OILERS HANG ON TO DEFEAT SHARKS, ADVANCE TO SECOND ROUND
The Oilers scored two breakaway goals in a span of 56 seconds early in the second period and held off a late push from the Sharks to win their series and advance to the Second Round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Edmonton won its first playoff series since reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2006.
Anton Slepyshev notched the game-winning goal to become the third rookie in franchise history to score a series-clinching goal, joining Jaroslav Pouzar (Game 4 of 1983 DF at CHI) and Josef Beranek (Game 6 of 1992 DSF vs. LAK). Cam Talbot, who shared the League lead and set a new franchise record with 42 wins in the regular season, made 27 saves to improve to 4-2 this postseason with a 2.03 goals-against average, .927 save percentage and two shutouts. Connor McDavid scored into an empty net to seal the victory and finish his first career playoff series with 2-2—4 in six games.
The Oilers will face the Ducks in the Second Round, their second postseason meeting. Edmonton earned a 4-1 series win over Anaheim in the 2006 Conference Finals, which was their last series win before Saturday.
PAAJARVI SCORES IN OVERTIME TO LIFT BLUES TO SECOND ROUND
St. Louis surrendered a 3-1 lead in the third period, but Magnus Paajarvi scored at 9:42 of overtime as the Blues defeated the Wild to reach the Second Round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. St. Louis advanced past the opening round in the postseason for the second straight year, a feat they last achieved in 2001 and 2002.
Sixteen of the first 40 games in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs have required overtime (40.0%). The 16 overtime games are just one shy of the 17 contested in the opening round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs (47 GP), which ranks as the highest total since the League expanded its playoff structure to include 16 teams in 1979-80.
Paajarvi scored his first career overtime goal (regular season and playoffs, 316 GP). He became the seventh player in franchise history to score an overtime goal in a series-clinching win and the first to do so since Pierre Turgeon in Game 7 of the 1999 Conference Quarterfinals at Phoenix. Paajarvi became the first player to score a series-clinching overtime goal in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Only two such goals were scored in the 2016 postseason: John Tavares (NYI) in Game 6 of the First Round vs. FLA and Nick Bonino (PIT) in Game 6 of the Second Round vs. WSH.
Jake Allen made 34 saves in Game 5 and turned aside 174 of 182 shots through the five-game series, concluding the First Round with a 1.47 goals-against average and a .956 save percentage.
The Blues will face the Predators in the Second Round, their first-ever postseason meeting. Nashville owned a 3-2-0 edge in their five-game season series in 2016-17 (STL: 2-3-0).
ZUCCARELLO, LUNDQVIST LEAD RANGERS TO SECOND ROUND
Mats Zuccarello (2-0—2) registered his first career multi-goal game in the postseason and Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves as the Rangers defeated the Canadiens to advance to the Second Round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Zuccarello became the first Rangers player to score twice in a series-clinching win since Mark Messier (2-1—3) in Game 5 of the 1997 Conference Quarterfinals at FLA. Lundqvist earned his 59th career postseason win (all w/ NYR) to extend his franchise record for most by a goaltender and move within one of tying Turk Broda (60) for 14th on the NHL’s all-time list. Lundqvist earned his 11th career series-clinching win, tops in franchise history (Mike Richter: 9). Lundqvist has posted a 9-3 record in potential series-clinching games since the start of the 2012 postseason with a 1.53 goals-against average, .947 save percentage and two shutouts, including a 7-1 mark on home ice (0.96 GAA, .964 SV%, 1 SO).
The Rangers will face either the Bruins or Senators in the Second Round. New York has met Boston nine times in the postseason (2-7) and Ottawa once (1-0).
Sharks forward Patrick Marleau scored his 68th career playoff goal to tie Gordie Howefor 17th on the NHL’s all-time list . . . Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko scored his first goal of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs and the 20th postseason marker of his NHL career (all w/ STL). Only Brett Hull (67), Bernie Federko (35), Brian Sutter (21) and Red Berenson (21) have scored more in franchise playoff history . . . Blues forward Paul Stastny scored in his first game since March 21. Stastny has tallied eight of his 13 career playoff goals vs. MIN (8-5—13 in 20 GP)
* Information provided via NHL Press Release