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Around the NHL: Avs and Hurricanes advance, Leafs and Predators survive

Game 5 Vancouver Canucks Nashville Predators
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
3 days ago
The NHL schedule on Tuesday featured four potential elimination situations, as the Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Vancouver Canucks, and Colorado Avalanche entered their respective Game 5s with 3-1 series leads.
Two of those teams punched their tickets to the second round of the playoffs while the other two series will continue. Let’s go through last night’s results and look ahead to the two pivotal games that’ll be played on Wednesday.

Leafs avoid elimination with OT victory

After splitting Games 1 and 2 in Boston, the Leafs dropped both Games 3 and 4 in Toronto. But as we saw last season, a 3-1 series lead is far from a guarantee for the Bruins.
The Leafs came into Game 5 without their best player, 69-goal scorer Auston Matthews, who was unavailable to play because of illness. Toronto and Boston exchanged goals in the first period and the score deadlocked at 1-1 until two minutes into overtime when Matthew Knies buried the game-winner.
The series will now shift back to Toronto with the Bruins up 3-2. This series has followed a similar script to Boston’s first-round meeting with the Florida Panthers last year. The Bruins and Panthers split Games 1 and 2 in Boston, the Bruins won both games in Florida, and the Panthers kept the series alive with an overtime victory in Game 5.

Hurricanes breeze past Islanders

The New York Islanders were able to avoid being swept thanks to a double-overtime victory back on Saturday, but the Carolina Hurricanes finished the job in Game 6.
Back on home ice, the Canes got out to an early 3-1 lead in the first period. The Islanders battled back with two goals in the second to make the score 3-3 heading into the third. Carolina then scored three unanswered goals in the third period to finish off the game and the series.
Carolina will go up against the New York Rangers in the second round of the playoffs. The Rangers finished first in the Metro Division, three points ahead of Carolina with a 55-23-4 record. They breezed through the Washington Capitals with the only sweep so far in this year’s playoffs.

Avs finish off Jets in Game 5

After the Winnipeg Jets took Game 1 by a score of 7-6, the Colorado Avalanche settled in and completed a gentleman’s sweep of their Central Division foe. Colorado entered Game 5 in Winnipeg on Tuesday with a 3-1 series lead and finished things off with a commanding 6-3 victory.
The story of the series for the Avs was goaltender Alexandar Georgiev. He allowed seven goals on 23 shots in Game 1 and then settled down and posted a .932 save percentage over Colorado’s four wins. Given the way Colorado’s offence is going, they only need Georgiev to be solid.
The Avs will now await the winner of the Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights, who will play Game 5 of their first-round series on Wednesday in Dallas. The Golden Knights went into Dallas and won Games 1 and 2 but the Stars battled back in Vegas with wins in Games 3 and 4.

Predators edge out Canucks to stay alive

After a come-from-behind victory in Nashville on Sunday, the Vancouver Canucks had an opportunity to finish off the Predators at home in Game 5.
Neither team could find the back of the net until three minutes into the third period when Nikita Zadorov finally opened the scoring with his second goal of the playoffs. A few minutes later, Dakota Joshua was called for boarding, and Roman Josi knotted the score at 1-1 on the ensuing power play.
Alexandre Carrier scored with just over seven minutes remaining in the third period to give Nashville their first lead of the game. Unlike on Sunday, the Preds were able to close the door and complete the win, sending the series back to Nashville for Game 6 on Friday.
The Edmonton Oilers will host the Los Angeles Kings for Game 5 on Wednesday night and will be looking to avoid what happened to the Canucks. It took seven games for the Oilers to beat the Kings in 2022, they won in six games in 2023, and they can finish things off this year in five. Getting this thing over and having a weekend off while the Canucks and Preds keep battling is certainly the ideal situation for Edmonton.

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