NHL Bubble Wrap: Hart shines again; Canucks’ depth comes through

  • The Philadelphia Flyers are moving on to face the New York Islanders in the Second Round.
  • The Vancouver Canucks eliminated the defending Stanley Cup champions.
  • Carter Hart continued his outstanding postseason.

Philadelphia Flyers 3, Montreal Canadiens 2 (Flyers win series 4-2)

The Flyers continued rolling in the Return To Play with a 3-2 win over the Canadiens in Game 6 on Friday night, advancing to the Second Round. They will play the New York Islanders. It is the first time the Flyers have advanced to the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the 2011-12 season. The Flyers were not perfect in this series, but they are 7-2 since the 2019-20 resumed and have yet to get goal scoring from their top players. If they can get them rolling again it is going to make them an incredibly tough team to beat.

Vancouver Canucks 6, St. Louis Blues 2 (Canucks win series 4-2)

The decision to start goalie Jordan Binnington did not work out very well for Craig Berube and the Blues. He was pulled midway through the second period after surrendering four goals in a 6-2 loss that officially put an end to the Blues’ Stanley Cup title defense. This was an impressive performance by the Canucks as they received more depth scoring for the second game in a row and also had their stars shine again. They are on to the Second Round for the first time since the 2010-11 season and will play the Vegas Golden Knights.

[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

Three Stars

1. Carter Hart, Philadelphia Flyers. He was probably the biggest difference maker for the Flyers on Friday night, stopping 31 out of 33 shots. Hart has been the Flyers’ best player this postseason and seems to be on his way to finally solving the franchise’s decades long issue in net. As long as he keeps playing like this the Flyers will have a chance every night, no matter what kind of offense they get from their top forwards.

2. Jacob Markstrom, Vancouver Canucks. On a night where the Canucks scored six goals to eliminate the defending Stanley Cup champions I still feel like Markstrom deserves some credit. He has been one of the most underrated parts of this team all season and was outstanding on Friday night, stopping 34 out of 36 shots in the win.

3. Tyler Motte, Vancouver Canucks. Maybe the biggest factor in the Canucks’ First Round win has been the fact their depth players have stepped forward in such a big way over the past two games. So let’s consider this star a shout out to all of them (Jay Beagle, Antoine Roussel, Jake Virtanen, and Motte). Motte has been at the center of that with four goals in the past two games. The Canucks would have won Friday’s game without Motte’s two goals, but before Game 5 of this series he had only scored four goals in 42 regular season and playoff games this season. He matched that total in the two biggest games of the season.

Highlights of the Night

The Flyers needed just 28 seconds to open the scoring in their Game 6 win on Friday night.

The passing by the Canucks here on this Troy Stecher goal is a thing of beauty.

Jay Beagle gets things going for the Canucks early in their Game 6 win.

Factoids

  • The development of Nick Suzuki was a huge bright spot for the Montreal Canadiens this season. He scored goals in consecutive playoff games, becoming their first rookie to do that since Brendan Gallagher. [NHL PR]
  • Friday’s results set up a Boston Bruins-Tampa Bay Lightning matchup in the Second Round, the third time those two teams have faced in the playoffs. They split the previous two series. [NHL PR]
  • Quinn Hughes continued his great rookie season and postseason debut. [NHL PR]

Saturday Schedule

Game 1: Colorado Avalanche vs. Dallas Stars, 8 p.m. ET, NBC

MORE:
Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round schedule

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.

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