TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 2 TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS 1 (Lightning win 4-3)
I know it’s pretty easy to dunk on the Leafs and their fans after this one, but I do feel for them a bit, knowing exactly what they’re going through. Sure, we know what it’s like to win a playoff series in the last two decades (something they haven’t done since 2004), but still, it sucks to have this happen over and over.
They were close, mind you. Going toe to toe with the champs, and getting some calls and bounces that didn’t go their way is a tough way to lose. Not sure I agree with the sentiment on HNIC that no one should lose their job, though. It was supposed to be different this time, and it wasn’t, and at some point, the braintrust of this team needs to be held accountable for the constant failure. Having their season brought to an end by an Ottawa Senators cast-off is pretty hilarious, though.
The Bolts meanwhile continue towards a potential third Cup win with their down-state rivals now standing in their path. A Battle of Florida sounds like an outstanding way to kick off the second round, and should be a hell of a series.
CAROLINA HURRICANES 3 BOSTON BRUINS 2 (Hurricanes win 4-3)
We may have seen the last game in a Bruins uniform for Patrice Bergeron, as the Bruins couldn’t overcome a Canes team that got a three point night from Max Domi en route to a 3-2 win, giving them the series four games to three. Domi had his best game as Cane, and maybe of his career as he set up Teuvo Teravainen for the game’s opening goal, then scored two himself including the eventual winner.
The Hurricanes will await the winner of tonight’s New York Rangers/Pittsburgh Penguins contest to see who their second round opponent will be.
EDMONTON OILERS 2 LOS ANGELES KINGS 0 (Oilers win 4-3)
That we saw Connor McDavid dominate this game? Not a surprise. A shutout from 87 year old Mike Smith to help the Edmonton Oilers advance to the second round? Yeah, that’s a shocker. Smith came through with another fine performance in this one, and McDavid reminded everyone that he’s the best player in the game and it’s not even close.
This sets up a potential Battle of Alberta for the second round should the Flames beat the Stars tonight, and if you think that’s not going to be amazing, you’re wrong.