Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/18/14 at 11:54 AM ET
* There have been three overtime games in the first seven contests of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In 2013, there were 27 overtime games (in 86 total games played, 31.4%), including a record 17 in 47 first-round contests (36.2%). Each of the 15 total series had at least one overtime game, the first time that has happened since all four rounds went to the best-of-seven format in 1987.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the triple-overtime contest between the Blues and Blackhawks marked just the eighth time in NHL history the opening game of a playoff season required three or more overtimes. The winner of Game 1 went on to advance in all seven previous instances.
* Five of the first seven games in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs have been decided by one goal. In 2013, there were 49 one-goal games (in 86 total games played, 57.0%), two short of the record set in 2007 (51 one-goal games in 81 total games played, 63.0%).
* Home teams are 6-1 through seven games in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Last year, home clubs earned a record 59 victories in the postseason (59-27, .686), including a 30-17 mark in the first round (.638). In 2012, road teams dominated, posting a record 47 wins throughout the playoffs (47-39, .547), including a 30-18 mark in the first round (.625).
STEEN LIFTS BLUES IN LONGEST GAME IN FRANCHISE HISTORY
Playing the longest game in franchise history, Alexander Steen scored 26 seconds into triple-overtime to help the Blues overcome a late one-goal deficit and take a 1-0 series advantage over the Blackhawks.
* The previous longest game in Blues history was on April 7, 1984, when Mark Reeds scored at 17:07 of double-overtime to lift the Blues to a 4-3 victory over the Red Wings in Game 3 of the Norris Division Semifinals.
* Steen’s decisive marker came almost a year after he scored the overtime winner (shorthanded) against the Kings in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals (April 30, 2013). He is the fourth player in franchise history to record two playoff overtime goals, joining Brett Hull, Pierre Turgeon and Scott Young.
* Jaden Schwartz scored the tying goal, the first of his postseason career, with 1:45 remaining in regulation. He established career highs in every offensive category this season, including goals (25), assists (31) and points (56).
* Vladimir Tarasenko also registered his first career playoff goal and has now found the scoresheet in each of his past six games dating to the regular season (3-4—7).
* After allowing three goals in the first period, Ryan Miller stopped 35 consecutive shots to improve to 27-22 in his postseason career, including an 8-6 record in overtime. Miller made 39 total saves, including 21 in overtime.
* The Blues improved to 5-1 in their six all-time playoff overtime games versus the Blackhawks, including wins in all three multi-overtime contests (2OT wins in 1989 and 1998). Overall, the Blues improved to 30-27 all-time in postseason overtime games, including a 22-11 mark at home.
* ICYMI: Maxim Lapierre saved a potential game-winning goal in the final minutes of the first overtime.
STASTNY POWERS AVALANCHE IN SERIES OPENER
Paul Stastny (2-1—3) scored the tying goal with 13.4 seconds remaining in regulation and then netted the winner 7:27 into overtime to help the Avalanche overcome a two-goal, third-period deficit and go up 1-0 on the Wild.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Stastny is the first player in Stanley Cup Playoffs history to score a tying goal in the final 15 seconds of regulation and then win the game in overtime.
* Stastny now has 5-6—11 in 16 career playoff games. He also has two game-winning goals, but Thursday marked his first in overtime.
* Nathan MacKinnon (0-3—3) assisted on both of Stastny’s goals, including the primary helper on his overtime winner. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, at 18 years, 228 days, MacKinnon is the second-youngest player in NHL history to record three points in his playoff debut – Pierre Turgeon (18 years, 222 days) posted 2-1—3 in his first postseason game with the Sabres on April 6, 1988.
* Elias also says MacKinnon is the sixth 18-year-old to register a postseason point for any team since 1979-80, joining Brian Bellows, Martin Lapointe, Patrick Marleau, Jordan Staal and Turgeon.
* Semyon Varlamov made 29 saves, including 14 in the third period and overtime, to improve to 11-9 in his playoff career, with a 3-2 record in overtime.
* Ten of the 14 all-time playoff games between the Avalanche and Wild have been decided by one goal, including six in overtime (MIN leads 4-2 in those contests). Overall, nine of the past 10 meetings between these teams have been decided by one goal (regular season and playoffs).
* ICYMI: Erik Johnson saved a potential game-clinching goal in the final minutes of regulation.
