Vegas Golden Knights need to get again on observe
The Montreal Canadiens have just delivered an unlikely and emotional surprise, beating the heavily favored Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games. There is not much time to celebrate, as the second round starts on Wednesday against a well-rested Winnipeg Jets team.
Meanwhile, the Vegas Golden Knights seek revenge for their embarrassing Game 1 blowout while the Colorado Avalanche take full advantage of home ice and take a 2-0 lead. Not to mention Tuesday night’s action when the Tampa Bay Lightning pushed the Carolina Hurricanes into a 0-2 hole.
Check out the ESPN NHL Playoffs Daily for the latest news every day of the postseason until the Stanley Cup awards ceremony in July.
More: Playoff Schedule | Playoff headquarters
Games on Wednesday
Game 1: Montreal Canadiens at Winnipeg Jets | 19:30 o’clock
No reason to sulk about the playoff showdown between Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews that could have been. Instead, Montreal vs. Winnipeg is already here to distract you from it. On paper, it’s not as exciting a series as Maple Leafs-Oilers, despite the fact that two of the league’s top playoff goalkeepers face off against each other: Carey Price and Connor Hellebuyck. Winnipeg entered the postseason with a slide and the blue line has some holes in it, causing many to neglect their playoff hopes. But the jets can be dangerous – and they got even more dangerous with Nikolaj Ehlers’ return on lap 1.
“If we look at their season, at some point they were in the running for first place with Toronto,” said Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme. “They fought with Edmonton and then fell off late in the season and finished third. They are a good team. They are solid up front. They have lines that can generate offense and energy.” Full series preview.
Game 2: Vegas Golden Knights at Colorado Avalanche | 10:00 p.m. (Avs lead 1-0)
Vegas was beaten 7-1 in Game 1 but promises to be better prepared. The Golden Knights had a quick two-day turnaround after an emotional Game 7 while the Avs had a week off. “You never apologize, but I think if you come from where we came from and your situation is wrong, it’s a tough game on any schedule,” said Vegas coach Pete DeBoer. “I know we’re better.”
The Golden Knights should contact the finalist of the Vezina Trophy, Marc-Andre Fleury, online. Meanwhile, agitator Ryan Reaves will be serving the first of a two-game suspension for his antics at the end of Game 1 (including throwing Ryan Graves on the ice and tearing out a piece of his hair). Colorado’s top line looks unstoppable right now. During the playoffs, when Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen were together on the ice, the Avs outdid their opponents 11-1.
Because of last night
Tampa Bay Lightning 2, Carolina Hurricanes 1 (Lightning Lead 2-0)
This wasn’t the most exciting playoff game you’ll see this year. The Lightning made six shots in the first section, five in the second and four in the third – only 15. Two of them (from Alex Killorn and Anthony Cirelli) went in. The canes couldn’t muster their usual energy until it was too late. Andrei Svechnikov only scored 90 seconds before the end. “I just couldn’t take a break, two games,” said coach Rod Brind’Amour. “We’re doing everything we try, but we haven’t made that small breakthrough yet.”
Unfortunately for the Canes, Vincent Trocheck – who ended the game early – could miss the time. For the second straight series, Tampa Bay won its first two games on the road and is feeling pretty good. “If you’d said we’d go to Carolina and not give up a 5v5 goal in two games,” said coach Jon Cooper. “I would take that all day.” Complete summary.
Three stars of the night
Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, Tampa Bay Lightning
After stopping 31 of 32 shots on Tuesday, Vasilevskiy’s playoff stats are unreal. In eight games, he has a save percentage of 0.953 at 5v5 and stopped 68 of 76 high risk shots.
Anthony Cirelli, C, Tampa Bay Lightning
After a goalless drought of 26 games at the end of the season, Cirelli has now scored three goals in the playoffs, including this beauty:
THE BACK HAND POINTS.
Anthony Cirelli doubles the lead for the @TBLightning. #StanleyCup // NBCSN pic.twitter.com/ixDYvj1EEJ
– NHL on NBC Sports (@NHLonNBCSports) June 2, 2021
Alex Killorn, LW, Tampa Bay Lightning
The only player to score more than Killorn’s five in the Stanley Cup playoffs is Nathan MacKinnon. True story. The Lightning winger opened the scoring on Tuesday and gave AJ Mleczko an extremely brand-typical hockey response in his post-game interview: “Yes, I cut my lip. I have to take a few stitches with you after this interview.”
Idiot of the day
NHL player: You are just like us. They have brains – and find the word fart funny.
Palmieri is so excited about this victory that he can’t quite understand his words 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/tPCVtHMJLg
– x – Islands on MSG + (@IslesMSGN) June 1, 2021
The NHL has announced its three finalists for the Vezina Trophy, which is awarded to the best goalkeeper in the league. This is elected by the general managers of the league.
The finalists: Andrei Vasilevskiy (Tampa Bay), Marc-Andre Fleury (Vegas) and Philipp Grubauer (Colorado).
“I would never have thought in my life that I would be part of this group if I were sitting at this table with Vasy and Flower,” said Grubauer. “It’s a great honor.”
Vasilevskiy, the reigning winner, is a finalist for the fourth year in a row – an achievement we haven’t seen since Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur.
Notably, despite all of his career achievements – including finishing third on all goalkeeping wins – Fleury is the first time he’s a Vezina finalist. To emphasize: He is 36 and in his 17th NHL season. A message from Flower herself:
🌸 Marc-Andre wanted to stop by and thank his teammates and especially @RobinLehner for helping him get the Vezina Trophy nomination 💛 pic.twitter.com/u9hLUmo4FR
– Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) June 2, 2021