Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/03/14 at 01:23 PM ET
THE 2014 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS SO FAR . . .
Game 7s, overtime suspense and late-game comebacks were among the highlights of the opening three rounds of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. A sample of the special moments, rallies and individual performances that have captivated capacity crowds and riveted viewing audiences everywhere . . .
GAME 7s HIGHLIGHT TIGHT SERIES
* There have been seven Game 7s in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, tying the single-year postseason record set in 1994 and matched in 2011.
* The First Round featured three Game 7s, marking the fourth consecutive year that at least three opening-round series required a Game 7. All three games were contested on the same night (April 30), marking the fifth time in Stanley Cup Playoffs history and first time since April 22, 2003, that three or more Game 7s were played on the same day.
* The First Round series between the Wild and Avalanche concluded with the 38th Game 7 decided in overtime in Stanley Cup Playoffs history. Nino Niederreiter potted the series-clinching marker at 5:02 of the extra frame to help the Wild rally from four one-goal deficits, an unprecedented feat in Game 7 history.
* Game 7 of the Western Conference Final between the Kings and Blackhawks also was decided in overtime, marking the sixth time in NHL history a team advanced to the Stanley Cup Final via a Game 7 overtime victory.
* Kings forward Justin Williams posted 1-1—2, including the primary assist on Alec Martinez’s winner, in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final. He now has 7-7—14 in seven career Game 7s, all victories. With his performance, Williams passed Doug Gilmour (13) for the most points in Game 7 history and also tied Glenn Anderson for the most goals in Game 7s.
* Three of the four series in Second Round were decided in a Game 7. Since 1988, there only have been two other years when three or more second-round series required a Game 7: 2001 and 2009.
* Game 7 of the Second Round series between the Kings and Ducks featured the second penalty shot in Game 7 history (Jonathan Quick stopped Corey Perry at 14:08 of the first period). The only other penalty shot in Game 7 history: Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford denied Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows in Game 7 of the 2011 Western Conference Quarterfinals (VAN won 2-1 in OT).
KINGS REWRITE NHL HISTORY BOOKS
* The Kings became the fourth team in Stanley Cup Playoffs history to overcome a 3-0 series deficit when they rallied to beat the Sharks in the First Round. The other teams to accomplish that feat: the 2010 Flyers (CSF vs. BOS), 1975 Islanders (QF vs. PIT) and 1942 Maple Leafs (F vs. DET).
* The Kings became the first team to play – and win – three Game 7s on the road in a single postseason. They also became the third team to play the maximum 21 games through the first three rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The others: the 1993 Maple Leafs and 2002 Avalanche, who both lost Game 7 in the Conference Finals.
* The Kings are 7-0 in elimination games in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Only one team in NHL history has won more elimination games in a single postseason: the 1975 Islanders (8).
* The Kings’ dramatic victory in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final, in which the club defeated the Blackhawks 5-4 in overtime after trailing 2-0 early, was the 13th multi-goal comeback victory in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. That total includes a record 10 in the First Round. There only were eight such comeback wins in the entire 2013 postseason.
* The Blue Jackets overcame a three-goal deficit to defeat the Penguins in Game 4 of the First Round (4-3 in OT), marking the first time the team has recorded such a win since Jan. 5, 2007 (4-3 at ANA).
* The first five games between the Penguins and Blue Jackets saw the team that allowed the first goal come back to win, including multi-goal comebacks in each of the first four contests. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marked the first series in Stanley Cup Playoffs history in which four consecutive games were won by a team trailing by two or more goals:
Game 1: PIT overcame 3-1 deficit (4-3 W)
Game 2: CBJ overcame 3-1 deficit (4-3 W in OT)
Game 3: PIT overcame 3-1 deficit (4-3 W)
Game 4: CBJ overcame 3-0 deficit (4-3 W in OT)
* In Game 6 of the First Round at DAL, the Ducks became the fifth team since 1977 to rally from a multi-goal deficit in the final 2:10 of regulation in the Stanley Cup Playoffs:
April 17, 1977: PHI at TOR (PHI won 6-5 in OT, 1:49 remaining when rally started)
April 18, 1993: QUE vs. MTL (QUE won 3-2 in OT, 1:19 remaining when rally started)
April 15, 2001: DAL at EDM (DAL won 3-2 in OT, 1:03 remaining when rally started)
May 13, 2013: BOS vs. TOR (BOS won 5-4 in OT, 1:22 remaining when rally started)
April 27, 2014: ANA at DAL (ANA won 5-4 in OT, 2:10 remaining when rally started)
* Trailing 3-1 with less than 10 minutes to play in the third period of Game 4 of their Second Round series vs. MTL, the Bruins scored four unanswered goals, highlighted by Reilly Smith’s game-winner with 3:32 remaining, to even the series at 1-1. It marked the Bruins’ first-ever regulation victory when trailing by two goals in the final 10 minutes of a postseason game.
