NHL News: First Round Recap – 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs

The 2022 First Round concluded Sunday, May 15 after multiple Game 7s required overtime on the same day for the second time in NHL history.

328 – Number of goals scored in the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Only four opening rounds in NHL history have featured more: 1988 Division Semifinals (370), 1992 Division Semifinals (358), 1991 Division Semifinals (335) and 1995 Conference Quarterfinals (333).

51 – Games in the 2022 First Round, tied with the 1991 Division Semifinals (51) for the second most in a round trailing only the 1992 Division Semifinals (54).

37 – Percentage of games in which the winning team overcame a deficit. There were five multi-goal comeback wins and one three-goal comeback win. Only four opening rounds in the past 26 years witnessed more multi-goal comeback wins: 2014 First Round (10), 2017 First Round (9), 2020 First Round (7) and 2013 Conference Quarterfinals (6).

28 – Number of goaltenders to make an appearance in the 2022 First Round, tied for the second-highest total in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and highest since the 1996 Conference Quarterfinals. The 1995 Conference Quarterfinals (29) is the only opening round with more.

26 – Years between series victories for the Panthers, who ended the longest such stretch in NHL history en route to setting up a rematch with the Lightning in the Second Round. It marks the ninth time since 1986 that the Presidents’ Trophy winners will contest a playoff series against the defending Stanley Cup champions and first since the 2017 Second Round (PIT 4 – WSH 3).

14 – NHL-leading point total by Oilers captain Connor McDavid,equaling the highest total in an opening round over the past 29 years.  Only two players in Stanley Cup Playoffs history have recorded more in an opening round: Mario Lemieux (17 in 1992)and Wayne Gretzky (15 in 1987). Ten of McDavid’s 14 points were assists, joining Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin (11 A in 5 GP, 2011 CF vs. SJS) as the second player in the past 26 years to record at least 10 assists in a playoff series.

10 – Points by Cale Makar (3-7—10 in 4 GP) in the First Round, the most in NHL history by a defenseman through four games played in a postseason and the most in League history in a four-game series. Makar became the first blueliner in Avalanche/Nordiques franchise history with a double-digit point total in a playoff series and stands as one of five active defensemen to achieve the feat: also Adam Fox (2022 R1), Kris Letang (2013 CSF), Ryan McDonagh (2014 CF) and Brent Burns (2019 R2).

10 – Points by Adam Fox (3-7—10 in 7 GP) in the First Round. He became the first skater (defenseman or forward) in Rangers history with at least one point in all seven games of a series. Only three other defensemen in NHL history have also achieved the feat: Miro Heiskanen (7 GP in 2020 R2 w/ DAL), Larry Murphy (7 GP in 1995 CQF w/ PIT) and Paul Reinhart (7 GP in 1984 DF w/ CGY).

10 – Number of goaltenders to make their first career playoff start in the 2022 First Round – the most in a single playoff round in NHL history. The previous high of nine was accomplished on two occasions: the 2015 First Round and 2006 Conference Quarterfinals.

8 – NHL-leading goal total by Jake Guentzel (8-2—10 in 7 GP), the most by a player in a single round since Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin each had eight in the 2009 Conference Semifinals. Only 11 players have scored nine or more goals in a playoff series, most recently Johan Franzen in the 2008 Conference Semifinals with Detroit (9 vs. COL) and achieved once by a Penguins player (Mario Lemieux: 9 in 1989 Division Finals vs. PHI).

7 – Number of series that required at least six games. The 2022 First Round became the fourth opening round in NHL history where seven series required at least six games, following the 1991 and 1992 Division Semifinals (8) as well as the 2010 Conference Quarterfinals (7).

8 – Players in the First Round to reach a double-digit point total (Connor McDavid: 14, Carter Verhaeghe: 12, Brad Marchand: 11, Mika Zibanejad: 11, Jake Guentzel: 10, Cale Makar: 10, Adam Fox: 10 & Sidney Crosby: 10). Only two other opening rounds in NHL history have featured more players each register 10-plus points in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs: 1988 Division Semifinals (11) and 1992 Division Semifinals (9).

6.4 – Goals per game in the opening round. After the 2021-22 regular season concluded with an average of6.3 goals-per-game – the highest-scoring season in 26 years – the 2022 First Round marked the highest-scoring opening round the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the 1995 Conference Quarterfinals (6.80 G/GP).

6 – Teams which advanced after overcoming a series deficit of at least one game (CGY, EDM, FLA, NYR, STL & TBL). The Panthers and Rangers became the 17th and 18th teams in NHL history to earn three or more consecutive comeback wins to close out a series, with New York becoming the first to do so when facing elimination each time.

5.9 – Percentage of brackets in the NHL Bracket Challenge that correctly selected all 8 teams advancing to the Second Round.

5 – Number of Game 7s contested in the 2022 First Round. Only one opening round in NHL history featured more: 1992 Division Semifinals (6).

5  Goal total for each of the Blues trio of Ryan O’Reilly (5-3—8 in 6 GP), Vladimir Tarasenko (5-1—6 in 6 GP) and David Perron (5-4—9 in 6 GP), marking the first time three players on the same team each scored five or more goals in one round since Canadiens in the 1991 Division Semifinals (Brent GilchristRuss Courtnall & Stephane Richer all w/ 5).

4 – Four of five Game 7s played were decided by a one-goal margin – the most ever in a single round and one shy of the highest total in a single playoff year (1994, 2009 & 2011 all had five Game 7s with a one-goal margin of victory).

4 – Number of division champions from the regular season that advanced – just the second time that has happened since the NHL reduced to four divisions in 2013-14 (also 2017-18).

3 – Number of hat tricks in the First Round series between the Blues and Wild. It was the ninth series in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68) with at least three hat tricks and just the third in the past 28 years, joining the 2018 First Round (PIT: 2 & PHI: 1) and 2012 Conference Quarterfinals (PHI: 2 & PIT: 1). Only one series in Stanley Cup Playoffs history had four: the 1983 Division Finals (EDM: 3 & CGY: 1).

2 – Game 7s that required overtime on May 15. It marked the second time in NHL history that multiple Game 7s required overtime on the same day joining April 29, 1997 during the Conference Quarterfinals when the Oilers defeated the Stars and the Sabres eliminated the Senators.


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