NHL Three Stars: Night of overtimes

 

No. 1 Star: Jonathan Bernier, Anaheim Ducks

On a night when no lead was safe, Bernier came on in relief for starter John Gibson, who gave up four goals. The Ducks goalie made 16 saves on 16 shots, and the Ducks eventually rallied for a 5-4 win. Corey Perry had the game-winner in OT.

No. 2 Star: Bobby Ryan, Ottawa Senators 

Ryan had an assist and the game-winning goal in overtime in the Senators’ 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins. That OT goal arrived after a controversial play in which Ryan goaded Riley Nash into punching him, earning Ottawa a power play that they’d convert for the 2-1 series lead.

No. 3 Star: Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators 

The Predators forward scored two goals in the third period to rally Nashville to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Kevin Fiala has the OT winner.

Honorable Mention: Nazem Kadri had a goal and the perfect setup of Tyler Bozka’s game-winner in overtime, as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Washington Capitals, 4-3. … Auston Matthews scored his first playoff goal, as Toronto took a 2-1 series lead. … Shea Theodore had two goals, while Rickard Rakell, Hampus Lindholm and Kevin Bieksa had two assists. … What a save by Pekka Rinne:

Did You Know? Nashville had 49 shots on goal and 94 shot attempts. 

Dishonorable Mention: The Capitals were 0-for-3 on the power play, including a blown 5-on-3. … Artemi Panarin was a minus-2, and doesn’t have a playoff point in three games. … Matt Bartkowski was a minus-3. … Tough break for Corey Crawford and the Blackhawks.

 

NHL Three Stars: Allen is superhuman; Guentzel's hatty; Kassian's game winner

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 16: The New York Rangers prepare for the game against the Montreal Canadiens in Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 16, 2017 in New York City. The Canadiens defeated the Rangers 3-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

No. 1 Star: Jake Allen, St. Louis Blues

The netminder made 40 saves in the team’s 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild. Through three playoff games, Allen has allowed 3 total goals on 117 shots against. That’s an incredible 0.91 goals-against average and .974 save-percentage.

No. 2 Star: Jake Guentzel, Pittsburgh Penguins

For the first time in the franchise history of the Penguins, a rookie scored a hat trick in the playoffs. Guenztel’s third goal was the best of them all – it won the game in overtime for Pittsburgh.

No. 3 Star: Zack Kassian, Edmonton Oilers

Kassian picked up his second goal of the playoffs when he pounced on a turnover and beat Martin Jones. The goal came in a scoreless game midway through the third period. The Oilers held on to beat the San Jose Sharks, 1-0. The Oilers take a 2-1 series lead.

Honorable Mention: Joe Thornton returned to the lineup for the Sharks. He had four shot attempts in 16:27 TOI. San Jose out-hit the Oilers 58-37. Cam Talbot shut out San Jose with a 23 save performance … Ryan Suter recorded 10 shot attempts against St. Louis. Patrik Berglund and Alexander Steen each had two points in the win. Steen’s setup on Jaden Schwartz’s go-ahead goal was a beaut:

… Cam Atkinson scored 11 seconds into the game to give the Blue Jackets the lead. He picked up his second goal a few minutes later. Bryan Rust netted two goals in the second period for the Penguins … The Montreal Canadiens’ power play was 2-for-3 in the team’s 3-1 victory against the New York Rangers. The Habs take a 2-1 series lead. Alexander Radulov submits his nomination for ‘goal of the post-season’ with an insane one-armed tally.

Did You Know? The Rangers have last six straight playoff games on home ice.

Dishonorable Mention: The Wild are down 3-0 in the series. Game 4 is on Wednesday in St. Louis. Bruce Boudreau stormed out of his post-game press conference … Poor Zach Werenski. He took a puck to the face, bled profusely on the ice, the refs didn’t stop play and the Penguins scored. The Blue Jackets are on the brink of elimination against the Penguins … Kevin Klein introduced Torrey Mitchell to his Rangers teammates in the most awkward (and hilarious) way possible:

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Jen Neale is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow her on Twitter!

Brian Boyle rewrites script in Maple Leafs' thrilling OT win

WASHINGTON – Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock doesn’t often get through a media availability without making mention of the “right way” of doing things.

There’s no manual to detail this ambiguous standard that he’s working tirelessly to drill home (though we’re not privy to what might be under the players’ stalls), but if you watched the Leafs’ double-overtime triumph over the Washington Capitals in Game 2 of their opening-round series on Saturday night, you might have an idea.

There were hard lines, heavy shifts, back pressures, and bodies behind pucks. There was attention to detail, responsibility and support in all three zones.

It was the sort of complete buy-in that allowed the eighth-seeded Maple Leafs to even the playing field in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and limit the NHL’s third highest scoring five-on-five team to just a single goal in over 72 minutes under that condition on Saturday night.

