- Denis Gurianov has a night to remember with four goals in a series clinching win.
- Miro Heiskanen keeps making his early Conn Smythe Trophy case.
- Barry Trotz and his New York Islanders eliminate his former team.
The Islanders made it look easy at times. They completely shut down the Capitals offense during this series and moved on to the Second Round with a very convincing Game 5 win on Thursday night. Outside of a small handful of quality chances that were turned aside by Semyon Varlamov, the Capitals were never consistently a threat to score and quietly went out in Game 5 the same way they played the entire postseason.
In the first six minutes it looked like we were headed for a Flames rout and a Game 7 this weekend. Instead, it ended up being a Stars rout and the Flames going home. The Stars scored seven consecutive goals to erase an early three-goal deficit to to advance to the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second year in a row. Denis Gurianov, Miro Heiskanen, and Joe Pavelski all had huge games for the Stars, while everything started to slip away from the Flames with a couple of poorly timed penalties.
1. Denis Gurianov, Dallas Stars. The Stars need to play this guy more. He does not get a ton of ice-time, but when he does he always seems to make an impact and is becoming one of their most reliable goal scorers. He finished with five points on Thursday, including a four-goal effort in the Stars’ 7-3 series clinching win. He scored 20 goals in 64 regular season games, while only averaging 12 minutes of ice-time per game.
2. Miro Heiskanen, Dallas Stars. He is not only the best defenseman on the Stars, he is rapidly becoming one of the best all-around defensemen in the NHL. He is also very high on the early Conn Smythe Trophy watch list for the way he has played this postseason. He had four points on Thursday and started the Stars’ comeback with a first period power play goal.
3. Anthony Beauvillier, New York Islanders. He continued his big postseason in Game 5 with a pair of goals, helping the Islanders jump out to a 2-0 lead. It would be all the offense they needed. He now has six goals and nine total points in his first nine playoff games this season and has been one of the Islanders’ go-to players offensively. He is a big reason they are advancing to the Second Round.
Highlights of the Night
Beauvillier’s second goal was a beauty, from the passing, to the finish. The only negative: The late hit from Tom Wilson.
It is a four-goal game for Gurianov!
Radek Faksa with the game-winning goal.
- Gurianov is just the sixth rookie to collect a five-point game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and only the second to do it in a series-clinching game. [NHL PR]
- Beauvillier is just the second Islanders player to ever score series-clinching goals in a single postseason. [NHL PR]
- Heiskanen is just the seventh different defenseman to record at least four points in a series-clinching win. [NHL PR]
Game 6: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Montreal Canadiens, 7 p.m. ET, NBCSN (Flyers lead series 3-2)
Game 6: Vancouver Canucks vs. St. Louis Blues, 9:45 p.m. ET, NBCSN (Canucks lead series 3-2)