NHL Playoffs: Panarin lifts Rangers, Panthers pounce, Stars and Avs win

The NHL Playoffs for May 5, 2022 saw three more teams knot up their series matchups at one game apiece.

In New York, the Rangers put forth a more complete 60 minutes to take down the Penguins to even the series heading to Pittsburgh. The Florida Panthers also made sure to square things up before heading to DC by beating the Washington Capitals by a wide margin.

Over in the West, the Colorado Avalanche solved rookie netminder Connor Ingram in OT to take a 2-0 lead over the Nashville Predators. And the Dallas Stars fought hard to blank the Calgary Flames to even their series as they head home for Game 3.

(EVEN 1-1)
(EVEN 1-1)
(COL 2-0)
(EVEN 1-1)

NHL Playoffs: Rangers 5 vs Penguins 2

Artemi Panarin scored a bank-shot goal off a Penguins’ defender with 11:58 remaining and collected two even their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series at one game each.

“I do love talking about myself,” Panarin joked with reporters. “But let’s keep the conversation about the team.”

Key trade deadline acquisition, Frank Vatrano also contributed a goal and two assists. Vatrano scored 1:47 after Panarin as the Rangers rebounded nicely from their triple-overtime loss in the Tuesday series opener.

“It’s what we talked about yesterday, playing a simple game and being hard on their defense and using our speed to our advantage,” Vatrano said via NHL.com. “There’s real momentum swings no matter who you’re playing against. You have to learn how to weather those and when you get the momentum shifts, you make sure you’re bearing down on your chances. I think that’s what we did tonight.”

New York’s Igor Shesterkin followed up his 79-save performance in Game 1 by making 39 stops in Game 2. It was his first career win in the playoffs.

Jake Guentzel collected his third goal of the series for Pittsburgh. Sidney Crosby scored late in the second after helping set up Guentzel.

The scene now shifts to Pittsburgh for Game 3 on Saturday.

Avalanche 2 vs Predators 1 (OT)

Cale Makar scored 8:31 into overtime and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Nashville Predators 2-1 on Thursday night in Denver to take a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference first-round playoff series.

The Avalanche held the Predators to 15 shots after the first period and dominated chances in the third period and overtime. Colorado finally solved Ingram in OT after Nico Sturm took a shot from near the left circle that Ingram saved. The rebound came to Makar in the slot, and his wrister gave the Avalanche a two-game edge in the series.

It was Makar’s second goal of the postseason. Nathan MacKinnon also scored and Darcy Kuemper stopped 25 shots for the Avalanche, who head to Nashville for Game 3 on Saturday.

“My belief is that we just had to keep doing what we were doing and we’d find a way to win the hockey game,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said.

Rookie goaltender Connor Ingram made a career-high 48 saves and Yakov Trenin scored for the Predators.

Panthers 5 vs Capitals 1

nhl playoffs panthers
May 5, 2022; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Florida Panthers center Anton Lundell (15) celebrates with center Sam Reinhart (13) after scoring during the second period against the Washington Capitals in game two of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at FLA Live Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Aleksander Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe each recorded a goal and an assist as Florida defeated Washington in an Eastern Conference first-round playoff game in Sunrise, Fla.

“It’s nice to win,” Barkov said. “That’s all we want to do. Obviously, we didn’t play the right way in the first game and this game we kept building.

The best-of-seven series is tied 1-1, with Game 3 set for Saturday afternoon in Washington.

Florida also got goals from Aaron Ekblad, Mason Marchment and Aaron Lundell. Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves.

Alex Ovechkin had a pretty simple take as the series moves back to Washington for Game 3 on Saturday.

“Shit happens,” he said. “Move on. 1-1 is a good scenario for us.”

Stars 2 vs Flames 0

Joe Pavelski’s first-period goal held up as the game-winner thanks to a shutout performance by goaltender Jake Oettinger, and visiting Dallas beat Calgary to even the Western Conference first-round series at one win apiece.

Oettinger, in just his second NHL playoff start, made 29 saves — 12 of them in the third period. He has a shutout streak of 114 minutes and 59 seconds, and he has stopped 54 of 55 shots he has faced in the series. Michael Raffl’s empty-net goal with 69 seconds remaining sealed the win.

“We were better tonight,” said Stars captain Jamie Benn. “They’re going to have their pushes and their good shifts and we handled them well and found a way to just dig in and get it done.”

Jacob Markstrom stopped 21 shots for the Pacific Division-champion Flames, who are in dire need of offensive production with just one goal through the first two contests of the best-of-seven series. Markstrom has stopped 37 of 38 shots in the series.

–Field Level Media contributed to this article