Stanley Cup Playoffs Discussion: May 20
A second-round double hitter tonight with a pair of Game 2s.
The second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs continues with a pair of Game 2: the New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes in the east and the Battle of Alberta between the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers in the west.
In the Carolina-New York series, the opening game in the second round was a more even match than expected and needed overtime to determine a victor. Filip Chytil scored mid-way through the first period to put the Rangers up 1-0 early, and then they managed to suppress the typically possession-heavy Hurricanes through the next 50 minutes or so. Unfortunately, it’s hard to keep the Hurricanes out of it for long, and Sebastian Aho made it 1-1 with 2:23 remaining in the third period. Carolina rode that momentum into the extra hockey period where Ian Cole secured a 2-1 victory for the Hurricanes by scoring just 3:12 into overtime. Antti Raanta made 27 saves for the Hurricanes in the win while Ranger’s goalie Igor Shesterkin made 22 saves in the loss.
The Battle of Alberta looked like it was going to be a bloodbath when Calgary scored two goals in the opening minute then went up 6-2 before the mid-way point of the game, and Oilers goalie Mike Smith was pulled after playing only 6:05. However, poor play in net seemed to be contagious as Jacob Markstrom fell apart, allowing four goals on the next 10 shots for the Oilers to tie it 6-6. The Flames pushed back in the third were just too overpowering, putting up 48 shots for the whole game, and winning 9-6. Twelve different players registered a point for Calgary with four of them — Johnny Gaudreau, Andrew Mangiapane, Rasmus Andersson, and Matthew Tkachuk — having three point outings, including a hattrick for the latter. Connor McDavid had a four point night (1 G, 3 A), Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists, and Zach Hyman has two goals in Edmonton’s loss.
Game 2: New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 2: Edmonton Oilers at Calgary Flames, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
*All times Central