Getty

The Playoff Buzzer: Hurricanes keep rolling; Stars get even

  • The Carolina Hurricanes are one win away from reaching their first Eastern Conference Final since the 2008-09 season.
  • Curtis McElhinney makes some history and Justin Faulk scores a highlight reel goal.
  • The Dallas Stars get even against the St. Louis Blues.

Carolina Hurricanes 5, New York Islanders 2 (CAR leads series 3-0)

The Carolina Hurricanes just keep right on rolling. Thanks to their 5-2 win over the New York Islanders on Wednesday night they are now just one win away from reaching the Eastern Conference Final and continue to write one of the most amazing stories of the 2018-19 season. Justin Williams wanted to see his team play better in Game 3, and they responded with their most complete effort of the series while Williams himself scored the game-winning goal mid-way through the third period.

Dallas Stars 4, St. Louis Blues 2 (Series Tied 2-2)

This game had some pretty intense moments and you can sense the tension rising in what is now a best-of-three series. The Stars were able to get even in their Round 2 matchup against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night by jumping all over them early and holding off a late push in the third period. Roope Hintz continued to score goals, Tyler Seguin and Mats Zuccarello both had a pair of points, and John Klingberg scored a beauty of a goal on the rush for what would go on to be the game-winning goal.

[NBC 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

Three Stars

1. Jaccob Slavin, Carolina Hurricanes. What a postseason he is having. Slavin added two more assists on Wednesday night to give him a league-leading 12, and also displayed more outstanding defensive zone play without the puck on his stick. He is a workhorse on the Hurricanes’ blue line and was at his best in this game.

2. Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars. After falling behind early in the first period the Stars stormed back with four consecutive goals, with Seguin picking up the primary assist on Jason Dickinson‘s game-tying goal and John Klingberg’s game-winning goal. The play to set up Klingberg was one of the two pretty goals the Stars scored off the rush on Wednesday night.

3. Teuvo Teravainen, Carolina Hurricanes. Teravainen has become a star for the Hurricanes over the past couple of seasons and one of their go-to offensive players. He made another big contribution on Wednesday night, scoring two goals to give him five this postseason. He opened the scoring early in the first period when he scored right along the goal line, and then added an empty-net goal late in the third period to help put the game away.

Highlights of the Night

This looked to be a sure goal for the Islanders, but Curtis McElhinney had other ideas. Probably the best of his 28 saves on the night.

Just an incredible play by Justin Faulk to fly out of the penalty box, catch the puck in mid-air, quickly drop it to the ice, and then finish the breakaway with a slick move to beat Robin Lehner for a go-ahead goal in the second period.

The future of the Stars’ defense is in good hands with John Klingberg and Miro Heiskanen patrolling the blue line for the foreseeable future. The veteran, Klingberg, scored a beauty of a goal on Wednesday night when he took this perfect pass from Tyler Seguin to beat Jordan Binnington with a perfectly placed shot.

Factoids

  • With his fifth goal of the playoffs on Wednesday night Roope Hintz now has the most goals in a single playoff run for a Stars rookie since the 1993-94 season. [NHL PR]
  • Curtis McElhinny is the oldest goalie in NHL history to win his first Stanley Cup Playoffs start. [Sportsnet Stats]
  • Tyler Seguin has set a career-high for most points in a single playoff year. [NHL PR]
  • The Carolina Hurricanes are now 4-0 at home this postseason and have outscored their opponents by a 17-5 margin [Tom Gulitti]
  • Klingberg’s goal was his second-game winner of the postseason, tying a Stars franchise record for a defender. [NHL PR]

Thursday’s Schedule

Game 4: Boston Bruins at Columbus Blue Jackets, 7 p.m. ET, NBCSN (CBJ leads series 2-1) (Live Stream)
Game 4: San Jose Sharks at Colorado Avalanche, 10 p.m. ET, NBCSN (SJ leads series 2-1) (Live Stream)

 

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

WATCH LIVE: Blues look to clinch Stanley Cup Final berth in Game 6

AP Images
Leave a comment

Game 6:  San Jose Sharks at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m. ET (Blues lead series 3-2)
NBCSN
Call: Kenny Albert, Mike Milbury, Pierre McGuire
Series preview

Stream here

Pre-game coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET with NHL Live with host Liam McHugh alongside Keith Jones and Patrick Sharp. Kathryn Tappen and Jeremy Roenick will provide on-site reports throughout the game.

