Flyers 5, Penguins 1 (Series tied 1-1)
What a difference a game makes. After getting throttled 7-0 in Game 1, the Flyers responded, tying the series via an impressive 5-1 effort. Philly’s top line responded, and Brian Elliott went from goat to great. The best news for the Penguins might be that Kris Letang‘s potential injury might not be as bad as it looked.
Jets 4, Wild 1 (Jets lead series 2-0)
For a while, it seemed like Game 2 would be a carbon copy of Game 1: Devan Dubnyk almost steals it, but Winnipeg wills its way to a close win. Instead, the Jets flew by in the third period. They dominated the game by just about every measure, leaving Minnesota despondent.
Golden Knights 2, Kings 1 [double OT] (Golden Knights lead series 2-0)
It really looked like Jonathan Quick would drag Los Angeles into triple-overtime against Vegas. The Golden Knights dominated play, generating a gaudy 56-30 shots on goal advantage (and it only gets more disproportionate as you dig deeper), yet Quick was incredibly sharp. Erik Haula finally scored the overtime game-winner with less than five minutes remaining in the second OT.
1. Jonathan Quick, Kings: This wasn’t just the longest game in Golden Knights history (duh), it was also the longest for the Kings. Quick was ridiculous, making 54 out of 56 saves, a mix of quality chances and volume shots. He was incredible, and was on task in Game 1, carrying over one of his best-ever regular season runs to the playoffs. Unfortunately, the Kings have scored a solitary goal in two games (and, the real-time equivalent of almost three), so Quick remains winless so far during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
2. Sean Couturier, Flyers: Elliott deserves all of that praise, but the Flyers’ breakthrough forward was excellent in Game 2. He scored a goal and two assists, with his helper on Nolan Patrick‘s first-career postseason goal standing out as borderline obscene:
Game 2 ended in regulation, yet Couturier – a forward – logged a ridiculous 27:15 of ice time on Friday, including a bit more than five minutes shorthanded.
3. Brian Elliott, Flyers: It’s not like the Penguins took it easy in Game 2 because of their Game 1 output. And it’s not just that the Penguins warped the stats when the score was getting out of hand. Pittsburgh generated 11 shots on goal in the first period and then 12 in each of the second and third, yet only Patric Hornqvist scored against Elliott, who ultimately made 34 out of 35 saves.
There were some really tough ones, including stopping Crosby on about as clean a breakaway as you’ll enjoy in a playoff game:
Some comic relief from Connor Hellebuyck:
Marc-Andre Fleury‘s had it easy compared to Jonathan Quick, but this has been quite the start to the postseason for a goalie piling up accolades:
People said it was “only a game,” but you really do need to give the Flyers credit for bouncing back from such a beating.
Patrik Laine is a treat … unless he’s beating you.
Take a look at that Haula game-winner for Vegas, a nice reminder of how impressive the Golden Knights were in transition essentially all night long.
Factoid of the Night
Matt Murray‘s shutout streak ended with less than a minute remaining in the first period, and then things really began to crumble for the goalie and the Penguins. Still, what a run it was …
New Jersey Devils at Tampa Bay Lightning, 3 p.m. ET (CNBC/NBC)
Colorado Avalanche at Nashville Predators, 3 p.m. ET (CNBC/NBC)
Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins, 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
San Jose Sharks at Anaheim Ducks, 10:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)