Day three of the Stanley Cup started in the same fashion as Day One with the Carolina Hurricanes getting an early lead on the New York Rangers. With only their second shot of the game forward Andrei Svechnikov found a hole in Henrik Lundqvist’s positioning at the near post and fired the Canes into a 1-0 lead. Despite the Rangers responding through Artemi Panarin on a 5-on-3 power play their defense did little to help Lundqvist after his shaky start letting Svechnikov add his second of the day 1:11 into the second period. Jordan Martinook added a third 71 seconds later and the Rangers looked beat. Svechnikov finished his hattrick in the third period to become the first-ever player in Franchise history to do so in a postseason game and give the Hurricanes a 2-0 series lead.
The story before game two of the Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames game was the condition of Mark Scheifele who left the game on Saturday with what looked like a very serious injury after a clash with Matthew Tkachuk. While the NHL is not releasing specific injury details, instead of labeling everyone as unfit to play, sources close to the situation are saying it might not be as bad as first feared and there’s a possibility he could return later in the series. For that to happen the Jets need to keep their postseason alive with a win in game two which they did despite losing a 2-0 lead thanks to Nikolaj Ehlers third period goal.
In the first Round Robin game of the day, it took a shootout to separate the Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Capitals fought back from two goals down to send it to overtime and gain a point from the game thanks to goals from Richard Panik and Evgeny Kuznetsov before finally losing to a Nikita Kucherov shootout goal. While Round Robin games will not eliminate any of the four teams the Lightning will have to be worried about Andrei Vasilevskiy’s lack of rebound control for both goals. Normally a very reliable goaltender he let both shots sneak through his pads and then was unable to locate the puck quick enough. After four months off it’s not a surprise some players are rusty but if the Lightning doesn’t want a repeat of last year’s embarrassment at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets they will need their shot-stopper to be better.
In a show of solidarity Vegas goaltender Robin Lehner and Dallas Stars duo, Tyler Seguin and Jason Dickinson joined Ryan Reaves in kneeling for both the United States and Canadian national anthems before the Western Conference Round Robin game. In the game, the Dallas Stars, who were on a six-game losing streak when the regular season was ended, blew a 3-1 lead in the third period to lose 5-3 to the Vegas Golden Knights. Dallas is not known for leaking goals and had the second-best defensive record in the entire National Hockey League behind the Boston Bruins back in March. Therefore you can understand the surprise that they allowed four goals in one period never-mind three.
Pittsburgh got back on track after a shock loss to the Montreal Canadiens in game one on Saturday. The captain Sidney Crosby got things started in the first period losing Joel Armia and receiving a pass from Jake Guentzel before beating Carey Price 4:25 into the first period. Price once again stood on his head to keep the Canadiens in with a fighting chance and finished the game with a .946 SV%, but could do little about Jason Zucker’s goal as he deflected a Conor Sheary shot to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead. Jesperi Kotkaniemi gave the Canadiens hope but a Jake Guentzel empty-net goal gave the Penguins a 3-1 win to tie the series 1-1.
Remember that saying ‘Don’t Poke The Bear’!?! Well, it seems Chicago Blackhawks didn’t listen and poked the bear named Connor McDavid with their game one win over the Edmonton Oilers and boy did he make them pay in game two. It took all of 19 seconds for McDavid to get on the scoresheet as he showed why many believe he is the best player in the world with a first career postseason hat trick. His second goal in particular was a thing of beauty as his speed and stickhandling ability made poor Olli Määttä look like an amateur. Chicago did manage to tie the game at 3-3 before McDavid took things into his own hands with his third goal of the night to get the Oilers back in control as they went on to win 6-3 and even the series 1-1.