Here is a good time to be a hockey fan in Florida. The Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers are no longer easiest making the playoffs, but each squads clinched their playoff berths with time to spare.
The Lightning and Panthers each secured their chase back and forth to the postseason on Tuesday with 7-4 victories against Chicago and Nashville respectively. For Tampa Bay, the playoff berth is on occasion a shock on condition that they are the defending champions, even supposing it’s miles for certain fee giving them credit ranking for getting this far no matter lacking Nikita Kucherov all season and, extra just no longer too prolonged within the past, playing with out Steven Stamkos. That’s two of basically the most straightforward players within the game no longer within the lineup. Accept as true with Edmonton with out Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl and likewise you procure an appreciation for simply how deep the Lightning are.
Even with out Kucherov and Stamkos, Tampa Bay smooth has Brayden Level and Ondrej Palat leading the offense, one in all the league’s top defenseman in Victor Hedman, and a Vezina Trophy contender in Andrei Vasilevskiy. If Stamkos and Kucherov are wholesome for the playoffs then Tampa Bay will be one in all the groups to beat.
Florida didn’t enter the 2020-21 advertising and marketing campaign with the the same extra or much less location, however the Panthers comprise no doubt assign issues together this season. Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov comprise been an wonderful 1-2 combo, MacKenzie Weegar is rising as a good defenseman, and the additions of Patric Hornqvist, Carter Verhaeghe, and Anthony Duclair for the 2020-21 advertising and marketing campaign comprise gone a prolonged method in direction of rounding the crew out. The Panthers haven’t gained a playoff collection since 1996 and they’ve on occasion ever made the postseason over that span. Their future looks far brighter than that previous.
And yet, a form of tales would possibly possibly method to an abrupt raze on narrative of it’s fully seemingly Florida and Tampa Bay will face off within the important thing round. That would possibly possibly perchance method for a thrilling collection to scream the least.
WASHINGTON 1 NY ISLANDERS 0
Vitek Vanecek easiest wished to method 18 saves to compose the shutout. It was his 2d profession finest sport. He’s 18-9-3 with a 2.68 GAA and .910 save proportion in 32 video games.
Jordan Eberle fired three photos on Vanecek. All of the the same, Eberle was held off the scoresheet for a Third straight contest.
Daniel Sprong scored basically the most straightforward diagram of the game. He’s up to 10 goals and 17 facets in 36 contests.
Dmitry Orlov assisted on Sprong’s marker. Orlov has seven goals and 16 facets in 44 video games.
Ilya Sorokin saved 32 of 33 photos final evening. He has a 12-6-1 story, 2.19 GAA, and .918 save proportion in 19 starts.
NEW JERSEY 6 PHILADELPHIA 4
Claude Giroux scored a diagram for the Flyers. He’s up to 14 goals and 36 facets in 47 contests.
Brian Elliott stopped 21 of 26 Devils photos. He dropped to 13-7-2 with a 2.98 GAA and .892 save proportion in 26 video games.
Pavel Zacha netted a diagram and registered an serve for Novel Jersey. That provides him 12 goals and 28 facets in 43 video games.
Novel Jersey also bought a diagram and an serve from Connor Carrick. These had been his first two facets in six video games in 2020-21.
Mackenzie Blackwood grew to changed into aside 26 of 30 photos final evening. He has a 10-16-4 story, 3.12 GAA, and .900 save proportion in 30 starts.
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NY RANGERS 3 BUFFALO 1
The Sabres’ lone diagram was scored by Sam Reinhart. It was his 22nd diagram and 36th point in 48 contests.
Alexis Lafreniere netted the game-successful diagram. He has 10 goals and 18 facets in 50 video games.
Mika Zibanejad also realized the inspire of the catch for the Rangers. That provides him 20 goals and 46 facets in 50 video games.
Igor Shesterkin kicked out 36 of 37 photos on Tuesday. The finest diagram he did allow was scored at some point soon of a Sabres vitality play.
On the opposite raze of the ice, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen saved 38 of 41 photos. He has gotten into two NHL video games up to now and he had to face a minimal of 40 photos in each contests.
