NHL Playoff Recaps: Rangers take it to Devils, Lightning blowout Leafs, Kraken and Jets win openers

NHL Playoff Recaps:  April 18, 2023

The Stanley Cup Playoffs continued with the other four series opening on Tuesday night.

All the lower seeds won and both last year’s Eastern Conference finalists looked dominant. The New York Rangers took an early lead on the New Jersey and built on it to take Game 1.

NHL Playoff Recaps: Rangers rock Devils

Rangers 5 vs Devils 1

Adam Fox had four assists and Igor Shesterkin made 27 saves as New York rolled over New Jersey to open their first-round Eastern Conference series in Newark, N.J.

Chris Kreider scored two power-play goals, establishing a pair of Rangers postseason records. Kreider is now New York’s all-time playoff leader in total goals (36) and power-play goals (14). Fox matched his career high for points in a playoff game and became only the second defenseman in NHL history to record multiple four assist games in postseason action. Paul Coffey did it four times according to OptaSTATS.

Shesterkin stopped 27 of 28 shots for his 11th win in 22 career playoff games. Vladimir Tarasenko, Ryan Lindgren and Filip Chytil also scored for the Rangers. Jack Hughes found the net for the Devils on a late penalty shot, and Vitek Vanecek made 18 saves.

Jets 5 vs Golden Knights 1

Blake Wheeler had a goal and two assists and Adam Lowry scored twice in the final minutes to lead Winnipeg to a victory over Vegas in Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series in Las Vegas.

Pierre-Luc Dubois had a goal and an assist, Kyle Connor also scored a goal and Nino Niederreiter added two assists for Winnipeg. Connor Hellebuyck finished with 16 saves for his 17th career playoff win.

William Karlsson scored for Vegas, which earned the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference with 111 points, having swept the three-game regular-season series with the Jets. Laurent Brossoit, making his first career playoff start, stopped 26 of 30 shots.

A scary moment happened halfway through the first period when Jets’ forward Morgan Barron suffered a facial laceration during a crease scrum after falling on Brossoit’s skate. He required 75 stitches before returning to action with a full cage.

NHL Playoff Recaps: Bolts pound Leafs

nhl playoff recaps
Apr 18, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Tampa Bay Lightning forward Corey Perry (10) celebrates his goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs with Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Darren Raddysh (43) during the second period of game one of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Lightning 7 vs Maple Leafs 3

Brayden Point scored twice and the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3 Tuesday night in the opener of their best-of-seven, Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.

Nikita Kucherov and Corey Perry each added a goal and two assists for the Lightning, while Anthony Cirelli and Ross Colton each had a goal and an assist. Tampa Bay scored the game’s first three goals, then scored four straight in the second and third periods to put the game away.

Ryan O’Reilly, William Nylander and Calle Jarnkrok scored for Toronto. Mitchell Marner added three assists and Auston Matthews had two.

Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman left the game in the second period with an injury and did not return. Toronto’s Michael Bunting received a major penalty and a match penalty for an illegal hit to Tampa Bay defenseman Erik Cernak’s head with 4:20 left in the second.

Kraken 3 vs Avalanche 1

Alex Wennberg had a goal and an assist, Philipp Grubauer turned away 34 shots and Seattle beat Colorado in Game 1 of their first-round Western Conference playoff series in Denver.

Morgan Geekie and Eeli Tolvanen also scored goals for the Kraken, who won their inaugural playoff game against the reigning Stanley Cup champions.

Mikko Rantanen scored and Alexandar Georgiev had 27 saves for Colorado. The Avalanche had won their past six series openers and 10 straight first-round games before Tuesday night.

–Field Level Media

–The Daily Goal Horn contributed to this article