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.
Washington Capitals 4, Pittsburgh Penguins 1 (Series tied 1-1)
The start of yesterday’s game followed a familiar script. But the end sure didn’t, as the Caps tied the series in what was essentially a must-win before the series shifted to Pittsburgh.
The Caps came out quick again in Game 2, with Alex Ovechkin scoring on the first shot of the game. The Penguins’ sluggish start lasted the whole first period, in which they were outshot 20-10. Late in the first, Sidney Crosby took an out-of-character hooking penalty for a player that usually uses his speed to avoid cheap stick infractions, and the Penguins paid for it through a Jakub Vrana power-play goal, giving the Caps a 2-0 lead.
One of the more consequential moments for the Penguins came in the second period when Brian Dumoulin left the game with an upper-body injury. Dumoulin had the puck in the corner with Ovechkin ahead of him and Tom Wilson behind him. He made a quick turn around as Wilson was coming in for the hit, and Wilson’s shoulder hit his head. The play didn’t look dirty and no penalty was called, but now the thin Penguins defense may be down an effective player. Wilson will not have a hearing for his hit.
The game was not without additional controversy. In the third period, Crosby attempted a wrap-around but missed, Patric Hornqvist jumped on the rebound and stuffed the puck just inside the post. At the same time, Braden Holtby recovered and got his toe to the post. The puck was trapped between the leg pad and the inside of the post on the goal line.
Somehow, this is the best look we have pic.twitter.com/XkOtQ1iyPl— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 29, 2018
Without a view of the puck, the call was no-goal and it was reviewed. But with a super zoomed in view, it appeared that the puck may have fully crossed the goal-line, but there could have also been snow on the goal line. The call on the ice was confirmed and there was no goal, which kept the Caps lead at two goals. The Caps later scored an empty net goal to seal the 4-1 win and pull even in the series. - Zeke Lukow
Nashville Predators 5, Winnipeg Jets 4 (2OT) (Series tied 1-1)
We have a series out West. In Game 2 of the second round between the Predators and the Jets, it was Nashville who outlasted Winnipeg and managed to pick up a hugely important 5-4 win, tying the series 1-1 and avoiding a two-game deficit to a Jets team that finished just three points behind them in the regular season.
It took a while, though. It was Kevin Fiala’s goal in the second overtime period that finally ended things after Connor Hellebuyck and Pekka Rinne answered the bell at every turn in the extra frames. Rinne, who was pulled in game one after allowing three goals on 16 shots, finished the long evening with 46 saves and 17 beyond regulation time. He bounced back in a big way, which was a necessity for the Preds.
Once the game entered the second overtime, the Jets were into uncharted territory, having previously been the only active NHL franchise to have not played a multiple-overtime game. Despite the loss, Winnipeg was able to cancel out Nashville’s home-ice advantage and will have a chance to take control of the series north of the border. Game 3 is set for Tuesday night in Manitoba. - Brett Finger
Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning (BOS leads series 1-0)
7:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN
- Bruins Heavy Hitters: If the Bruins’ top line of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand play like they did in Game 1, the Lightning will have a very tough time winning Game 2. Look for the Lightning to be focusing even more attention on the trio tonight. Odds are that Jon Cooper will be assigning the shutdown Brayden Point line to Bergeron again, and the Lightning are going to need to be better at keeping the elite scorers in check. Andrei Vasilevskiy can only do so much.
- Tuukka Rask’s Resurgence: This was a talking point going into Game 1 for a very different reason. Rask was receiving a great deal of criticism leading into this matchup, and he shut down his critics quickly. Rask looked as locked in as ever on Saturday as he led his team to a victory in enemy territory. I’d be willing to bet that the Tampa Bay offensive wakes back up tonight, and Rask is going to need to be just as good in order to keep his team in the game.
- The Stamkos Line - Before the series began I talked about the two top lines essentially cancelling themselves out in this series. Well, that didn’t happen in Game 1, as the Bruins’ offensive elite flew much higher than the Lightning’s. The Bolts have the most potent offense in the NHL, and it needs to show up in Game 2. A loss tonight would send them on a plane to New England down 2-0 with their backs against the wall. It took Stamkos and the Lightning two games to get the offensive ball rolling in their first round series, and they need to figure it out tonight. - Andrew Ahr
Vegas Golden Knights at San Jose Sharks (Series tied 1-1)
10:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN
- Rebound: Something unusual happened on Saturday night. The Golden Knights...lost...a playoff game. Marc-Andre Fleury actually gave up more than two goals, despite putting forth another solid performance. And the Sharks managed to come back from what looked to be a repeat of Game 1 to snatch a double-overtime victory. It’s the first time Vegas has been really tested in these playoffs, and Monday’s contest will feature a Knights team that will be forced to rebound on the road. The way they respond to their first defeat will dictate the remainder of their stay in the playoffs.
- Haute Couture: With a pair of goals on Saturday, including the OT game-winner, Logan Couture appears to have found his playoff stride. During San Jose’s 2016 run to the Stanley Cup Final, the forward led the team with 10 goals and 20 assists and nearly its first Cup win. Postseason play is all about getting hot at the right time, and Couture finding his scoring touch is bad news for Vegas. At the same time, San Jose will need consistency from #39 in order to finish off the seemingly destiny-driven Knights.
- Self-Inflicted Wounds: The Golden Knights sat for 22 PIMs on Saturday, coughing up two power-play markers to the Sharks, including Couture’s winner. If there is an Achilles’ heel to this team, it could be their discipline. They’ve managed to stay out of the box for the most part through the first round and Game 1 of the second round, but the Sharks frustrated Vegas in Game 2, and it showed. The Golden Knights’ ability to stay focused will be crucial to their attempt to regain momentum in the series. - Peter Dewar