What it didn’t allow for was a whole lot of creativity.

That was, until the fourth line produced an unlikely moment of first-line artistry – but not without a careful peek over the shoulder first.

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Perhaps prompted by the shouts of Kasperi Kapanen, Brian Boyle checked his blindspot (to make sure that it was, in fact, the “higher percentage play”) and swung a feathered backhand drop pass to the cutting rookie, who popped the overtime winner inside the post Braden Holtby vacated to track Boyle.

The goal, scored near the 12-minute mark of the second overtime period, sent the Maple Leafs home with a deserved split against the juggernaut Capitals.

It was Kapanen’s second goal of the game, and his biggest since scoring the overtime winner in the gold-medal final of the World Junior Championship for his native Finland.

And it was the contribution Boyle, still without a goal since being traded to the Maple Leafs six weeks ago, had been dying to deliver.

“That was a pretty good feeling,” he said.

Kasperi Kapanen Brian Boyle
Kasperi Kapanen celebrates his overtime winner in Game 2 versus the Washington Capitals. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

Just moments earlier, Boyle received a firm handshake and slap on the back in the hallway from the passing Lou Lamoriello, who acquired him from the Tampa Bay Lightning for his leadership qualities, versatility in a fourth-line centre role, and ability to kill penalties.

There would have been no such greeting, however, if his teammates didn’t pick him up twenty minutes earlier. Boyle took a sloppy enough penalty in the first bonus period that it had to have been called, even in overtime, leading the Capitals, who had already scored twice with the man advantage, to their seventh power play of the game.

Read more: Maple Leafs lose Polak for season after nasty collision (Video)

Boyle shattered his stick over the crossbar on his path to the penalty box in a moment of frustration, knowing that his mistake could potentially undo the progress that his rookie-laden club made in just their second postseason game. It would have haunted him.

Even long after the successful kill and overtime winner he set up, that mistake still seemed to be gnawing at him.

He said with great sincerity he just didn’t want to be the headline.

Not for that reason, anyway.

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Ryan Getzlaf's 'lucky' goal gives Ducks Game 2 win

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 15: Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks acknowledges the fans after the game against the Calgary Flames in Game Two of the Western Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center on April 15, 2017 in Anaheim, California. Getzlaf's third period goal proved to be the game winner as the Ducks beat the Flames, 3-2. (Photo by Robert Binder/NHLI via Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 15: Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks acknowledges the fans after the game against the Calgary Flames in Game Two of the Western Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center on April 15, 2017 in Anaheim, California. Getzlaf’s third period goal proved to be the game winner as the Ducks beat the Flames, 3-2. (Photo by Robert Binder/NHLI via Getty Images)

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf described his third period game-winning goal in Game 2 of his first-round series against the Calgary Flames as “lucky.”

While Getzlaf was at the point on the power play off a holding the stick penalty by Calgary defenseman Dougie Hamilton, the Ducks’ captain tried to thread a cross-ice pass through the Flames. The puck then bounced off the leg of Calgary forward Lance Bouma and past goaltender Brian Elliott at the 15:14 mark. This gave the Ducks a 3-2 lead they wouldn’t relinquish. With the victory Anaheim now holds a 2-0 series advantage over Calgary.

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“We worked hard for (the goal). Our guys worked hard for that faceoff to get the puck back and then sometimes luck’s on your side,” Getzlaf said.

The Flames also saw the goal as lucky and were upset with how the play turned out. Calgary has not won a game at Honda Center since April 25, 2006.

“It’s absolutely not (Bouma’s) fault. He was doing his job,” Calgary coach Glen Gulutzan said. “It was part of the structure of the penalty kill. They’re trying to seam us, he gets in the seam, it ricochets off his foot and goes in the net. There’s nothing you can say. He’s doing his job. It’s just hockey. They got a bounce.”

The Ducks were in that position to take a lead in the third period because they somehow survived the Flames’ big second period push.

After building a 2-0 advantage in the first period, Anaheim allowed a shorthanded goal by Calgary forward Mikael Backlund near the end of the frame, which gave the Flames some momentum heading into the second. Once that period started, the Ducks went into a free-fall, allowing 15 shots on goal and firing just six on the Calgary net. The Flames tied the game at 2-2 at the 7:01 mark on a Sean Monahan power play goal and then hounded Anaheim the rest of the period. There was even a point where it appeared the Flames may have scored a goal off a scrum in front of Ducks goaltender John Gibson, but a review showed Calgary interfered with him.

“That was kind of an ugly period for us,” Getzlaf said. “Obviously they came out with an attitude in that second period that they were going to try to push us and play. They did a great job. They Got us off our game a little bit.”

