Penguins 5, Flyers 1 (Penguins lead series 2-1)
Is this a series or a see-saw? So far, the Penguins won by a mile in the odd-numbered Games (1 and 3), while the Flyers won 5-1 in Game 2. In Sunday’s case, Sidney Crosby really took over the afternoon, while Matt Murray made some huge saves in stopping 26 out of 27 shots on goal. Special teams was one of the stories of the game. While the Penguins went 3-for-7 on the power play, the Flyers failed on their six opportunities.
The Penguins really ran away with the game when they scored two goals in five seconds.
Wild 6, Jets 2 (Jets lead series 2-1)
Game 3 opened with an engaged Wild team taking a one-goal lead in the first period as the two teams seemed to take turns losing their cool and getting sent to the penalty box. Between Tyler Myers‘ injury and a two-goal burst in 21 seconds, things really fell apart for the Jets in the second period. The Wild ended up inflating their lead to 6-2 in the middle frame, and that was about it, as Connor Hellebuyck saw a hot start to the postseason hit a big wall.
Blue Jackets 5, Capitals 4 [OT] (Blue Jackets lead series 2-0)
Brutal. The Capitals squandered another two-goal lead, once again. This time around, the Capitals sent the game beyond regulation thanks to a T.J. Oshie tally in the third, but Washington once again fell in overtime. They absolutely dominated puck possession, and Alex Ovechkin scored two power-play goals (nearly nabbing a hat trick), yet Sergei Bobrovsky was brilliant in helping the Blue Jackets send the series back to Columbus with a 2-0 series lead.
Golden Knights 3, Kings 2 (Golden Knights lead series 3-0)
Los Angeles put forth its best effort of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs so far, generating a 39-26 shots on goal advantage. The Kings scored first, but Vegas took over in the third, scoring three straight goals. Things really got out of hand for L.A. during a 21 second span when James Neal and William Karlsson made it 3-1. The Golden Knights managed to hold on for the win, opening the door for another franchise first: a possible sweep on their first try. Those Golden Knights are unbelievable, right?
1. Sidney Crosby, Penguins: After generating a hat trick in Pittsburgh’s Game 1, Crosby enjoyed another standout performance in Game 3, scoring a goal and three assists. Crosby’s seven points in three games puts him second in scoring during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, trailing only David Pastrnak‘s ridiculous nine points in two contests.
2. Marc-Andre Fleury, Golden Knights: Jonathan Quick was very close to stealing Game 2 for the Kings. Fleury produced a fantastic performance in Game 3, turning aside 37 out of 39 shots, and he enjoys the added bonus of grabbing the win.
So far during this series, Fleury has only allowed three goals through as many games, generating a stupendous .970 save percentage. Considering how well he played for the Penguins during the 2017 postseason, he’s been on a playoff hot streak lately.
3. Sergei Bobrovsky, Blue Jackets: Speaking of goalies who’ve developed reputations for struggles in the playoffs, “Bob” is really coming through Columbus so far. The Capitals ended up scoring four goals in Game 2, but Bobrovsky was astounding, making a whopping 54 stops. You could absolutely argue that he was actually the first or second star of the night instead.
Warning: this might make you a little queasy. Official Steve Barton was helped off the ice during the Blue Jackets – Capitals game. Looks like he blew out his knee:
#NHL director of officiating Steven Walkom on linesman Steve Barton, injured in Sunday’s game:
“Steve suffered a dislocated knee cap and a torn quadriceps which will require surgery. Fortunately, doctors told him this is the type of injury that you recover back to 100 percent.”
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) April 16, 2018
The Kings didn’t win Game 3, but they did draw in celebrities, including Margot Robbie (think she was impressed by the skating after playing Tonya Harding?):
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) April 16, 2018
And David Beckham:
See, told ya! Hey, David Beckham 👋 pic.twitter.com/faYLadLpeW
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) April 16, 2018
The Golden Knights are making more history in the postseason.
Some perspective on the Blue Jackets’ comebacks.
Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Tampa Bay Lightning at New Jersey Devils, 7:30 p.m. ET (CNBC)
Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche, 10 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Anaheim Ducks at San Jose Sharks, 10:30 p.m. ET (CNBC)