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Stanley Cup Playoffs buzz: Capitals, Stars look to advance

Hurricanes, Predators need wins in Game 6 to keep season alive

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Welcome to the Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz, a daily in-depth look at the 2019 NHL postseason. Four teams have advanced to the second round and two more can there with wins Monday. 

 
On Tap

There are two Game 6s on Monday, including the defending Stanley Cup champions looking to move on.

Washington Capitals at Carolina Hurricanes (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS, FS-CR, NBCSWA): The home team has won the first five games in the series and the Hurricanes will be counting on the crowd at PNC Arena to be a factor against the Capitals. But they may not be enough to slow Washington, which looked dominant in its 6-0 win in Game 5 on Saturday. There is a chance at least one of Carolina's injured forwards -- Micheal Ferland, Jordan Martinook or Andrei Svechnikov -- could play. 

Nashville Predators at Dallas Stars (8:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, SN1, TVAS2, FS-SW, FS-TN): The Predators have gone backward since losing the 2017 Stanley Cup Final in six games. They lost to the Winnipeg Jets in Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round last season and are one Stars win away from being eliminated in the first round this season. To save their season, they need to tighten up against a Dallas team that has scored five goals in each of the past two games.

 

Need to know 

-- The Toronto Maple Leafs' history in Game 7 against the Boston Bruins has not been great, but they insist things will be differentwhen they play another deciding game in Boston on Tuesday. 

-- Here is all you need to know about the Game 7 between the Bruins and Maple Leafs. 

-- Tomas Hertl spoke and then he delivered in double overtime to help the San Jose Sharks force a Game 7 against the Vegas Golden Knights. 

-- It will be the first Game 7 in the historyof the Vegas Knights.

 
About last night

Here is what happened on Day 12 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

Boston Bruins 4, Toronto Maple Leafs 2: Brad Marchand scored two goals and had an assist, and the Bruins forced a Game 7 against the Maple Leafs at home for the second straight season and third time since 2013. Boston won the two previous Game 7s against Toronto, a 5-4 overtime victory in 2013 and a 7-4 win in 2018.

San Jose Sharks 2, Vegas Golden Knights 1 (2 OT): Tomas Hertl, who believed the Sharks would force a Game 7, scored at 11:17 of the second overtime to lift San Jose, which had trailed 3-1 in the series. Martin Jones made 58 saves for the Sharks in the longest game of the 2019 playoffs.

Video: SJS@VGK, Gm6: Hertl rips SHG in 2OT to force Game 7

 

What we learned

Here are some takeaways from Day 12 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

 

Maple Leafs penalty kill has major issues

When the Bruins power play went 5-for-11 in the first four games of the Eastern Conference First Round, Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock vowed the penalty kill would be fixed. True to his words, Toronto was perfect in three shorthanded situations in Game 5, a 2-1 Maple Leafs victory. But Toronto's penalty killing woes resurfaced in Game 6. Boston's power play went 2-for-2 in a 4-2 victory and is 7-for-16 (43.8 percent) in the series. One of the keys has been the face-off proficiency of center Patrice Bergeron, who went 17-for-23 in Game 6. When he does that on the power play, it allows Boston to have possession in the offensive zone. Toronto needs to find a way to counter that in Game 7.

 

Less thinking, more shooting for Bruins

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Saturday they might have been doing too much thinking and not enough playing against the Maple Leafs. They fixed that Sunday, and with it got the win they needed to force Game 7 at home in the best-of-7 series. Instead of being too reticent and perhaps overthinking it, the Bruins got pucks to the net on Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen. Even though Andersen had an excellent game, with a handful of scintillating glove saves, he couldn't keep all 40 shots he faced out of the net. Highlighted by defenseman Torey Krug's nine shots on goal, the Bruins were more aggressive and more assertive, playing more of their brand of hockey in Game 6.

Video: BOS@TOR, Gm6: Andersen stretches for fantastic save

 

Jones is back for Sharks

Sharks goalie Martin Jones has shined in back-to-back elimination games, making 30 saves in a 5-2 win in Game 5 and setting a San Jose playoff record with 58 saves in a 2-1 double-overtime victory in Game 6. That has to give him and the Sharks a huge confidence boost going into Game 7. In Games 2-4, Jones was pulled twice and allowed 11 goals on 54 shots.

 

Golden Knights hot line has gone cold

Through four games, the Golden Knights' so-called second line was the No. 1 line in the NHL. Forwards Mark Stone (six goals, four assists) and Max Pacioretty (four goals, six assists) each had 10 points and center Paul Stastny had eight (two goals, six assists) points. In losses in Games 5 and 6 they have combined for zero points.

 

On Tap

There are two Game 6s on Monday, including the defending Stanley Cup champions looking to move on.

Washington Capitals at Carolina Hurricanes (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS, FS-CR, NBCSWA): The home team has won the first five games in the series and the Hurricanes will be counting on the crowd at PNC Arena to be a factor against the Capitals. But they may not be enough to slow Washington, which looked dominant in its 6-0 win in Game 5 on Saturday.

Nashville Predators at Dallas Stars (8:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, SN1, TVAS2, FS-SW, FS-TN): The Predators have gone backward since losing the 2017 Stanley Cup Final in six games. They lost to the Winnipeg Jets in Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round last season and are one Stars win away from being eliminated in the first round this season. To save their season, they need to tighten up against a Dallas team that has scored five goals in each of the past two games.

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