Stanley Cup Playoffs Review – September 5, 2020
KIVIRANTA CAPS GAME 7 HAT TRICK IN 5-4 OT WIN AS STARS ADVANCE TO FINAL FOUR
Rookie Joel Kiviranta scored each of his first three career postseason goals in Game 7 – including the series clincher at 7:24 of overtime – as the Stars quelled the surging Avalanche and advanced to the Conference Finals for the first time since 2008.
* Kiviranta, who went undrafted and was signed by Dallas on May 31, 2019, became the first rookie in NHL history and seventh player overall to score a hat trick in a Game 7. Aside from Kiviranta, fellow countryman Esa Tikkanen is the only other player in League history to score a hat trick in a Game 7 which included an overtime winner – he achieved the feat with Edmonton in the 1991 Division Semifinals (5-4 OT W at CGY).
* Kiviranta became the second player in Stars/North Stars franchise history to score an overtime goal in a Game 7, joining Minnesota’s Steve Payne in the 1984 Division Finals (4-3 OT W vs. STL). He became the third rookie in NHL history to accomplish the feat, following Montreal’s Claude Lemieux in the 1986 Division Finals (2-1 OT W vs. HFD) and New Jersey’s Adam Henrique in the 2012 Conference Quarterfinals (3-2 2OT W at FLA).
* Kiviranta became the second Stars rookie to score a hat trick this postseason, joining Denis Gurianov in Game 6 of the First Round (4-1—5). Dallas became the first team in NHL history to feature multiple rookies with a hat trick in a playoff year – in fact, 2020 marks the first postseason in League history to feature multiple three-goal performances by rookies (teammates or otherwise).
* Kiviranta accounted for two of the game’s four tying goals – the four were tied for most-ever in a Game 7, also achieved by the Avalanche and Wild in the 2014 First Round as well as the Bruins and Maple Leafs in the 2018 First Round. Kiviranta became the second player in NHL history to score two tying goals in a Game 7, joining Vancouver’s Matt Cooke in the 2004 Conference Quarterfinals (3-2 OT L vs. CGY).
SERIES BETWEEN STARS, AVALANCHE ONE FOR NHL, FRANCHISE RECORD BOOKS
The 2020 Second Round between the Stars and Avalanche concluded with 57 combined goals (8.14 G/GP) and also saw Colorado teammates Nathan MacKinnon and Nazem Kadri, whose noteworthy postseasons came to an end, leave their mark on the NHL and franchise record books:
* MacKinnon was held off the score sheet for the first time since Aug. 1, concluding his postseason with a League-leading 25 points (9-16—25 in 15 GP). His 14-game point streak was the lengthiest in a playoff year in franchise history and tied for the second-longest from the start of a postseason in NHL history, behind only an 18-game run by Islanders icon Bryan Trottier in 1981 (11-18—29).
* Kadri (1-1—2) concluded the postseason with nine goals in 15 games (9-9—18), including a League-high six scored on the power play. He became the third player in franchise history to score six or more power-play goals in a playoff year, joining Michel Goulet in 1985 (7) and Joe Sakic in 1996 (6).
* The series marked the sixth all-time Stanley Cup Playoffs round to feature 57 or more combined goals and first since 1995, when San Jose and Calgary combined for 61 in the Conference Quarterfinals.
VEGAS BLANKS VANCOUVER 3-0, REACHES CONFERENCE FINALS FOR SECOND TIME
Robin Lehner turned aside all 14 shots he faced, including making a highlight-reel glove save on Brock Boeser in the second period, and Shea Theodore opened the scoring with 6:08 remaining in regulation as the Golden Knights blanked the Canucks in Game 7 to advance to the Conference Finals for the second time since their inaugural season in 2017-18. Vegas became the first team to reach the Conference Finals multiple times in its first three NHL seasons since the series was introduced in 1982.
* Lehner, who allowed five goals against across his last two appearances as Vancouver overcame a 3-1 series deficit to force Game 7, rebounded to post his third shutout of the series (also Game 1 & Game 3). He matched the NHL record for most shutouts in a playoff series, a feat last achieved by Philadelphia’s Michael Leighton in the 2010 Conference Finals.
* Lehner became the first goaltender to record a shutout in his first career Game 7 appearance since 2016, when San Jose’s Martin Jones did so in the Second Round (5-0 W vs. NSH).
* Theodore ended Thatcher Demko’s shutout sequence at 138:40 and has collected a team-leading 16 points this postseason (6-10—16 in 15 GP). He was also the last player to score on Demko entering Friday, tallying at 15:12 of the second period in Game 5.
STARS TO FACE GOLDEN KNIGHTS IN CONFERENCE FINALS
The Stars will face the Golden Knights in the 2020 Western Conference Final, which marks their first all-time head-to-head postseason meeting. Dallas went 1-0-1 in two games versus Vegas during the 2019-20 regular season (VGK: 1-1-0).
* The Golden Knights played the Stars in their first-ever regular-season game, which occurred on Oct. 6, 2017 at American Airlines Center. Vegas earned a 2-1 win over Dallas, its first of 51 victories during an unprecedented inaugural season which saw the club reach the Stanley Cup Final.
* The Stars and Golden Knights will contest Game 1 of their series on Sunday, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m. ET.
SECOND ROUND CONCLUDES WITH GAME 7 BETWEEN FLYERS AND ISLANDERS
The Second Round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs concludes with a winner-take-all showdown between the Flyers and Islanders. Philadelphia, which rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to force Game 7, is looking to reach the Conference Finals for the first time since 2010, while New York aims to make its first appearance in the NHL’s final four since 1993.
* The Flyers and Islanders have met in two all-time Game 7s, which occurred in the 1975 Semifinals and 1987 Division Finals. Philadelphia defeated New York in each instance, outscoring the Islanders by a combined 9-2 margin.
* Overall, the Flyers own an all-time record of 9-7 (.563) in Game 7s, while the Islanders are 3-5 (.375).
GAME 7 TRENDS
* The team that scores first is 134-46 (.744) in 180 all-time Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which includes a 2-0 mark on Friday.
* Teams that own a lead at the conclusion of the first period in a Game 7 hold an all-time record of 90-25 (.783), including 0-1 on Friday.
* Teams leading at the conclusion of the second period are 114-16 (.877), including 0-1 on Friday.
* Overall, 45 of the 180 all-time Game 7s have required overtime (25.0%).