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facts & figures

Facts and Figures: Blue Jackets, Blues eye 3-0 leads

Teams with such advantage in playoff series are 186-4 all time

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

The Columbus Blue Jackets and St. Louis Blues can each earn a big advantage in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Sunday by taking 3-0 leads against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Winnipeg Jets, respectively.

Teams holding a 3-0 lead in a best-of-7 series are 186-4 (97.8 percent) all time.

The Blue Jackets play Game 3 against the Lightning at Nationwide Arena (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, TVAS, FS-O, SUN) and hope to join the 2012 Los Angeles Kings as the second team with a 3-0 lead in the first round against the Presidents' Trophy winner. The Kings defeated the Vancouver Canucks in five games en route to becoming the first No. 8 seed to win the Cup in the conference era (since 1974-75). 

The Lightning set a team record with 30 road wins this season, five more than the Blue Jackets, but are without Art Ross Trophy winner Nikita Kucherov (128 points), who is suspended one game for boarding Columbus defenseman Markus Nutivaara in Game 2.

The Blues will try to win the first three games of a best-of-7 series for the ninth time in their history and third in the past 20 years when they play the Jets in Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round at Enterprise Center (7:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, CBC, SN, TVAS2, FS-MW).

 

Working overtime

Four games have required overtime through the first four days of the 2019 playoffs, including three of four Saturday. 

Brooks Orpik ended the first by scoring 1:48 into OT for the Washington Capitals in a 4-3 win against the Carolina Hurricanes at Capital One Arena to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 first round and give Washington its six consecutive playoff victory since Game 2 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. Orpik's fourth playoff goal made him the oldest defenseman (38 years, 199 days) in NHL history to score a playoff OT goal, passing Keith Carney of the Minnesota Wild (38 years, 68 days) in Game 2 of the 2008 Western Conference Quarterfinals, a 3-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche.

Video: CAR@WSH, Gm2: Orpik rips one-timer for OT winner

J.T. Compher's goal with 2:39 left in the third period set up Nathan MacKinnon's game-winner at 8:27 of overtime for the Avalanche in a 3-2 victory against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome to even the best-of-7 series 1-1. Colorado won a playoff game after scoring the tying goal in the final five minutes for the ninth time in their history and first since MacKinnon scored in OT to give it a 4-3 win against Minnesota in Game 5 of the 2014 first round The Avalanche are 24-14 in 38 all-time playoff games on the road that needed overtime, a .631 winning percentage that's the fourth-highest total among current NHL teams (minimum five games). The Lightning (.750; 12-4), Islanders (.696; 16-7) and Anaheim Ducks (.652; 15-8) are the other three.

Video: COL@CGY, Gm2: MacKinnon wins it after Grubauer save

Craig Smith's first OT goal in the NHL helped the Nashville Predators defeat the Dallas Stars 2-1 at Bridgestone Arena and even the first round 1-1. The Predators have earned at least one win in each of their 19 all-time postseason series. The Islanders are the other team to avoid being swept through at least its first 19 series. They had at least one win in their first 32 before losing 3-0 to the Capitals in the best-of-5 1986 Patrick Division Semifinals.

Video: DAL@NSH, Gm2: Smith wins it in OT for Predators

 

Gronkowski rallies Boston faithful, Bruins tie series with Maple Leafs 

After retired New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski rallied fans at TD Garden prior to puck drop, Tuukka Rask made 30 saves to help the Boston Bruins defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 and even the series 1-1.

Rask won his 36th playoff game to tie Andy Moog for second on the Bruins' all-time list behind Gerry Cheevers (53) and tie Antti Niemi second-most in NHL history among Finland-born goalies behind Nashville's Pekka Rinne (44).

 Video: Bruins win Game 2 to even series with Maple Leafs

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