Stanley Cup Qualifiers Review – August 10, 2020
NHL ANNOUNCES FIRST ROUND SCHEDULE, BROADCAST INFORMATION
The NHL announced the dates, starting times and national television coverage for the First Round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which begins with four games Tuesday.
* The schedule announcement came on the heels of the Blue Jackets’ victory in Game 5 against the Maple Leafs, the 44th and final contest of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers. It locked in the eighth and final matchup for the First Round.
WERENSKI, KORPISALO LEAD BLUE JACKETS IN WINNER-TAKE-ALL VICTORY
Blue Jackets teammates Zach Werenski and Joonas Korpisalo each made impactful returns to the lineup to power the club to victory in its first-ever winner-take-all game. Werenski scored the game-winning goal after missing the last half of the third period and all of overtime in Game 4, while Korpisalo posted his second shutout of the series after being pulled in Game 3 and watching Game 4 from the sidelines.
* The Blue Jackets will face the Lightning in the First Round, a rematch of their historic 2019 showdown that saw Columbus become the first team to sweep the Presidents’ Trophy winner in the opening round.
* Werenski, who netted his first goal of the 2020 postseason at 6:29 of the first period, became the fifth Blue Jackets defenseman to score a goal in a game in which the team was facing elimination.
* Korpisalo, who had two shutouts in 37 games during the 2019-20 regular season, book-ended the series with clean sheets – making 28 saves in the opener and 33 on Sunday. He became the eighth different goaltender in NHL history – and second in the last 82 years – to record multiple shutouts in a best-of-five series.
* Rookie Liam Foudy (20 years, 187 days) scored his first NHL goal to become the youngest player to score a goal in a winner-take-all game since Robby Fabbri (20 years, 110 days) had 1-2—3 for the Blues in Game 7 of the 2016 Second Round at Dallas. Foudy, who played two regular-season games in the NHL in 2019-20 after being called up on emergency basis from the London Knights of the OHL, became the sixth active player to score such a goal before age 21.
* Foudy also became the sixth player in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) to have his first career NHL goal (regular season or playoffs) come in a winner-take-all game. The others each did so in Game 7: Matt Bartkowski (2013 CQF w/ BOS), Doug Janik (2006 CF w/ BUF), John Byce (1990 DSF w/ BOS), Grant Martin (1987 DSF w/ WSH) and Poul Popiel (1968 QF w/ LAK).
* Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella improved to 6-1 in seven career winner-take-all games in the postseason, the most such victories among active head coaches.
CAPITALS, STARS WIN TO SOLIDIFY FOUR FIRST-ROUND MATCHUPS
Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby earned his 49th career postseason win and Stars forward Joe Pavelski scored his 50th career playoff goal as Washington and Dallas earned wins to lock in four of five matchups determined Sunday.
Washington Capitals vs. New York Islanders
* The Capitals will face the Islanders in the First Round, the eighth playoff meeting between the two clubs. Washington is 2-5 in the previous seven series, winning their last meeting during the 2015 First Round on the strength of a series-clinching goal by Evgeny Kuznetsov in Game 7.
* Nicklas Backstrom paces current Capitals with six career playoff points against the Islanders (3-3—6 in 7 GP), while Derick Brassard leads the way for the Islanders, with 14 points accumulated while playing with the Rangers and Penguins (4-10—14 in 20 GP).
Boston Bruins vs. Carolina Hurricanes
* The Bruins secured the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and will square off with the Hurricanes in the First Round, meeting in the postseason for a second straight year. Boston defeated Carolina in four games during the 2019 Eastern Conference Final, improving to 4-1-0 in five all-time playoff meetings.
* Patrice Bergeron (3-5—8 in 11 GP) – who had 3-2—5 against Carolina in last year’s playoffs to share the team lead with Brad Marchand (2-3—5) – has the most career playoff points against the Hurricanes among active Bruins. Jake Gardiner paces current Carolina players with nine playoff points versus Boston (1-8—9 in 20 GP, all w/ TOR).
Dallas Stars vs. Calgary Flames
* Dallas will face Calgary in the First Round, their second playoff matchup and first with each franchise in its current location – the Flames lost to the Minnesota North Stars in the 1981 Semifinals.
* Corey Perry (5-9—14 in 16 GP, all w/ ANA) leads current Stars in career postseason points against the Flames. No current Calgary player has faced Dallas in the playoffs.
St. Louis Blues vs. Vancouver Canucks
* The Blues will face the Canucks in the First Round, their fourth all-time playoff meeting. Vancouver has won each of the previous three meetings (1995 CQF, 2003 CQF & 2009 CQF).
* Troy Brouwer (1-2—3 in 16 GP, all w/ CHI) leads current Blues in career playoff points against the Canucks, while Antoine Roussel (1-0—1 in 7 GP, all w/ DAL) is the only Canucks player with at least one point in the postseason against the Blues.
* St. Louis will aim to join Pittsburgh (1991 & 1992; 2016 & 2017) and Detroit (1997 & 1998) as the third franchise in the last 31 years to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. Vancouver, meanwhile, will aim to eliminate the defending Stanley Cup winner for the second time in franchise history – they knocked out the Blackhawks in 2011. Overall, this will be the fourth time the Canucks have faced the reigning champions in the playoffs (also 2011 vs. CHI, 1986 vs. EDM & 1982 vs. NYI).
EIGHT TEAMS VIE FOR NO. 1 PICK IN PHASE 2 OF NHL DRAFT LOTTERY
The No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft will be determined in Phase 2 of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery tonight at 6 p.m. ET (NHLN, NBCSN, SN & TVAS).
* The eight teams eliminated from the qualifying round – shown below on the right – each have a 12.5 percent chance at the No. 1 pick. Phase 1 of the Draft Lottery, which was held June 26, determined picks 2-8 as shown below.