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Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz: Sharks try to carry momentum into Game 1

Play Avalanche after first-round comeback; Islanders start series against Hurricanes

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Welcome to the Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz, a daily in-depth look at the 2019 NHL postseason. The second round began Thursday with wins from the home teams. It continues Friday with two more Game 1s. 

 

On Tap

The second round of the playoffs continues with the other two Game 1s:   

Carolina Hurricanes at New York Islanders (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS): The Hurricanes, who won four of the final five games of their first-round series against the Washington Capitals, look to keep rolling against the Islanders, who swept the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference First Round. The Hurricanes won Game 7 in double-overtime Wednesday while the Islanders haven't played since April 16.

Video: Hurricanes look to keep surge going against Islanders

Colorado Avalanche at San Jose Sharks (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS): The second game of the night features teams in similar situations as the Hurricanes and Islanders. The Avalanche haven't played since finishing their five-game series victory against the Calgary Flames on April 19 while the Sharks are riding the wave of their comeback overtime win in Game 7 against the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.

Video: Avalanche look to keep the magic going against Sharks

 

About last night

Here is what happened on Day 16 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Boston Bruins 3, Columbus Blue Jackets 2 (OT)): Charlie Coyle scored two goals, the second coming 5:15 into overtime, to lift the Bruins to a Game 1 victory at TD Garden. Coyle scored his first goal with 4:35 remaining in regulation and forced overtime for the Bruins, who were playing two nights after defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference First Round. It was the first game for the Blue Jackets since finishing their sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning on April 16. The Blue Jackets took a 2-1 lead in the third period when Brandon Dubinsky and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored 13 seconds apart. Game 2 of the best-of-7 series is at TD Garden on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, CBC, TVAS). 

St. Louis Blues 3, Dallas Stars 2: Vladimir Tarasenko scored two goals and Jordan Binnington made 27 saves for the Blues in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round. Tarasenko broke a 1-1 tie with a power-play goal at 18:03 of the second period. It was the first power-play goal the Stars have allowed in 17 chances during the postseason. Tarasenko made it 3-1 at 3:51 of the third. The Stars took 17 of their 29 shots on goal in the third period. Game 2 is at Enterprise Center on Saturday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVAS).

Video: Binnington makes 27 saves, Coyle wins it for Boston

 

What we learned

Here are some takeaways from Day 16 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

 

Bruins depth makes difference again

A major reason why the Bruins defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference First Round was depth scoring. That proved to be a key again in Game 1 against the Blue Jackets. The Bruins got all three goals from the bottom of the lineup Thursday, indicating that this is not the same team as the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs when the scoring primarily came from the top line. Now it comes from everywhere, from Noel Acciari shorthanded, and from the third-line combination of Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson. Seven of their last eight goals have come from the bottom-six forwards, with the other an empty-net goal by Patrice Bergeron. Assuming the top scorers -- Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, Bergeron -- find their touch at some point, this development makes the Bruins extremely dangerous.

Video: CBJ@BOS, Gm1: Acciari buries wrister on rush for SHG

 

Blue Jackets must be quicker, more decisive

Columbus coach John Tortorella mentioned in his postgame press conference how the Blue Jackets weren't decisive enough, that they were caught in-between instead of making a decision and trusting it. It's hard to argue with his assessment if you look back at Coyle's game-tying and game-winning goals. Defenseman Seth Jones was in-between with his coverage on Coyle on the game-tying goal and missed him altogether. The Blue Jackets were slow and caught between pressuring and sitting back on Coyle's winner. If Game 1 is an indicator of things to come, this figures to be a tight-checking and physical series, which puts greater emphasis on quick thinking and decision making. The Blue Jackets need to be better in both areas in Game 2.

 

Tarasenko remains playoff threat for Blues

Vladimir Tarasenko has proven himself a strong performer in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and he proved it again in Game 1 on Thursday. Tarasenko scored two goals, including the game winner 3:51 into the third period. He also scored a power-play goal, the first the Stars have allowed in the playoffs (16-for-17 on the penalty kill). Tarasenko, who had two goals in six games against the Winnipeg Jets in the first round, has 36 points (26 goals, 10 assists) in 51 career playoff games.

Video: Tarasenko scores twice, Blues take Game 1 vs. Stars

 

Stars need more consistent game

The Stars appeared to be getting the start they wanted when they outshot the Blues 5-0 in the first five minutes of the game. But after Blues forward Robby Fabbri scored 5:57 into the first period, the Stars didn't have the same intensity. They only had three more shots in the first period, and it took until they trailed 3-1 early in the third for the Stars to start mounting a consistent offensive attack.

 

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