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NHL Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition for Tuesday, August 11, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FIRST ROUND OPENS WITH FOUR-GAME SLATE
After the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers whittled the field from 24 to 16 teams over nine days, the First Round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs begins Tuesday with Game 1 in four best-of-seven series.

* Teams that win Game 1 in a best-of-seven series hold an all-time series record of 478-219 (68.6%).

BLUE JACKETS, LIGHTNING SET FOR PLAYOFF REMATCH
The Blue Jackets and Lightning are set to square off for the second time in as many postseasons and exactly 484 days after Columbus eliminated Tampa Bay in the 2019 First Round to become the first team to sweep the Presidents’ Trophy winner in the opening round.

* Nineteen players that dressed or played for the Blue Jackets during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs remain on their 2020 postseason roster. Additionally, 17 players that dressed or played for the Lightning remain with the club.

* Tampa Bay was swept in a postseason series once before 2019 – the 2014 First Round (vs. MTL). Subsequently, the club rebounded during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including a redemptive Second Round victory over the Canadiens, as part of a run to the Final where they fell to the Blackhawks in six games.

* Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo, who posted shutouts in Games 1 and 5 against the Maple Leafs in the qualifying round, can become the eighth goaltender in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68) to post multiple series-opening shutouts in a single postseason. He would join Roberto Luongo (3 in 2011 w/ VAN), Marc-Andre Fleury (2 in 2018 w/ VGK), Nikolai Khabibulin (2 in 2004 w/ TBL), Martin Brodeur (2 in 2003 w/ NJD), Curtis Joseph (2 in 2001 w/ TOR), Patrick Roy (2 in 2000 w/ COL) and Ron Tugnutt (2 in 2000 w/ PIT).

BRUINS, HURRICANES ALSO MEET FOR SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR
In a rematch of the 2019 Eastern Conference Final where Boston swept Carolina in four games, the Bruins and Hurricanes will go head-to-head again in the 2020 First Round. Eighteen players that dressed for the Hurricanes during the 2019 Conference Finals remain with the club while 20 players that dressed or played for the Bruins in that series are currently on their postseason roster.

Sebastian Aho finished the qualifying round with eight points in three games (3-5—8 in 3 GP), the second-most among all players. Aho sits two points shy of becoming the fourth player in Hurricanes/Whalers history to have multiple playoff years with 10-plus points (he had 5-7—12 in 2019). The franchise mark for fewest games to collect 10 points in a single playoff year is seven, accomplished by Eric Staal in 2006.

David Pastrnak holds a career average of 0.96 points-per-game played in the postseason and sits seven points shy of 50 in his playoff career (17-26—43 in 45 GP). He can become the seventh active player to hit the benchmark prior to his 50th career postseason game: Alex Ovechkin (37 GP), Sidney Crosby (37 GP), Evgeni Malkin (40 GP), Claude Giroux (46 GP), Patrick Kane (46 GP) and Nikita Kucherov (49 GP) all did so.

FLAMES, STARS MEET IN PLAYOFFS FOR FIRST TIME IN 39 YEARS
The Flames and Stars will face off in the second postseason meeting between the franchises and first since the Minnesota North Stars defeated the Flames in six games in the 1981 Semifinals. Calgary (2-1-0) held a slight edge in the 2019-20 regular-season series (DAL: 1-1-1) – Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk topped skaters on both sides with 1-4—5 in three games.

* Each of Dallas’ last nine playoff series dating to 2007 have required at least six games – the longest such run in franchise history. Only three teams have required six or more games in 10 or more consecutive best-of-seven series: Washington (12; 2012—2018), Toronto (11; 2001—2019^) and Chicago (11; 1961—1968).
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* Benn, who was held off the score sheet in three games during the round robin, enters the First Round with at least 10 points in each of his last two playoff years (5-10—15 in 2016 and 2-8—10 in 2019). Should he reach double digits again in 2020, the Stars captain would join Dennis Maruk (3 from 1984-1986) and Mike Modano (3 from 1998-2000) as just the third player in franchise history with 10 points in three consecutive playoff appearances.

Sean Monahan concluded his best-of-five series against the Jets with multi-point efforts in Game 3 (1-2—3) and Game 4 (1-1—2). With another two or more points in the series opener against the Stars, Monahan can become the eighth player in franchise history to collect multiple points in three or more consecutive playoff games and first since Jarome Iginla in 2008 (3-3—6 in 3 GP).

BLACKHAWKS, GOLDEN KNIGHTS LOOK TO KEEP MOMENTUM IN GAME 1
The Blackhawks, who won two consecutive one-goal games to knock off the Oilers as the Western Conference’s lowest seed in the qualifying round, look to keep their momentum going in Game 1 against the Golden Knights – who finished round robin play with a perfect 3-0-0 record.

* The Blackhawks aim to win multiple series in a single postseason while entering as the lowest seed in their conference for the second time since the conference format was adopted in 1981-82 (also 1989: DSF and DF).

Dominik Kubalik (3-3—6 in 4 GP) burst into the postseason with a five-point performance against the Oilers and netted the series-clinching goal in Game 4. He sits four points shy of becoming the sixth rookie in Blackhawks history to record 10-plus points in a single playoff year.

Marc-Andre Fleury enters the 2020 First Round with a career postseason record of 79-62 (2.60 GAA, .911 SV%, 15 SO). Fleury is one playoff win shy of tying Ken Dryden (80) for sixth place on the NHL’s all-time list; his 14 career postseason shutouts, meanwhile, are tied for the fourth-most in League history.

RANGERS WIN NO. 1 PICK IN PHASE 2 OF NHL DRAFT LOTTERY
The Rangers will have the first overall selection in the 2020 NHL Draft as a result of winning Phase 2 of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery, which was conducted Monday evening at NHL Network’s Secaucus, N.J., studio.

* New York holds the No. 1 pick for the first time since the universal draft was adopted in 1969 – though they have selected first overall once before, choosing Andre Veilleux in the 1965 Amateur Draft.

* This marks the second consecutive year that New York owns a top-two pick in the NHL Draft after selecting Kaapo Kakko second overall in 2019.

ICYMI: Los Angeles holds the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. The team has picked second overall three times: 1981 (Doug Smith), 1986 (Jimmy Carson) and 2008 (Drew Doughty). Los Angeles had one of its combinations selected in the NHL Draft Lottery for the second time in franchise history. The Kings won the inaugural NHL Draft Lottery in 1995, moving from 7 to 3, and drafted Aki Berg.

* Ottawa holds the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. The team has picked third overall once, in 1994 (Radek Bonk). The Senators emerge from the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery with two picks in the top five overall (No. 3 and No. 5). A team has had two picks in the top five eight times – most recently the Islanders in 2000 (Rick DiPietro: No. 1; Raffi Torres: No. 5).

 

PUBLICATION WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

 

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