Hellebuyck blanks Oilers for a 2-0 series lead

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The Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers didn’t get their first round series started until Wednesday because of the delayed finish of the North Division. Getting four games off hasn’t cooled off the Jets.

Winnipeg struggled down the stretch prior to winning two straight games before the end of the regular season. It seems the team gained some confidence and Connor Helebuyck has built some momentum. The 2020 Vezina Trophy winner is more than capable of stealing games and he has been excellent so far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Hellebuyck has stopped 70 of 71 shots through two games versus Edmonton, while posting a minuscule 0.48 goals-against average and an outstanding .986 save percentage.

Edmonton will have to find a way to spark the team’s offense to get back into this series on the road. All eyes will be on Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who finished with 105 points and 84 points, respectively, as the top-two scorers in the league during the 2020-21 campaign. They have both been held off the scoresheet in the playoffs thus far, while combining for 15 shots on goal.

Games 3 and 4 of the best-of-seven series will be played in Winnipeg as part of a back-to-back situation on Sunday and Monday.

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WASHINGTON 1 BOSTON 4 - Bruins lead series 3-1

The Bruins have pushed the Capitals to the brink of elimination following a third straight win since losing the series opener. The two teams also didn’t require overtime for the first time this postseason.

David Pastrnak notched one goal and one assist during Boston power plays in the contest. He got his first goal of the postseason just 29 seconds into the second period. Pastrnak has four points in the series.

Charlie McAvoy picked up three assists on the man advantage in the match. Boston went 3-for-5 on the power play on Friday night.

Brad Marchand (power play), Charlie Coyle and Matt Grzelcyk (power play) had the other goals for the Bruins.

Alex Ovechkin lit the lamp for the Capitals at 4:54 of the third period during a power play situation. He cut Washington’s deficit to 3-1, but the team didn’t get any closer.

David Krejci, Taylor Hall, Jake DeBrusk. Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson recorded one assist apiece.

Kevan Miller left the game with 12:33 remaining in the second period after he was hit by Washington’s Dmitry Orlov. His head appeared to bang off the ice following the collision and he was taken to the hospital for scans and further evaluation.

Ilya Samsonov stopped 33 of 37 shots in the loss.

Tuukka Rask blocked 19 shots for the win. His 54th playoff victory moved him ahead of Gerry Cheevers for the most in Boston history.

CAROLINA 4 NASHVILLE 5 (2OT) - Hurricanes lead series 2-1

The Predators got back in the series with a thrilling double overtime win over the Hurricanes in Game 3.

Matt Duchene scored the game winner 14:54 into the second extra period. It was his first goal of the series and he second point in three postseason games.

Sebastian Aho accounted for one goal and two helpers. He is up three goals and five points through three games this postseason.

Filip Forsberg and Ryan Ellis notched one goal and one assist apiece in the match.

Vincent Trocheck (power play), Jordan Staal and Brett Pesce lit the lamp for Carolina, while Mikael Granlund (power play) and Ryan Johansen had the other markers for Nashville.

Roman Josi chipped in two helpers, while Alexandre Carrier, Tanner Jeannot, Erik Haula, Colton Sissons, Teuvo Teravainen, Andrei Svechnikov and Warren Foegele posted one assist each.

Aho, Josi and Dougie Hamilton were credited with seven shots on goal apiece.

Jani Hakanpaa had a game-high seven hits.

Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 49 shots in the loss after starting his NHL playoff record at 2-0.

Juuse Saros turned aside 52 shots in the victory to match Nashville’s franchise record for the most stops in a playoff game. Dan Ellis accomplished the feat first back in 2008.

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WINNIPEG 1 EDMONTON 0 (OT) - Jets lead series 2-0

The Jets won the first two games of the best-of-seven series on the road against the Oilers.

Connor Hellebuyck was superb again between the pipes with a 38-save shutout.

Paul Stastny provided the game winner 4:06 into the extra period for his first point this playoffs.

Andrew Copp and Tucker Poolman assisted on the play.

Poolman has two points in two games this postseason matches after he scored in Game 1. He didn’t have a point in his previous six NHL playoff outings.

Kyle Connor had a game-high seven shots.

Trevor Lewis and Mathieu Perreault supplied seven hits apiece.

Mike Smith stopped 35 shots in the defeat.

COLORADO 5 ST. LOUIS 1 - Avalanche lead series 3-0

The Avalanche took a commanding 3-0 lead in the team’s best-of-seven series versus the Blues.

Ryan Graves led the way with one goal and two assists in the contest. He picked up an assist in Game 2 and only had four points in 17 career postseason matches entering Friday’s tilt. Graves also added four shots, one hit and two blocks in 18:42 of ice time.

Alex Newhook, who had three assists in six appearances during the regular season, got his first NHL goal and point in the playoffs when he scored in the second period.

Tyson Jost and Tyler Bozak (shorthanded) scored goals nine seconds apart before the end of the second stanza.

Brandon Saad and J.T. Compher (empty-netter) found the back of the net in the third frame.

Valeri Nichushkin, Carl Soderberg, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Gabriel Landeskog, Andre Burakovsky, Mikko Rantanen, Ryan O'Reilly and Colton Parayko registered one assist apiece.

Sammy Blais was credited with 10 hits and Steven Santini had eight in his NHL playoff debut.

Jordan Binnington allowed four goals on 25 shots in the loss.

Philipp Grubauer shielded 31 shots in the victory.