Heading into Game 5 of their series against the St Louis Blues tied 2-2, the Vancouver Canucks needed two things to happen in order to give themselves a chance to win. First, they needed to get some scoring from guys who aren’t named Horvat, Pettersson or Mi ller, and secondly they needed to try and neutralize the Ryan O’Reilly line for the Blues. Safe to say you can check both of those off the list, as they battled back from a 3-1 deficit to win 4-3 and take a 3-2 series lead.
Tyler Motte, who’s been doing an outstanding job defensively came through big time, scoring two spectacular goals including the game winner for the Canucks. They also got a big game from a player who’s been taking a ton of criticism in the playoffs so far, as Jake Virtanen, playing on a line with Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller rewarded Travis Green’s confidence with his best night of the post season. Virtanen got an assist on the Miller goal that started the comeback, then sniped one past Jake Allen to tie it at 3-3 in the second.
The win could be a costly one though, as we await word on the status of Alexander Edler. Edler left the game in the 2nd after this scary incident with Jordan Kyrou.
Given that the team is already missing another top 4 dman in Tyler Myers, the fact that they were able to pull this one out without their ice time leader is even more impressive. We’ll update the situation as soon as any information becomes available.
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 5 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS 4 (OT) (Lightning win series 4-1)
This one might go down in history as the longest 5 game series ever, but there would be no upset this year by John Tortorella’s scrappy crew. Brayden Point was again the OT hero as the Bolts get some revenge for last year’s embarrassment and move on to the next round.
BOSTON BRUINS 2 CAROLINA HURRICANES 1 (Boston wins series 4-1)
Jaroslav Halak stopped 23 of 24 Carolina shots, shutting the door the rest of the way after giving up a 1st period goal as the Bruins beat the ‘Canes 2-1 and advanced to Round 2. Patrice Bergeron had the game winner on the power play for Boston.
COLORADO AVALANCHE 7 ARIZONA COYOTES 1 (Colorado wins series 4-1)
The Avs look like the team to beat as they embarrassed the Coyotes in the series clincher. Nazem Kadri and Nathan MacKinnon each scored twice to lead the Avs to victory and the 2nd round.
MONTREAL CANADIENS 5 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS 3 (Philadelphia leads series 3-2)
The Habs staved off elimination, forcing a Game 6 Friday with a 5-3 win in a nasty one in Toronto. The game featured a number of dirty hits from both teams, starting with this one from Jesperi Kotkaniemi, which saw him ejected for boarding.
And later in the game, a Matt Niskanen crosscheck to the face of Brendan Gallagher went uncalled, and there are concerns Gallagher may have suffered a broken jaw.
Gallagher (jaw) is going for a CT-scan this afternoon https://t.co/VsaMcnLU6t— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) August 20, 2020
That hit, along with the Kotkaniemi hit will be discussed by the DoPS today, so expect to hear something either way.
Just two games on tap today as a number of series are now finished, and we could see two more end tonight.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS vs WASHINGTON CAPITALS (New York leads series 3-1)
For those bemoaning the loss of star power in this year’s postseason aren’t getting any good news as Alexander Ovechkin and the Caps are looking to avoid being the next team ejected from the bubble. The Capitals simply do not have an answer for the Islanders, whose speed is giving them fits in this series.
DALLAS STARS vs CALGARY FLAMES (Dallas leads series 3-2)