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The Blue & Gray Press | May 24, 2018

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First round of NHL playoffs start off with a bang

First round of NHL playoffs start off with a bang

By HANNA LUGO

Staff Writer

The National Hockey League playoffs have always been a hit. Every season, sports fans gather around the television or arenas to cheer on their favorite team, hoping for an intense game to remember later on. The 2017 Six-Game Stanley Cup Final was the most-watched final on record with 4.762 million viewers. This was up 19 percent versus the Stanley Cup Final in 2016.

This year, eight teams from each division made it into the playoffs. In the Eastern division the teams that made it through were the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets, and the New Jersey Devils. In the Western division the Nashville Predators, Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota Wilds, Vegas Golden Knights, Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles LA Kings, and Colorado Avalanches made it to the playoffs.

This year has been a bit tough for the Washington Capitals by losing their first two games in the playoffs against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Game one was on April 12 with a score of 3-4 while game two was scored 4-5. During game one Carlson scored twice in the first period and again in the third period. The winning shots were concluded by Panarin, Cole, and Dubois.

John Carlson scored goals during the first three periods of the second game, while Calvert, Werenski and Anderson scored during overtime which caused the Blue Jackets to receive the winning title.

Since the playoffs started, David Pastrnak from the Boston Bruins has shined in the spotlight with nine points, while Devan Dubnyk from the Minnesota Wilds has a 3.04 goals against average score. Marc-Andre Fleury has a .970 save percentage, three wins, and one shutout.

Currently, the Boston Bruins have scored the most points during the playoffs. They played the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 14 with a score of 7-3. The Bruins are in the lead of 2-0 while the Leafs are 0-2. David Pastrnak showed with a hat trick and three assists as part of a six-point night, which led the Bruins to win the game.

“I played with great players in a great team (this season) and we’re playing well now, it’s very easy for me to follow up with the team… We have a lot of guys who want it and know what it takes,” Pastrnak said after their successful win.

He is known to being the youngest player to score six points in a Stanley Cup playoff game.

Even though it was considered an accidental collision, Penguins player Kris Letang was forced to leave the rink after colliding into Flyers player Claude Giroux. Philadelphia was up 2-0 halfway during the second period when this unfortunate incident happened. Better luck next time!

Some drama escalated on the rink when Flyers player Radko Gudas did his best to push some buttons for Penguins player, Sidney Crosby. Crosby has been known to touch the center of the ice during the pre-game skate. However, Gudas decided to insert himself right on the center of the ice during No. 87’s ritual. According to social media, many thought that this mockery was pretty funny.

Another couch-gripping game was the Golden Knights versus the Los Angeles Kings in a double overtime marathon. With this game lasting about 100 minutes, the Knights took away game 2 from the Kings resulting in a 2-1 marathon. Kings goalie, Jonathan Quick, finished the game with nearly 54 saves on 56 shots. That must have been a rush for him once that game was over. Vegas’ Marc-Andre Fleury saved 29 of the 30 over about five periods. Erik Haula finally broke the tie in double overtime resulting with the Knights taking the W.

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