Vancouver knocked out the St. Louis Blues in Game 6 on Friday night. Elias Pettersson, Jacob Markstrom and the Canucks ensured that there will be a new Stanley Cup champion for the 20th time in the past 21 seasons.
St. Louis had a memorable run in 2019, but the team was unable to find their footing in the bubble. Injuries certainly didn’t help, especially with Vladimir Tarasenko out, but they weren’t the same team that had the second-best record in the league prior to the pause of the 2019-20 season. With the Blues gone, Vancouver will play against Vegas in the next round and the other Western Conference matchup will feature Colorado and Dallas.
Montreal’s attempt to force a Game 7 came up short against Philadelphia on Friday night in a 3-2 loss. The Canadiens proved their doubters wrong by winning in the qualifying round over Pittsburgh and they took the top seed in the Eastern Conference to six games. Not being in the Draft Lottery mix for Alexis Lafreniere will be a tough pill to swallow for some, but Montreal deserves to leave the bubble with their heads held high.
With the Flyers moving to the next round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs the matchups in the Eastern Conference are also set. Philadelphia will play against the New York Islanders, while the Tampa Bay Lightning will face the Boston Bruins.
PHILADELPHIA 3 MONTREAL 2 (Flyers win series 4-2)
Ivan Provorov opened the scoring just 28 seconds into Game 6 with his first goal of the postseason.
Kevin Hayes gave the Flyers a 2-0 lead at the 5:23 mark of the first period with his first goal of postseason play. He also contributed an assist in the contest.
Michael Raffl scored what held up as the game winner 4:26 into the second stanza.
Nick Suzuki got the Canadiens on the board just past the midway point of the first period with a power-play goal. He scored again in the second frame just after Raffl gave the Flyers a 3-1 lead. Suzuki concluded the postseason with four goals and seven points in 10 games.
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ST. LOUIS 2 VANCOUVER 6 (Canucks win series 4-2)
Jay Beagle got the icebreaker in Game 6 with his first goal of the postseason 3:45 into the first period. He also picked up an assist in the win.
Tyler Motte scored a pair of goals for a second consecutive game, including an empty-netter in the final minute of regulation to seal the win.
Jacob Markstrom turned aside 34 shots in the victory. He was superb in the series and has been great since the NHL’s return.
Jaden Schwartz got the Blues on the board at the 6:32 mark of the third period. He scored again for his fourth goal of the postseason late in the third, but it was too little too late for St. Louis.
Ryan O'Reilly registered an assist to give him four goals and four helpers during a five-game point spree, but he won’t get a chance to continue it.
Jordan Binnington got the start in Game 6 after Jake Allen played in the previous three matches. He received a rude welcome back from Vancouver and was chased from the crease after he allowed four goals on 18 shots. Allen had five saves on six shots in relief.