NHL Playoffs: Avs sweep Preds, Penguins trample Rangers, Flames and Panthers win

The Colorado Avalanche are the first team through Round One of the NHL Playoffs. Here’s a recap of all the action fro May 9, 2022.

Calgary Flames coach Darryl Sutter joked that whoever got in as the second wild card was just wasting two weeks. His word rang prophetic as the Colorado Avalanche swept the Nashville Predators on Monday night. Meanwhile, the Flames dug deep and evened their series with the Dallas Stars at two games each.

In Washington, the Florida Panthers avoided going down 3 games to 1 by beating the Capitals in OT. The New York Rangers on the other hand could not as they were blown away in Pittsburgh by the Penguins.

NHL Playoffs: Avalanche 5 vs Predators 3

Cale Makar and Andre Burakovsky each had a goal and two assists Monday as the Colorado Avalanche completed a sweep of the Nashville Predators with a 5-3 road victory in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series.

The top overall seed in the Western Conference, Colorado became the first team to advance to the second round of this year’s playoffs. The Predators, meanwhile, suffered the first postseason sweep in franchise history.

Makar led all players with 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in the series, setting an NHL record for most points by a defenseman over the first four games in one postseason. Nathan MacKinnon scored into an empty net for Colorado, and J.T. Compher had two assists.

“For us, it’s already to that next step,” Makar said. “We’re where we want it to be, but we have to make sure that we can stay tight throughout this little break that we have.”

Avalanche goalie Pavel Francouz stopped 28 of 31 shots. Francouz got the nod in place of regular starter Darcy Kuemper, who sustained an eye injury in Game 3. Yakov Trenin scored the Predators’ first two goals, with Colton Sissons assisting on both tallies. Connor Ingram saved 33 of 37 shots.

Panthers 3 vs Capitals 2 (OT)

Carter Verhaeghe scored his second goal of the game 4:57 into overtime as visiting Florida defeated Washington to level the first-round Eastern Conference playoff series at two wins apiece.

“I’m just happy we won the game and we can go back home in front of our home fans and compete again with the series tied,” Verhaeghe said. “It’s a best-of-3 now. We have home-ice advantage again, so that’s the thing I think about most.”

Sam Reinhart scored Florida’s other goal, and Aaron Ekblad had two assists. Florida goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 14 saves for the win.

T.J. Oshie had a goal and an assist and Evgeny Kuznetsov also scored for the Capitals. Washington goalie Ilya Samsonov made 29 saves.

Penguins 7 vs Rangers 2

NHL playoffs penguins
May 9, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates his goal with the Pens bench against the New York Rangers during the first period in game four of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists Monday to reach 200 career playoff points and help host Pittsburgh take a 3-1 lead over New York in their first-round Eastern Conference series.

Jake Guentzel added a goal and an assist for the Penguins, who scored five goals in the second period. Mike Matheson, Mark Friedman, Danton Heinen, Jeff Carter and Evgeni Malkin scored while Kris Letang had two assists. Pittsburgh goaltender Louis Domingue made 22 saves.

“We have a veteran group in there,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said via NHL.com. “These guys have been through this a lot. Everyone understands the position we’re in. We have to go out and earn the next one.

Alexis Lafreniere and Adam Fox scored for the Rangers. New York goaltender Igor Shesterkin, who was pulled following one period in Game 3, was yanked after the second period on Monday. He gave up six goals on 30 shots. Sub Alexandar Georgiev stopped 10 of the 11 shots he faced.

“Total team disappointment,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “Inexperienced? I’d use not committed to playing the right way.”

Flames 4 vs Stars 1

Johnny Gaudreau scored a penalty-shot goal and contributed an assist as visiting Calgary evened its first-round Western Conference playoff series against Dallas in Game 4.

“That’s the way hockey is,” Gaudreau said. “Can’t score them all, but it was nice to find the back of the net and help this team win a game here tonight.”

Rasmus Andersson, Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund also scored for the Flames. Jacob Markstrom made 34 saves for the win. Game 5 of the best-of-seven series will be played Wednesday in Calgary.

Tyler Seguin replied with a late goal for the Stars, who received a 50-save performance from Jake Oettinger. The Dallas goalie surrendered as many goals as he had in the first three games, but through four playoff outings this year, he has stopped 143 of 149 shots.

–Field Level Media contributed to this article