The Blues took a 3-2 Western Conference Final lead on Sunday with a 5-0 Game 5 blowout win over the Sharks at SAP Center in San Jose. Jordan Binnington made 21 saves for his first Stanley Cup Playoff shutout, Jaden Schwartz had a hat trick, and Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and two assists for the Blues. St. Louis is now 7-2 on the road and have set their single-season record with 11 playoff wins. The series moves to St. Louis tonight for Game 6 as the Blues attempt to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970.

If the Sharks win tonight’s Game 6, they will force a decisive Game 7 in San Jose on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN, with a trip to the Stanley Cup Final at stake.

[NBC 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

Here is the complete schedule for the entire 2019 Stanley Cup Final series:

Game 1: Monday, May 27, 8 p.m.: San Jose/St. Louis at Bruins | NBC
Game 2: Wednesday, May 29, 8 p.m.: San Jose/St. Louis at Bruins | NBCSN
Game 3: Saturday, June 1, 8 p.m.: Bruins at San Jose/St. Louis | NBCSN
Game 4: Monday, June 3, 8 p.m.: Bruins at San Jose/St. Louis | NBC
*Game 5: Thursday, June 6, 8 p.m.: San Jose/St. Louis at Bruins | NBC
*Game 6: Sunday, June 9, 8 p.m.: Bruins at San Jose/St. Louis | NBC
*Game 7: Wednesday, June 12, 8 p.m.: San Jose/St. Louis at Bruins | NBC
*If necessary
(All times ET, subject to change)

Blues face prime opportunity to return to Stanley Cup Final

Leave a comment

When you have your opponent looking down and out in a playoff series you do not want to let them get back up.

You do not even want to give them the chance to get back up.

You want to eliminate them when you have the opportunity and remove all doubt, avoiding what would be an all-or-nothing Game 7 on the road.

That is the position the St. Louis Blues find themselves in heading into Game 6 of the Western Conference Final on Tuesday night (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN; live stream) when they will host an injury-riddled San Jose Sharks team.

The Blues have won the past two games, including a thoroughly dominant performance on Sunday, they are at home, and they are facing a Sharks team that is without two of its best players and potentially a third that will almost certainly not be 100 percent if he does play.

Everything has fallen in the Blues’ favor for this game, and it is hard to imagine a better opportunity to close out a series than this.

[NBC 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

Just look at everything that is sitting in the Blues’ corner for this game.

  • Their best player, Vladimir Tarasenko, has gone on a tear and is riding a five-game point streak heading into Tuesday’s game. He was always going to be one of the biggest factors in this series and has found his scoring touch at just the right time.
  • The Sharks will not have Erik Karlsson, one of their most important players and a defender that can single-handedly change a team and a game when he is in the lineup. This series started to shift in the Blues’ favor when Karlsson’s groin injury resurfaced, limiting his ability to make an impact. He was obviously less than 100 percent in the Blues’ Game 4 win and barely played in Game 5 on Sunday. The Blues have outscored the Sharks by a 7-1 margin in those two games. Even though the Sharks still have another Norris Trophy winner (and a Norris Trophy finalist this season) in Brent Burns in their lineup, they are definitely a weaker team when one of them is out of the lineup.
  • The Sharks will also be without Tomas Hertl, currently their second-leading goal-scorer. With Hertl and Karlsson out it means the Sharks will be playing a must-win game without two of the top-six scorers in the playoffs and two players that have been involved in an overwhelming majority of their offense. At least one of Hertl or Karlsson has been on the ice for 39 of the Sharks’ 57 goals, while one of them has scored or assisted on 25 of them. When neither one is on the ice the Sharks have averaged just 2.22 goals per 60 minutes (all situations) in the playoffs. Not a great number.

