Stanley Cup Playoffs Review – August 31, 2020
GOLDEN KNIGHTS, ISLANDERS ALSO GO UP 3-1
The Golden Knights and Islanders also moved within one win of reaching the 2020 Conference Finals:
* Max Pacioretty (2-1—3) factored on two of Vegas’ three unanswered goals in the third period to help the Golden Knights overcome a 3-2 deficit to make it a 5-3 final and take 3-1 lead in their Second Round series. Pacioretty, who went without a point in each of his first three outings since returning to the lineup on Aug. 11, has averaged a goal per game over his last five dating to Vegas’ series-clinching win in the First Round (5-2—7).
* Mark Stone (0-3—3) and Shea Theodore (0-2—2) each collected multiple assists, with Theodore extending his point streak to six games (1-8—9). Stone (6-8—14 in 12 GP) and Theodore (4-10—14 in 12 GP) share the team lead with 14 points overall this postseason.
* Marc-Andre Fleury (28 saves), who made his first appearance since Game 3 of the First Round, earned his 81st career playoff win to pass Ken Dryden (80) for sole possession of sixth place on the NHL’s all-time list. He improved to 3-0 in three appearances this postseason (2.67 GAA, .893 SV%).
* The Golden Knights own a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series for the fourth time in franchise history. They went 2-1 in the three previous series.
* Brock Nelson tallied twice – including the winning goal with 8:48 remaining in regulation – as the Islanders won Game 4 by a score of 3-2 to take a 3-1 lead in their Second Round series with the Flyers. Nelson recorded his second career multi-goal outing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, following Game 1 of the 2015 First Round (2-0—2 at WSH).
* Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored his seventh goal this postseason (7-2—9 in 13 GP) to move into a tie with Anthony Beauvillier (7-3—10 in 13 GP) for the team lead. It marked the first postseason in which multiple Islanders players each scored seven or more goals since 1993, when Ray Ferraro (13-7—20 in 18 GP) and Steve Thomas (9-8—17 in 18 GP) combined for the feat.
* New York owns a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series for the 11th time in franchise history. They went 10-0 in the 10 previous series, including four instances where the clinching win was earned in Game 5.
STARS WIN 5-4 AND TAKE 3-1 SERIES LEAD VIA ANOTHER FIVE-GOAL EFFORT
The Stars raced to a 3-0 lead in the opening 10:45, but the Avalanche counterattacked with two consecutive goals to cut the deficit to 3-2 through 40 minutes. In the third period, Roope Hintz (1-1—2) and Denis Gurianov each scored within a span of 32 seconds – with Gurianov’s goal standing as the winner – as Dallas took a 3-1 lead in its Second Round series.
* The Stars own a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series for the 12th time in franchise history. They went 10-1 in the 11 previous series, including five instances where the clinching win was earned in Game 5.
* Dallas has scored five or more goals in six of 13 games this postseason, including four times in its last five contests dating to a series-clinching win in Game 6 of the First Round (7-3 W). The Stars scored five or more goals five times in 69 games during the 2019-20 regular season, including just once since late November.
* Gurianov has accounted for eight of Dallas’ 44 goals this postseason (8-2—10 in 13 GP) and remained one back of Canucks captain Bo Horvat (9-2—11 in 14 GP) for the League lead. Only one Stars/North Stars rookie has scored more than eight goals in a playoff year, which was Minnesota’s Dino Ciccarelli in 1981 (14-7—21 in 19 GP).
* Miro Heiskanen collected an assist on a goal by Radek Faksa (1-2—3) to record his team-leading 16th point since Aug. 1 (3-13—16 in 13 GP). He established a Stars/North Stars franchise record for most in a postseason by a defenseman.
The Stars and Avalanche have combined for 34 goals through the first four games of their Second Round series (8.5 G/GP). It marks the fifth Stanley Cup Playoffs series since 1995 to feature as many through four games, following the 1995 Conference Quarterfinals between the Flames and Sharks (39), 2002 Conference Semifinals between the Avalanche and Sharks (34), 2012 Conference Quarterfinals between the Flyers and Penguins (45) and 2014 First Round between the Kings and Sharks (34).
ROOKIE DEFENSEMEN MAKAR, HUGHES EACH RECORD MULTIPLE POINTS
Rookie defensemen Cale Makar of the Avalanche (1-1—2) and Quinn Hughes of the Canucks (0-2—2) each recorded multiple points on Sunday. Makar (3-10—13 in 12 GP) and Hughes (1-12—13 in 14 GP) moved within three points of matching the NHL record for most in a postseason by a rookie defenseman, a mark set by Boston’s Glen Wesley in 1988 (8-8—16 in 24 GP). Wesley’s totals include two goals in the suspended Game 4 of the 1988 Stanley Cup Final.
* Hughes also established a franchise record for most points in a playoff year by a Canucks rookie (regardless of position), eclipsing the previous mark of 11 set by Lars Molin in 1982 (2-9—11 in 17 GP).
PREVIEW OF TODAY’S ACTION
The Lightning and Stars look to become the first teams to clinch a berth in the 2020 Conference Finals when they contest Game 5 in their Second Round series against the Bruins and Avalanche, respectively. Teams that hold a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series own an all-time record of 284-29, including a 6-0 mark in 2020.
* Tampa Bay has reached the Conference Finals five times in franchise history, including three appearances over the last six years. Only six franchises have made more Conference Finals appearances since 1992-93 when the Lightning contested their inaugural season, which are Detroit (8x), Pittsburgh (7x), Chicago (6x), Colorado (6x), New Jersey (6x) and Philadelphia (6x).
* The Bruins aim to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win a Stanley Cup Playoffs series for the first time in franchise history.
* The Stars/North Stars franchise has reached the Conference Finals six times since the series was introduced in 1982, with the last instance occurring over 12 years ago (1984, 1991, 1998, 1999, 2000 & 2008). Minnesota also reached the Semifinals four times before 1982, including during its inaugural season (1968, 1971, 1980 & 1981).
* Like the Bruins, Colorado also looks to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win a Stanley Cup Playoffs series for the first time in franchise history.
* The Stars earned seven wins in the second half of back-to-back sets during the 2019-20 regular season (7-3-2), while the Avalanche had six (6-5-1). Dallas and Colorado are both 0-1 in those contests during the 2020 postseason.