Stanley Cup Playoffs Review – September 4, 2020
2020 SECOND ROUND QUICK HITS
* This is the first time since 2014 that the Second Round has featured three Game 7s and sixth time overall that the round-of-eight has featured three Game 7s (1986, 1987, 2001, 2009 & 2014 all had three).
* This is the fifth time in the last seven postseasons that the Second Round has featured multiple Game 7s, following three in 2014 and two each in 2016, 2017 and 2019. It happened only five times in 19 postseasons from 1994 to 2013 that the second round, known as the Conference Semifinals, had multiple Game 7s (2001, 2002, 2009, 2010 & 2013).
* The most Game 7s in any round is six, witnessed in the 1992 Division Semifinals when six of eight opening-round series required a winner-take-all showdown.
FLYERS STAVE OFF ELIMINATION IN OVERTIME 5-4 WIN, FORCE GAME 7
The Flyers rallied from deficits of 3-2 and 4-3 and Ivan Provorov (1-1—2) scored the winner at 15:03 of the second overtime as Philadelphia avoided elimination for the second time in a three-day span and forced Game 7 in its Second Round series.
* The Flyers earned their third overtime win in the Second Round, including their second in a game where they faced elimination (also 4-3 OT W in Game 2 & 4-3 OT W in Game 5). Philadelphia earned three overtime wins in a single postseason series for the first time in franchise history.
* The Flyers became the eighth team in NHL history to stave off elimination in back-to-back games via an overtime win in each contest. Only one team in League history has accomplished the feat in three consecutive games, which was Vancouver during the 1994 Conference Quarterfinals.
* Provorov, who logged a game-high 38:15 of ice time, became the second player in franchise history to score a double-overtime winner in a contest where Philadelphia faced elimination. He joined Don Blackburn in Game 6 of the 1968 Quarterfinals (2-1 2OT W at STL).
* Provorov became the second Flyers defenseman to score an overtime goal in the 2020 Second Round (also Philippe Myers in Game 2). It marked the second time in franchise history in which multiple defensemen scored an overtime goal in a single postseason series – the first instance was during the 1995 Conference Semifinals against the Rangers, when Eric Desjardins (Game 1) and Kevin Haller (Game 2) combined for the feat.
* Carter Hart made 49 saves to establish a career high for most in an NHL game (regular season or playoffs), eclipsing his previous mark of 41 last achieved on March 17, 2019 (2-1 OT W at PIT). He became the fourth different goaltender in franchise history to record as many in a postseason contest and the second among that group to do so when facing elimination, joining Bernie Parent in Game 6 of the 1968 Quarterfinals (63).
ROOKIES DEMKO, HUGHES SHINE AS CANUCKS WIN 4-0 TO SET UP WINNER-TAKE-ALL GAME 7
Rookies Thatcher Demko (48 saves) and Quinn Hughes (1-1—2) each played crucial roles for the Canucks in Game 6 as Vancouver rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to set up a winner-take-all Game 7 with the Golden Knights.
* Demko, who owns an active shutout streak of 84:48, recorded the most saves by a rookie goaltender in a playoff shutout since 1955-56, besting the previous mark set by Mike Ritcher (37 in Game 3 of 1991 DSF w/ NYR). In fact, only three netminders of any status have registered more saves in a playoff shutout (since 1955-56).
* Additionally, Demko joined Jacques Plante (Game 6 of 1953 SF w/ MTL) and Steve Shields (Game 6 of 1997 CQF w/ BUF) as just the third rookie goaltender in NHL history to record a shutout that also propelled his team into a seventh-and-deciding game.
* After jockeying for the rookie scoring lead all season, 2019-20 Calder Trophy finalists Cale Makar and Hughes continue to battle in the postseason. Hughes recorded his 15th and 16th points of the 2020 postseason to pass Makar for the most in a playoff year by a rookie defenseman, one day of the Avalanche blueliner set the mark. Should their clubs earn Game 7 victories Friday, the two would go head-to-head in the Western Conference Final.
* Hughes, whose night began with his 14th assist of the 2020 postseason, matched the highest such total by any rookie in a single playoff year. Marian Stastny originally set the mark in 1982 with the Nordiques, while Ville Leino later duplicated the effort in 2010 with the Flyers.
* Vancouver is looking to advance to the Conference Finals for the first time since 2011, while Vegas looks to reach the final four for the second time since its inaugural season in 2017-18.
* The Canucks own an all-time record of 6-5 in their 11 previous Game 7s, while the Golden are 0-1.
LINDBLOM MAKES INSPIRATIONAL RETURN TO FLYERS’ LINEUP
Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom, who was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma earlier this season, skated his first game since Dec. 7, 2019. Both the Flyers and Islanders saluted Lindblom before his first shift of the contest, which coincidentally followed Kevin Hayes’ (1-1—2) game-opening goal.
STARS, AVALANCHE TO CONTEST FIRST GAME 7 OF 2020
After combining for 48 goals across six contests in a series that has seen five different starting goaltenders, the Stars and Avalanche will contest the first Game 7 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a trip to the Western Conference Final on the line. Dallas is looking to advance to the Conference Finals for the first time since 2008, while Colorado aims to be among the NHL’s final four teams for the first time since 2002.
* The Avalanche/Nordiques own an all-time record of 6-8 in their 14 previous Game 7s, while the Stars/North Stars are 5-8 in 13 all-time Game 7s.
* The two franchises have met in a Game 7 twice previously – in consecutive Conference Finals appearances from 1999 to 2000. The Stars won both of those Game 7 meetings to advance to the Stanley Cup Final where they captured the franchise’s first championship in 1999 and fell to the New Jersey Devils in six games in 2000.
* The unique circumstances surrounding the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs make this the first Game 7 in NHL history to be played in a city not home to either club. It also is the first Game 7 in the city of Edmonton since 1990 (and fifth in that city overall).