After dispatching with the lowly Maple Leafs in four games, the New York Islanders have taken the first two games against the Florida Panthers on the road.
In the first game, Ben Bishop made 28 saves for the 2-0 shutout. In Game 2, the Panthers got on the board first but then surrendered four straight goals as the Islanders doubled up the Panthers 4-2.
The series now shifts back to New York as the Islanders have wrestled home ice away from the Panthers.
Being down 3-2 in their series, the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes were able to force a Game 7 but ultimately lost the decisive game. The Edmonton Oilers were also down 3-2 but they were able to take the series back home and win their Game 7 to avoid an upset at the hands of the upstart Vancouver Canucks.
The Panthers will now host the New York Islanders who have been resting after their four game sweep of the Maple Leafs and the Flyers will face off against the Montreal Canadiens who knocked off the defending champion Lightning in six games.
Out west we have a battle of the unbeatens as the 4-0 Flames will travel to Columbus to duel with the 4-0 Blue Jackets. Like the Islanders, the Anaheim Ducks have been at home resting and will take on a team that just went seven games as the Oilers head to Southern California.
This game was a roller coaster ride all the way through. The Panthers opened the scoring in the first period, and Carolina was able to tie it before intermission.
Then, a double minor high sticking penalty to Robby Fabbri and a major boarding penalty to Evgeni Malkin saw the Hurricanes rattle off three straight power play goals to open up a 4-1 lead.
Fabbri would atone for his mistake in the third period. With Carolina’s top PKer Nick Kulemin in the box for elbowing, Fabbri scored a power play goal and then followed it up with an even strength goal later in the period.
Down 5-4 the Panthers needed one more goal to complete the comeback and force overtime. They got it from Jake Virtanen with under 5 minutes to play.
Unfortunately for the home crowd, all rides that go up, must eventually come down. The Hurricanes got the OT game winner off the stick of Mr. Hurricane himself, Eric Staal.
The Panthers would go on to win Game 5 in Raleigh as the series now shifts back to Sunrise where the Canes will attempt to force a Game 7 at home.
The New York Islanders, Columbus Blue Jackets, Anaheim Ducks and Calgary Flames all went up three games to none in their series tonight.
Anaheim and Calgary needed overtime to push their opponents onto the brink of elimination. Justin Abdelkader scored for the Flames and Brayden Schenn had the game tying goal in the 3rd period and then the overtime winner in Game 2.
The Islanders haven’t faced much resistance so far from the Maple Leafs and the Coyotes are just trying to hang on against the Blue Jackets.
Joe Pavelski and the Buffalo Sabres got off to a hot start in these Season 10 playoffs. Pavelski netted three goals in the 8-3 blowout win against the Philadelphia Flyers including the eventual Game Winning Goal in a six goal third period.
The Flyers actually got on the board first with two goals in the first and took that lead into the intermission. It was all Buffalo from then on however. Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled after allowing five goals on 18 shots. Sergei Bobrovsky on the other end made 22 of 25 save opportunities for the win.
In Western Canada, the long shot Vancouver Canucks got a five point night from Zack Kassian to shock the Edmonton Oilers in Game 1 of their series.