Around The NHL: Lightning smash Leafs in Game 1, Jets and Kraken lead series after road wins, and more!

Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
1 year ago
Day two of the Stanley Cup playoffs are over.
As you know, the Edmonton Oilers are down 1-0 in their series after a third-period collapse against the Los Angeles Kings. Elsewhere around the league, only two higher-seeded teams are leading their respective first-round series after the first game. 
Let’s go through what’s happened in the playoffs so far, starting with the Western Conference…

The Los Angeles Kings lead the Edmonton Oilers 1-0:

I wrote the post-game article for this game after it finished late Monday evening. Basically, the Oilers took way too many penalties, failed to close out a lead, and played the Kings’ way after the first 20 minutes.
If they want to win the series, they’ll need to play how they did in the first period, hitting everything that moves and getting into the Kings’ head. In terms of skill, the Oilers are significantly better, but that doesn’t mean that they can coast during this series. It was the same situation against the Chicago Blackhawks in 2020, as well as the Winnipeg Jets in 2021.
Play hard, don’t take dumb penalties, and skill should get them the series win.
The Oilers will have another crack at the Kings on Wednesday at 8:00 PM MT.

The Winnipeg Jets lead the Vegas Golden Knights 1-0:

The Winnipeg Jets may have had the third-worst record of any playoff team, but, as we know, they’re going to be a nuisance.
They won the first game of the series against the best regular-season team in the Western Conference, by a score of 5-1. It wasn’t even a fluke win, they definitely dominated the Knights, who only had 17 shots compared to Winnipeg’s 31.
The Jets are a big team, which is what you love to have in the playoffs, but they also have arguably the best goaltender in the Western Conference in Connor Hellebuyck.
As an Oilers fan, I’d rather play Vegas at this point than the Jets.
Game two is at 8:00 PM MT on Thursday.

The Seattle Kraken lead the Colorado Avalanche 1-0:

Can you imagine if the Edmonton Oilers played this version of the Colorado Avalanche last season?
Unlike the Jets, Seattle didn’t dominate the game, allowing 36 shots compared to their 30 shots, a much more even game. However, the reigning Stanley Cup Champions don’t feel like they have that invincibility as they did during their 2022 playoff run.
Looking at former Oilers on the team, Justin Schultz had an assist, while Jordan Eberle and Adam Larsson were held off the score sheet.
It’s a long series, but winning the first game away is a big first step.
The Avalanche will have another crack at the Kraken on April 20th at 7:30 PM MT

The Minnesota Wild lead the Dallas Stars 1-0:

Speaking of “winning the first game away”, the Minnesota Wild did just that as well. That means that every single Western Conference team that played at home lost their game.
Ryan Hartman scored the double overtime goal to put the Wild up 1-0 in the series, but the biggest note from this game was an injury from a high hit.  In the second period, Matt Dumba blindsided Joe Pavelski near the net, resulting in the former falling to the ice and was taken out of the game.
Whether or not he got the shoulder first, or it was unlucky that there were two sticks that hit his head which caused the injury, these types of hits need to be eliminated.
Game two is set for Wednesday at 7:30 PM MT, but we’ll all be watching the Oilers game.

The Tampa Bay Lightning lead the Toronto Maple Leafs 1-0:

In my opinion, the weirdest beef between fanbases in hockey is the random beef Oilers and Leaf fans have for one another.
With that being said, it’s always a good day when the Leafs lose, especially in the playoffs. After going down 3-0 in the first period, they stormed back to make it a 3-2 game, before the battle-tested Lightning pulled away.
Goaltender Ilya Samsonov allowed six goals on just 29 shots, and was mercifully pulled after the second period ended.
Surprisingly, the big guns came out to play for the Leafs, as William Nylander scored, while Auston Matthews added two assists and Mitch Marner (their best player) added three assists. It wasn’t enough though, as Corey Perry finished the game with a goal and two assists as he finished the game as the first star.
Game two is at 5:00 PM MT on Thursday. Hopefully, this series ends in four.

The Boston Bruins lead the Florida Panthers 1-0:

One of only two teams to win on home ice after a game, it was par for the course as the Bruins beat the Florida Panthers 3-1.
I don’t expect this will be a competitive series, as the Bruins were legitimately one of the best regular season teams of all time, while Florida just squeaked into the playoffs with 92 points (the worst for any playoff team).
They may pull out a win on home ice, but this will be a short series.
Game two will take place on Wednesday at 5:30 PM MT.

The Carolina Hurricanes lead the New York Islanders 1-0:

Talk about a snooze fest between two boring teams that still play the trap.
If you want to watch low-scoring, low-event hockey, tune into game two on Wednesday at 5:00 PM MT.
Other than that, hopefully, the Hurricanes lose in the first round after 2006. #StillNotOverIt.

The New York Rangers lead the New Jersey Devils 1-0:

The playoff structure is often hated, and for good reason. However, what it does from time to time is pit two rivals against one another in the first round.
This is the case for this New York Metro series, as you can expect a lot of action in this series. Moreover, had the playoff structure been 1-8 like it was years prior, the Devils would have played the Lightning, while the Leafs would have played the Rangers, which is much less fun for both series.
Game two comes on Thursday at 5:30 PM MT, and it’s sure to be a good one as the Devils look to respond to a 5-1 drubbing.

If you enjoy my content, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. For select playoff games, I’ll be filling in for Zach with the Oilers clipping, so be sure to check me out!

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