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NHL playoffs recap: Predators win in double OT; Bruins, Avalanche push opponents to brink

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The Nashville Predators didn't wait long to give the biggest crowd in the NHL playoffs this season - 12,135 people - something to cheer about Friday night at Bridgestone Arena.

Ryan Ellis scored 4 minutes, 35 seconds into the first period in Game 3 of his team's first-round series against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The crowd waited much longer for a conclusion in what was one of the longest games in Predators postseason history at 94 minutes, 54 seconds. The Predators picked up a 5-4 victory, thanks to Matt Duchene's goal in double overtime.

Predators goalie Juuse Saros made a career-high 52 saves, tying the franchise record for a playoff game set by Dan Ellis in 2008.

Nashville Predators center Matt Duchene (95) celebrates after scoring in the second overtime against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Nashville Predators center Matt Duchene (95) celebrates after scoring in the second overtime against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes lead the best-of-seven series 2-1.

Ryan Johansen tipped in Ellis' shot with 14:59 left in the third to give the Predators a 4-3 lead. But Brett Pesce tied it with 3:21 remaining in regulation.

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BRUINS 4, CAPITALS 1

BOSTON – David Pastrnak and Charlie Coyle scored 34 seconds apart to break the game open early in the third period, and Tuukka Rask stopped 19 shots to lead Boston to a 4-1 victory over the Washington Capitals and give the Bruins a 3-1 lead in their first-round East Division playoff series.

After three consecutive overtime games in which neither team managed a two-goal lead, the Bruins made it 2-0 on Pastrnak’s power-play goal 29 seconds into the third. The 25% capacity crowd had barely settled down before Jake DeBrusk’s shot bounced high off the glass behind Ilya Samsonov and landed in the crease for Coyle to poke it into the net.

Alex Ovechkin made it 3-1 with 15 minutes left in the game when his shot was deflected into the net by Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo. It was Ovechkin’s first goal of the 2021 playoffs and the 71st of his postseason career, moving him past Steve Yzerman and into a tie with Bryan Trottier for 16th most in NHL history.

But Matt Grzelcyk restored the three-goal lead on a power-play goal – Boston’s third of the game – with five minutes left. Brad Marchand also scored for Boston, which will have a chance to eliminate the Capitals in Game 4 in Washington on Sunday.

The victory was the 54th in the playoffs for Rask, breaking the Bruins franchise record that was set by Hall of Famer Gerry Cheevers in 1980.

AVALANCHE 6, BLUES 1

ST. LOUIS — Ryan Graves had a goal and two assists, Philipp Grubauer made 31 saves and Colorado beat St. Louis to take a 3-0 series lead.

Alex Newhook scored his first NHL goal, and Tyson Jost, Brandon Saad and J.T. Compher also scored for the Avalanche, who can complete a series sweep Sunday in Game 4 in St. Louis.

Tyler Bozak scored for the Blues, and Jordan Binnington made 21 saves.

During the game, Colorado’s Nazem Kadri was suspended for eight games by the NHL for a check to the head of Justin Faulk in the third period of Game 2.

JETS 1, OILERS 0 (OT)

EDMONTON, Alberta — Paul Stastny scored at 4:06 of overtime to lift Winnipeg past Edmonton for a 2-0 series lead.

Stastny’s screened wrist shot beat goaltender Mike Smith high to the right corner.

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Connor Hellebuyck made 38 saves for Winnipeg, and Smith stopped 35 shots.

Winnipeg won the opener 4-1 on Wednesday night. The series shifts to Winnipeg for games Sunday and Monday nights.

Oilers captain Connor McDavid and teammate Leon Draisaitl – the NHL’s top two scorers – have been held off the scoresheet in the first two games.

Contributing: Associated Press

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: NHL playoff scores: Predators top Hurricanes; Avs, Bruins get 3rd win