Bruins vs. Maple Leafs 1-1
The Boston Bruins took on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, April 11 for game one of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Bruins fell 4-1 as the Maple Leafs started out the game strong and did not turn back. Center forward Patrice Bergeron scored the lone goal for the Bruins as left wing Brad Marchand and defenseman Torey Krug picked up the respective assists on the goal. For the Maple Leafs, right wing Mitchell Marner scored two goals while leading the Maple Leafs to a 1-0 series lead.
Game two took place on Saturday, April 13, as the Bruins rallied from their previous defeat to turn the tables and beat the Maple Leafs 4-1 at TD Garden. Forward Charlie Coyle scored the first goal of the game for the Bruins in the first period. Marchand made the lead 2-0 as he scored with four minutes remaining in the first period. Forward Danton Heinen scored the lone goal of the second period to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead going into the third period. Toronto’s lone goal was scored by center Nazem Kadri in the third period, cranking a beautiful slap shot top shelf stick side against Bruins’ goaltender Tuukka Rask. Bergeron ended any hopes of a Maple Leafs comeback, scoring his second goal of the series to seal the deal for the Bruins as they leveled the series at 1-1.
Capitals vs. Hurricanes 2-0
On Thursday, April 11, the Washington Capitals beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 in game one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Capitals scored three goals in the first period to secure the win. Center Nicklas Backstrom scored two of the three first period goals as left wing Alex Ovechkin added the third. Left wing Andrei Svechnikov scored both goals for the Hurricanes, but it was not enough to beat the Capitals.
On Saturday, April 13, the Capitals extended their series lead to 2-0 after beating the Hurricanes 4-3 in overtime. Backstrom picked up where he left off from game one, as he and Ovechkin took off down the ice five minutes into the first period, and Backstrom tipped in a pass from Ovechkin to put the Capitals on the board. Carolina’s defense just couldn’t keep the Capitals out of their zone, and goaltender Petr Mrazek was left facing multiple Washington players within his crease. Eventually, right wing T.J. Oshie poked in another shot behind Mrazek, who had blocked a previous shot by Ovechkin. Center Lucas Wallmark put the Hurricanes back in contention with a goal of his own, spinning around Washington goaltender Braden Holtby.
The second period flew by, with both teams attacking the other’s goal to no avail. Eventually, Carolina ended the drought, as center Sebastian Aho took a rebounded slapshot and snuck it behind a recovering Holtby, leveling the score at 2-2.
With both teams scoring a goal apiece in the third period, the first belonging to right wing Tom Wilson of the Capitals and the responding goal coming from center Jordan Staal for the Hurricanes, tied up the game at three and sent it to overtime. Two minutes into the overtime period defenseman Brooks Orpik scored the game-winner for Washington and gave the Capitals a 2-0 lead in the series.
Islanders vs. Penguins 2-0
On Wednesday, April 10, the New York Islanders beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in overtime. Right wing Jordan Eberle started out the scoring two minutes into the first period picking up the first goal for the Islanders. Right wing Phil Kessel answered for the Penguins four minutes after the Islanders goal tying the game at 1-1. With a similar back and forth in the second and third periods, the game was tied at three and was sent into overtime. Five minutes into overtime center Josh Bailey won the game for the Islanders and picked up the 1-0 series lead.
On Friday, April 12, the Islanders picked up a two-game lead on the Penguins, beating them 3-1 in game two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The game started out slow with no goals in the first period. Halfway through the second period, defenseman Erik Gudbranson picked up the first goal of the game for the Penguins. The Islanders answered with a goal of their own three minutes later as left wing Anthony Beauvillier scored to tie it at one. Bailey and Eberle both picked up their second goal of the series for the Islanders as they beat the Penguins 3-1 and took a 2-0 lead in the series.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0
On Wednesday, April 10, the Columbus Blue Jackets rallied from three goals down to beat the Lightning 4-3 in game one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Lightning scored three goals in the first period as left wing Alex Killorn, center Anthony Cirelli and center Yanni Gourde each picked up a tally. Left wing and captain Nick Foligno scored the first goal for the Blue Jackets halfway through the second period, sparking a comeback. Columbus scored three goals in the third period to complete one of the best comebacks of the season.
On Friday, April 12, the Blue Jackets took down the Lightning 5-1 at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay, Florida. Right wing Cam Atkinson and defenseman Zach Werenski each picked up a first-period goal to give the Blue Jackets a 2-0 lead. Center Matt Duchene scored the lone goal in the second period to extend the lead to 3-0. Defenseman Mikhail Sergachev scored the lone goal for the Lightning five minutes into the third period to decrease the Blue Jackets lead to 3-1. The Blue Jackets picked up two more goals in the last 15 minutes of the game to win 5-1 and take a 2-0 series lead over the first seed Tampa Bay Lightning.