BOSTON 3 PITTSBURGH 1
Brad Marchand accounted for the game-successful diagram. He’s up to 26 goals and 58 facets in 46 contests.
David Krejci contributed a diagram and an serve for the Bruins. That provides him seven goals and 32 facets in 44 video games.
Tuukka Rask grew to changed into aside 25 of 26 photos on Tuesday. He’s gained four of his final 5 starts.
Jeff Carter netted the Penguins’ diagram. He has three goals and four facets in eight contests since being bought by Pittsburgh.
Tristan Jarry kicked out 28 of 31 Bruins photos. He surrendered two goals on 9 photos within the third length.
COLUMBUS 1 DETROIT 0 (SO)
Thomas Greiss stopped all 33 Blue Jackets photos in regulation time. The fact that he smooth didn’t clutch is a microcosm of this season. Whereas Greiss has no doubt had rough patches this season, in starts the assign he’s allowed two or fewer goals he has a 3-5-4 story this season, which speaks to how his efforts comprise been largely wasted at some point soon of the occasions when he has been playing neatly.
That’s no longer to scream that Elvis Merzlikins didn’t deserve this clutch even supposing. He had to shut 41 photos in regulation time and was then finest in two shootout rounds. He has a 7-12-3 story, 2.80 GAA, and .916 save proportion in 25 video games.
Troy Stecher recorded a sport-excessive six photos. The Red Wings defenseman has three goals and 11 facets in 40 contests.
Patrik Laine realized the inspire of the catch within the shootout for Columbus. In regulation time even supposing, he’s been held off the scoresheet in six straight video games.
TAMPA BAY 7 CHICAGO 4
Despite there being 11 goals on this sport, Tampa Bay’s Alex Killorn was basically the most straightforward multi-diagram scorer with two. He has 14 goals and 30 facets in 49 contests.
Brayden Level scored a diagram and registered two assists for the Lightning. He has 21 goals and 45 facets in 49 contests.
Patrick Kane assisted on two of the Blackhawks’ four goals. He’s up to 15 goals and 60 facets in 49 contests.
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 36 of 40 photos final evening. Chicago outshot Tampa Bay 18-11 within the important thing length, but thanks in share to Vasilevskiy’s efforts, the Lightning held a 3-2 lead going into the intermission.
Kevin Lankinen stopped eight of 11 photos within the important thing length. Malcolm Subban got here out for the 2d, but he couldn’t turn issues round. He allowed four goals on 19 photos the leisure of the system.
FLORIDA 7 NASHVILLE 4
Jonathan Huberdeau led the label for Florida with two goals and three assists. He has 18 goals and 57 facets in 51 contests.
Aleksander Barkov scored twice and recorded an serve for the Panthers. He’s up to 24 goals and 52 facets in 45 video games.
Sam Bennett assisted on three of the Panthers’ seven goals. That provides him eight goals and 22 facets in 45 video games.
Ryan Ellis scored a pair of goals for Nashville. He has 5 goals and 15 facets in 31 video games.
Even supposing Juuse Saros allowed six goals on this sport, he did face an unreasonable 55 photos. The Predators goaltender was bombarded with 21 photos in each of the important thing and 2d sessions. It is fee noting even supposing that his worst length was the third physique when he surrendered three goals on 12 photos.
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CAROLINA 5 DALLAS 1
Sebastian Aho scored the game-successful diagram and registered two assists. He has 21 goals and 49 facets in 49 video games.
Jordan Staal also got here up great for Carolina with two goals and an serve. That provides him 16 goals and 37 facets in 47 contests.
Jason Robertson netted the Stars’ lone diagram. It was his 15th diagram and 40th point in 44 video games.
Anton Khudobin stopped 25 of 30 photos final evening. Two of the goals he surrendered had been scored at some point soon of Carolina vitality performs.
Alex Nedeljkovic saved 27 of 28 Stars photos. He has a 13-4-3 story, 1.94 GAA, and .932 save proportion in 20 starts.