So, yeah, this is a huge opportunity for the Blues and a game where it would probably be in their best interest to take care of business.

A loss on Tuesday night not only sends them to a Game 7 in San Jose where anything can happen, it also leaves open the possibility that one of those two key Sharks players (or even both of them) could be available. Yes, the Blues have been great on the road in these playoffs, but there is no guarantee that continues, especially in a win-or-go-home situation.

Even without Hertl and Karlsson the Sharks still have plenty of talent on their roster, so this game is far from a cake-walk for the Blues. But this is definitely the weakest lineup they are going to face in this matchup and there is never going to be a better opportunity to end a 49 year Stanley Cup Final drought than this night.

If they are going to do it, this seems like the game for it to happen.

MORE: Stanley Cup Final 2019 schedule, TV info

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Karlsson, Hertl out for Game 6; Pavelski game-time decision

5 Comments

If the San Jose Sharks are going to force a Game 7 in the Western Conference Final against the St. Louis Blues they are going to have to do it on Tuesday night (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN; Live Stream) without a couple of their most important players.

Coach Pete DeBoer announced after the morning skate that defender Erik Karlsson and forward Tomas Hertl are not available for Game 6 against and that they did not even accompany the team on the road trip to St. Louis.

Both players exited the Sharks’ Game 5 loss on Sunday due to injury.

Karlsson has been hampered by a nagging groin injury that has resurfaced in the playoffs, while Hertl had to leave the game after he was on the receiving end of a high hit from Blues forward Ivan Barbashev. There was no penalty called on the play and Barbashev was not disciplined by the league.

Captain Joe Pavelski also exited Sunday’s game with an injury and did not take part in the morning skate on Tuesday but is a game-time decision according to DeBoer.

Pavelski had previously missed the first six games of the Sharks’ Round 2 series against the Colorado Avalanche after he was injured in their Game 7 win against the Vegas Golden Knights. He has five points (two goals, three assists) since returning to the lineup.

[NBC 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

While Pavelski at least seems like a possibility to play, the losses of Karlsson and Hertl are going to be significant for the Sharks.

Even though Karlsson has been limited by injury for much of the season he has still been an impact player and played a huge role in the team’s Round 1 comeback against the Golden Knights. He has 16 total points in 19 games and is the league’s fifth-leading scorer in the playoffs. It was obvious he was struggling in the Sharks’ Game 4 loss but still attempted to play in Game 5. It did not go well as he was clearly unable to play up to his normal level and logged just 10 minutes of ice time, with only three of those minutes coming after the first period.

Hertl, meanwhile, has been one of the Sharks’ most dynamic forwards and has scored some of their biggest goals this postseason, including a game-winning shorthanded goal in double overtime to help the team fight off elimination in Round 1, and one of the power play goals in their come-from-behind Game 7 win against the Golden Knights.

He has 10 goals (third among all players in the playoffs) and 15 total points.

MORE: Stanley Cup Final 2019 schedule, TV info

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Canes’ Martinook, de Haan have offseason surgeries

Leave a comment

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook and defenseman Calvin de Haan have had offseason surgeries.

General manager Don Waddell said Tuesday that Martinook had a procedure on a core muscle while de Haan’s surgery was on his right shoulder.

Martinook is expected to recover in 4-6 weeks while de Haan will be out 4-6 months.

The 26-year-old Martinook had a career-best 15 goals with five game-winners, and was in and out of the lineup during the playoffs due to injuries. The 28-year-old de Haan injured his shoulder against Pittsburgh on March 31 but returned for Game 4 of the first-round playoff series against Washington.

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NH and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports