NHL Bubble Wrap: Stars, Islanders, Golden Knights take control

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  • After Sunday’s games every Second Round series is now in a 3-1 situation.
  • The Dallas Stars scored three goals in the first 10 minutes to take control against the Colorado Avalanche.
  • A couple of goaltending switches paid off on Sunday night for the New York Islanders and Vegas Golden Knights.

Dallas Stars 5, Colorado Avalanche 4 (Stars lead series 3-1)

The Stars dominated the first period of their 5-4 win, scoring three goals in the first 10 minutes and holding the Avalanche to zero shots on goal through the first 19 minutes of the game. They scored three power play goals and continued their stunning offensive surge in the playoffs to take a 3-1 series lead over the Avalanche. The Stars can win the series on Monday night and punch their ticket to the Western Conference Final for the first time since the 2007-08 season.

New York Islanders 3, Philadelphia Flyers 2 (Islanders lead series 3-1)

Barry Trotz called this the worst game the Islanders have played this postseason, but they were still able to get the win. Brock Nelson scored a pair of goals, Jean-Gabriel Pageau continued his incredible postseason, and Thomas Greiss came off the bench and played a sensational game in goal to help the Islanders pick up a 3-2 win to take a 3-1 series lead over the Flyers. With one more win the Islanders will reach the Eastern Conference Final. They have not played in a Conference Final since the 1992-93 season when it was still known as the Wales Conference.

Vegas Golden Knights 5, Vancouver Canucks 3 (Golden Knights lead series 3-1)

The Golden Knights entered the third period trailing by a goal. They ended up winning the game by two goals. That is because they scored three goals during a six-minute stretch early in the third period to take control of the game and the series against the Vancouver Canucks. Marc-Andre Fleury got the start in their 5-3 win and stopped 30 shots, while Max Pacioretty finished with three points (two goals and an assist). The Canucks had no answer for the line of Pacioretty, William Karlsson, and Mark Stone.

[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

Three Stars

1. Thomas Greiss, New York Islanders. The Islanders turned to Greiss on Sunday night in the second half of the back-to-back and it worked out about as well as it possibly could have. Greiss stopped 36 out of 38 shots in the Islanders’ win and was the single biggest difference maker on the night. This was only his second appearance in the Return To Play and has looked outstanding in both games, allowing just three total goals on 59 shots. Having two good goalies is a pretty nice luxury.

2. Max Pacioretty, Vegas Golden Knights. Pacioretty can still be one of the league’s top goal scorers and he is starting to get on an absolute roll right now for the Golden Knights. With his two goals on Sunday night he has now scored five goals in his past five games, while also generating a ton of shots on goals.

3. Radek Faksa, Dallas Stars. Huge game for Faksa on Sunday as he finished with three points in the Stars’ win. He played a central role in the opening 10 minutes when the Stars scored their first three goals of the game, setting up John Klingberg‘s goal to open the scoring and then scoring on the power play just a few minutes later.

Highlights Of The Night

The Stars score two goals in 32 seconds, including Denis Gurianov‘s goal off of a bad Cale Makar turnover.

Marc-Andre Fleury can still flash the leather.

Nelson’s second goal of the game for the Islanders was made possible by some slick passing.

Factoids

  • This is the 11th time the Islanders have had a 3-1 lead in a postseason series. They won each of the previous 10 series. [NHL PR]
  • Marc-Andre Fleury is now in sole possession of sixth place on the NHL’s all-time postseason wins list. [Vegas Golden Knights]
  • Miro Heiskanen has already set a Dallas Stars franchise record for most points in a single postseason by a defenseman. [NHL PR]

Monday Schedule

Game 5: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins, 7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, Livestream (Lightning lead series 3-1)
Game 5: Colorado Avalanche vs. Dallas Stars, 9:45 p.m. ET, NBCSN, Livestream (Stars lead series 3-1)

MORE STANLEY CUP COVERAGE:
• 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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