It was a great night to be at home, as three of the four playoff games on Saturday night went to the hosts. The only exception was in Anaheim, as the San Jose Sharks won on the road for the second consecutive game to take a commanding 2-0 series lead before heading back to the Bay Area. It's no surprise to see the Ducks tumble at home, as they're now just 3-6 across their past nine skates at home in the postseason.
Martin Jones didn't get off to a great start, as he allowed a goal in the opening minute to Jakob Silfverberg to get the crowd at full throat immediately. It was Silfverberg's 18th career goal in the postseason. However, as the game progressed Jones was at it again, stopping 28 of the 30 shots he faced to help his team to victory. He has turned aside 51 of the 53 shots he has faced in the series. Jones and the Sharks will be back home for Games 3 and 4 in good shape to win their first series since their run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016.
After Silfverberg's huge early marker, Marcus Sorensen answered midway through the first to splash cold water on the SoCal folks. Brandon Montour took a hooking penalty late in the first and Logan Couture responded immediately with a power-play goal to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead. It's the 31st time Couture has flicked the switch for a goal in the postseason. Tomas Hertl added an insurance goal and it was too much to overcome. He later sustained a nasty gash to his chin for his troubles, a battle scar for a hard-earned playoff victory.
It's pretty impressive, as the Sharks have built their series lead without the services of Joe Thornton, who has been out since Jan. 23 due to right knee surgery. Game 3 is set for Monday at 10:30 p.m. ET in San Jose.
NASHVILLE 5 COLORADO 4 (Predators lead series 2-0)
The Avalanche tagged Pekka Rinne for four goals in the Music City before the Predators were able to grind out a 5-4 victory. However, it was certainly not what the heavily-favored Preds bargained for, especially against a team which qualified for the playoffs on the final day of the regular season with a win over the St. Louis Blues.
Patric Hornqvist netted the Penguins’ lone goal. He’s on a nine-game point streak that dates back to the regular season.
The Predators averaged 4.5 goals per game in the four regular-season meetings with the Avalanche, and they're averaging 5.0 goals per game in the two playoff battles. If Colorado is going to make this a series, they'll need to tighten up defensively, something they haven't been able to do in six losses to Nashville so far this season.
Gabriel Bourque opened the scoring early in the first period to quiet down the Music City crowd. However, a late first-period penalty to Gabriel Landeskog for tripping carried over to the second period. That's when Kevin Fiala ratcheted up the crowd nose with a goal on the man advantage with help from Colton Sissons and Kyle Turris. Viktor Arvidsson struck later on an unassisted goal, while Ryan Johansen sent the crowd into a frenzy with a third goal at the 16:32 mark of the second period to make it 3-1. Nathan MacKinnon was able to reel it back in a bit with his first of the postseason to head to the room down just 3-2.
Austin Watson posted his second goal of the playoffs to open the third, stepping up his game in the postseason yet again. Once the playoff beards start to grow, so does Watson's game. Ryan Hartman added insurance at 18:51 to make it 5-3, and it ended up being the game-winning tally after Alexander Kerfoot picked up a goal with an extra attacker. They were unable to score in the final 36 seconds, as the Preds escaped.
The series will now shift to Denver with Game 3 scheduled for 10:00 p.m. ET on Monday.
TAMPA BAY 5 NEW JERSEY 3 (Lightning lead series 2-0)
Keith Kinkaid was the truth down the stretch for the Devils, saving their season when Cory Schneider was injured and then off of his game to finish the regular season. However, Kinkaid let in five goals on 15 shots in Game 2 and he was sent off for a shower midway through the second period, giving way to Schneider. He stopped all 10 of the shots he faced and it will be interesting to see which way head coach John Hynes leans in Game 3 when the series shifts to Newark.
Brayden Point opened the scoring, while Nico Hischier answered just 1:23 later to tie it up 1-1. Things were looking fine until the second period when the wheels came off. Alex Killorn bagged two power-play goals, including the final nail in Kinkaid's coffin at 13:12 of the second. Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov scored for the second consecutive game and the rout was on. The worst part for the Devils might be the fact the Lightning's second and third lines are doing most of the damage, with Steven Stamkos yet to come alive.
Hischier's goal was historic for New Jersey, as he became the youngest player in franchise history to light the lamp in the playoffs. He is just 19 years, 100 days old.
Ryan Callahan checked out of the game in the second period due to an upper-body ailment and he was unable to return. That's about the only thing that went wrong for the Tampa offense.
New Jersey will be back on home ice for Game 3 in a must-win situation on Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
BOSTON 7 TORONTO 3 (Bruins lead series 2-0)
The Boston Bruins are looking mighty impressive. Or is it the Maple Leafs looking mighty, mighty bad? It's probably a little bit of both. Boston has now outscored their Original Six rivals by a 12-4 margin through the first two games.
David Pastrnak made like Darryl Sittler, going for three goals with six points in a complete whitewashing of the Leafs. His previous career high in a game was four points. With 1:36 to go, Pastrnak collected the hat trick. Only Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Patrick Sundstrom have posted more than six goals in an NHL postseason contest.
Pastrnak opened the scoring at 5:26 of the first period, and the Bruins had a four-goal avalanche in the first 15 minutes to build a 4-0 lead, including two power-play goals. Jake DeBrusk broke through for his first-career playoff goal, while Rick Nash also got into the act. This is why the Bruins brought him over from the New York Rangers at the trade deadline.
Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand were overshadowed by Pastrnak. That duo had four points each, and normally that would be the headline grabber. Boston is getting it from so many different sources right now, as they had five different goal scorers for the second straight contest. That was bad news for Frederik Andersen, who was yanked just 12:13 into the game, as Curtis McElhinney took over for him and finished up the ugly Game 2. There isn't likely to be a goalie controversy in Toronto, but Andersen must be much, much better.
So far Andersen has coughed up eight goals on 45 shots, folding in the first two games in Boston after 2-1-0 with a 2.69 goals-against average and .908 save percentage in three games against the B's during the regular season.
The series will continue in Toronto on Monday night at 7:00 p.m. ET.