has been an absolute workhorse in a defensive role for the Leafs this season.
  3. Line 1: In the three games that the Bruins have won in this series (minus Gane 4 where Bergeron was a late scratch), the top line of David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand have been dominant, but the same can’t be said for games 3 and 5. The trio had a remarkable regular season, and if the Bruins are to end this before it turns into a real problem in game seven, they’ll need another productive outing at Air Canada Centre. - Brett Finger

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Columbus Blue Jackets at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Capitals at Columbus Blue Jackets (WSH leads 3-2)

7:30 p.m. ET, CNBC

  1. Caps Secondary Scoring: Every year in the playoffs when the Capitals start bogging down, everyone references secondary scoring. What they essentially mean is “everyone but Alex Ovechkin scoring goals.” In Game 5 everyone else came alive. While Ovi was struggling to get going, the Caps got a pair of goals from Nicklas Backstrom, a goal from Evgeny Kuznetsov, and a goal from T.J. Oshie. Seven different players recorded a point, which is the exact type of teamwork that the Caps need to make a deep run.
  2. Panarin Must Step Up: If the Blue Jackets have any chance to end the Caps’ winning streak and force a game seven, Artemi Panarin has to perform. In their last two losses, the dynamic Russian winger has had zero points and only five shots on goal. As the most skilled player on the team, he needs to do a better job at generating offense. He struggled to get open and generate real chances in game five and struggled on the power play. When the team was clicking in the first two games of the series he was a big reason why.
  3. Get Pucks to the Net: Washington has been outshooting Columbus on average 39-32 in the series, but in Game 5 the Blue Jackets flipped the script and outshot Washington 42-29. However, much like in Game 3, the deciding factor was the Caps simply putting every puck on the net in overtime. While the Blue Jackets held and tried to take high danger chances in the extra frame, the Caps have just been firing anything and everything towards the net and waiting for bounces and deflections. This strategy has gone a long way in flipping the script for Washington, who can clinch a second-round date with the Penguins tonight. - Zeke Lukow