Stanley Cup Playoffs Review – September 3, 2020
AVALANCHE AND STARS SET FOR FIRST GAME 7 OF THE STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
The Stars and Avalanche have set up the first Game 7 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, with a trip to the Western Conference Final up for grabs.
* There has been at least one Game 7 in every postseason since 1978. The only playoff years in the expansion era (since 1967-68) without a Game 7: 1970, 1973 and 1977 – postseasons that each featured only seven best-of-seven series.
* The Avalanche/Nordiques and Stars/North Stars franchises will require a Game 7 to decide a playoff series for the third time (also 1999 CF & 2000 CF). Excluding Original Six matchups, only four pairs of teams have played more head-to-head Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs: the Blues and Stars/North Stars (5), Capitals and Penguins (4), as well as the Capitals and Rangers (4).
* Andre Burakovsky leads all players on the Avalanche roster with five career appearances in a Game 7 and holds a 2-3 record. His three goals and three points (3-0—3) also pace all Colorado skaters in those contests.
* Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry lead all Stars players with seven career appearances in a Game 7, with Pavelski holding a 5-2 record in those contests and Perry going 2-5. Their five points in those contests (each with 3-2—5) also pace all Dallas skaters.
MAKAR REWRITES NHL RECORD BOOK . . .
Cale Makar (1-0—1) scored one of four unanswered Colorado goals as the Avalanche forced a Game 7 with the Stars Friday. Makar established an NHL record for most career game-winning goals in the postseason by a rookie defenseman (3), most points by a rookie defenseman in a single playoff year (15) and most career playoff points by a rookie blueliner (21).
* Makar boosted his 2020 postseason totals to 4-11—15 in 14 games and established an NHL record for most points by a rookie defenseman in a single playoff year. He broke a tie with four others, including Vancouver’s Quinn Hughes (1-13—14 in 15 GP) and Glen Wesley, the last to achieve the feat before 2020. It is important to note that information previously distributed erroneously added Wesley’s two goals from the suspended game in the 1988 Stanley Cup Final to his 14 points when, in fact, they were already included in the total. Wesley’s totals from the 1988 playoffs were 6-8—14 in 23 games.
* In the process, Makar also increased his career playoff totals to 5-16—21 (24 GP) and surpassed Chris Chelios (3-17—20 in 24 GP) for the most postseason points by a rookie blueliner in League history. Additionally, he also netted his third career game-winning goal in the playoffs and established an NHL record for most by a rookie defenseman, eclipsing Guy Lapointe (2) and Ken Morrow (2).
* Makar’s performance also marked his second five-game point streak of the 2020 postseason (also: 1-5—6 in 5 GP from Game 1-5 of the 2020 R1). He became just the second rookie in NHL history to record multiple point streaks of five or more games in a single playoff year. The other: Don Maloney (1979: 7 GP and 5 GP w/ NYR).
. . . WHILE AVALANCHE TEAMMATES CONTINUE RECENT STRINGS OF SUCCESS
Nathan MacKinnon (1-1—2), Mikko Rantanen (1-1—2) and Michael Hutchinson (27 saves) also continued their recent strings of success in Colorado’s elimination game Wednesday.
* MacKinnon, with seven multi-point games in his last eight outings, extended his franchise-record record point streak to 14 games – a run that began at the start of the 2020 postseason. He tied the second-longest point streak to start a playoff year in NHL history, first set by Bobby Orr (14 GP in 1970) and matched by Mark Messier (14 GP in 1988). Bryan Trottier (18 GP in 1981) is the only player with a longer such run.
* Rantanen, who collected a primary assist on Makar’s game-winning goal, extended his point streak to nine contests. He and MacKinnon became just the third set of teammates in 25 years to each post a point streak of nine or more games in a single postseason. The others: Eric Staal (15 GP) and Cory Stillman (13 GP) with Carolina in 2006 as well as Patrik Elias (10 GP) and Petr Sykora (9 GP) with New Jersey in 2001.
* Hutchinson, who started for Colorado for the second time in as many games, became the seventh goaltender in Stanley Cup Playoffs history to earn his first two career postseason wins in games when facing elimination, joining Jacques Plante in 1952 (w/ MTL), Robbie Moore in 1978 (w/ PHI), Frank Pietrangelo in 1990 (w/ PIT), Wade Flaherty in 1994 (w/ SJS), Manny Fernandez in 2002 (w/ MIN) and Michael Leighton in 2009 (w/ PHI) — Fernandez is the only netminder to earn wins in three such contests.
Nathan MacKinnon is no stranger to double digit point streaks in 2019-20. He began the regular season with points in each of his first 13 games, tallying 8-10—18 (Oct. 3, 2019 – Nov. 1, 2019) and has since collected a point in each of Colorado’s first 14 contests of the 2020 postseason. He is the only player in NHL history to begin a regular season and playoffs in the same campaign with a point streak of 10-plus games.
* The only other player in NHL history with points streaks of 10-plus games to begin a regular season and playoffs in any campaign was Bobby Orr. He began the 1973-74 regular season with points in each of Boston’s first 15 games. Previously, he began postseasons with point streaks of 10 or more contests on two occasions: 1970 (14 GP) and 1972 (13 GP).
FLYERS, CANUCKS AIM TO KEEP SEASON ALIVE AND FORCE GAME 7
The Flyers and Canucks will both look to earn Game 6 victories on Thursday against the Islanders and Golden Knights, respectively, to force a Game 7 and extend their season.
* The Flyers, who have won both of their games this series in overtime, survived a dramatic comeback by the Islanders in the final five minutes of Game 5 before Scott Laughton’s winner in extra time. Philadelphia has never won three overtime games in a single series – they have only had three or more overtime victories in an entire postseason twice: four in 1995 and three in 2010.
* The Islanders, who are looking to become one of the final four teams remaining in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 11th time in franchise history and first since 1993, hold an all-time series record of 10-1 when leading 3-2 in a best-of-seven series. They closed out all 10 of those series wins in Game 6.
* When trailing 3-2 in a best-of-seven series, the Canucks have won Game 6 to extend the series six times. They are 3-3 in the ensuing Game 7, including victories in the 1992 Division Semifinals vs. WIN, 1994 Conference Quarterfinals vs. CGY and 2003 Conference Quarterfinals vs. STL.
* The Golden Knights can become the third franchise in NHL history to earn multiple series wins in two of its first three NHL seasons. They would join the Rangers (1928 and 1929) and Blues (1968, 1969 & 1970).
* Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore shares the team lead in points (5-10—15 in 13 GP) and enters Game 6 on a seven-game point streak (2-8—10). Only two defensemen in the last 25 years have posted a point streak of eight games or longer: Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman (8 GP in 2018) and Pittsburgh’s Larry Murphy (9 GP in 1995).
* The Canucks have also had a standout performance by a member of their blueline. Quinn Hughes (1-13—14 in 15 GP) sits one assist shy of matching the most by a rookie in a single postseason set by Marian Stastny in 1982 (14 w/ QUE) and matched by Ville Leino in 2010 (14 in w/ PHI).