FIRST ROUND QUICK HITS
A quick recap of the First Round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, with the assistance of the Elias Sports Bureau:
* Eighteen of the 42 games required overtime (42.9%), a record for any round in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The previous record of 17 overtime contests, established in the 2013 opening round, was set in 47 games (36.2%).
* April 17 saw all four games extend past regulation (OTT-BOS, WSH-TOR, CHI-NSH and ANA-CGY). Only two other days in NHL postseason history have featured four overtime games: April 11, 1980 and April 10, 1985.
* Twenty-eight of the 42 games were decided by one goal (66.7%), while another five were decided by two goals following an empty-net score (78.6% combined). Only the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs featured an opening round with that high of a percentage of one-goal margins (32/48 GP, 66.7%).
* Eighteen of the 42 games were tied in the final five minutes of regulation (42.9%). Three saw a go-ahead goal scored in the last three minutes of regulation, while five featured a tying goal in the final five minutes of the third period (including two in the last 60 seconds).
* Seventeen of the 42 games saw the winning team overcome a deficit of at least one goal (40.5%), including nine featuring multi-goal comebacks. Clubs also rallied from third-period deficits (of any margin) to win eight times.
ICYMI: NHL RELEASES SCHEDULE FOR SECOND ROUND
The NHL announced the dates, starting times and national television coverage for the Second Round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which begins Wednesday.
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Home Team in Caps
Ottawa 3, BOSTON 2 (OT) – OTT wins 4-2
Washington 2, TORONTO 1 (OT) – WSH wins 4-2
CAPITALS ADVANCE TO SECOND ROUND WITH THIRD OVERTIME VICTORY
Marcus Johansson tied the game in the third period and scored the series-winning goal at 6:31 of overtime to lead the Capitals into the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third consecutive season. Washington won three overtime games in a series (also Games 1 and 5) for the second time in franchise history (also 1998 CF vs. BUF).
* The Capitals and Maple Leafs required overtime in five of their six games, matching the single-series NHL postseason record set by the Maple Leafs and Canadiens in the 1951 Stanley Cup Final (4-1 TOR W) and Coyotes and Blackhawks in the 2012 Western Conference Quarterfinals (4-2 PHX W).
* Washington played a series featuring six or more one-goal games for the fourth time in team history and the first since the 2015 CSF vs. NYR, when all seven games were decided by a single goal.
* Johansson recorded his second career playoff game-winning goal and first in overtime (62 GP). Elias says that he became the sixth player in Capitals history to score a series-clinching goal in overtime and the first since Joel Ward in Game 7 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at BOS.
* Elias adds that Johansson became the first player in Capitals history to tie a game in the third period and then register a series-clinching goal in overtime. The last player to do that for any team: John Tavares for NYI in Game 6 of the 2016 CQF (vs. FLA).
* The Capitals will face the Penguins in the Second Round, their 10th all-time playoff meeting and second in as many years (PIT: 8-1 overall). Pittsburgh has gone on to win the Stanley Cup following each of their last two postseason matchups (also 2009 CSF).
SENATORS ALSO ADVANCE WITH ANOTHER OVERTIME VICTORY
Clarke MacArthur scored at 6:30 of overtime to help the Senators advance past the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the seventh time in franchise history (and first time since 2013). Ottawa won three road games in a single series for the second time in team history (also 2007 CF vs. BUF).
* The Senators set franchise records with their third overtime win and fourth overtime game in a single series (also Games 2, 3 and 5). Elias adds that Ottawa played six one-goal games in a playoff series for the first time in franchise history.
* MacArthur, who returned to the Senators’ lineup on April 4 after missing 18 months due to injury, notched his second career playoff game-winning goal and first in overtime (17 GP). He became the third player in franchise history to score a series-clinching goal in overtime, joining Martin Havlat (Game 5 of 2002 CQF at PHI) and Daniel Alfredsson (Game 5 of 2007 CF at BUF).
* The Senators will face the Rangers in the Second Round, their second all-time postseason matchup. The teams last met in the 2012 Conference Quarterfinals, a seven-game victory by New York.
KEEPING IT CLOSE
Nine of the 12 games in the Capitals-Maple Leafs (5) and Senators-Bruins (4) series required overtime. Per Elias, only two other rounds in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs have featured two series with at least four overtime games – all within the past six years: the 2012 Conference Quarterfinals (Coyotes-Blackhawks: 5, Capitals-Bruins: 4) and 2014 First Round (Wild-Avalanche: 4, Blackhawks-Blues: 4).
* Elias notes that Ottawa and Boston were tied or separated by one goal for 90.9% of total playing time (367:47 of 404:31), while Washington and Toronto were tied or within one goal of each other for 83.5% of total playing time (339:12 of 406:20).
* Washington’s Marcus Johansson and Ottawa’s Clarke MacArthur joined St. Louis’ Magnus Paajarvi with series-clinching overtime goals this postseason. Only two such goals were scored last year, by John Tavares (NYI) in the First Round vs. FLA and Nick Bonino (PIT) in the Second Round vs. WSH.
GAUDREAU, GRANLUND AND TARASENKO VOTED LADY BYNG FINALISTS
Johnny Gaudreau of the Flames, Mikael Granlund of the Wild and Vladimir Tarasenko of the Blues are the three finalists for the 2016-17 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, which is awarded “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability”.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Lady Byng Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 21, during the 2017 NHL Awards at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
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Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews, 19, became the second teenager in NHL history to score in four consecutive playoff games (4-1—5). The other, also with Toronto: Wendel Clark in 1986 (4-0—4 in 4 GP) . . . Senators forward Derick Brassard (2-6—8) assisted on the opening and game-winning goals to move into a tie for second in the playoff scoring race (w/ Phil Kessel) . . . ICYMI: Senators goaltender Craig Andersonhad a special moment with his wife, Nicholle – who made the trip to Boston after recently being treated for cancer – following Ottawa’s series-clinching victory . . . The Kings announced that associate head coach John Stevens has been promoted and will serve as the club’s head coach.