RECORD-SETTING OVERTIME NUMBERS HIGHLIGHT FIRST ROUND
The first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs featured 18 of 42 games going to overtime (42.9 percent), a record for any round in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The previous record of 17 overtime games, established in the first round of the 2013 playoffs, was set in 47 games (36.2 percent). There were 20 overtime games in the entire 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which had 91 games.
* Three days saw every game extend past regulation, including April 17, when all four games went into overtime. It was the third time in Stanley Cup Playoffs history that four games required overtime on the same day. It also happened April 11, 1980 and April 10, 1985.
* The Presidents' Trophy-winning Washington Capitals and the Toronto Maple Leafs, the second wild card from the Eastern Conference, played past regulation five times in the opening round, matching the single-series NHL postseason record set in the 1951 Stanley Cup Final between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens, won in five games by the Maple Leafs, and the first five games of the 2012 Western Conference Quarterfinals between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Chicago Blackhawks, won in six games by the Coyotes.
* Three of eight series were decided by an overtime goal, scored by the St. Louis Blues' Magnus Paajarvi, the Ottawa Senators' Clarke MacArthur and Marcus Johansson of the Capitals. There were two such goals during the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The record for a single postseason is six, set in 1993 and matched in 1999.
* Nine of the 12 games in the Capitals-Maple Leafs series (five) and the series between the Senators and Boston Bruins (four) required overtime. Only two other rounds in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs have featured two series with at least four overtime games, and all occurred within the past six years: the 2012 conference quarterfinals (Coyotes-Blackhawks: 5, Capitals-Bruins: 4) and 2014 first round (Wild-Avalanche: 4, Blackhawks-Blues: 4).
AS CLOSE AS IT GETS
Of the 42 games contested in the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs:
* Twenty-eight were decided by one goal (66.7 percent), while another five were decided by two goals following an empty-net score (78.6 percent combined). Only the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs featured an opening round with that high of a percentage of one-goal margins, with 32 of 48 games (66.7 percent).
* Eighteen (42.9 percent) entered the final five minutes of the third period with the score tied. Three featured a go-ahead goal in the final three minutes of the third, while five included a tying goal in the final five minutes of the third period, including two in the final 60 seconds.
* Seventeen saw the winning team overcome a deficit of at least one goal, including nine that overcame a multigoal deficit. Clubs also rallied from a third-period deficit of any margin to win eight times.
* The Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers were tied or separated by one goal for 96.5 percent of the total playing time (379:10 of 392:56), the most of any series. Three other series either were tied or at a one-goal margin for more than 80 percent of total playing time: Ottawa-Boston (90.9 percent, 367:47 of 404:31), St. Louis-Minnesota (89.1 percent, 291:45 of 327:30) and Washington-Toronto (83.5 percent, 339:12 of 406:20).
* The eight first-round series were tied or within one goal for 80.7 percent of total playing time (2,199:48 of 2,724:18).
Video: A look at NHL-record 18 OT winners in the First Round
ROOKIES SHINE IN FIRST ROUND
Two of the top five goal-scorers in the first round were rookies, with Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guentzel leading all skaters with five goals and Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews sharing second place with four.
* Guentzel became the second NHL rookie with a hat trick in the postseason that included an overtime goal, achieving the feat in Game 3 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Guentzel, who scored two game-winning goals, also became the first player to score five goals in his first four career postseason games since Maurice Richard in 1944 with the Canadiens.
* Matthews, 19, scored in Games 3-6 to become the second teenager in the NHL to score in four consecutive playoff games (4-1-5), joining Wendel Clark, who also achieved the feat at age 19 in 1986 (4-0-4 in 4 GP).
* Four rookies, forwards Kasperi Kapanen of the Maple Leafs, Guentzel, Kevin Fiala of the Nashville Predators and Sean Kuraly of the Bruins, scored an overtime goal, equaling the total from the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Only one year in Stanley Cup Playoffs history has featured more rookies with at least one overtime goal. In 1968, Jacques Lemaire (two), Milan Marcetta, Larry Keenan, Gary Sabourin and Don Blackburn all scored in extra time.
* Edmonton Oilers forward Anton Slepyshev scored his first NHL playoff goal in Game 6 to become the fifth rookie with a winning goal in the first round and the third Oilers rookie to score a series-clinching goal, first since 1992.
IF YOU'RE IN, YOU CAN WIN
The lower-seeded team won three of eight opening round series, with the Predators sweeping the Chicago Blackhawks, the Blues eliminating the Minnesota Wild in five games and the Rangers defeating the Canadiens in six games.
* The Predators became the third team since 1974-75, when the NHL introduced the conference format, to sweep the team with the best record in the conference in the opening round. The others were the Oilers against the Canadiens in the best-of-5 1981 preliminary round, and the Blues against the Blackhawks in the 1993 Norris Division Semifinals.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A FAST START
Teams that won Game 1 of their series went 6-2 in the first round, with only the Senators and Oilers advancing after dropping the opening game. Overall, teams that win the first game in a best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoffs series hold an all-time series record of 453-207 (68.6 percent).
ICYMI: SECOND ROUND SCHEDULE
Click here for the dates, starting times and national television coverage for the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which begins Wednesday.
ANDERSON, COGLIANO AND RYAN VOTED MASTERTON TROPHY FINALISTS
Craig Anderson of the Senators, Andrew Cogliano of the Anaheim Ducks and Derek Ryan of the Carolina Hurricanes are the three finalists for the 2016-17 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded "to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."
The local chapters of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted nominations for the Masterton Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season and the top three vote-getters were designated as finalists. The winner will be announced during the 2017 NHL Awards at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Wednesday, June 21.