The Vancouver Canucks continued their fight back against the Minnesota Wild by winning game three in their best-of-five game series. Calder Trophy nominee Quinn Hughes had a three-point game as the Canucks took the series lead after losing game one, running out 3-0 winners on the night. The Canucks were without Michael Ferland, who left game two on Tuesday, Tyler Toffoli, and Adam Gaudette who were all deemed unfit to play, but punished the Wild on the power-play going 2 for 7 in the game. In comparison, the Wild went 0 for 7 and when they did get shots in found Jacob Markstrom unbeatable in the Vancouver net. Game four is today and for the Wild, it’s a win or go home scenario.
The Philadelphia Flyers set up a top seed showdown with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday by beating the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference Round Robin game 3-1. That result means Philadelphia and Tampa will take the top two seeds in the East for the first round of the playoffs, but the exact order depends on the result of Saturday’s clash. Philadelphia previously beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 and despite it being a low shooting affair managed to run out 3-1 winners against the Capitals with Scott Laughton scoring twice.
Then came the game of the day… the Vegas Golden Knights v the St Louis Blues. In a ten goal thriller, the Golden Knights eventually ran out 6-4 winners with another three-goal comeback in the third period, just like against the Dallas Stars. While the Golden Knights peppered Jordan Binnington with shots the Blues were limited to just 17 in total. The fact that the Blues still managed to find a way past Marc-André Fleury four times despite this low number will be alarming for the Knights going into the final Round Robin game on Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche.
The Toronto Maple Leafs can’t help but do Toronto Maple Leafs things and nothing is more Toronto Maple Leafs than relinquishing a 3-0 lead to lose in overtime 4-3. That is exactly what happened as they fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets in game three of their series. Despite head coach Sheldon Keefe saying they didn’t play well and they got what they deserved it’s still a bitter pill to swallow after leading the game and forcing the Blue Jackets into a goaltender change to then taste defeat and put you one game away from elimination. Jake Muzzin was missed badly in the Toronto D-core, but until the dramatic Blue Jackets comeback, it looked as if his absence wouldn’t be a factor. He is unlikely to play in Friday’s game four either and the Maple Leafs will need to fix their defensive frailties quickly.
In the last game of the day, the Calgary Flames booked their place in the playoffs with a 4-0 win over the Winnipeg Jets to take the series by three games to one. Winnipeg, despite their game two win, never recovered from losing Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine in game one and even with Connor Hellebuyck doing everything he could to give his team a chance the Flames ended up having too much firepower for the Jets to cope with.