Stanley Cup Playoffs Review – August 25, 2020
STARS RALLY PAST AVALANCHE TO TAKE 2-0 SERIES LEAD
Down 2-0, the Stars scored five unanswered goals – including four in the second period – to rally past the Avalanche and take a 2-0 lead in their Second Round series. Five of Dallas’ seven wins since Aug. 1 have been earned in come-from-behind fashion, marking the fourth postseason in which the Stars/North Stars recorded five or more comeback wins following 1999 (9), 1981 (7) and 1980 (5).
* Anton Khudobin (38 saves) improved to 5-0 in his last five appearances dating to Game 4 of the First Round. He became the third Stars/North Stars goaltender to record a win streak of five-plus games in a postseason, joining Dallas’ Ed Belfour in 1999 (6-0) and Minnesota’s Gilles Meloche in 1981 (5-0).
* Joe Pavelski kickstarted the Stars’ rally with his seventh goal this postseason (7-2—9 in 11 GP). He remained tied for the League lead in goals since Aug. 1 with Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon (7-11—18 in 10 GP), who also tallied Monday.
* Miro Heiskanen assisted on the game-winning goal by Alexander Radulov (1-1—2) to record his 18th career postseason point (5-13—18 in 24 GP). He is one of six defensemen in NHL history with 18 or more career postseason points before age 22.
VARLAMOV RECORDS ANOTHER SHUTOUT TO BACKSTOP ISLANDERS IN GAME 1
Semyon Varlamov, who blanked the Capitals in series-clinching fashion during his last appearance, turned aside all 29 shots he faced to record his second straight shutout and backstop the Islanders to a Game 1 win. Varlamov became the first goaltender in franchise history to register back-to-back shutouts in a postseason.
* Varlamov owns an active shutout sequence of 136:20 dating to Game 4 of the First Round when Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored at 3:40 of the third period. He is 40 seconds from establishing a franchise record for longest in a postseason, in which he would eclipse the mark of 136:59 set by Billy Smith during the 1980 Stanley Cup Playoffs (Game 3 of PRLM – Game 1 of QF). Varlamov also joined Smith (2 in 1983) as the second Islanders goaltender to record multiple shutouts in a playoff year.
* Andy Greene opened the scoring with his first goal since being acquired by the Islanders at the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline (1-5—6 in 19 GP). Greene (37 years, 299 days) became the second-oldest player in franchise history to score a postseason goal, behind only Ed Westfall in Game 4 of the 1979 Quarterfinals (38 years, 215 days). Like Greene, Westfall’s goal was also a game winner.
* Greene scored his first postseason goal since Game 2 of the 2010 Conference Quarterfinals (w/ NJD). He became the 10th player in NHL history to go 10-plus years between postseason goals.
MacKINNON EXTENDS POINT STREAK TO 10 GAMES
Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon collected 1-1—2 to extend his point streak to 10 games (7-11—18) and match the franchise record for longest in a postseason, a mark set by Quebec’s Marian Stastny in 1982 (3-10—13) and equaled by Colorado’s Joe Sakic in 1996 (12-5—17). Like MacKinnon, Sakic’s 10-game run in 1996 was also achieved in postseason-opening fashion.
* Only 10 different players in NHL history have recorded a point streak of longer than 10 games from the start of a postseason.
PREVIEW OF TODAY’S ACTION
A pair of Game 2s are slated for Tuesday as the Bruins and Golden Knights aim to take a 2-0 series lead against the Lightning and Canucks, respectively.
* Teams that go up 2-0 in a best of seven series hold an all-time series record of 328-51 (.865).
BRUINS, HALAK IN SEARCH OF FIFTH CONSECUTIVE WIN
Despite surrendering two third-period goals to the Lightning, including one in the final 1:14, Jaroslav Halak and the Bruins emerged with a fourth straight win and a 1-0 series lead after yet another one-goal game for each club.
* Tampa Bay and Boston each have contested seven games decided by a one-goal margin this postseason, the most among all clubs. The Lightning suffered their first such defeat of the 2020 postseason in Game 1 (TBL: 6-1; BOS: 4-3).
* Halak’s four straight wins mark a career-best in the playoffs, surpassing his previous high of three consecutive victories achieved in 2010 with Montreal (Game 5-7 of CQF). Teammate Tuukka Rask posted eight consecutive victories in guiding the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Final last year, falling two shy of the franchise record for a single playoff year (Gerry Cheevers: 10-0 in 1970).
GOLDEN KNIGHTS, CANUCKS READY FOR BATTLE AT ROGERS PLACE
The Canucks will look to solve goaltender Robin Lehner and the Golden Knights after being shut out in the opener of their Second Round series.
* There has been only one instance of a goaltender recording consecutive playoff shutouts with the Golden Knights: Marc-Andre Fleury did so in 2018, first in Game 4 of the First Round (1-0 W vs. LAK) and then again in Game 1 of the Second Round (7-0 W vs. SJS).
* This marks the second time the Canucks have trailed 1-0 in a series this postseason (also during the SCQ). Quinn Hughes led Vancouver through the Qualifiers (1-5—6 in 4 GP) and paces all rookies in scoring this postseason (1-9—10 in 11 GP). He needs one point to simultaneously surpass Pavel Bure and match Lars Molin for the most playoff points by a Canucks rookie and tie Ray Bourque and Darryl Sydor for the fourth-most points by a rookie defenseman in a single postseason in NHL history.