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Stanley Cup Playoffs Review – September 8, 2020

Stanley Cup Playoffs Review – September 8, 2020

Brayden Point (2-3—5) and Nikita Kucherov (1-4—5) had five points apiece as the Lightning scored eight goals to match the franchise record for most in a playoff game and go up 1-0 in their Eastern Conference Final series with the Islanders.

* Point and Kucherov became the first players in franchise history to record five points in a postseason contest. There were four all-time four-point games in the postseason by Tampa Bay players entering Monday, including one each by Point and Kucherov.

* Point and Kucherov became the second set of teammates to each record five points in a Conference Finals contest since the series was introduced in 1982. They joined Edmonton’s Paul Coffey (1-5—6) and Jari Kurri (3-2—5), who combined for the feat in Game 5 of the 1985 Clarence Campbell Conference Final (10-5 W vs. CHI).

* Point (8-15—23 in 14 GP) became the fifth different player in franchise history with 20 or more points in a postseason, while Kucherov (5-16—21 in 14 GP) moved within one of his total from 2015 (10-12—22 in 26 GP). Kucherov established a franchise record for most assists in a playoff year, eclipsing the previous mark of 15 set by Martin St. Louis (9-15—24 in 23 GP) during their run to the Stanley Cup in 2004.

* The Lightning became the first team to score eight goals in a Conference Finals contest since 1992, when the Blackhawks achieved the feat in Game 1 of the Clarence Campbell Conference Final (8-2 W vs. EDM).

Multiple player and team streaks were extended in the Lightning’s Game 1 win:

* Ondrej Palat scored to extend his goal streak to five games (6-1—7). He established a franchise record for longest goal streak in a postseason, eclipsing the previous mark of four last achieved by Steven Stamkos in 2018 (4-2—6).

* Brayden Point extended his point streak to seven games (4-12—16). Only two other players in franchise history have recorded a point streak of seven or more games in a playoff year, which occurred in 2018 when both Victor Hedman (1-10—11 in 8 GP) and Stamkos (6-4—10 in 7 GP) combined for the feat.

* Tampa Bay improved to 5-0 in its last five contests dating to Game 2 of the Second Round, outscoring opponents by a combined 25-9 margin over that span. The run marked the Lightning’s fifth all-time win streak of at least five games in a postseason and first since 2016.

* Andrei Vasilevskiy (22 saves) improved to 5-0 in his last five appearances. Only two goaltenders in franchise history have recorded a win streak of longer than five games in a postseason: Nikolai Khabibulin in 2004 (8-0) and Dwayne Roloson in 2011 (8-0).

The last player to record five points in a Conference Finals contest before Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov on Monday was Derick Brassard with the Rangers in Game 6 of the 2015 Eastern Conference Final (3-2—5). Brassard, who currently plays for the Islanders, achieved the feat at AMALIE Arena against the Lightning.

After being involved in a shutout performance for the fifth time in eight games, the Golden Knights return to action tonight with their sights set on evening their Western Conference Final series with the Stars at one game apiece.

* Vegas is no stranger to overcoming a series deficit in the Conference Finals. During their historic run to the Stanley Cup Final during the 2018 postseason, the Golden Knights dropped Game 1 of the Western Conference Final to the Jets before rallying with four straight wins to eliminate higher-seeded Winnipeg.

* Miro Heiskanen (1.24 P/GP: 5-16—21 in 17 GP) and Shea Theodore (1.00 P/GP: 6-10—16 in 16 GP), who lead the Stars and Golden Knights in scoring, respectively, are two of three defensemen to produce at a point-per-game pace in the 2020 postseason (min. 15 GP) with the other being Colorado’s Cale Makar (1.00 P/GP: 4-11—15 in 15 GP). The 2020 postseason can mark the first playoff year in League history to conclude with three blueliners who produced at a point-per-game rate (min. 15 GP).

* Stars captain Jamie Benn, with points in seven of his last eight games (3-7—10), is set to appear in his 50th career playoff contest (16-28—44). Only five players have recorded 45 or more points through their first 50 career postseason games played with the Stars/North Stars (NHL debut or otherwise): Steve Payne (31-28—59), Bobby Smith (18-38—56), Dave Gagner (22-24—46), Brian Bellows (20-25—45) and Dino Ciccarelli (25-20—45).

* Teams that take a 2-0 lead in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series own an all-time series record of 329-51 (.866), including 5-0 in 2020. Since the conference format was adopted ahead of the 1981-82 season, teams that take a 2-0 lead in the Conference Finals own a series record of 31-2 (.939).

Senators’ Bobby Ryan Awarded Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan is the 2019-20 recipient of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.” The award was presented by the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) to honor the late Bill Masterton, a player for the Minnesota North Stars who exhibited those qualities. Masterton died on Jan. 15, 1968, as a result of an on-ice injury.

Ryan, 33, left the Senators to enter the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program on Nov. 20, 2019. He returned to practice with the team in early February and pledged to share his story publicly in an effort to help and inspire others facing similar challenges. In his first home game after returning to the lineup Ryan tallied a hat trick, was named the game’s First Star and received multiple standing ovations in a 5-2 win over Vancouver on Feb. 27. “Because I’ve been open and candid about that, I think people have looked at me and said, ‘There’s a very relatable person,’” Ryan told the Ottawa Sun. “Through my family stuff and now with alcohol issues, I’ve never hid from it and I’ve always said, if I’m going to do this, I’m going to have to do it in the public eye and I’m going to have to be candid with it.”

A $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.

Other finalists for this year’s honor were Stephen Johns of the Dallas Stars and Oskar Lindblom of the Philadelphia Flyers.


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