NHL Playoffs: Kane hat trick drops Flames, Shesterkin leads Rangers, and Lightning look for sweep
The NHL Playoffs had three games on the docket with one series on the verge of being complete.
On Monday, the Tampa Bay Lightning will have a chance to close out the Presidents’ Trophy winning Florida Panthers. Tampa pulled out another decisive victory over Florida at home and could sweep them out of the playoffs with in Game 4 set for 7:00 PM tonight.
Meanwhile, the New York Rangers held serve in their series by beating the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 at Madison Square Garden. Vezina and Hart Trophy finalist, Igor Shesterkin made 43 saves en route to the win.
Finally, the Edmonton Oilers grabbed a 2-1 series lead in the Battle of Alberta by beating the Calgary Flames 4-1. Evander Kane netted a hat trick as Leon Draisaitl collected four assists.
The Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues series continues tonight as well with the Blues looking to even the series.
NHL Playoffs: Oilers 4 vs Flames 1
Evander Kane collected a natural hat trick while Leon Draisaitl set an NHL record with four assists in a period as host Edmonton defeated Calgary to pull ahead in their Western Conference second-round playoff series.
“It was a lot of fun, it was good to come back home and play these guys on our home ice,” Kane said. “I thought we came out with a really good start and it was a good win for our group.”
Connor McDavid collected three assists and Zach Hyman scored once for the Oilers, who lead 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 will be Tuesday night in Edmonton. Oliver Kylington replied for the Flames, while goalie Jacob Markstrom stopped 30 of 34 shots before giving way to Dan Vladar for the third period.
Oilers goaltender Mike Smith stopped 32 shots and was working on a shutout but was pulled due to concussion protocol after Calgary’s Milan Lucic drove into him midway through the third period. Smith returned after missing four-plus minutes. Lucic received a major penalty and game misconduct.
Lightning 5 vs Panthers 1
Nikita Kucherov had a goal and three assists to help the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the visiting Florida Panthers 5-1 in Game 3 of their second-round playoff series on Sunday and move within one win of advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals for a third straight season.
Steven Stamkos scored two goals for Tampa Bay, and Corey Perry and Erik Cernak also scored. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 34 saves for the Lightning, the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions who will bring a 3-0 lead into Game 4 on Monday night in Tampa.
Vasilevskiy held the Toronto Maple Leafs to one goal in a 2-1 victory in Game 7 of their first-round series, and he has limited the Panthers to one goal in each of the first three games of this series.
Sam Reinhart scored Sunday, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves for Florida, which had the best record in the NHL during the regular season.
“The will — they’re blocking shots, we’re not, really,” Panthers coach Andrew Brunette said. “They’re managing different situations, and I think we’ve managed that fine, to be honest. But they’ve just got a little bit more will. When there’s a loose puck, they’re kind of outbattling us, and they want it a little bit more.”NHL.com
Rangers 3 vs Hurricanes 1
Igor Shesterkin made 43 saves and New York held on to beat visiting Carolina in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference second-round series.
“We felt like we were going to win the hockey game tonight,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “Our goalie was outstanding in the first half of the game. Made some big, key saves for us, but I thought we played well enough to win.”NHL.com
Mika Zibanejad scored a power-play goal in the first period and set up Chris Kreider’s 30th career playoff goal in the second period as the Rangers cut the Hurricanes’ series advantage to 2-1. Tyler Motte added an empty-net goal with 83 seconds remaining.
Nino Niederreiter scored in the second for Carolina, which is 0-4 on the road in this year’s postseason. Antti Raanta made 30 saves. Game 4 will be Tuesday, also in New York.
“Our guys battled hard,” Canes defenseman Jacob Slavin explained. “At the end of the day, it’s not good enough. Got to do better on the kill, got to do better on the power play.”
–Field Level Media contributed to this report