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Jake Allen sparks Blues past Wild in Game 1

NHL news and notes

by NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL / NHL.com
ALLEN SHINES AS BLUES EMERGE WITH OVERTIME WIN IN MINNESOTA

Zach Parise tied the game with 22.7 seconds left in the third period -- on the Minnesota Wild's 44th shot of the game -- but Jake Allen made an NHL career-high 51 saves, Joel Edmundson scored at 17:48 of overtime and the St. Louis Blues took a 1-0 series lead against the Wild.

* Elias notes that Allen had the fourth 50-plus save performance by a goaltender in Blues playoff history. Curtis Joseph had two of those efforts in back-to-back games during the 1993 Division Finals at Toronto (61 saves in Game 1 and 57 saves in Game 2) to break a Blues record previously set by Ed Staniowski (54 saves in Game 2 of 1976 PR).

* Edmundson became the fifth defenseman in Blues history to score a playoff overtime goal and the second in the past 16 years (also Barret Jackman: Game 2 of 2014 FR at CHI).

* Elias notes that teams which surrender a tying goal in the final minute of the third period in a playoff game are 13-23 since 2007.

Video: Edmundson's OT goal lifts Blues past Wild in Game 1

 

WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS

Home Team in Caps

NY Rangers 2, MONTREAL 0 -- NYR leads 1-0
Boston 2, OTTAWA 1 -- BOS leads 1-0
PITTSBURGH 3, Columbus 1 -- PIT leads 1-0
St. Louis 2, MINNESOTA 1 (OT) -- STL leads 1-0
San Jose 3, EDMONTON 2 (OT) -- SJS leads 1-0

 

KARLSSON NETS OVERTIME WINNER TO CAP SHARKS COMEBACK

The San Jose Sharks erased a two-goal deficit and Melker Karlsson scored at 3:22 of overtime to help the defending Western Conference champions rally past the Edmonton Oilers in the opener of their Western Conference First Round series.

* Karlsson, who has one overtime goal in 185 NHL regular-season games, scored his first such goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (25 GP). He had eight points (five goals, three assists), including one game-winning goal, during San Jose's run to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.

* Elias notes that Game 1 marked the eighth time in Sharks playoff history that they overcame a multi-goal deficit to win a game.

* There were 20 overtime games in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including five that involved the Sharks (1-4).

Video: Karlsson's OT winner propels Sharks to Game 1 victory

 

FLEURY LEADS PENGUINS IN SURPRISE GAME 1 START

Named as the starting goaltender right before puck drop, Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves -- including all 16 he faced in the first period -- to help the Pittsburgh Penguins begin their pursuit of a second straight Stanley Cup championship with a Game 1 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Fleury played after Matt Murray, the previously announced starter, was injured in warmup, marking the second time in as many years that Pittsburgh announced a surprise starter for their opening game.

* Fleury picked up his 54th NHL postseason win (101 GP) to move within two of tying Tom Barrasso (56-42 in 101 GP) for the most in Penguins history.

* Phil Kessel (1-1-2), who led the Penguins in goals (10) and points (22) during the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, scored the game-winning goal.

Video: Kessel, Fleury lead Pens past Blue Jackets in Game 1

 

ROAD CLUBS JUMP OUT TO 1-0 SERIES LEADS

Four of the first five games in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs were won by visiting teams, including victories by the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins:

* Brad Marchand scored the go-ahead goal with 2:33 remaining in the third period to help the Bruins overcome a third-period deficit and win Game 1 against the Ottawa Senators. Marchand, who had NHL career highs in all three scoring categories in 2016-17 (39-46-85), scored his 17th NHL postseason goal and third playoff game-winner. He scored 11 of those goals as a rookie in 2011 to help Boston win the Stanley Cup.

* Henrik Lundqvist denied all 31 shots he faced -- including 16 in the first period -- to backstop the Rangers to a Game 1 win in Montreal. Lundqvist earned his 10th NHL playoff shutout (117 GP) to surpass Mike Richter (9 in 76 GP) for first place on the Rangers' all-time list. He improved to 3-0 in four postseason games at Bell Centre (2.01 GAA, .938 SV%, 1 SO), compared to 4-8-2 in 15 regular-season appearances in the building (3.87 GAA, .877 SV%).

* Game 1 marked the fifth Rangers shutout in 68 all-time postseason games against the Canadiens and second earned in Montreal.

 

DIFFERENT ROADS TO THE STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

Two defensemen at different stages of their NHL careers made their Stanley Cup Playoffs debut on Wednesday:

* Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy, 19, played 24:11 in his NHL debut, second among all skaters in OTT-BOS behind Zdeno Chara (25:32 TOI), a veteran of 19 NHL seasons. McAvoy, the No. 14 selection in the 2016 NHL Draft, signed his entry-level contract Monday after playing the 2016-17 season with Boston University.

* Penguins defenseman Ron Hainsey made his playoff debut after 907 NHL regular-season games (the most in NHL history before a postseason appearance).

 

FANS TO PICK NHL'S GREATEST STANLEY CUP TEAM

As part of its Centennial celebration, the NHL announced that during the six-week period from April 13 to May 25, fans will have the opportunity to select the NHL's Greatest Stanley Cup Team of all-time through a unique, interactive digital and mobile program. The Greatest NHL Teams features all of the NHL's 96 Stanley Cup winners since the League's inaugural season in 1917-18 competing head to head, with fans determining the outcome.

Click here for more information.

 

LOOSE PUCKS

Forward Evgeni Malkin (125 GP) had his 82nd and 83rd NHL postseason assists to surpass Jaromir Jagr (82 in 140 GP) for third place in Penguins playoff history . . . Oilers captain Connor McDavid, who had points in each of his final 14 games in 2016-17, had an assist in his playoff debut . . . Rangers forward Tanner Glass (GWG), who played 11 games during the regular season, scored his second NHL playoff goal (61 GP) . . . Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby topped the list of best-selling player jerseys for 2016-17 . . . ICYMI: The Empire State Building lit up for all 16 playoff teams to mark the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

 

SNEAK PEEK AT THURSDAY'S ACTION

All Times Eastern

Toronto @ Washington, Game 1, 7 p.m., CBC, TVA Sports, USA, CSN-DC
Nashville @ Chicago, Game 1, 8 p.m., SN, TVA Sports 2, NBCSN, CSN-CH, FS-TN
Calgary @ Anaheim, Game 1, 10:30 p.m., CBC, TVA Sports, NBCSN, PRIME
NBC Sports Channel Finder
Sportsnet Channel Finder
NHL Network Channel Finder

 

CAPITALS BEGIN STANLEY CUP QUEST AGAINST MAPLE LEAFS

The Presidents' Trophy-winning Washington Capitals begin their quest to win the Cup for the first time in their history when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs at Verizon Center for Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series. This marks the first playoff game between Washington and Toronto, who each ranked in the top five in total offense during the 2016-17 regular season (WSH: 263 GF; TOR: 251 GF). Washington is 10-2-1 in its past 13 games with Toronto since April 16, 2013 (TOR: 3-8-2), including 7-0-0 at Verizon Center.

 

BLACKHAWKS, PREDATORS SET TO RENEW CENTRAL DIVISION RIVALRY

The Chicago Blackhawks start their pursuit of their fourth Stanley Cup championship in the past eight seasons when they host the Nashville Predators at United Center in a battle between Central Division rivals. This marks the third all-time playoff meeting between Chicago and Nashville, with the Blackhawks winning each of the previous series en route to Stanley Cup championships in 2010 and 2015. Chicago won four straight against Nashville to claim the season series with a 4-1-0 record (NSH: 1-4-0).

 

DUCKS LOOK TO CONTINUE HOME DOMINANCE OF FLAMES

The Anaheim Ducks and Calgary Flames square off at Honda Center in their third all-time postseason meeting, following series wins by Anaheim in the 2006 CQF (4-3 W) and 2015 SR (4-1 W). Since losing 5-2 to the Flames in Game 3 of their 2006 playoff series, the Ducks have won 27 consecutive home games against Calgary, including 25 straight during the regular season -- the longest such run against one opponent in NHL history.

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