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Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz: Second round begins with two games

Blue Jackets travel to Bruins, Stars visit Blues

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Welcome to the Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz, a daily in-depth look at the 2019 NHL postseason. The second round of the playoffs begin tonight with two Game 1s.

On Tap

Columbus Blue Jackets at Boston Bruins (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS): The Bruins wrapped their first-round series win against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 on Tuesday. The Blue Jackets haven't played a game since finishing their sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning on April 16. Will momentum help the Bruins or will rest help the Blue Jackets?

Dallas Stars at St. Louis Blues (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS): The Central Division rivals face off after they each knocked off one of the top two teams in the division. The Stars defeated the first-place Predators in six games and the Blues defeated the second-place Jets in six. The goalie matchup between the Stars' Ben Bishop -- who was born in Denver but grew up in St. Louis -- and the Blues' Jordan Binnington is one to watch in this series.

 

About last night

Here is what happened on Day 15 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

Carolina Hurricanes 4, Washington Capitals 3 (2 OT): Brock McGinn scored at 11:05 of the second overtime to lift the Hurricanes past the defending Stanley Cup champions in Game 7. It's the first time in NHL history that all division winners were knocked out in the first round. The Tampa Bay Lightning, Calgary Flames and Nashville Predators also were defeated in the first round. The Hurricanes will play the New York Islanders in the second round.

Video: CAR@WSH, Gm7: McGinn displays late heroics in 2OT win

 

What we learned

Here are some takeaways from Day 15 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

 

Hurricanes are resilient

Whatever adversity the Hurricanes faced against the Capitals, they kept coming until they won the series on Brock McGinn's goal 11:05 into the second overtime in Game 7. After losing the first two games of the series at Washington, Carolina pushed back and won Games 3 and 4 at home. After the Capitals routed them 6-0 in Game 5 to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series, the Hurricanes got back up again and won 5-2 in Game 6. Then, in a Game 7 that was a microcosm of the series, they trailed 2-0 6:23 into the first period and 3-1 with 6:38 left in the second, and never wavered. The Capitals were more skilled and deeper, but the Hurricanes worked harder to overcome that and advanced to face the New York Islanders.

 

Repeating is difficult

The Capitals' reign as Stanley Cup champions lasted one season. There's a reason the Pittsburgh Penguins, who won the Cup in 2016 and 2017, are the only repeat NHL champions since the Detroit Red Wings won in 1997 and 1998. It's difficult enough to win the Cup once. The Capitals know that. They didn't do it until their 43rd season. With most of their players returning, they thought they had a great chance to win the Cup again. Injuries to defenseman Michal Kempny (torn left hamstring) and forward T.J. Oshie (fractured right clavicle) hurt. But ultimately, the Capitals didn't get enough production from their depth, which was one of the keys to their success during their Cup run, and they did not have the same killer instinct they had last season, when they went 4-0 in games they had a chance to clinch a series.

Video: CAR@WSH, Gm7: Hurricanes, Caps exchange handshakes

 

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