Stanley Cup Playoffs May 12 2019 Recap
DEFENSE, DEPTH PROPELS BRUINS TO 2-0 SERIES LEAD
Bruins defensemen Matt Grzelcyk (2-0—2), Torey Krug (0-3—3) and Connor Clifton (1-0—1) combined for three goals and six points as Boston took a 2-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Final. The Bruins earned their fifth consecutive playoff win, their longest win streak in a postseason since an equal run during the 2013 postseason.
* With chants of “We Want the Cup” echoing through TD Garden, the Bruins won the first two games in a best-of-seven series for the 32nd time in franchise – winning 24 of the previous 31 series (77.4%). Since the conference format was adopted during the 1981-82 season, teams that take a 2-0 lead in the Conference Finals own a series record of 30-2 (93.8%).
* A Charlestown, Mass., native and former Boston University captain, Grzelcyk netted his first career multi-goal game in either the regular season or playoffs (155 GP). Grzelcyk achieved the feat in front of his mom, Kathleen, who was watching from the stands at TD Garden – where his father, John, has worked as a member of the changeover crew for 52 years.
* Grzelcyk became just the sixth different Bruins defenseman in the last 35 years to score multiple goals in a playoff game. A member of the 2015 NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team, two-time Hockey East All-Star and NCAA East All-American, Grzelcyk also led defensemen in points at the 2014 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, pacing a group that included Carolina’s Jaccob Slavin (his teammate at the time).
* Sunday marked the 14th time in Bruins franchise history in which defensemen accumulated at least six points in a playoff game and first since Game 2 of 2013 Conference Semifinals against the Rangers.
* Krug, who accounted for two of those six points against New York in 2013, registered three assists in a playoff contest for the second time in his career (also Game 2 of 2018 First Round). He became the fifth defenseman in franchise history with multiple such outings.
* Clifton, a fifth-round pick by the Arizona Coyotes in the 2013 NHL Draft, netted his first career goal (regular-season or playoffs: 29 GP). A four-year alumnus of Quinnipiac University, Clifton became Boston’s 19th different goal scorer of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, matching the franchise mark for most in a single playoff (also 19 in 1988).
* Did You Know? The Flyers featured an NHL-best 21 different goal scorers in 1987 en route to earning a berth in the Stanley Cup Final.
* Sunday’s contest marked the seventh playoff game in Bruins franchise history that defensemen have accounted for at least three goals – a total that includes the suspended game during the 1988 Stanley Cup Final. The only contest with more goals by Bruins blueliners was Game 1 of the 1988 Division Semifinals.
HURRICANES HEAD HOME UNDER FAMILIAR CIRCUMSTANCES
The Hurricanes find themselves in familiar territory after heading home in a 2-0 deficit.
* Carolina, winners of each of their five games at PNC Arena in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, overcame a two-game deficit in the First Round against Washington. Only the 2011 Bruins (CQF and SCF) and 2009 Penguins (CSF and SCF) have overcome a 2-0 deficit to win multiple series in a playoff year – both en route to capturing the Stanley Cup.
* Additionally, the Hurricanes are the 31st team in NHL history, and the fourth in the last 10 years, to have had each of their first three playoff series begin with either team taking a 2-0 lead. The others: 2013 Kings (CQF: W, CSF: W and CF: L), 2012 Kings (CQF: W, CSF: W and CF: W) and 2009 Penguins (CQF: W, CSF: W and CF: W).
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL GAME 2 TONIGHT IN SAN JOSE
After combining for nine goals in Game 1, the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues will renew acquaintances again tonight at SAP Center. San Jose owns a 7-2 record on home ice this postseason, one shy of matching a franchise record for home wins in a playoff year.
* The Blues aim to tie the series at one game apiece – something they’ve done 13 times after losing the opener in a best-of-seven – before returning to St. Louis for Games 3 and 4.
* The Sharks, meanwhile, eye a 2-0 series lead for the 12th time in franchise history, owning a 9-2 series record in the previous 11 instances. They have won their last three such series – 2016 First Round and Second Round – but their two series losses in that scenario came when they had home-ice advantage (2014 R1 and 2006 CSF).
* Timo Meier is one of five Sharks players among the top eight in playoff scoring this year, notching three points in Game 1 to boost his totals to 5-8—13 in 15 games. Selected ninth overall in the 2015 NHL Draft – a year that saw Connor McDavid picked at No. 1 – Meier shares the lead among his draft class with 18 career playoff points (7-11—18 in 30 GP); Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen has 6-12—18 (18 GP).
* Ryan O’Reilly scored in Game 1, led all Blues forwards in time on ice (19:43) and went 15-for-32 in the faceoff circle (46.9%). O’Reilly has built a reputation as a faceoff specialist, with his 47.7% success rate during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs ranking fifth among remaining players (min. 175 faceoffs). San Jose’s Tomas Hertl (55.7%) is one of the players ahead of him; the two went head-to-head 22 times in Game 1, with Hertl holding a 12-10 edge.