Stanley Cup Playoffs Review June 5, 2021
CANADIENS HEADED HOME WITH 2-0 SERIES LEAD, FIVE-GAME WINNING STREAK
Carey Price turned aside all 30 shots he faced and Tyler Toffoli tallied a shorthanded goal as Montreal blanked Winnipeg 2-0 to grab a 2-0 series lead and extend its winning streak to five games.
Price pocketed the eighth playoff shutout of his NHL career and owns the fourth-most among active goaltenders behind Marc-Andre Fleury (16), Henrik Lundqvist (10) and Jonathan Quick (9). Five of his postseason shutouts have been earned during games in which the Canadiens were the road team, which trails only Jacques Plante (7) for the most in franchise history.
Montreal earned five consecutive wins within a postseason for the first time since recording a run of equal length during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The last time the club had a postseason winning streak of longer than five contests was in 1993, when they registered a franchise-record 11-game run en route to winning their most-recent Stanley Cup.
Montreal has not trailed since the start of Game 5 in the First Round, totaling 316:14 of playing time over that span. The Canadiens’ longest such streak during the 2020-21 regular season was 183:34 (spanning from Jan. 21-30).
VEGAS VICTORIOUS IN FRONT OF FIRST CAPACITY CROWD THIS SEASON
Jonathan Marchessault and Max Pacioretty scored goals 45 seconds apart as the Golden Knights turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead with less than six minutes remaining in regulation to avoid a 3-0 series hole and hand the Avalanche their first loss this postseason (6-1). Vegas’ victory came in front of 17,504 fans at T-Mobile Arena, marking the NHL’s first full-capacity crowd this season.
Pacioretty’s winner was the Golden Knights’ latest go-ahead goal scored in regulation time during a postseason game, eclipsing the previous mark set by William Carrier in the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers against the Stars (54:47).
Pacioretty and Marchessault combined for the third-fastest two goals scored by Vegas in a playoff contest, behind Game 3 of the 2018 First Round (0:21: James Neal & William Karlsson) and Game 1 of the 2018 Second Round (0:26: Cody Eakin & Erik Haula).
EPISODE ONE OF “QUEST FOR THE STANLEY CUP” PREMIERES ON ESPN+, YOUTUBE
Episode one of Quest For The Stanley Cup, the behind-the-scenes documentary series chronicling the remaining eight teams in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, premiered Friday, exclusively on ESPN+ in the U.S. and on YouTube.com/NHL in Canada.
The first episode opens in Edmonton in 2020 with the Lightning celebrating their Stanley Cup win before fast forwarding to 2021 in Tampa where head coach Jon Cooper discusses the challenges of defending their title. Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog offers a glimpse into his home life with his wife, Melissa, and their two young children. The episode concludes with exclusive content on the ice and in the dressing rooms for Games 1 and 2 of the Lightning-Hurricanes series and Game 1 of the Avalanche-Golden Knights series.
HURRICANES, ISLANDERS LOOK TO TIE SERIES IN GAME 4
Saturday’s Second Round schedule gets an early start when the Hurricanes visit the Lightning looking to even their series at two games apiece. The road team has won each of the first three contests between Carolina and Tampa Bay, with the Hurricanes hoping to make their showdown the 30th series (of any type) in League history to see the visiting club claim each of the first four victories. In the nightcap, airing nationally on NBC in the United States, New York will eye a 2-2 deadlock on home ice in a series that has seen the Islanders and Bruins trade wins each game.
The Hurricanes face a 2-0 series deficit against the defending Stanley Cup champions, a position the club was in just two years ago when they fell behind 2-0 on the road against the Capitals. Carolina rallied to win that series, which saw the home team win each of the first six games before the Hurricanes snapped that streak with a Game 7 victory in D.C. Their series win in the 2019 First Round stands as one of only three times in NHL history that a team has eliminated the defending Stanley Cup champion after facing a 2-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series (also 2009 SCF: PIT vs. DET and 1999 CSF: COL vs. DET).
The Islanders will look to tie the series yet again after doing so in Game 2 in Boston, the first of two straight overtime contests. The Islanders have not lost consecutive playoff games at Nassau Coliseum in the same year since 2007 when they dropped Games 3 and 4 of the Conference Quarterfinals against the Sabres.
Matthews, Slavin and Spurgeon Voted Lady Byng Trophy Finalists
Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin and Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon are the three finalists for the 2020-21 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, awarded “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability,” the National Hockey League announced today.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Lady Byng Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winners of the 2021 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone will be revealed during the Stanley Cup Semifinals and Stanley Cup Final, with exact dates, format and times to be announced.
Following are the finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Auston Matthews, C, Toronto Maple Leafs
Matthews posted a League-leading 41 goals, 12 game-winning goals and 222 shots on goal (41-25—66) to earn his first career Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy and help the Maple Leafs claim their first division title since 1999-00. Matthews, who ranked fifth among NHL forwards with 21:33 of time on ice per game and ninth among all skaters with 47 takeaways, received 10 penalty minutes during his 52 appearances – the second-fewest among the League’s top 25 scorers behind only Artemi Panarin (6 PIM in 42 GP w/ NYR). The 23-year-old Scottsdale, Ariz., native – a finalist for the second straight season after placing second in voting in 2019-20 – is vying to become the eighth different player to win the Lady Byng Trophy with Toronto and just the second to do so in the expansion era (since 1967-68), following Alexander Mogilny in 2002-03.
Jaccob Slavin, D, Carolina Hurricanes
Slavin (3-12—15) averaged the most time on ice (22:59) for a Hurricanes team that yielded 2.39 goals per game, tied for the fourth-fewest in the NHL, en route to capturing its first division crown since 2005-06. Slavin, who recorded 1,195:05 of total playing time in 52 outings, took only one minor penalty – for delay of game (puck over glass) – the fewest among all skaters who averaged at least 20 minutes in 2020-21 (minimum: 10 GP). The 27-year-old Denver native and first-time finalist is seeking to become the second player in franchise history to capture the Lady Byng Trophy, after Ron Francis in 2001-02. He and Spurgeon each are looking to become the fourth defenseman in NHL history to win the award, following Brian Campbell (2011-12 w/ FLA), Red Kelly (3x, most recently 1953-54 w/ DET) and Bill Quackenbush (1948-49 w/ DET). (Kelly also won the award as a forward in 1960-61 w/ TOR.)
Jared Spurgeon, D, Minnesota Wild
Named captain prior to the start of 2020-21, Spurgeon paced Wild defensemen with 7‑18—25 in 54 games to lead Minnesota to its eighth playoff berth in the past nine campaigns – a feat accomplished by just three other teams (PIT, STL and WSH). Spurgeon, who also topped all Wild players with 102 blocked shots while ranking second in total time on ice (1,192:46) and fourth in average time on ice (22:05), was assessed three minor penalties during the season; only Slavin logged more minutes per game in 2020-21 while taking fewer penalties. The 31-year-old Edmonton native – who has played his entire NHL career in Minnesota – is the second player in franchise history who has been named a Lady Byng Trophy finalist, after Mikael Granlund finished third in voting in 2016-17, and is vying to become the first member of the Wild to win the award.
Lady Byng, wife of Canada’s Governor General at the time, presented the Lady Byng Trophy during the 1924-25 season. After Frank Boucher of the New York Rangers won the award seven times in eight seasons, he was given the trophy to keep and Lady Byng donated another trophy in 1936. After Lady Byng’s death in 1949, the NHL presented a new trophy, changing the name to the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.