Uh oh, could we be seeing a second-round sweep? After taking care of Barry Trotz’s old team in the first round in seven games, the Carolina Hurricanes are now up 3-0 on his current team, the New York Islanders.
Here’s a recap of last night’s action (check out replays of every playoff game on ESPN+) and what to watch for tonight, in today’s edition of ESPN Stanley Cup Playoffs Daily:
About last night …
Game 3: Carolina Hurricanes 5, New York Islanders 2 (Hurricanes lead the series, 3-0). Oh, how quickly it has soured for the Islanders. We knew they’d have a hard time generating offense this postseason, but this series has been a particular struggle. It’s rare to climb out of a 0-3 deficit (though in this year’s wacky playoffs, who would rule out anything?). Only four teams in NHL history have done it; the 2014 Kings were the most recent. Carolina, once again, put on a show for their home crowd, with an especially big third-period goal from their captain, Justin Williams. It proved to be the game winner.
Game 4: Dallas Stars 4, St. Louis Blues 2 (series is tied, 2-2). The Blues would strike first, but the Stars would control so many aspects of this game, playing a more physically dominating game and capitalizing on turnovers. Blues rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington has been ultra-composed since inheriting the No. 1 job, and started the night off excellent. But then for the first time in his NHL career, we saw him lose his cool with a pair of dumb penalties. The Stars’ decision to jumble the top two lines paid off, as four different players scored goals.
1. Curtis McElhinney, G, Carolina Hurricanes
At 35 years and 343 days old, he became the oldest goaltender to make his first career postseason start. He made it count, turning away 28 of 30 shots.
2. Justin Williams, RW, Carolina Hurricanes
Yeah, yeah, he’s Mr. Game 7. But maybe he’s just Mr. Clutch. His go-ahead goal midway through the third period was the byproduct of perfect positioning and a killer finish.
– NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) May 2, 2019
3. Tyler Seguin, C, Dallas Stars
Seguin took to his new line assignment with Mats Zuccarello and Jason Dickinson by dishing out two assists on Wednesday night. He’s already established a new career high for playoff points (nine).
Play of the night
One of the plays that earned McElhinney our first star of the night:
– Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) May 2, 2019
Dud of the night
Blues rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington unraveling at the end of the second period.
First, Binnington retaliates after a jab from Stars captain Jamie Benn. Both players would receive two-minute penalties (Binnington’s was for roughing).
– Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) May 2, 2019
Then, on his way off the ice, Binnington took a swipe at Dallas goalie Ben Bishop near the bench.
– Alex Prewitt (@alex_prewitt) May 2, 2019
That meant the Stars had to begin the third on a penalty kill. It’s the rare goalie-on-goalie slash, and it’s not cool.
On the schedule
Boston Bruins at Columbus Blue Jackets, Game 4, 7:30 p.m. ET (Jackets lead the series, 2-1)
The Blue Jackets are rewriting their postseason narrative this spring. Perhaps no one moreso than goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who is having a dynamite playof run. Previously, the two-time Vezina Trophy winner was 5-14 in the playoffs, with a goals-against average of 3.49 and save percentage of .891. This postseason? He’s 6-1, with a 1.88 GAA and .937 save percentage. Columbus has all the hallmarks of a John Tortorella-coached team, clogging lanes and blocking shots — and the Bruins’ stars are getting frustrated. David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron have combined for just one goal so far. And now Marchand (who had done a good job this season of rewriting his narrative as a pest … until this series) is on notice after some unsportsmanlike play.
San Jose Sharks at Colorado Avalanche, Game 4, 10 p.m. ET (Sharks lead the series, 2-1)
The Sharks got their mojo back in Game 3, thanks to a hat trick from Logan Couture and some nifty playmaking by new dad Gustav Nyquist, who is having a whirlwind week. Now San Jose may be getting reinforcements. Captain Joe Pavelski is skating again (after FaceTiming the team after their critical road win). Colorado started strong in Game 3, but then fell apart in what might have been one of their worst performances of the postseason. Avs coach Jared Bednar lamented his team’s miscues, which included “some bonehead decisions with the puck.” The Avalanche are a young team, and their style is conducive to mistakes.
Social post of the day
A good boy and his favorite Bread:
“Just a bunch of grown men being donkeys.” — Jamie Benn on the skirmishes at the end of the second period.
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