DOWN TO THE WIRE
* There have been 10 game-tying goals scored in the final 2:30 of regulation in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including six in the last 60 seconds. Eight of those teams went on to win their respective games in overtime:
GAME-TYING GOALS IN FINAL 2:30 OF REGULATION
Jaden Schwartz, STL – 18:15 of Game 1 of R1 vs. CHI (STL won 4-3 in 3OT)
Paul Stastny, COL – 19:46 of Game 1 of R1 vs. MIN (COL won 5-4 in OT)
Vladimir Tarasenko, STL – 19:53 of Game 2 of R1 vs. CHI (STL won 4-3 in OT)
Brandon Dubinsky, CBJ – 19:36 of Game 4 of R1 vs. PIT (CBJ won 4-3 in OT)
PA Parenteau, COL – 18:46 of Game 5 of R1 vs. MIN (COL won 4-3 in OT)
Devante Smith-Pelly, ANA – 19:36 of Game 6 of R1 at DAL (ANA won 5-4 in OT)
Jared Spurgeon, MIN – 17:33 of Game 7 of R1 at COL (MIN won 5-4 in OT)
Johnny Boychuk, BOS – 18:02 of Game 1 of R2 vs. MTL (MTL won 4-3 in OT)
Marian Gaborik, LA – 19:53 of Game 1 of R2 at ANA (LA won 3-2 in OT)
Chris Kreider, NYR – 19:31 of Game 3 of CF vs. MTL (MTL won 3-2 in OT)
* Avalanche forward Paul Stastny (Game 1 vs. MIN) and Kings forward Marian Gaborik (Game 1 at ANA) both scored tying goals in the final minute of regulation and then won their respective games in overtime. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that feat had only been accomplished twice before in Stanley Cup Playoffs history: by Flyers forward Rick MacLeish in 1977 (at TOR) and by Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron in 2013 (vs. TOR).
* Nearly half of the games contested thus far in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs (42-of-88, 47.7%) have featured one-goal margins.
* There have been 23 overtime games in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs (out of 88 contests, 26.1%), including four multi-overtime affairs. Road teams are 14-9 (.609) in those games, including a perfect 5-0 mark in the Second Round.
* Thirteen of the 14 series contested thus far have featured at least one overtime game. Last year, 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.
* Four of the first five games in the First Round series between the Blackhawks and Blues required overtime, including a triple-overtime affair in Game 1 – the longest contest thus far in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Only four other series in Stanley Cup Playoffs history have featured four overtime games in their first five contests:
BOS-TOR in 1933 SF: Four of five total games went to OT (TOR won series 3-2)
MTL-TOR in 1951 F: All five games went to OT (TOR won series 4-1)
DAL-EDM in 2001 CQF: Four of first five games went to OT (DAL won series 4-2)
CHI-PHX in 2012 CQF: First five games went to OT (PHX won series 4-2)
* Game 1 between the Blackhawks and Blues 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 the seven previous instances; the Blackhawks ended that streak with a six-game victory (lost 4-3 in 3OT at STL in Game 1).
* Overall, the Blackhawks-Blues series marked the 13th time in Stanley Cup Playoffs history that a series has required at least four overtime games.
* Game 5 of the Western Conference Final between the Kings and Blackhawks featured a 7:56 span in the first overtime period without a whistle. That included eight blocked shots, six shots on goal, six hits, three missed shots, two takeaways and one giveaway. The 20-minute period took 26 real-time minutes.
* Sharks forward Patrick Marleau (Game 3 at LA) and Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane (Game 4 vs. STL, Game 6 at MIN) both scored their fourth career playoff overtime goals, tying Devils forward Jaromir Jagr for the most among active players.
Nino Niederreiter, Minnesota Wild
Niederreiter (2-1—3) scored the series-clinching marker at 5:02 of overtime for the Wild in Game 7 of the First Round at COL. At 21 years, 234 days, he became the second-youngest player in Stanley Cup Playoffs history to record an overtime goal in a Game 7. Earlier in the contest, Niederreiter potted his first career postseason goal; only two other players in NHL history have scored their first two playoff goals in a Game 7 (Jiri Hrdina and Adam Henrique).
John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks
Gibson only made four appearances during the regular season, but took over between the pipes for the Ducks in the Second Round vs. LA. In Game 4, Gibson (20 years, 330 days) became the youngest goaltender in NHL history to record a shutout in his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut, making 28 saves to help Anaheim even the series at 2-2.
Matt Fraser, Boston Bruins
Playing in his first Stanley Cup Playoffs game, Fraser scored at 1:19 of overtime in Game 4 of the Second Round to help the Bruins even their series vs. MTL. Fraser became the third player in Bruins history – and first in 71 years – to record an overtime goal in his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut, following Mel Hill in 1939 and Don Gallinger in 1943.
Dustin Tokarski, Montreal Canadiens
After spending the majority of the 2013-14 season in the AHL, Tokarski filled in admirably for injured Canadiens starter Carey Price during the Eastern Conference Final. He finished the series with a 2.60 goals-against average and .916 save percentage, stopping 142-of155 shots against over five games.
