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 4, Nashville Predators 1 (WPG leads series 1-0)
In short and convincing order, the Jets have wiped out home-ice advantage for the Predators. On the back of a 47-save effort from Connor Hellebuyck and a pair of goals from Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg went into Smashville and took a 1-0 series lead.
The story from this game is the performance of Winnipeg’s Vezina Trophy finalist. Hellebuyck was absolutely phenomenal from start to finish. Through 40 minutes, he had stopped all 36 Nashville shots. Just over a minute into the third, Kevin Fiala broke up his shutout bid, but Hellebuyck was perfect the rest of the way.
If Hellebuyck keeps putting together performances like he had on Friday, Nashville’s path back to the Stanley Cup Final is going to be one that will absolutely depend on the play of Pekka Rinne, who was pulled in the third period after allowing three goals on 16 shots. That doesn’t bode well for the Preds going into Sunday’s must-win Game 2 on home ice.
It was a fun game one with a plethora of key moments and bounces between these two elite hockey clubs, and game two should be more of the same. The home side will need to find a way to pot a couple of goals and knot things up before they head up to the frozen tundra for games 3 and 4. - Brett Finger
Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning: Game 1
- Tuukka Rask - The city of Boston is in disarray following the shaky play of longtime stalwart Tuukka Rask in the first round matchup against Toronto. Does the city stand behind him? It depends on who you ask. But one thing is certain, he needs to be in his 2014 Vezina Trophy-winning form as they prepare to take on the best team in the Eastern Conference.
- Shaking the Rust Off - The Lightning have been on a mini-vacation for the past week, as they knocked off the Devils in five games in their first round matchup. Sure, the Bruins are probably gassed from a bitter first round series against a tough Leafs team, but they have momentum on their side as they prepare to kick off the second round in the Sunshine State.
- Clash of the Titans - Both of these teams have scary top line talent and its going to be a joy to watch them go at each other in this series. But I’d be willing to bet that the most important production is going to come from the lines below them. Most of the defensive heat is going to be focused on the Stamkos and Bergeron lines, but the great thing about these two teams is they having scoring depth deep into their offensive lineups (like Riley Nash). I think we’re going to be seeing some of the most meaningful shifts coming from middle six forwards. - Andrew Ahr
San Jose Sharks at Vegas Golden Knights (VGK leads 1-0)
8:00 p.m. ET, NBC
- Uh, Sharks? San Jose looked wholly overwhelmed by Vegas’ attack, and Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t give the Sharks a sniff at goal. The team in teal should be better in Game 2, but a dominant performance like that can linger in the minds of both teams. The Golden Knights can play with confidence, knowing they scored at will just one game ago. It’s up to Martin Jones and the Sharks to flip the narrative and get back to their hockey, or otherwise they’ll head home in quite a hole.
- No Kane Do: After his cross-check to the head of Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in Game 1, Sharks forward Evander Kane has been suspended for Game 2. Kane’s three goals and one assist are tied for third on the team in playoff scoring, and his abilities to find open space in the offensive zone and win battles to retain possession will be missed as San Jose looks to salvage a win from the opening two contests. If Vegas gets on the board early once more, the Sharks will have to mount a comeback without one of their top scoring options.
- Fortress: For Vegas, it’s all about pouring on the pressure. They’ve been dynamite on home ice in the playoffs, and have at least until the end of this series to hold onto that advantage. But they must avoid confusing confidence with complacency as they continue further into round two. Their Game 1 romp was impressive, but they’ll need to back it up with another stout showing should they wish to capitalize on their hot start to the division finals. - Peter Dewar