Welcome to the Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz, a daily in-depth look at the 2019 NHL postseason. There were two Game 2s on Saturday, and in each case the team that needed a win to even its series got it.
There are two more Game 2s on the schedule Sunday.
The second round of the playoffs continues with two Game 2s on Sunday:
Carolina Hurricanes at New York Islanders (3 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS): The Hurricanes bring a three-game winning streak into Game 2 at Barclays Center. They have not allowed a goal since 13:22 of the second period of their Game 7 win against the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference First Round on Wednesday. The Islanders, who swept the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round, need a win to even the best-of-7 series before heading to Carolina, where the Hurricanes are 3-0 in the postseason, for Games 3 and 4.
Colorado Avalanche at San Jose Sharks (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS): The Avalanche are 2-15-6 in their past 23 games at SAP Center, including a loss in Game 1, and need to reverse that trend if they are to tie the best-of-7 series. The good news for the Avalanche? They were able to bounce back from a 4-0 loss in Game 1 at Calgary to win the Western Conference First Round against the Flames in five games.
About last night
Here is what happened on Day 18 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:
Dallas Stars 4, St. Louis Blues 2: Roope Hintz had three points (two goals, one assist) and Dallas evened the best-of-7 series. Game 3 is at Dallas on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVAS, SN). Ben Bishop made 32 saves for the Stars and is 11-3 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs following a loss. He came into the game with a 1.60 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in those situations.
Columbus Blue Jackets 3, Boston Bruins 2 (2OT): Matt Duchene scored a power-play goal 3:42 into the second overtime to lift Columbus and even the best-of-7 series. After Patrice Bergeron was penalized for tripping at 2:59, Artemi Panarin, who had three points (two goals, one assist), shot from the point and Duchene got the rebound and scored his first postseason overtime goal five-hole on Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. Game 3 is Tuesday at Columbus (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).
Video: Blue Jackets, Bruins thrill in 2OT on Saturday
What we learned
Here are some takeaways from Day 17 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:
Stars penalty kill great again
The Stars penalty kill came up big in Game 2, going 5-for-5. The biggest kill came with 2:45 remaining in the third period, when forward Roope Hintz was called for delay of game and Dallas was clinging to a 3-2 lead. The Blues got one shot on that power play. The Stars are 21 of 22 on the kill in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Stars coach Jim Montgomery said their execution was questionable in some areas in Game 2, but not on the penalty kill.
Tough first period for Blues
The Blues didn't start out as sharp as they had hoped to in Game 2, and mistakes proved costly. That was especially true 13 minutes into the first period when Stars forward Jamie Benn and Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko's offsetting roughing penalties led to 4-on-4 hockey. The Stars and Blues combined for three goals, but the Stars scored two of them. Forward Mattias Janmark's goal gave the Stars a 3-1 lead 25 seconds after Blues defenseman Colton Parayko's goal had gotten St. Louis to within one, 2-1. The Blues settled down defensively, but the poor start cost them the game.
Video: DAL@STL, Gm2: Janmark and Dickinson combine for goal
Bruins need more than what Pastrnak is giving them
The Bruins got a goal from David Pastrnak on Saturday in Game 2 of the best-of-7 series against the Blue Jackets, but it wasn't exactly one of his prettier efforts. Charlie Coyle created the play with a wraparound that bounced off Pastrnak's skate and past Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. Still, it was something. Pastrnak, who scored an NHL career-high 38 goals this season, has bounced between the Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci lines in the playoffs and hasn't given the Bruins much in the postseason. The goal Saturday was Pastrnak's third of the playoffs and his first in five games. Coach Bruce Cassidy said Pastrnak was being indecisive with the puck, caught between shooting and passing, especially on the power play. It's costing the Bruins.
Blue Jackets better when settled in, composed
The Blue Jackets didn't mind how they played in the first period Saturday, but even coach John Tortorella said they were guilty of "overextending ourselves in trying to get the big hit instead of just playing." It's fine for them to be physical with the Bruins, especially when the Bruins are being physical with them. But the Blue Jackets, most notably forward Josh Anderson, can't get caught running around that way because a big hit isn't going to have the same effect on the Bruins as it did on the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round. The Blue Jackets appeared to figure that out after the first period. They settled in, stayed in their structure, let the game come to them, got physical when necessary but didn't overextend themselves out of position to do it. They were better. They took control, tilted the ice, had the Bruins on their heels, fumbling the puck and turning it over. That's a winning formula for Columbus.