We’re back! The NHL enters its third day of the 2019-20 playoff qualifiers after a four-month break and we’ll be here to capture all the action from every game.
Follow along here as Yahoo Sports NHL editor Arun Srinivasan will keep you posted on the all major storylines, highlight-reel goals, major injuries and anything else you need to know.
McDavid shows some of that personality
It seems unlikely Connor McDavid would have seen the laughable criticism about him and his ability to inspire his teammates after Edmonton’s Game 1 loss the Blackhawks over the weekend, but he certainly made it a tough night for his detractors in Monday’s nightcap.
McDavid struck 19 seconds into the game, scored an absolute wonder goal less than four minutes later, and then completed his first career postseason hat trick late in the second period to re-establish a lead the Oilers would not relinquish in a 6-3 victory.
Connor McDavid's second of the game is ridiculous pic.twitter.com/iiUElNEVN7
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) August 4, 2020
Leon Draisaitl was largely quiet in the victory, but McDavid did receive the support he needed from down in the lineup in the form of a 30-second sequence from James Neal. First the veteran winger hopped on a mistake from Corey Crawford to give the Oilers an important insurance marker. Then he bulldozed his way through Adam Boqvist and into the crease, creating a loose-puck opportunity for Alex Chiasson to clean up.
— Brandon Cain (@brandonmcain) August 4, 2020
All square, the Oilers and Blackhawks will resume their series Wednesday, again in primetime on the west coast.
Penguins fight through Price’s heroics to even series
For the second straight game Carey Price was in vintage, 2015 form, but this time it wasn’t enough to will an overmatched Canadiens squad to victory against the Penguins.
Price looked phenomenal again, allowing just two goals on 37 shots after a 39-save performance in Montreal’s Game 1 win. Matt Murray was also excellent in Game 2, especially down the stretch, turning aside 26 of the 27 shots he faced.
Sidney Crosby tallied for the second straight game to open the scoring for Pittsburgh, and Jason Zucker potted what would turn out to be the game winner late in the third frame.
— Here's Your Replay ⬇️ (@TheReplayGuy) August 4, 2020
Golden Knights down Stars after multiple players kneel for anthems
William Carrier’s ridiculous game-winner
VGK’s William Carrier tallied one of the nicest goals this season to break a 3-3 stalemate late in the third period as Vegas downed Dallas in a Western Conference round-robin qualifying matchup.
- off balance
- no look
- between the legs
— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) August 4, 2020
Another angle of this gem:
Multiple players kneel for anthems
This contest, though entertaining, was really highlighted by four players — Ryan Reaves, Robin Lehner of Vegas and Tyler Seguin and Jason Dickinson of the Stars — taking a knee for both the Canadian and U.S. national anthems to protest systematic racism, violence and police brutality.
It was the first time multiple NHL players took a knee together.
Jets equal series despite missing Scheifele, Laine
The Winnipeg Jets defeated the Calgary Flames 3-2 on Tuesday, tying the series at 1-1. Here’s what you need to know:
It wouldn’t have been unreasonable to write the Jets off. What, with Mark Scheifele suffering a gruesome-looking injury three shifts into the playoff qualifiers, while Patrik Laine left during the third period of the opening game with a hand injury.
Two elite shooters down, trailing 1-0 in the series. And yet the Jets rallied for a 3-2 victory, tying the best-of-5 at a game apiece.
Nikolaj Ehlers tipped a point shot from Neal Pionk for the winner, and against conventional wisdom, this is now a real series again.
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) August 3, 2020
Svechnikov sets franchise record with hat-trick
The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the New York Rangers 4-1 on Tuesday, taking a 2-0 series lead after Andrei Svechnikov recorded a hat-trick. Here’s what you need to know:
Andrei Svechnikov recorded a hat trick in Carolina's Game 2 victory.
Svechnikov became the youngest (20-130) player to record a Stanley Cup playoff hat trick since Sean Couturier (19-128) in 2012 against the Penguins pic.twitter.com/tRritFUJrd
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 3, 2020
As the Hurricanes’ official Twitter account notes, Andrei Svechnikov is just 20 years old. It’s hard to believe sometimes, but he’s been the best player in this series and helped his breeze past the New York Rangers, becoming the first player in franchise history to record a playoff hat-trick.
Andrei Svechnikov is 20 years old pic.twitter.com/g3fiLl0jDn
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) August 3, 2020
Svechnikov’s second goal is a particular beauty, wiring a slap shot from the top of the faceoff circle that Henrik Lundqvist simply had no chance on. In many ways, Svechnikov resembles his countryman, Alexander Ovechkin, at the same age.
After Sebastian Aho stripped the Rangers’ defense, Svechnikov crashed the net and deposited the feed in to complete the hat-trick.
Carolina snuck up on everyone last year en route to the Eastern Conference final. If Svechnikov keeps playing like this, the Hurricanes’ ascension will be no surprise.
The boys give it up for Svech 🗣 pic.twitter.com/UfqMpUYxd2
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) August 3, 2020
DeAngelo Big Mad
Whether it was exasperation or an attempt to fire up his team, Tony DeAngelo decided against going softly into the night in the Rangers’ Game 2 loss to the Hurricanes.
He was first to fling off his mitts in a minor melee with Jordan Martinook, and threw a few extra punches when his adversary was down and the referees had already stepped in.
— Spoked Z (@SpokedZ) August 3, 2020
A little greasy from DeAngelo, sure, but with the Hurricanes up 2-0 in the series, it’ll surely soon be forgotten. That said, Hockey Twitter is certainly letting him have it.
tony deangelo acting like someone asked him to wear a mask
— horse massacre (@torqpenderloin) August 3, 2020
No positive tests
We can all breathe a sigh of relief as the NHL announced there were no positive tests for COVID-19 among the 7,013 tests administered in the first week of Phase 4.
NHL statement on COVID-19 testing results: pic.twitter.com/bjPuANz8Sq
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) August 3, 2020
Lundqvist starts for Rangers again, Shesterkin day-to-day
Henrik Lundqvist is back between the pipes for the Rangers, with Igor Shesterkin listed as day-to-day being unfit to play.
Henrik Lundqvist is starting for the Rangers today. Igor Shesterkin is still day to day, unfit to play. Per @RangersMSGN.
— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) August 3, 2020
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