Tyler Toffoli/Tanner Pearson, Los Angeles Kings
Tyler Toffoli (7-6—13) and Tanner Pearson (4-8—12) both cracked the Kings’ lineup during the regular season, but made names for themselves in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, ranking first and second, respectively, among rookies in scoring through the Conference Finals. Toffoli already has set the Kings’ playoff record for goals by a rookie and has tied the mark for postseason points (Daryl Evans, Warren Rychel).
SHINING IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
The 2013-14 Calder Trophy finalist recorded 1-6—7 in Games 1 and 2 of the First Round vs. MIN, matching an NHL record for points in the first two games of a postseason career (with Odie Cleghorn and Barry Pederson). He also became the second-youngest player in League history to register three points in his playoff debut; the third 18-year-old in NHL postseason history to post a four-point game; and the second-youngest player in Stanley Cup Playoffs history to score an overtime goal.
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Lundqvist helped the Rangers punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final by winning four elimination games, yielding only one goal in each contest and stopping 98-of-102 total shots against (.961 SV%). He also set an NHL record with his fifth consecutive Game 7 victory in the Second Round at PIT; improved to 10-2 with a 1.32 goals-against average, .957 save percentage and two shutouts in the last 12 games in which the Rangers have faced elimination (dating to 2012); and passed Mike Richter for the franchise record in postseason victories (42).
Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers
McDonagh posted 2-8—10 in the Eastern Conference Final, leading all players in assists and points. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became the first defenseman in Rangers history to collect eight assists in a playoff series and only the second to record at least 10 points. The other: Brian Leetch, who posted 5-6—11 in the 1994 Stanley Cup Final vs. VAN en route to capturing the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
Doughty paced all defensemen with 4-12—16 through the Conference Finals, tying a franchise mark he established in 2012 (4-12—16). He also played a team-high 27:50 per game, logged a +5 rating and recorded nine power-play points (1-8—9), tied for the most in the NHL with P.K. Subban.
P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens
Subban led the Canadiens and ranked third among all defensemen with 5-9—14 through the end of the Conference Finals. He recorded a six-game point streak from April 18-May 6 (3-8—11), becoming the first Canadiens blueliner to do so in the playoffs since Larry Robinson in 1985. Subban also registered three consecutive multi-point games from May 1-6, becoming just the third defenseman in Canadiens history to do so in the postseason (joining Robinson and J.C. Tremblay).
Patrick Kane/Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Kane and Toews posted a League-leading four game-winning goals each through the Conference Finals. The duo accounted for eight of the Blackhawks’ 11 game-winners in the 2014 postseason. Toews notched three winners in a single series, leading the Blackhawks to a 4-2 win over STL in the First Round, and ranks first on the franchise’s all-time list for GWG in the playoffs (10). With his overtime goal in Game 6 of Chicago’s Second Round series vs. MIN, Kane holds the franchise’s all-time lead and shares fourth in NHL history with four postseason overtime goals.
Marian Gaborik, Los Angeles Kings
Gaborik has scored a career-high 12 playoff goals in 2014, including the game-tying goal with fewer than eight minutes remaining in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final at CHI. Only Wayne Gretzky, who notched 15 goals during the Kings’ run to the Stanley Cup Final in 1993, and Luc Robitaille (12 goals in 1991) have tallied as many for the franchise in a single postseason.
Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings
Kopitar leads the NHL in playoff scoring through the Conference Finals with 24 points (5-19—24). He has tallied points in 17 of 21 postseason games. Only Wayne Gretzky and Tomas Sandstrom (40 and 25 points, respectively, in 1993) have recorded more points for the Kings in a single postseason.
LONG TIME COMING
* The Blue Jackets made their second playoff appearance in franchise history and first since 2009. They also picked up their first-ever postseason win in Game 2 of the First Round at PIT.
* The Stars returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2008 after earning the final Wild Card berth in the Western Conference.
* Two longtime “Original Six” rivals, the Bruins and Red Wings, faced off in a postseason series for the first time since 1957 when they met in the First Round. Boston dispatched Detroit in five games, improving to 5-3 in their eight all-time playoff meetings, including four consecutive victories.
* Southern California rivals for the past 20 years, the Kings and Ducks contested the first “Freeway Face-Off” in the postseason when they met in the Second Round, a series won by Los Angeles in seven games. It also marked a local “first” in Southern California sports history, as none of the region’s other franchises have ever faced off in the playoffs (MLB: Angels-Dodgers, NBA: Clippers-Lakers, NFL: Raiders-Rams).
* There will be a new Stanley Cup champion for the 15th consecutive season. The last team to repeat: the Red Wings in 1996-97 and 1997-98.
* No division champion advanced to the Conference Finals for the first time since the 1993 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* A California-based team advanced to the Western Conference Final for the ninth time in the past 11 seasons, including three consecutive trips by the Kings (a first in franchise history).
* Teams that scored first went 26-1 (.963) in the Second Round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Blackhawks (in Game 5 vs. MIN) were the only club to earn a win when yielding the first goal.
the information above was provided by the NHL PR department
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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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