The Golden Knights continue their historic run as they move on to Round 3 with a 3-0 win over San Jose Sharks. The Lightning eliminated the Bruins in a 3-1 win.
History continues for the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion team’s inaugural season.
Vegas secured a spot in the Western Conference final after a 3-0 Game 6 win against the San Jose Sharks in Marc-Andre Fleury’s fourth shutout of the postseason.
The shutout was not an easy one for Fleury, who made 28 saves in the effort. A flurry of saves and dings off the goalpost in the first period set the tone for how frantic the action was in Flower’s crease all game. Shots were even at 12 in the first, but San Jose certainly had better scoring opportunities as several shots went off the crossbar.
Jonathan Marchessault opened up scoring with a shot that went five hole on Martin Jones in the second period. The Golden Knights took their own chance at playing offensively off the posts, and were more successful than their opponent. A shot from Nate Schmidt bounced off the left post and just past Jones. Cody Eakin scored an empty-netter in the third to cap off an impressive showing from Vegas, who will wait for the winner of the Predators-Jets series.
After a 7-0 loss in Game 1, the Sharks put up a fight against the Knights through the next four games, posting a shutout of their own and extending two of the games to overtime.
LIGHTNING 3, BRUINS 1
Brayden Point and J.T. Miller scored second-period goals and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 27 shots as the Lightning earned a 3-1 win in Game 5 that eliminated the Boston Bruins.
After falling in the series opener, all three players stepped up their games, with Point scoring three goals and eight points in the four games that followed, while Miller carried a four-game point streak (2G, 2A) into the second round. Vasilevskiy rebounded after giving up five goals in Game 1 to stop 102 of the 109 shots he faced (.936 SV%) spanning Games 2-5.
Defenseman Anton Stralman potted an empty-netter in the waning seconds of the win, the final nail in the series as the Lightning roll into the third round of the postseason having reeled off four straight wins after falling to Boston in series opener. They await the winner of the Capitals-Penguins series.
The Bruins went ahead at the end of the first period on David Krejci’s power-play goal, but it was all the offense the team could muster as Boston’s top line of David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand was stymied for most of the game, with Bergeron and Marchand unable to tally shots on goal until late in the third period. The loss underscored Boston’s continued problems at even strength, as it was unable to score at 5-on-5 in the final 184:02 of play in the series.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT
San Jose threw quite a few shots at Fleury and his goalpost throughout the night, but the most impressive stretch of saves from Flower came in the first period.
Fleury knows who to thank in those moments, which were quite frequent on Sunday.
1. Marc-Andre Fleury, VGK — If we could, Vegas’ crossbar would easily be one of the stars on the night. But Fleury’s dives, jumps and stretches to keep the San Jose scoreless was an inspiring show in his fourth shutout of this postseason. It almost looks like he’s won three Stanley Cups or something…
2. J.T. Miller, TBL — Miller’s go-ahead, power-play goal was not your average shoot-and-score scenario. The cycling passes with Nikita Kucherov set up a beautiful shot that led to the Lightning celebrating Cinco De Milly, according to teammate Ryan McDonagh.
3. Andrei Vasilevskiy, TBL — Entering the third period down 2-1, the Bruins were fighting hard to avoid elimination. Boston threw 14 shots at Vasilevskiy in the final frame, but the netminder stopped every one of them.
A popular pick to go all the way this season, the Predators find themselves in a precarious position after a lackluster 6-2 loss to the Jets on Saturday, which left them on the wrong side of a 3-2 series record. Historically, teams that have lost the fifth game of a series after being tied have gone on to lose almost 80% of the time, so the Predators must find their game, and they don’t have much time to do it. Most notably, goalie Pekka Rinne will look for a bounce-back game after getting pulled for the third time this postseason. Make no mistake, however: Despite heading into enemy territory in Winnipeg on the brink of elimination for Game 6 on Monday, Nashville has plenty of swagger. “We're going to Winnipeg, we're going to win the game, we're going to come back here,” defenseman P.K. Subban said.
The Capitals are on the brink of their first trip to the Eastern Conference Final since 1998, thanks to the Game 5 heroics of some of the usual suspects in Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov, but it was a fresh-faced rookie riding alongside Washington’s big guns that provided the biggest thrills in Saturday’s 6-3 win over the rival Penguins. Jakub Vrana, showcasing his speed and dynamism, tapped in the winner in the third period and earned himself a more permanent spot riding shotgun with Ovechkin and Kuznetsov. “Those little inches, sometimes they just kind of win you the game,” Vrana said. “Today is today. Tomorrow is a new day. We are already focused for the next game." For Pittsburgh, in the hunt for a Stanley Cup three-peat, the series is far from over—especially with a do-or-die Game 6 on Monday in front of a home crowd with high expectations.