This is the second round of the NHL playoffs for the 2020-21 season, and there are three match-ups in particular worth keeping an eye on. The first is the Toronto Maple Leafs vs. the Montreal Canadiens for the Eastern Conference championship. After defeating the Penguins in five games, the Leafs have a chance to win the whole thing with a win over the Canadiens.
The second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs has officially begun, and while the Montreal Canadiens are still looking for their first win against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the winner of the Pacific Division looks to be in good hands.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have clinched a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Canadiens, and are looking to close out the series and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.. Read more about toronto leafs and let us know what you think.Saturday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs have a second chance to win their first playoff game since the 2004-05 lockout. If the Montreal Canadiens win, the Leafs take a 3-1 lead and will have to fight back in Game 7.
Speaking of which, that’s exactly what happened to the Vegas Golden Knights, who led the series 3-1 before the Minnesota Wild won two to take the series to Game 7 on Friday night. The Knights won and advanced to face the Colorado Avalanche.
And yep, the second round begins Saturday when the New York Islanders visit the Boston Bruins in the first series between these teams since 1983.
Visit ESPN NHL Playoffs Daily to follow each day of the postseason until the Stanley Cup is awarded in July.
More: Central Playoff Schedule
Game 6: Toronto Maple Leafs – Montreal Canadiens | 7:30 p.m. (Leaves lead 3-2)
If you’ve been following the Maple Leafs for a while, you already know the history of the Snake in the playoffs. After recovering from a 3-0 loss in Game 5, the Leafs had to allow the winning goal from Nick Suzuki with 59 seconds left in overtime. But don’t panic, Toronto owns the offense in this series. The top line of Mitchell Marner, Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman accounted for 55 shots, and sophomore forward William Nylander led the team with four goals. For the first time this season, the Canadiens are playing in front of their own fans. Thanks to a decision by the Quebec government, 2,500 people will play at the Bell Centre tonight. The Habs become the first Canadian team to welcome ticketed fans. These fans will see young Canadiens players like Suzuki and Cole Cofield try to cash in on their chances against Jack Campbell. The forwards need everything to cheer them on, so it will be interesting to see if playing for the fans can boost the team tonight.
Game 1: New York Islanders – Boston Bruins | 8 p.m.
The Islanders won the first five meetings with the Bruins this season, but after acquiring Taylor Hall, the Bruins have won the last three meetings. The move to Boston was a turning point for the 2018 Hart Trophy winner, who scored four goals in the three games against New York and contributed two goals and an assist in the first round against Washington. But which Isles keeper will he try to hit? Semyon Varlamov has played like a Vezina Trophy candidate this season, but rookie Ilya Sorokin has been in goal in all four wins against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Coach Barry Trotz’s decision to put Sorokin in goal after Game 3 changed the course of the series, and Sorokin should start Game 1.
Big game: The Islanders’ final pair of Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech against the top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak.
The state is getting tired of listening to this episode: The Bruins had the 13th, 14th and 15th. Pick of the 2015 draft and selected Jakub Zboril, Jake DeBrusk and Zachary Senishin. The Islanders finished 16th. Pick Matej Barzal, who has beaten all three Bruins in his career so far.
Full overview of the series
About last night
Vegas Golden Knights 6, Minnesota Wild 2 (Knights win 4-3)
Max Pacioretty had been in charge since 1. May didn’t play again, but when the Knights needed all their strength in Game 7, the veteran returned to the lineup for the first time in 12 games and lit the lamp for a key goal in the second period. Center Mattias Janmark made sure the team got many hats on the ice by scoring his first hat trick of his career, and Vegas defensemen scored two goals after allowing just one in the first six games.
Minnesota scored veteran Zach Parise and newcomer Kirill Kaprizov. The team had some good scoring chances, but Vegas goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury held firm, including eight shots from 25 yards out. The Wild have high hopes for next year, especially with young Kaprizov and an outstanding year from center Joel Eriksson Eck, but for now the Golden Knights have the advantage and face the Colorado Avalanche in a clash between the two preseason Cup favorites. Full overview
Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin left the game after Nicolas Rua pushed him against the boarding early in the first period. With the loss of their leading defenseman, the Wild only had five defensemen – and that helped Vegas score three goals in the second period to tilt the game.
Statistics of the day
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Mattias Janmark’s hat trick was his eighth in Game 7. The last three players to score a hat trick in Game 7: Janmark, Joel Kiviranta last season and Wayne Gretzky in 1993.
Three Star Day
1. Matthias Janmark, C, Vegas Golden Knights
Of course, we must start with Hat-Thias. Janmark opened the scoring at 5:09 of the first period and closed it out with two goals in the third, including an empty-netter.
Matthias Janmark with a great opening in the #Game7. #StanleyCup
: https://t.co/LcI8Hsqs1r @NHLonNBCSports
: https://t.co/0cXuacT6MQ @Sportsnet pic.twitter.com/Axy21PB2fh
– NHL (@NHL) 29. May 2021
2. Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Vegas Golden Knights
After two consecutive defeats, there was some doubt whether Fleury would start Game 7. He answered all those questions by making 18 saves, including 10 in a row in the final 30 minutes. Fleury now has 85 playoff wins to his credit and if he wins four more, the 17-year veteran will pass Billy Smith and Eddie Eagle Belfour to become the only fourth all-time.
3. Shea Theodore, D, Vegas Golden Knights.
After failing to score a goal in his first six games, Theodore handed out two assists in 22 minutes of ice time, but his influence didn’t stop there. According to Natural Stat Trick, when Theodore was on the ice with Nick Holden, both players controlled the game with an amazing 78% Corsi percentage. They also played with the Kaprizov-Viktor Rask-Mats Zuccarello line and didn’t score a single point on the power play (Kaprizov’s goal and Zuccarello’s assist came on the power play).
Course of the day: Maple Leafs second period puck line (-0.5)
The Leafs’ offense didn’t wake up until after the first intermission, scoring just one goal in the first, but 10 in the second.
Overnight social contribution
ROBIN LECHNER HAS THROWN IN HIS HAT
– Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) May 29, 2021
Even backup goalie Robin Lehner got in the mood when Janmark scored his third goal by throwing his hat on the ice.
Question of the day: Rest or Rust?
The Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets still have a significant lead over their rivals, the Vegas Golden Knights and Maple Leafs, who won the Canadiens series. I tend to think that extra rest is always better for the team to be healthy, but you have to wonder if it will result in a slow start against an opponent with momentum.
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