Thursday marked the first day in Stanley Cup Playoffs history to feature multiple games with a goal in the opening 20 seconds.
Carolina Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele scored 17 seconds into the first period of a 2-1 win against the Washington Capitals in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round at PNC Arena, establishing a Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers record for fastest goal to start a playoff game. Foegele eclipsed the mark of 25 seconds set by Carolina's Erik Cole against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 6 of the 2002 Eastern Conference Semifinals. It also was the fastest goal to start any playoff period in Hurricanes/Whalers history, five seconds earlier than the previous mark, set by Ray Whitney, who scored 22 seconds into the third period of Game 2 in the 2006 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Canadiens.
Video: WSH@CAR, Gm4: Foegele's tap-in starts scoring early
Winnipeg Jets forward Adam Lowry scored 12 seconds into the first period of a 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues in Game 5 in the Western Conference First Round at Bell MTS Place to establish a Jets/Atlanta Thrashers record for fastest goal to start a playoff game. The previous mark was 31 seconds, set by defenseman Jacob Trouba in Game 5 of the 2018 Western Conference First Round against the Minnesota Wild. Lowry also scored the fastest goal to start any playoff period in Jets/Thrashers history; his goal was six seconds faster than the one scored by Jets center Mark Scheifele, who scored 18 seconds into the third period against the Nashville Predators in Game 3 of the 2018 Western Conference Final.
Video: STL@WPG, Gm5: Lowry bangs home rebound 12 seconds in
There have been five goals scored in the opening minute during the first round of the 2019 playoffs, tied for the most in the opening round of any postseason (also 1981, 2012 and 2016). Teams that score in the opening minute this year are 3-2.
Schwartz caps late rally for Blues
The Blues overcame being two goals down in the third period and forward Jaden Schwartz scored the go-ahead goal with 15 seconds remaining for a 3-2 win against the Jets. St. Louis leads the best-of-7 series 3-2 and can advance to the second round with a win in Game 6 at Enterprise Center on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS2, FS-MW).
Schwartz scored the second-latest game-winning goal in regulation in Blues playoff history, behind Gino Cavallini at 19:51 of the third period in Game 3 of the 1990 Norris Division Final against the Chicago Blackhawks. Schwartz has 11 goals in 54 playoff games, including five game-winners; he's third in Blues history in postseason game-winning goals behind Brett Hull (15) and Larry Keenan (six).
The Blues overcame being behind by multiple goals in the third period to win a playoff game for the seventh time since entering the NHL in 1967. It was the fourth time they've done it in regulation; St. Louis also did it in Game 1 of the 1983 Norris Division Semifinals (4-2 at Chicago), Game 2 of the 1991 Norris Semifinals (4-2 vs. the Detroit Red Wings) and Game 3 of the 1998 Western Conference Quarterfinals (4-2 at the Los Angeles Kings).
Video: STL@WPG, Gm5: Schwartz tips in late go-ahead goal
Blues-Jets series one for the books
The Jets and Blues are playing the fourth best-of-7 series in Stanley Cup Playoffs history with the road team winning each of the first five games. The others: the 1951 Stanley Cup Semifinals (Canadiens-Red Wings), the 1995 Eastern Conference Final (New Jersey Devils-Philadelphia Flyers) and the 2004 Western Conference Final (Calgary Flames-San Jose Sharks). A best-of-7 series never has featured the road team winning each of the first six games.
Each game in the Jets-Blues series has seen the winning team trail at some point. Ten previous series in Stanley Cup Playoffs history have had comeback wins in each of the first five or more games, including four in the past decade: the 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinals (Pittsburgh Penguins-Washington Capitals, six games), 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals (Flyers-Penguins, five games), 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals (Devils-Flyers, five games) and 2014 Eastern Conference First Round (Penguins-Columbus Blue Jackets, five games).
Hurricanes edge Capitals, even series 2-2
The Hurricanes delighted a team-record home crowd by edging the Capitals. The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2 entering Game 5 at Capital One Arena on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN360, SN1, TVAS). Foegele's early goal gave Carolina a quick lead and forward Teuvo Teravainen scored the game-winner at 19:32 of the second period.
Carolina evened a best-of-7 series 2-2 after losing the first two games for the third time in in Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers history. Each of the first two instances came against Montreal; the Whalers did it in the 1992 Adams Division Semifinals and the Hurricanes in the 2006 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
The Hurricanes are 16-8 in their past 24 postseason home games, dating to the start of the 2006 playoffs.
Foegele became the sixth rookie in NHL history to score in the opening 20 seconds of a playoff game, joining Boston's John Byce in Game 3 of the 1990 Stanley Cup Final (10 seconds), Montreal's Sergio Momesso in Game 3 of the 1987 Adams Division Final (14 seconds), Los Angeles' Darryl Sydor in Game 1 of the 1993 Smythe Division Semifinals (16 seconds), Peter Regin of the Ottawa Senators in Game 2 of the 2010 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals (18 seconds) and Boston's Norm Johnson in Game 2 of the 1958 Cup Final (20 seconds).
Video: WSH@CAR, Gm4: Teravainen picks the corner on Holtby
Sharks defeat Golden Knights to extend series
Center Tomas Hertl scored the first of his two goals 1:16 into the first period and the San Jose Sharks avoided elimination by defeating the Vegas Golden Knights 5-2 at SAP Center in Game 5 of the Western Conference First Round.
San Jose scored at least five goals in a game while facing elimination for the fifth time since entering the NHL in 1991 and the first time since Game 7 of the 2016 Western Conference Second Round (5-0 against Nashville).
The Golden Knights lead the best-of-7 series 3-2. Game 6 is at T-Mobile Arena on Sunday (time and TV TBA).
Sharks center Joe Thornton had his 99th playoff assist; he's one shy of becoming the 24th player in NHL history with at least 100 postseason assists.
San Jose's victory means at least five of the eighth first-round series in these playoffs will extend to at least six games; the Calgary Flames would make it six by defeating the Colorado Avalanche in Game 5 of the Western Conference First Round at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS, ALT). At least half of the opening-round series in each of the past 12 years have gone six or seven games, and 70 percent of all series have gone at least six games since the current playoff format was introduced in 2014 (58 of 83).
Video: Hertl sets tone early in Sharks' Game 5 win