Flyers, Golden Knights Secure Top Seeds

Ryan Dadoun
·3 min read

No teams were eliminated on Saturday, but Vegas and Philadelphia secured the first seed of the Western and Eastern Conferences respectively. With that the playoff picture for the “first round” is taking place.

Philadelphia will play against the Montreal Canadiens while Tampa Bay will play the winner of the Toronto-Columbus series. In the Western Conference, Vegas will face Chicago while Colorado will play against Arizona.

It will be particularly interesting to see how Montreal and Chicago do against Philadelphia and Vegas respectively. The Canadiens and Blackhawks almost certainly wouldn’t have even made the playoffs in a normal season, but the pause and then the NHL’s resumption of play provided them with a second chance and both squads took advantage of it. Chicago eliminated the Edmonton Oilers while Montreal ousted the Pittsburgh Penguins. Each team will be even heavier underdogs going forward, but as we’ve seen, anything is possible in the playoffs. Could we end up seeing a team that wouldn’t have otherwise made the playoffs go deep in them?

We’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves though. First let’s recap Saturday’s action:

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Alex Tuch scored the overtime winner. It was his third goal and point in three round robin games.

Jonathan Marchessault found the back of the net twice for Vegas. The first of his two goals came on the power play just 1:34 minutes into the second period.

Robin Lehner turned aside 32 of 35 Avalanche shots. He won both of his round robin starts, though he did surrender three goals in each of them.

J.T. Compher scored a goal and registered an assist. The Avalanche forward’s goal came at 18:58 of the third period to tie the game at 3-3 and force overtime.

Philipp Grubauer kicked out 22 of 26 shots on Saturday. He has a 1-0-1 record, 2.45 GAA, and .914 save percentage in two playoff starts this year.

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Nicolas Aube-Kubel scored the first two goals of the contest with the second becoming the game-winner. It was the 24-year-old’s first two career playoff points.

Joel Farabee scored a goal and registered an assist for the Flyers. Like Aube-Kubel, those were Farabee’s first two career postseason points.

Carter Hart saved 23 of 24 Lightning shots. He’s now played against the Lightning and Bruins in the 2020 playoffs and has allowed just two goals over those two starts.

At the other end of the ice, Andrei Vasilevskiy kicked out 26 of 29 shots. He had a 2-1 record, 2.29 GAA, and .921 save percentage in three playoff starts this year.

Tampa Bay’s lone goal was scored by Tyler Johnson. He’s up to two goals and three points in three postseason games in 2020.