NHL Playoffs: Blues advance, as Bruins, Bolts, and Oilers force Game 7
The NHL Playoffs will have at least three Game 7 contests after the dust settled on the action for May 12, 2022.
With four series that could’ve been closed out on Thursday night, only the St. Louis Blues were able get the job done. Thanks to another solid performance by Jordan Binnington, the Blues took out the Minnesota Wild in six games to move on to Round 2 where they’ll face the Colorado Avalanche.
Three other series will be playing a winner-take-all Game 7 starting with the Boston Bruins traveling to Carolina as they look to upset the Hurricanes after a sound Game 6 victory. Meanwhile, the defending Stanley Cup Champions will not go away quietly as Brayden Point scored in OT to push their series with the Toronto Maple Leafs to the limit.
Finally, the Edmonton Oilers in the face of another disastrous exit found a way to beat the Los Angeles Kings. They now have a chance to win this series on home ice Saturday night.
NHL Playoffs: Blues 5 vs Wild 1
Jordan Binnington made 25 saves as the St. Louis Blues defeated the visiting Minnesota Wild 5-1 Thursday to win their first-round Western Conference playoff series in six games.
The Blues advance to the second round to face the Colorado Avalanche, who swept them out of the playoffs last season in the first round.
“They came out hard and they were playing desperate. I think we matched that,” Binnington said. “We had guys step up, just a great team effort and it’s good to be at this point. Now we’re looking forward to the next challenge.”
Nick Leddy, Ryan O’Reilly, Tyler Bozak, Vladimir Tarasenko and Colton Parayko scored for the Blues. David Perron had two assists.
Matt Dumba scored for the Wild. Minnesota goaltender Cam Talbot, making his first start in place of Marc-Andre Fleury, stopped 22 shots.
“It [stinks], right,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “They loved playing together. There’s no individuals, there’s no [complaining] on the bench, there’s no, ‘I should get this, I should be on the power play.’ They played for each other and that’s what’s so disappointing. It’s disappointing we didn’t win tonight and we didn’t win in the first round of the playoffs. When you’re that close, you’re like, ‘What’s going to happen now? Are we all going to be together or not?’ It’s tough.”NHL.com
Bruins 5 vs Hurricanes 2
Boston forced a deciding Game 7 in its Eastern Conference first-round series, scoring twice in the second period and three times in the third to defeat visiting Carolina. Game 7 is Saturday in Raleigh, N.C.
Brad Marchand and Charlie Coyle each had a goal and an assist, Derek Forbort, Erik Haula and Curtis Lazar also scored and Tomas Nosek dished out two assists for Boston. Bruins goalie Jeremy Swayman made 23 saves in his fourth consecutive start.
Andrei Svechnikov scored both Hurricanes goals, including one on the power play. Antti Raanta recorded 29 saves in the loss.
“I thought we should’ve done a better job sticking with our game and just being confident in what we do, even 5-on-5, and we didn’t do that,” Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal said. “It was kind of a tailspin, especially going into the third period where we had it right there.”NHL.com
Lightning 4 vs Maple Leafs 3 (OT)
Brayden Point scored at 18:04 overtime and Tampa Bay defeated visiting Toronto to force a seventh game in their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.
“We know all we did was buy ourselves another chance to keep our season going,” Point said. “Going into their building, their crowd has been rocking. They play really good there.”
Point, who also had an assist, scored his second goal of the best-of-seven series when he knocked in a rebound during a scrum around the goal. The tally occurred after Toronto came close at the other end.
Toronto overcame a 2-0 deficit with three consecutive second-period goals. Auston Matthews started the surge, and John Tavares completed it by scoring twice 26 seconds apart in the final minute.
Oilers 4 vs Kings 2
Evander Kane scored twice in a three-point game as Edmonton forced a deciding Game 7 in its Western Conference first-round playoff series by beating host Los Angeles.
With the score tied 2-2, Tyson Barrie scored the game-winning goal with 5:10 remaining in regulation when he jumped into a rush, took a feed from Leon Draisaitl and buried a shot from the high slot for his first goal of the series. Connor McDavid collected one goal and two assists for the Oilers, and goaltender Mike Smith made 30 saves.
“He sets the tone for us again early, but you can see his battle level,” Barrie said of McDavid. “He’s doing everything right and you can tell how bad he wants this, so we’re lucky to have him on our side. We’ve got to get one more for him here.”
McDavid was named a finalist for the Hart Trophy on Thursday along with Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews and Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin. He won the award last season.
Sean Durzi and Carl Grundstrom scored for the Kings, who received a 33-save performance from goalie Jonathan Quick.
–Field Level Media contributed to this article