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‘NHL’ Articles

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NHL 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Second Round Recap

PUBLICATION WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

Three teams chasing first Cup; Historic Western Conference Final set;

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW CUP WINNER GUARANTEED AS CONFERENCE FINALS TAKE SHAPE
A new Stanley Cup champion is guaranteed for the 18th time in the past 19 seasons as three division champions – the Lightning, Golden Knightsand Capitals – along with the No. 2 seed from the overall standings – the Jets – head into the Conference Finals.

* The Eastern Conference Final between the Lightning and Capitals begins tonight in Tampa (8 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, TVAS, NBCSN), while Game 1 of the Western Conference Final between the Jets and Golden Knights goes tomorrow in Winnipeg (7 p.m. ET; CBC, TVAS, NBC).

* This marks the eighth time in 29 seasons under the four-division format (1974-75 through 1997-98 and 2013-14 to present) that at least three division champions have reached the Conference Finals.

* The last such instance came in 1996 when three division winners – the Red Wings, Avalanche and Penguins – advanced along with a first-time playoff team – the Panthers. After finishing third in the Atlantic Division during the regular season, Florida embarked on a playoff run that saw it become the first team in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) to reach the Stanley Cup Final during its first postseason (excluding St. Louis’ emergence from the all-expansion West Division in 1968).

* Tampa Bay is the only remaining club with a championship (2004). This is the first time in NHL history that the final four teams have combined for one-or-fewer Stanley Cup wins. Additionally, this is just the sixth time that at least three of the final four contenders are chasing their first Cup.

The Stanley Cup Final has featured two clubs chasing their first title only five times in League history: 1934 (Detroit Red Wings vs. Chicago Blackhawks), 1991 (Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Minnesota North Stars), 1996 (Colorado Avalanche vs. Florida Panthers), 1999 (Dallas Stars vs. Buffalo Sabres) and 2007 (Anaheim Ducks vs. Ottawa Senators).
JETS-GOLDEN KNIGHTS SET FOR HISTORIC SHOWDOWN
For the first time in NHL history two teams will meet after each recorded their first two series wins
, with the Jets and Golden Knights set to clash in the Western Conference Final. There are only two other instances in Stanley Cup Playoffs history of two clubs recording their first two series wins in the same postseason (1975: Buffalo Sabres & New York Islanders and 1982: Quebec Nordiques & Vancouver Canucks), but those clubs did not meet that year.

* Excluding the 1975 Stanley Cup Playoffs (the first year of conferences), only three other postseasons in the conference era have seen multiple clubs make their first-ever appearance in the Conference Finals. Only twice did those teams face each other: 1982 (Vancouver Canucks vs. Chicago Blackhawks) and 2003 (Mighty Ducks of Anaheim vs. Minnesota Wild).

 

* In addition to the Jets and expansion Golden Knights, the Lightning also reached the Conference Finals after not being part of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Only one other postseason has seen at least three teams reach the third round after not being part of the previous playoffs:the Sabres, Hurricanes, Oilers and Ducks made up the 2006 Conference Finals after all missing the 2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs (the Stanley Cup Playoffs did not take place in 2005).

* The Jets, the No. 2 seed from the regular season, reached the Conference Finals after defeating the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Predators. This marks the sixth time in the expansion era (since 1967-68) – and second straight year – that the first and second place teams from the regular season met in a round other than the Final. The winner of the previous five such series won the Stanley Cup each time.
HIGH-SCORING TREND CONTINUES IN 2018 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
The Second Round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs was the highest-scoring second round in 24 years, with an average of 6.0 goals per game (145 GF in 24 GP). Overall, goals per game increased to 6.0 this postseason (400 GF in 67 GP).

* Since 1994, only two playoff years have finished with a goals-per-game rate of at least 6.0. The 1995 Stanley Cup Playoffs averaged 6.4 goals per game (515 GF in 81 GP) and the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs featured 6.0 goals per game (532 GF in 89 GP).
STANDOUT PERFORMERS FROM SECOND ROUND
Four clubs are still alive thanks to standout performances from key players during the Second Round:

* The expansion Golden Knights were led by their top line of Jonathan Marchessault (4-7—11), Reilly Smith (1-10—11) and William Karlsson (4-6—10) who combined for 8-17—25 in the Second Round (6 GP). The individual records for goals, assists and points by a player on a team making its first-ever postseason appearances are as follows:

* Entering the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a combined 29 games of postseason experience, Jets forwards Mark Scheifele (11-5—16) and Blake Wheeler (3-12—15) have factored on 44.2% of the team’s goals (19 of 43), including a combined 9-13—22 against the Predators (7 GP). Scheifele leads the League with 11 goals this postseason, including an NHL-record seven road goals during the Second Round.

