NHL Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – Sunday, April 23, 2023

NHL Public Relations

April 23, 2023

NHL Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – April 23, 2023

* Three of four games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday required more than 60 minutes to determine a winner – one shy of the most in a single day in the postseason in NHL history.

Morgan Rielly and Dougie Hamilton each scored an overtime goal for their respective teams, marking the second day in NHL history to feature multiple defensemen achieve the feat.

* Saturday also featured late-game dramatics. It was third day in Stanley Cup Playoffs history to feature multiple players score a game-tying goal within the final minute of regulation.

Nathan MacKinnon continued his postseason prowess by collecting another two points and helping the Avalanche play the role of spoiler in the Kraken’s first-ever home game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Four tightly-contested affairs highlighted the Saturday schedule, including a come-from-behind Devils win, which secured their first victory of the 2023 postseason. #NHLStats storylines have been aplenty through the first six nights of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

* The 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs marks the 13th time since 1987, when the Division Semifinals changed from best-of-five to best-of-seven, the postseason will feature zero sweeps in the first round. Two other instances have taken place since the NHL realigned in 2013-14: 2020 and 2016.

* The 2023 First Round also marks the sixth opening round of the postseason since 1987 to feature zero 3-0 series leads. The others: 2010, 2004, 2002, 1992 and 1991.

* Teams were either tied or within one goal for 244:27 of 294:31 of action Saturday, nearly 83 percent of all playing time.

* Saturday marked the third day in NHL history with a game-tying goal in the final minute of regulation in multiple playoff games. The others: April 10, 1988 (John MacLean58:48 of Game 4, DSF & Kjell Samuelsson59:07 of Game 4, DSF) and August 7, 2020 (Zach Hyman59:37 of Game 4, SCQ and Filip Forsberg59:28 of Game 4, SCQ).

Saturday featured extra hockey all around as the Maple Leafs, Devils and Golden Knights each picked up overtime victories on the road. It marked the first time since August 16, 2020 that three overtime games were contested on the same day – only three days in Stanley Cup Playoffs history have seen four games go to extra time: April 17, 2017, April 10, 1985 and April 11, 1980.

* 2019 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Ryan O’Reilly (1-2—3) showcased his playoff prowess by finding the back of the net with one minute remaining in regulation to pull Toronto even before collecting an assist on Morgan Rielly’s winner in the final 45 seconds of overtime. Saturday marked the fourth time in franchise history the club tied a playoff game in the last minute of regulation and won in overtime (also Game 4 of 2020 SCQGame 5 of 1951 SCF & Game 3 of 1936 SCF).

* O’Reilly became the fifth Maple Leafs player to score a game-tying goal in the final minute of regulation in the playoffs since the NHL’s expansion era, joining Zach Hyman (59:37; Game 4 of 2020 SCQ), Steve Thomas (59:37; Game 2 of 2001 CSF), Mats Sundin (59:38; Game 6 of 2002 CF) and Alyn McCauley (59:52; Game 2 of 2002 CF).

* After Jack Hughes scored his second goal of the playoffs to pull the Devils even and rookie Akira Schmid (35 saves) outdueled Igor Shesterkin (26 saves) in his Stanley Cup Playoffs debutDougie Hamilton potted the overtime winner to help New Jersey cut New York’s series lead in half at Madison Square Garden. Schmid became the second goaltender in Devils/Rockies/Scouts history to win their postseason debut, joining Chris Terreri (Game 2 of 1990 DSF).

* Hamilton, who matched the franchise record for goals by a defenseman in a single season earlier this year, joined Brian Rafalski (Game 3 of 2001 CSF) as just the second defenseman in Devils/Rockies/Scouts history to score a playoff overtime goal.

* Jack Eichel (2-1—3) helped the Golden Knights take a 4-1 lead into the third period, but the Jets scored three times – including a game-tying tally with 22 seconds remaining in regulation – to force overtime and set the stage for Michael Amadio,whose first career playoff goal helped Vegas weather the “Winnipeg Whiteout”. Amadio has skated for three other teams in his career before joining Vegas in 2021-22 (168 GP w/ LAK, 5 GP w/ OTT & 3 GP w/ TOR) and appeared in only one other playoff game prior to 2023 – doing so against the Golden Knights during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs (0-1—1 in Game 2 of 2018 R1).

Nathan MacKinnon scored two of Colorado’s six goals, including one in the first period to give them the lead by bursting away at 22.56 mph, to help the Avalanche rally to victory in the Kraken’s first-ever home game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

* MacKinnon, who owns the third-highest career points-per-game average in Stanley Cup Playoffs history (min. 50 GP), became just the second player in Avalanche/Nordiques history with at least 10 multi-goal games in the postseason and the fifth active player with a double-digit total joining Joe Pavelski (12), Nikita Kucherov (10), Patrice Bergeron (10) and Sidney Crosby (10).


NHL announces Stanley Cup Playoff start times, TV info for April 27 games

Josh Morrissey out rest of Western 1st Round for Jets
Islanders surprise families of kids battling illness with playoff tickets
Oilers confident entering Game 4 despite trailing in Western First Round

Kraken honor memory of NHL.com writer Andy Eide before Game 3

The Islanders, Panthers, Stars and Oilers all look to even their First Round series at two games apiece when the puck drops for their respective Game 4s. Eight of the nine First Rounds since the NHL realigned in 2013-14 have at least half of its series require at least six games, including seven of eight in 2022. The others: 2021 (5), 2019 (5), 2018 (4), 2017 (4), 2016 (5), 2015 (6) and 2014 (6).

* Ilya Sorokin turned aside 30 of 31 shots in Game 3, including all 24 he faced through the first 40 minutes of action. Sorokin, who has allowed two or fewer goals in half of his 10 career playoff appearances, owns a .928 career save percentage in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Islanders – the second-highest total in franchise history (min. 5 GP) behind only Robin Lehner (.936).

Sam Bennett (1-1—2) has found the score sheet in both games for the Panthers this postseason since returning to the lineup in Game 2 and owns a career average of 0.62 points per game in the playoffs (14-15—29 in 47 GP) as compared his career totals during the regular season (117-127—244 in 546 GP; 0.45 P/GP). His 0.17 points-per-game difference trails only Nathan MacKinnon (0.23 P/GP), Jaccob Slavin (0.20 P/GP), Gabriel Landeskog (0.20 P/GP) and Ryan O’Reilly (0.20 P/GP) for the highest among active players (min. 500 regular season GP and 45 playoff GP).

* Jake Oettinger looks to help Dallas rebound following their Game 3 loss, a situation the 24-year-old excelled in during the 2022-23 regular season. Oettinger went 17-1-3 following a loss prior to postseason play and posted a 1.97 goals-against average, 0.936 save percentage and four shutouts. His 17 wins were tied with Connor Hellebuyck (17-9-1) for the most among all goaltenders in that scenario.

* Both Leon Draisaitl (3-3—6) and Evan Bouchard (1-3—4) have each played a role in the Oilers offense through the first three games of the First Round, finding the score sheet in every outing. Bouchard, who sits tied for the fifth-most points among defensemen in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, can become the first Edmonton blueliner with a four-game point streak to begin a postseason since Charlie Huddy in 1988 (2-3—5 in 4 GP).


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