Stanley Cup Playoffs 2019

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The Washington Capitals faceoff against the Carolina Hurricanes with Game 1 at Capital One Arena Thursday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m.The last time the Capitals and Hurricanes met, the Capitals completed their four-game regular-season sweep with a 3-2 win. But now, none of that matters as the Caps prepare to take on the ‘Canes again, this time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The NHL playoffs get underway on Wednesday night with a slate of five Game 1s to open up the first round of action. It seems fitting that the league’s top team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, got the party started as they hosted the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first game of the night.

Dallas Stars rookie defenseman Miro Heiskenen had one hell of a playoff debut on Wednesday, scoring twice to push the Stars past the Predators in Nashville. The 19-year-old had the first two Stars goals on the night, while trade deadline acquisition Mats Zuccarello added the third in a 3-2 win

Nashville’s two goals came from defensemen as well, with Roman Josi and PK Subban getting on the board with pretty nice tallies.

San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski is known as one of the league’s best at redirecting shots in front of the net, but usually he prefers to do it with his stick. On Wednesday night, the Sharks ended up drawing first blood (literally) against the Sharks when a Brent Burns shot from the point careened straight up into Pavelski’s face and deflected into the ne

Pavelski was clearly shaken up by the sequence and he immediately headed to the Sharks’ locker room for repairs. He ended up returning to the game after the first intermission. By the end of the

The Sharks added two more goals after Pavelski’s to jump out to a 3-0 lead over the Golden Knights. They spent most of the night thoroughly dominating a Vegas team that looked uncharacteristically sloppy and dull on the attack. There were questions surrounding Erik Karlsson’s health heading into Wednesday’s opener, but the San Jose defenseman played solidly and brought a positive impact

You knew the Islanders would be geared up and ready to go in front of a raucous crowd at Nassau on Wednesday, but it appeared the Penguins were not ready for it early on. Specifically, their defense was not ready for it.

The Islanders looked to get on the board with a very early snipe from Tom Kuhnackl after the winger skated right through all five Penguins defenders, but the Pens caught a break when that goal was wiped out due to an offside on the play

However, the defensive issues persisted and the Isles officially got on the board shortly after when Jordan Eberle was left wide open (read: WIDE. OPEN.) in front of the Penguins’ net following a defensive zone turnover

Next it was Brock Nelson who was left on his own in front of the Pittsburgh net. Eberle managed to find him with a nice feed that he tapped in to reclaim the lead.

The Penguins recovered and clean things up a bit down the stretch, and they actually got some clutch scoring from their defense. Justin Schultz managed to blast a seeing-eye slapper past a screened Robin Lehner to tie the game with only 1:29 remaining in regulation.

That goal forced overtime (our first of the postseason!) but it was the Islanders that would end up going home happy. Mat Barzal showed off his patience, creativity and edge work when he carved his way to the net and helped set up Josh Bailey’s game-winner.

The Blues managed to steal Game 1 on the road in Winnipeg, and it was largely because of clutch late-game efforts. The Blues and Jets were locked in a tight 1-1 defensive battle when Tyler Bozak managed to pot the game-winner with just over two minutes left in the third period.

The Jets nearly bounced back and tied the game in the final minute, but St. Louis rookie goalie Jordan Binnington made an incredible save to preserve the win in his first playoff start.

The Blue Jackets will have their hands full trying to keep up with the Presidents’ Trophy winners in Tampa, and Columbus didn’t exactly get off to the start they wanted in Game 1. Immediately after getting an early power play opportunity in the first period, the Blue Jackets coughed up an ugly turnover and surrendered a breakaway shorted goal to Tampa’s Alex Killorn.

The Lightning poured two more on before the first intermission to jump out to an early 3-0 lead, and it looked like we might be heading for a bloodbath. But the Blue Jackets managed to make a stunning comeback with four unanswered goals, including three in the third period.

One of those goals featured David Savard somehow managing to toe-drag reigning Norris winner Victor Hedman straight out of his skates.

Then Columbus’ Josh Anderson tied the game with a shorthanded goal shortly after, and Seth Jones provided the go-ahead stunner on the power play just a few minutes later.

The Jets and Blues got tangled up in a pretty tight battle during the first period in Winnipeg, but the big story was Patrik Laine getting on the board with a goal early. Laine, who is considered one of the Jets’ most lethal offensive weapons, hadn’t scored a goal since March 25 and hadn’t recorded an even-strength tally since February 26th. He reset both of those counters with a nasty snipe during the first period of Game 1.

The Jets are going to need Laine to rediscover his scoring prowess and contribute consistently if they want to make another deep run this postseason, so this is a promising start for Winnipeg

What: Game 1, Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs: Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals
Date: Thursday, April 11, 2019
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington

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