Four playoff games, three of which tied their respective series at one.
Before we get to breaking down all the games, though, one unrelated note: The Edmonton Oilers won the draft lottery, in essence landing Connor McDavid with the first pick in June’s draft. The Oilers had an 11.5 percent chance at winning the lottery. Can’t fault Tim Murray and the Sabres for doing their part in giving them the best chance (20 percent) at getting the first-overall pick (and McDavid). Jack Eichel isn’t a bad consolation prize, though.
LIGHTNING 5, RED WINGS 1
— The series is tied 1-1 as it shifts to Detroit for Game 3.
— Funny how things work out. The Red Wings probably didn’t deserve to win Game 1 (46 shots against, compared to 14 for) and yet they escaped with one. This game was more evenly played, though the scoreboard doesn’t necessarily indicate that.
— Tyler Johnson led the way for the Lightning with two goals on six shots. Johnson tied Steven Stamkos for the team’s lead in points (72), and he also finished second in goals with 29. Tampa Bay can come at you in waves and it will be fun to see how Detroit tries to limit them moving forward. The Red Wings were much better in doing that in this game. Johnson showed off his blazing wheels on one of his goals.
— Alex Killorn picked up the final goal. Just another young Lightning player who doesn’t seem fazed by the big lights. Killorn’s goal ended a drought of eight games, though he does have points in two consecutive games.
— One of the fascinating story lines of this series is the goaltending battle, made more so since neither Ben Bishop nor Petr Mrazek had any playoff experience. Bishop made 23 saves, a nice bounce-back outing after giving up three on 14 shots in the Game 1 loss. Mrazek got pulled after two periods because he gave up four goals on 18 shots. Jimmy Howard stopped 11 of 12 in relief. Coach Mike Babcock said after the game that Mrazek would be the Game 3 starter. Another struggle like this and you wonder if Babcock turns to the veteran.
— Tomas Tatar scored the lone goal for Detroit, ending the shutout at 5:49 of the third period. Tatar has points in three of his past four games. He played 15:08 and got three shots on net.
BLUES 4, WILD 1
— The series is tied 1-1 as it shifts to Minnesota.
— Vladimir Tarasenko has game-breaking ability, shown off by his hat trick (last goal via the empty net). Tarasenko scored two in the first, one at even strength and the other on the power play. He also had five shots on goal. He has seven goals in nine career playoff games. Tarasenko is one of the best forward options for those in playoff leagues.
— A lot of people are viewing Minnesota as a sleeper team — and rightfully so. Some don’t fully believe in the Blues because of their questions in net and previous playoff disappointments. That script was flipped in this one.
— Jake Allen (24 saves) has actually been the least of the Blues’ problems in this series. He has given up three goals on 52 shots in the playoffs. Allen hasn’t allowed more than two goals since March 1, a span of 11 games (though he gave up two on 12 shots in a period-plus on March 21).
— Patrik Berglund recorded the other goal, while Kevin Shattenkirk and Alexander Steen assisted twice apiece. Berglund has developed into a useful player, though it doesn’t appear he’ll reach the offensive totals from earlier in his career.
— Devan Dubnyk gave up three goals on 26 shots. He’s now allowed five goals on 47 shots (.894 SV%) in the playoffs. He’s looked more human this month as he also sported a .915 SV% in five regular-season games in April.
— Marco Scandello lit the lamp for the Wild. He has three goals in his past four games. Scandella (plus-three) had the highest Corsi among Wild defensemen.
PENGUINS 4, RANGERS 3
— Another series knotted up at one; this one is headed to Pittsburgh.
— Credit the Penguins for totally bottling up the Rangers’ counter attack and speed in this game. Only in the third did the Rangers show the type of desperation and crispness needed to win a playoff game.
— Sidney Crosby scored twice, to give Pittsburgh a 3-1 lead. The two goals give him one more than he had all postseason last year (13 games). A lot has been said about Crosby looking more mortal-like this year because he “only” had 28 goals and 84 points. I still consider Crosby the best player in the game; you have to game plan/line match for him or you will be in serious trouble. The Penguins did face a scare when Carl Hagelin collided with an unsuspecting Crosby, who went down and was dazed, in the third period. Something to monitor when the Penguins next practice.
— A lot will be said about the Rangers’ ineffectiveness on the power play (1 for 7), however the big-picture view is that it’s not the only reason they lost this game. As Bleacher Report’s Dave Lozo pointed out, there’s not a lot of difference between a power play that goes (1 for 7, 14 percent) and (2 for 8, 25 percent). A penalty kill with a 50 percent efficiency (2 for 4) was more to blame. As was the 13 shots through two periods.
— Chris Kunitz (goal, two assists) and Brandon Sutter (goal, assist) were the other Penguins who found the back of the net. Kunitz’s points were his first since March 29, a span of seven games without any.
— Marc-Andre Fleury (23 saves) was strong in this game, the last goal going in with four seconds remaining (from Rick Nash). He does not seem to be a cause for concern for Pittsburgh. Fleury has stopped 59 of 64 in the playoffs.
— Derick Brassard scored the only power play goal. He has goals in three games in a row. There’s something about the playoffs that raises Brassard’s game; he has 26 points in 37 playoff games.
— Henrik Lundqvist (18 saves) did not look as bad as the final line may indicate. New York needs to do a better job of defending/clearing in front to lessen the amount of point-blank chances.
DUCKS 2, JETS 1
— Sure, the Ducks are up 2-0 in the first-round series, but these two games have been two of the more entertaining games thus far. Physical, spirited, great individual efforts.
— For the second game in a row, the Ducks erased a third-period deficit. In Game 1, they trailed 2-1, and in this one, they were down 1-0. Jakob Silfverberg scored the winner with 21 seconds left, a somewhat controversial goal because he held Andrew Ladd’s stick, slowing him down right before he scored. He has two goals in three games. Silfverberg (13 goals, 39 points during the regular season) is just beginning to touch what is some pretty big upside. I think he could get to 50 points next year.
— Patrick Maroon began the rally with a power-play tally at 10:43 of the third. He has points in two games in a row. Maroon only had one power play goal in 71 regular season games.
— Adam Pardy scored the lone goal for the Jets, his first goal since Jan. 26, 2011, when he played for the Flames. Coach Paul Maurice sat Ben Chariot, and it paid off. Pardy had nine assists in 55 games, so he’s not much of a high-ceiling option in playoff leagues. In fact, he didn’t play in Game 1.
— Both goaltenders were on their games in this one. Frederik Andersen (28 saves) allowed Pardy’s goal as Lee Stempniak was pushed into the crease by Ryan Kesler. Aside from Silfverberg's goal when he left the short-side post open, Ondrej Pavelec (37 saves) was also excellent. He faced 17 shots in the first and third periods. Worth noting that Pavelec was significantly better on the road (.932 SV%) than at home (.907 SV%) this season.