RANGERS RALLY FOR 9TH STRAIGHT WIN OVER FLYERS AT MSG
Trailing 1-0 early in the first period, the Rangers scored four unanswered goals, including three in the final 11:38 of regulation, to take a 1-0 series lead and earn their ninth consecutive home victory over the Flyers dating to March 6, 2011 (regular season and playoffs).
* The Rangers have outscored the Flyers 35-10 during their nine consecutive head-to-head wins at Madison Square Garden, tallying at least four goals in six of the nine contests and allowing two or fewer goals in each game.
* The Rangers also picked up their first home playoff victory over the Flyers since April 12, 1987, Game 4 of the Patrick Division Semifinals.
* Knotted at 1-1 in the third period, Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to give the Rangers the lead. Richards now has eight career game-winning goals in the postseason, but Thursday marked his first since 2004, when he posted an NHL-record seven game-winners in 23 outings to lead the Lightning to the Stanley Cup.
* Richards recorded 1-2—3, all in the third period. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last Rangers player to register three points in the third period of a playoff game was Russ Courtnall, who tallied 2-1—3 on May 20, 1997, in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final versus the Flyers.
* Henrik Lundqvist made 14 saves to improve to 31-37 in his postseason career. He has been in net for all nine games during the team’s current winning streak over the Flyers at Madison Square Garden, posting a 1.12 goals-against average, .959 save percentage and two shutouts.
* The Rangers outshot the Flyers 36-15, including a 13-1 margin in the third period.
SHARKS BUILD BIG LEAD, HOLD ON VERSUS KINGS
The Sharks built a 5-0 lead through 40 minutes and held on to take a 1-0 series advantage against the Kings.
* Six different Sharks players scored, including the game-winner from Raffi Torres in his first appearance since March 8.
* Twelve of the team’s 18 skaters also found the scoresheet, highlighted by multi-point performances from Brent Burns (1-1—2), Tomas Hertl (1-1—2), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (1-1—2) and James Sheppard (0-2—2).
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Hertl (1-1—2) is the first player in Sharks history to record multiple points in his playoff debut. The 20-year-old forward compiled 15-10—25 in 37 games during his rookie season, including a four-goal performance in his third career game Oct. 8 versus the Rangers.
* Patrick Marleau scored his 58th career postseason goal, which ranks second among active players to Jaromir Jagr (78).
* Antti Niemi made 31 saves to pick up his 33rd career playoff victory, tied for fifth among active goaltenders with Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Only Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury (46) has more career postseason wins among netminders in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
After missing the final games of the regular season, Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane scored his 30th career playoff goal, while teammate Jonathan Toews collected two assists . . . Wild forwards Kyle Brodziak, Charlie Coyle and Erik Haula recorded their first career postseason goals . . . Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald scored his first goal with the team since being acquired prior to the Trade Deadline (20 total GP). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the sixth non-rookie in franchise history to tally his first goal with the Flyers in the playoffs, joining Joe Paterson (1984), Tim Tookey (1986), Dave Babych (1997), Vladimir Malakhov (2003) and Daniel Carcillo (2008).
SNEAK PEEK AT FRIDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Montreal @ Tampa Bay, Game 2, MTL leads 1-0, 7:00 p.m., CNBC, CBC, RDS, FS-F
Detroit @ Boston, Game 1, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN, FS-D, NESN
Dallas @ Anaheim, Game 2, ANA leads 1-0, 10:00 p.m., NBCSN, TSN, RDS (JIP), FS-SW, PRIME
BRUINS, RED WINGS STAGE FIRST PLAYOFF MEETING SINCE 1957
The Bruins play host to the Red Wings at TD Garden in their first postseason meeting since the 1957 Semifinals, a 4-1 series victory by Boston. These teams have met seven previous times in the playoffs, with the Bruins holding a 4-3 series edge, including three consecutive victories. The Red Wings, however, won three of their four matchups during the regular season, including a 3-2 triumph in their series finale April 2. Boston wrapped up the regular season with points in five of its last six games (2-1-3) to capture the Presidents’ Trophy, while Detroit closed 2013-14 with a 6-2-1 mark in its final nine outings to earn its 23rd consecutive playoff berth, the longest active streak in North American professional sports.
Thanks to the NHL PR department for the above information
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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