 

* Lightning forward Brayden Point scored three of his four goals in the Second Round, tallying once each in Games 2, 4 and 5. With Tampa Bay trailing 1-0 in the series, Point factored on all four of the team’s goals in Game 2 to become the youngest player in franchise history to post a four-point playoff game. His performance triggered a streak of four straight wins that propelled Tampa Bay into the Conference Finals for the fifth time in franchise history, tied for the second-most of any team since the League reached 30 teams in 2000-01.

* After helping Washington take a 3-2 series lead with 1-2—3 in Game 5, Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the series-clinching goal in overtime two nights later to propel his club into the Conference Finals for the first time in 20 years. Kuznetsov ranks second on the club with 7-7—14 behind Alex Ovechkin (8-7—15), who assisted on the overtime goal. Both are within reach of establishing franchise records for goals, assists and points in a single postseason.

FAMILIAR FACES CHASING STANLEY
Familiar faces have also made significant contributions through two rounds:

* Three-time Stanley Cup champion Marc-Andre Fleury has recorded four shutouts through 10 games to backstop the Golden Knights on their unprecedented run. Fleury has earned shutouts in each of his past three appearances in which his team could clinch a series, becoming the third goaltender in NHL history to achieve that feat. Only five goaltenders have posted at least five shutouts overall in one playoff year.

Dustin Byfuglien has been an integral part of the longest playoff run in Jets history, collecting 4-9—13 through 12 games. Byfuglien, who leads NHL defensemen in points this postseason, needs only three points to match his career-best total of 16 set as a forward during his run to the 2010 Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks (11-5—16 in 22 GP).

* After leading the Lightning and finishing third in the NHL with a career-high 39-61—100 during the regular season, Nikita Kucherov has compiled 6-6—12 through two rounds (10 GP). With his goal in Game 4 against Boston, Kucherov (28-26—54 in 55 GP) leapfrogged Vincent Lecavalier (24-28—52 in 63 GP) into sole possession of second place in scoring in Tampa Bay playoff history, trailing only Martin St. Louis (33-35—68 in 63 GP).

Braden Holtby, the Capitals’ all-time franchise leader in playoff games played (70) and wins (37) among goaltenders, looks to build on his postseason resume as he leads Washington into the Conference Finals. He ranks sixth among active netminders in career playoff wins, despite having played at least 13 fewer contests than each player ahead of him.
FULLY-ENGAGED FANS READY FOR HISTORIC MATCHUP
Official watch parties continue to be a staple across NHL markets, with thousands gathering at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg last night to watch the Jets clinch their series in Nashville. The trend has also caught on in hockey’s newest home, with crowds assembling outside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to watch their series-clinching shutout in San Jose on Sunday.

The Western Conference Final opponents will go toe-to-toe off the ice as well, with a viewing party scheduled at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center and tens of thousands expected in Winnipeg for the Game 1 “Whiteout” street party.

 

* NHL fans continue to watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs in record numbers, with the voice of Mike “Doc” Emrick – who recently won his record-tying fifth straight Emmy – exciting viewers across NBCUniversal broadcasts.

 

 

 

 

NHL Schedule for Eastern and Western Conference Stanley Cup Finals

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW YORK (May 10, 2018) – The National Hockey League today announced the dates, starting times and television information for the 2018Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Finals. The Eastern Conference Final features the Tampa Bay Lightning against the Washington Capitals and begins Friday, May 11, in Tampa. The Western Conference Final features the Winnipeg Jets against the Vegas Golden Knights and begins Saturday, May 12, in Winnipeg.

 

All times listed are ET and are subject to change.

 

NHL Morning Skate for Wednesday, May 9, 2018: Schedules announced for Western and Eastern Conference Finals

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED FOR CONFERENCE FINALS
Dates and times for the Eastern and Western Conference Final were announced Tuesday, with final matchups dependent on the outcome of tomorrow’s Game 7 between the Predators and Jets.

* The Eastern Conference Final between the Lightning and Capitals will begin Friday in Tampa, regardless of which team advances in the West (NBCSN, TVA Sports^).

* The Western Conference Final will feature the Golden Knights and either the Predators or Jets, beginning with Game 1 Saturday in either Nashville or Winnipeg (NBC, TVA Sports^).

^ Additional Canadian broadcast information will be announced following Thursday’s Game 7.

LOOKING AHEAD TO THE NEXT ROUND
With the Capitals ending the Penguins’ chance at a three-peat, a new Stanley Cup champion is guaranteed for the 18th time in the past 19 seasons. In fact, of the five teams still in contention only the Lightning have a Cup to their credit (2004). This will mark the first time in NHL history that the final four will have combined for one or fewer Stanley Cup wins.

