- The NHL Department of Player Safety suspends Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele for four games for charging Montreal Canadiens forward Jake Evans.
- Brad Marchand wins Game 3 in overtime for the Boston Bruins.
- The Carolina Hurricanes finally break through on Andrei Vasilevskiy in Game 3 win.
Boston Bruins 2, New York Islanders 1 (OT) (Bruins leads series 2-1)
The Boston Bruins deserved this win. They were the better team all night, and especially as the game progressed, and were only in overtime because New York Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov was playing fantastic in net. That all changed early in overtime when Brad Marchand beat him from a bad angle to give the Bruins the Game 3 win and the 2-1 series lead heading into Game 4 on Saturday night (7:15 p.m. ET, NBC). Tuukka Rask was rock solid for the Bruins in goal, especially in overtime, to help get the win. The only downside for the Bruins in this game is defenseman Brandon Carlo had to exit the game in the third period after he was checked hard into the glass by Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck.
Carolina Hurricanes 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 2 (Lightning lead series 2-1)
The Carolina Hurricanes were finally able to beat Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy in Game 3, earning a 3-2 win to get on the board in the series. Jordan Staal was credited with the game-winning goal in overtime, while Sebastian Aho had three points in the win. The Hurricanes’ decision to switch goalies also paid off as Petr Mrazek stopped 35 out of 37 shots in the win.
1. Sebastian Aho, Carolina Hurricanes. Put his name in the Conn Smythe discussion. He recorded three points on Thursday night, figuring into all three Hurricanes goals, to help them win their first game of the series. He now has 10 points in nine games this postseason, including three mutli-point games.
2. Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins. He did not have to face a ton of shots, but he faced some quality shots, including early in overtime. He was his usual rock solid self in the Bruins’ 2-1 win, stopping 28 out of 29 shots. He always faces some intense criticism in Boston for his play in the postseason, but he remains one of the best and most productive goalies in the league. A huge part of Boston’s success.
3. Petr Mrazek, Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes were not trailing in the series because of goaltending, but they still made the switch to start Mrazek in Game 3 anyway. It worked. Mrazek stopped 35 out of 37 shots against the high powered Lightning offense, including every shot he faced at even-strength, to help backstop the Hurricanes to an enormous win. Starting your first game of the playoffs against the defending Stanley Cup champions, on the road, when your team is already facing a 2-0 series deficit is not an easy task. He played great.
Highlights Of The Night
Craig Smith caps off a dominant shift by Boston’s second line to open the scoring.
Then Brad Marchand wins it in overtime.
The Hurricanes get the game-winning goal in overtime thanks to Sebastian Aho and Jordan Staal.
FRIDAY’S NHL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Game 2: Canadiens at Jets, 7:30 p.m. ET (MTL leads 1-0) – USA Network (livestream)
Game 3: Avalanche at Golden Knights, 10 p.m. ET (COL leads 2-0) – NBCSN (livestream)
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.