NHL Playoffs: Ovechkin fumes in OT loss, Kadri facing suspension, Jets slip up Oilers, and Canes blank Preds

Arbitrator upholds Kadri suspension
May 19, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk (72) falls to the ice after being hit in the third period by Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (91) in game two of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Ball Arena. Kadri would be ejected from the game for an illegal hit to the head. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL playoffs delivered again. Alex Ovechkin was fuming on the bench after Craig Smith beat Ilya Samsonov in OT. The Bruins now have a 2-1 series lead thanks to a poor play behind the net which puts the Capitals in a hole.

Ovechkin fumes in OT loss

Gm 3, Bruins 3 vs Capitals 2 OT (Boston leads series 2-1)

alex ovechkin fumes in ot loss
Alex Ovechkin fumes in ot loss (NBCN)

Alex Ovechkin was stick-breaking mad after Ilya Samsonov lackadaisical play behind the net in OT. The young goalie left the puck behind thinking his defender would get it. Craig Smith found another gear and swiped the puck for a wraparound goal to win it. As the Caps were leaving the ice, Ovechkin was barking at Samsonov. Playoff hockey.

Samsonov did make 40 saves in the game, and when emotions cooled defenseman John Carlson wanted to keep things in context.

“He was huge tonight for us,” Capitals defenseman John Carlson said. “I wouldn’t say anything other than, ‘Keep your head up, there’s a lot more hockey to be played.’ He did a great job for us tonight. If he didn’t stand on his head, we probably wouldn’t have gotten to that point. I think he should know that, but that’s definitely something we’ll talk about.”

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Ovechkin and Nic Dowd scored for Washington while Taylor Hall and Brad Marchand notched goals for Boston. Game 4 is set for Friday at 6:30 PM ET.

Hurricanes Alex Nedlkjovic shuts out Predators

Gm 2, Hurricanes 3 vs Predators 0 (Carolina leads series 2-0)

Sebastian Aho would score twice but rookie Alex Nedlkjovic only needed one. The Hurricanes goaltender turned aside all 32 Predators shots sent his way in picking up his second straight postseason win and first shutout. Nashville looks quite overmatched in this series and it would be a surprise if they won a game at this point.

hurricanes playoffs
May 19, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic (39) and right wing Sebastian Aho (20) celebrate there win against the Nashville Predators in game two of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

“It’s just another game,” Nedeljkovic said. “I can’t answer it any other way. You try to play as loose as you can and at the same time under control and have the right frame of mind. Hopefully good things happen.”

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The Predators could not convert on a single one of their 7 power play chances. If they hope to crawl back into this series, being better on special teams is a must. Game 3 is set for Friday at 7 PM ET.

Nazem Kadri facing suspension for high hit in Avalanche win

Gm 2, Avalanche 6 vs Blues 3 (Colorado leads series 2-0)

Nathan MacKinnon recorded a hat trick and four points in the victory which was marred by any ugly incident in the third period. Nazem Kadri, no stranger to being suspended in the playoffs came across the ice and leveled Justin Faulk. Slow motion replay shows that Kadri led with his right shoulder and went high to Faulk’s head. He was assessed a match penalty and will be hearing from the NHL Department of Player Safety soon.

“The League will look at those hits, and they’ll do what they have to do,” said Blues coach Craig Berube, who didn’t have an update on either player. “You’re down to four D, and that’s in a playoff game. That’s difficult, but I thought guys did a good job.”

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The series now shifts to St. Louis and I have a feeling that the Blues are about to get nasty after these two games. Game 3 will be on Friday starting at 9:30 PM ET.

Winnipeg Jets stun Edmonton Oilers in opener

Gm 1, Jets 4 vs Oilers 1 (Winnipeg leads series 1-0)

No Nikolaj Ehlers, no Pierre-Luc Dubois. No problem.

The Jets playing without two of their top offensive players shutdown Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl to win this game 4-1. Connor Hellebuyck played the role of hero stopping 32 shots as the Jets slipped up the Oilers in game one. For Edmonton, those playoff doubts will immediately start to creep in.

“I think we had some nerves and some jitters in the first period,” McDavid said. “We kind of got through that even, but then I thought we took over in the second and did a lot of good things. We put a lot of pucks on net and hemmed them in there for chunks at a time. You’d like to come out of that period with a lead, but ultimately that wasn’t the case. The third period was back and forth, and a tight hockey game, and they get a bounce and that’s the way it goes.”

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Game 2 of this series will be played on Friday 9 PM ET. Finally, with the Flames beating the Canucks 6-2, the NHL regular season has officially ended.