Said Gibson, “They just had a push. We knew they were going to have it once we got up 2-0.”

When the horn went off at the end of the period and the Ducks retreated to their locker room, the team focused on calming down. The Ducks also emphasized getting back to their grinding gameplan, and when the third period started they looked like their normal selves.

“The second period ended, we were able to come in here and compose, rest, take a few deep breaths and get back at it,” Getzlaf said.

In the third period they equaled the Flames’ 11 shots on goal and won the overall puck possession battle. They also didn’t take any penalties while Calgary took two in the 20 minutes.

“What we talked about was that we were 2-2 and we had just experienced one of our worst periods probably in a long time from a standpoint of we just sat around and watched what they did,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “We couldn’t complete two passes. We gave up 15 shots. I think we had three penalties in the period so it was time to reset – reset our group. Just forget about it because basically what we needed to do was we needed to establish our game again right at the start of the third period and I thought we did that.”

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Though the Ducks were happy with the way they responded after Calgary’s second period, they understood they can’t allow the Flames to so dominantly control the pace in any game. They grasped that a better 60-minute effort should prevent this from happening again.

“We’ll take it. A win is a win in the playoffs and our guys did a good job,” Getzlaf said. “Our goaltender did good staying in there, keeping us in that hockey game and made some big stops and we were able to regroup in the third period.”

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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NHL Three Stars: Crosby's three points; Radulov's OT winner

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 14: Pittsburgh Penguins Center Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates his goal during the first period in Game Two of the Eastern Conference First Round in the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Pittsburgh Penguins on April 14, 2017, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 14: Pittsburgh Penguins Center Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates his goal during the first period in Game Two of the Eastern Conference First Round in the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Pittsburgh Penguins on April 14, 2017, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

No. 1 Star: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

Crosby scored a goal and added two assists in a 4-1 Game 2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. With the win, the Penguins went up 2-0 in their series. This was Crosby’s 11th three-point game in his 126-game playoff career. His goal was also his 50th of his postseason career.

No. 2 Star: Alexander Radulov, Montreal Canadiens

Radulov scored the overtime winner and notched two assists in a 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers. The win by the Habs tied their series at 1-1. Radulov’s goal was his first in the postseason since April 20, 2012 with the Nashville Predators against the Detroit Red Wings. Radulov became the 55th different player in Canadiens history to score a playoff overtime goal.

No. 3 Star: Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

McDavid scored his first NHL playoff goal in his team’s 2-0 Game 2 win over the San Jose Sharks. The goal was shorthanded and at the 10:31 mark of the third period. He became the ninth player in past 30 years to score his first playoff goal within his first two career playoff games and have the goal come shorthanded. Edmonton’s playoff win was the organization’s first at home since Game 6 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.

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Honorable Mention: Penguins forward Jake Guentzel scored a goal and added an assist. … Pittsburgh forwards Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist each scored a goal. … Penguins defenseman Ian Cole notched two assists. … Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 39 of 40 shots on goal. … The Penguins improved to 10-1 in the playoffs when Malkin and Crosby score. … Columbus forward Brandon Saad scored his team’s only goal. … Columbus defenseman Seth Jones notched an assist. … Canadiens forward Tomas Plekanec tied the game with 17.3 seconds left in the third period to send it to overtime. He also notched an assist. Plekanec’s goal was the latest game-tying goal in Habs playoff history. … Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry scored a goal. … The Rangers got one goal each from forwards Rick Nash, Michael Grabner and Mats Zuccarello. … New York forwards Jimmy Vesey and Derek Stepan each notched one assist. … St. Louis Blues forward Jaden Schwartz broke a 1-1 tie with the Minnesota Wild in the third period with his game-winning goal at the 17:33 mark. … The Blues won the game 2-1 and now have a 2-0 series lead. … Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo and forward Kyle Brodziak each assisted on Schwartz’s goal. … St. Louis defenseman Joel Edmundson scored his second goal of the playoffs. … It was the third time in Blues history the team has taken a 2-0 lead on the road in a best-of-seven series. … Minnesota forward Zach Parise scored a goal. … Oilers forward Zack Kassian scored a shorthanded goal and fired four shots on goal. … Edmonton goaltender Cam Talbot stopped all 16 Sharks shots on goal

Did you know? Before Radulov’s goal on Friday, the last Canadien to score a home overtime goal against the Rangers in the playoffs was Maurice Richard in 1957.

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Dishonorable Mention: New York allowed 58 shots on goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. … Montreal defenseman Nathan Beaulieu was a minus-3. … Minnesota Wild coach Bruce Boudreau has a four-game playoff losing streak dating back to last year with the Anaheim Ducks. … The Sharks are now 3-13 in their playoff history when they have six-or-more power play opportunities without a power play goal. … San Jose had six power plays against Edmonton.

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