* The improbable run of the Golden Knights continues as they aim to become the first team in NHL history to win three playoff series in theirinaugural season. Only two NHL clubs have won three series during their first postseason appearance: the Montreal Maroons (2nd season) and Florida Panthers (3rd season). The Maroons won three series – two total-goals and one best-of-five – to win the Stanley Cup in 1926, while Florida won three best-of-seven matchups to reach the Final in 1996. The Panthers remain the only club making its first postseason appearance to reach the Stanley Cup Final in the four-round era (since 1975). Click here for a season-over-season stats comparison for Golden Knights players.

* The Lightning will host Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final after finishing first in the conference during the regular season. Tampa Bay has gone to Game 7 in each of its previous four trips to the Conference Finals, winning in 2004 and 2015 (vs. PHI and NYR, respectively) and losing in 2011 and 2016 (vs. BOS and PIT, respectively).

* For the first time since 1998, the Capitals are four wins away from the Stanley Cup Final as they pursue the first championship in franchise history.If Washington advances, it will mark the second time since 2000 that two teams who have never won the Cup go head-to-head in the Final(since all three remaining teams in the West are chasing their first title). The only such instance came in 2007 when the Ducks defeated the Senators in five games.

2018 NHL GAMING WORLD FINALS BEGIN TO TAKE SHAPE
The first two spots for the 2018 NHL Gaming World Championship Finals have been secured by Erik Tammenpää (@I_Eki_I) and Arttu Mustila(@ArtuzioFIN), both of Finland, following the European Regional Finals which premiered Tuesday on NHL.com and Twitch.tv/NHL.

* Tammenpää, the winner, and Mustila, the runner up, will compete in the World Finals in Las Vegas on June 19 against gamers from Canada and the U.S. – with those competitors decided via Canadian Regional Finals (May 11) and U.S. Regional Finals (May 20).

* Tournament details, regional brackets, news and player bios can be found at NHL.com/Gaming.

QUICK CLICKS

· Rod Brind’Amour named Hurricanes head coach

· O’Ree Community Hero Award nominations sought

· Golden Knights trail blazed by Bowman, Blues in 1967-68

· Barry Trotz, Capitals living in moment after reaching conference final
· Mark Scheifele in spotlight for Jets entering Game 7 against Predators

LOOKING AHEAD TO GAME 7
After combining for 40 goals through six games, the Predators and Jets will square off in a decisive Game 7 on Thursday in Nashville. This marks the 10th consecutive year that the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will conclude with a seventh and deciding game.

Click here for more Predators-Jets Game 7 stats.

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NHL Morning Skate for Tuesday, May 8, 2018: Capitals eliminate 2-time defending champion Penguins; Nashville forces Game 7 with Winnipeg

PUBLICATION WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

MONDAY’S RESULTS

OVECHKIN, KUZNETSOV HELP CAPITALS ELIMINATE PENGUINS IN OT
Alex Ovechkin set up Evgeny Kuznetsov’s series-clinching goal at 5:27 of overtime to eliminate the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins and propel the Capitals into the Conference Finals for the first time since 1998 (4-2 W vs. BUF). Washington’s victory guarantees that there will be a new Stanley Cup champion for the 18th time in the past 19 seasons.

* The Capitals, who also reached the Eastern Conference Final in 1990 (4-0 L vs. BOS), improved to 2-9 in 11 all-time playoff series against the Penguins. Their only other victory came in the 1994 Conference Quarterfinals (4-2 W).

* The Capitals reached the Conference Finals for the first time since 1998 when they made their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final. Among teams who have ended such droughts, they are the only one to go 18 seasons between appearances in the Conference Finals. The Bruins and Kings ended 17-season droughts in 2011 and 2012, respectively, en route to winning the Stanley Cup.

* Ovechkin, who found the score sheet in five of six games (3-4—7) and factored on three game-winning goals in the series (1-2—3), has collected 15-18—33 in 26 career postseason games vs. PIT, the most playoff points and assists (tied) against the club by any player in franchise history.

* Kuznetsov, who notched 1-2—3 to rally his club to a crucial Game 5 victory on Saturday, became the seventh player in Capitals history to score a series-clinching goal in overtime. His was the sixth such goal on the road.

* Washington and Tampa Bay will meet in the postseason for the third time and first since the 2011 Conference Semifinals (4-0 TBL). The clubs first met during the 2003 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, which saw the Lightning advance in Game 6 after Martin St. Louis scored 4:03 into triple overtime.

