The Buzzer: Jets move on, Flyers stay in it, Hammond steals one for Avs
Three games on Friday night
Winnipeg Jets 5, Minnesota Wild 0 (Jets win series 4-1)
Technically the original Winnipeg Jets advanced a few times, but these are the new Winnipeg Jets. And the new Winnipeg Jets, after spending nearly two decades without a postseason win, let alone a series win, finally moved on to round two with a rout over a shorthanded, undermanned, and completely overmatched Minnesota Wild team. The Jets now await the winner of the Nashville Predators-Colorado Avalanche series. This game was never close, never competitive, and the Jets look like they are going to be a force to deal with.
Philadelphia Flyers 4, Pittsburgh Penguins 2 (Penguins lead series 3-2)
Sean Couturier returned, Michal Neuvirth got the start in goal, and together they helped shut down the Pittsburgh Penguins to send the series back to Philadelphia for Game 6 on Sunday afternoon. Couturier did not play his normal workload but he was incredible on the penalty kill and scored the game-winning goal with 1:18 to play in regulation.
Colorado Avalanche 2, Nashville Predators 1 (Predators lead series 3-2)
The Colorado Avalanche are not going away. Thanks to an unbelievable and unexpected performance from, of all people, Andrew Hammond. After the Predators struck first with just under 10 minutes to play in regulation, the Avalanche scored two goals in the final five minutes of regulation. Sven Andrighetto scored the winner with just a minute-and-a-half to play.
1. Andrew Hammond, Colorado Avalanche. He barely played the past two years, but man did he come through in a big way on Friday night. He stopped 44 of the 45 shots he faced -- and the only goal he allowed was a controversial overturn on a Nick Bonino redirection with his skate -- to help the Avalanche fight off elimination. It was Hammond’s first ever playoff win.
2. Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers. How could he not be in here for the game he played? The whole storyline that you want is there. Returning from injury, playing a great game, doing a lot of little things that do not always get noticed, then scoring the game-winning goal to keep his team’s season going for at least one game.
3. Mark Schiefele, Winnipeg Jets. A lot of stars for the Jets on Friday night. Their goalie, Connor Hellebuyck, recorded his second consecutive shutout (more on that in a minute), Paul Stastny and Dustin Byfuglien each had a pair of assists, Jacoub Trouba started everything with all the offense they would need just 31 seconds into the game, but let us go with Mark Schiefele as one of the stars. He set up Trouba’s early goal, scored a goal of his own, and finished with a game-high four shots on goal and six total shot attempts
Factoid of the night
The Winnipeg Jets can score goals with the best of them and they also, finally, have a goalie.
Connor Hellebuyck of the @NHLJets is the third U.S.-born goaltender in NHL history to post consecutive shutouts in the playoffs, joining Mike Richter (Games 1-2 of 1994 CQF w/ NYR) and Brent Johnson (Games 2-4 of 2002 CQF w/ STL). #NHLStats #MINvsWPG #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/1vOU9j0tIO— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 21, 2018
New Jersey Devils vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, 3 p.m. ET
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Washington Capitalas, 3 p.m. ET
Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m ET