Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

We Have A Game 7 Tonight

NEW YORK (May 27, 2021) -- The Vegas Golden Knights and Minnesota Wild will decide their First Round series Friday in the first Game 7 of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs (9 p.m., ET, NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVAS). The Honda West Division rivals will meet at T-Mobile Arena, providing fans in Las Vegas their first-ever opportunity at witnessing one of sports' most compelling dramas.

The winner of Friday's game will advance to the Second Round and a meeting with the Colorado Avalanche to determine the Honda West Division's representative in the Stanley Cup Semifinals.

The Golden Knights will be appearing in a Game 7 for the third consecutive year and for the third time in their four NHL seasons. They dropped a 5-4 overtime decision to the San Jose Sharks, then led by their current head coach Peter DeBoer, in the First Round at San Jose in 2019 and blanked the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 in the Second Round last year on neutral ice in Edmonton.

The most Game 7 experience on the Golden Knights roster is found in the crease, where goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has made seven career appearances (3-4). Fleury's teammate Robin Lehner backstopped the Golden Knights to the shutout win over Vancouver in his NHL Game 7 debut in 2020.

Among Vegas skaters, defensemen Alec Martinez and Alex Pietrangelo boast 4-0 career records in a Game 7, while DeBoer is 5-0 as a head coach, collecting wins with three franchises (New Jersey, San Jose, Vegas). DeBoer is the only coach in NHL history to win each of his first five career Game 7s.

The Wild will put their perfect 3-0 Game 7 record -- all road wins -- on the line. They captured back-to-back Game 7s in 2003 over Colorado and Vancouver in the first two rounds, and topped Colorado again in First Round action in 2014. The club is vying to win a best-of-seven series it trailed 3-1 for the third time in franchise history, adding to the two series wins in 2003.

The leaders in Game 7 experience among skaters on both rosters belong to the Wild in center Marcus Johansson (eight games, 3-5), center Nick Bonino (six games, 3-3) and defenseman Ian Cole (five games, 3-2).

The Golden Knights-Wild clash on Friday will mark the 43rd consecutive NHL postseason with a Game 7 (there has been at least one such winner-take-all showdown in every Stanley Cup Playoffs since 1978). The only playoff years in the expansion era (since 1967-68) without a Game 7 – 1970, 1973 and 1977 – featured a playoff format with seven best-of-seven series.

Game 7 Trends

* The team that scores first is 135-46 (.746) in the 181 all-time Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (3-0 in 2020).

* Home teams own a 105-76 (.580) advantage in the 181 all-time Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (1-2 in 2020, played at neutral sites).

* Ninety-one of the 181 all-time Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (50.3%) have been decided by a one-goal margin, including one of three in 2020.

* Forty-five Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs have required overtime (24.9%), including one of three in 2020. Home teams have a 23-22 edge in those contests (0-1 in 2020, played at a neutral site).

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vegas+golden+knights



Man. As a pure outsider, the Wild’s season has been a complete surprise, and I’d love to see them pull off a win. On the other hand, a Vegas/Colorado series would be a far more entertaining, and I think Vegas is due some series luck.

Posted by Jdunc from Flint, MI on 05/28/21 at 09:23 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by Jdunc from Flint, MI on 05/28/21 at 10:23 AM ET

Agreed!  As much as I like an underdog story, I have got to see a playoff series between Colorado and Vegas, this has to happen, these teams are too talented not to go head to head.

I’ve been waiting for this series all year, Go Knights Go!

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Window Seat on the Captain's Ship on 05/28/21 at 10:35 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Go Knights.  They should have shut this down in Game Five here in Vegas.  This town was ready to party.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 05/28/21 at 01:21 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Vegas losing would help the Wings draft position with Washington’s pick….so true Wing fans should be cheering on the Wild.

Posted by d ca on 05/28/21 at 02:15 PM ET


cam talbot..

fwiw, none of the picks sather received from the oilers have played any minutes w/the big club yet.

Posted by rickytarr on 05/28/21 at 02:38 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

...true Wing fans should be cheering on the Wild.

Posted by d ca on 05/28/21 at 03:15 PM ET

I hear you, but I’d sure like to Janmark and Nosek both have a shot at a ring. Any pick in the low 20’s is going to be a crap shoot this year anyway.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 05/28/21 at 06:23 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

Vegas losing would help the Wings draft position with Washington’s pick….so true Wing fans should be cheering on the Wild.

Yep. smile

Posted by bigfrog on 05/28/21 at 08:45 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

About Kukla's Korner Hockey

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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com