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE CAPITALS-PENGUINS RIVALRY
Monday marked the third one-goal game – and first overtime contest – of the Pittsburgh-Washington series. Overall, 32 of 68 all-time playoff contests between the Capitals and Penguins have been decided by a one-goal margin (47%), including 14 in overtime and five of 11 series-clinching games.

* Of the 14 head-to-head overtime contests in the postseason, four have come in potential series-clinching games. Washington won Game 6 of the 2009 Conference Semifinals (David Steckel) to extend the series, while Pittsburgh won the other two such contests to advance: Game 6 of the 2001 Conference Quarterfinals (Martin Straka) and Game 7 of the 2016 Second Round (Nick Bonino).

* Washington ended a string of seven consecutive series defeats against Pittsburgh dating to the 1995 Conference Quarterfinals. It marked the second-longest streak of series wins between two opponents in NHL history, behind only Montreal’s 18 consecutive series wins against Boston from 1946 to 1987.

* The Capitals played their 67th playoff overtime game to surpass the Avalanche (37-29) and Blues (35-31) for sole possession of ninth all-time and third-most by any non-Original Six club. Washington has played 36 playoff contests since the start of the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including a League-high five this year (3-2).

* This marks the fifth time since 2011 in which a defending Stanley Cup champion has been eliminated in overtime (also CHI in 2011, BOS in 2012, LAK in 2013 and CHI in 2014).

FORSBERG, ARVIDSSON EACH SCORE TWICE AS PREDATORS FORCE GAME 7
Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg each collected two goals and an assist – with Forsberg going between his legs for a 3-0 lead in the third period – and Pekka Rinne turned aside all 34 shots he faced as the Predators forced a Game 7 against the Jets. The final game of the Second Round will be played Thursday at 8 p.m. ET in Nashville (CBC, SN, TVAS, NBSCN).

* Forsberg, who established a franchise record for points this postseason (22-19—41), tallied multiple goals in a playoff game for the fourth time in his career. He and Arvidsson became the second set of Predators teammates to each score two or more goals in a game with the club facing elimination.

* After allowing six goals in 46:23 of playing time in Game 5, Rinne rebounded to post his second shutout of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs (and first by a Predators goalie in an elimination game). Monday marked the second time this series that Rinne rebounded from a defeat in which he surrendered at least five goals – he allowed five goals in Game 3 before backing Nashville to a 2-1 victory in Game 4.

LOOKING AHEAD TO GAME 7
For the 10th consecutive year, the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will conclude with a Game 7. The eventual Stanley Cup champion has won at least one Game 7 in each of the past five years.

* The Predators will host a seventh and deciding game on home ice for the first time, with each of their other two such contests coming on the road in 2016 –  they won 2-1 in Anaheim in the First Round and lost 5-0 in San Jose in the Second Round.

* The Jets are set to play in their first Game 7 in franchise history, becoming the 29th active NHL franchise to do so (and first to make their debut since NSH). Fourteen clubs have won their first such appearance, including 10 road victories.

* The original Jets franchise played in two Game 7s, losing both (4-1 in 1990 DSF at EDM and 5-0 in 1992 DSF at VAN).

GAME 7 TRENDS:
Of the 170 all-time Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

* The team that scores first is 126-44 (.741), including 0-1 in 2018.

* Home teams own a 100-70 (.588) advantage, including a 1-0 record in 2018.

* Forty-one have required overtime (24.2%). Home teams have a 21-20 edge.

NBC Sports Channel FinderSportsnet Channel FinderNHL Network Channel Finder

NHL GAMING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SET FOR EUROPEAN REGIONAL FINAL
The bracket for the European Regional Final of the NHL Gaming World Championship is set. Watch it all go down Tuesday afternoon on NHL.comand Twitch.tv/NHL beginning at 2 p.m. ET. Tournament details, regional brackets, news and players bios can be found at NHL.com/Gaming.

QUICK CLICKS

· Golden Knights prepare for another first heading into conference final

· Marc-Andre Fleury adding fun to Golden Knights playoff run

· Capitals fans light up social media after Eastern Conference Final berth

· Teemu Selanne returns to Winnipeg, gets standing ovation from crowd at Game 6

 

 

NHL releases dates, start times TV information for 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Finals

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW YORK (May 8, 2018) – The National Hockey League has announced the dates, starting times and television information for the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Finals. The Eastern Conference Final features the Tampa Bay Lightning against the Washington Capitals and begins Friday, May 11, in Tampa. The Western Conference Final features the Vegas Golden Knights against the winner of Thursday’s Game 7 of the Second Round series between the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets and begins Saturday, May 12, in either Nashville or Winnipeg.

 

All times listed are ET and are subject to change.

 

 

* if necessary

Additional Canadian broadcast information will be announced following Thursday’s Predators-Jets Game 7.

 

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