Home Team in Caps
OTTAWA 1, Montreal 0 – MTL leads 3-1
NY Rangers 2, PITTSBURGH 1 (OT) – NYR leads 3-1
St. Louis 6, MINNESOTA 1 – series tied 2-2
Anaheim 5, WINNIPEG 2 – ANA wins series 4-0
KESLER PROPELS DUCKS INTO SECOND ROUND
Ryan Kesler scored twice in the third period, including the eventual series-clinching goal, to guide the Anaheim Ducks past the Winnipeg Jets and into the second round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* Anaheim swept a best-of-7 series for the fourth time in its history and the first time since the 2006 Western Conference Semifinals vs. the Colorado Avalanche. Their other series sweeps came in 2003 en route to the franchise's first berth in the Stanley Cup Final (WQF vs. Detroit Red Wings and WCF vs. Minnesota Wild).
* The Ducks fell behind 1-0 late in the first period, but Emerson Etem tied the game less than 90 seconds later. Anaheim overcame a deficit in each contest in the series, and was the first team in NHL history to win three consecutive games in one playoff series when trailing entering the third period (Games 1-2-3).
* Overall, the Ducks led for only 38:26 during the four games, including a total of 11:21 in the first three. The Jets held the lead for 68:45 and the clubs were tied for 138:01.
* The Elias Sports Bureau says 38:26 is the least amount of time any team has ever led in a four-game series sweep. The previous record was 40:49 set by the Red Wings vs. Anaheim in the 1997 Western Conference Semifinals.
* Kesler had his fourth career multigoal playoff game and the third career game-winning goal in the postseason. His other decisive tallies came during the opening round of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 3 (OT) and Game 4 at the Nashville Predators.
* Kesler, who was acquired from the Vancouver Canucks in the offseason, began his professional career with the Winnipeg-based Manitoba Moose (formerly the AHL affiliate of the Canucks). He tallied 3-2—5 in the four-game series, including 3-1—4 in Winnipeg.
* ICYMI: Etem danced around three defenders for a highlight-reel goal and later Andrew Cogliano finished a fancy passing play for his first goal of the postseason.
* Sami Vatanen (1-1—2) and Corey Perry (0-2—2) each had multiple points. Vatanen posted 2-3—5 in the series, while Perry is tied for the League lead with 3-4—7 this postseason.
* Jakob Silfverberg (0-1—1) collected 2-3—5 in the series, after entering with 4-2—6 in his first 25 career playoff contests. Frederik Andersen made 25 saves in Game 4 and was in net for all four contests, posting a 2.20 goals-against average and .924 save percentage.
2015 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS BRACKET CHALLENGE
Among the nearly 900,000 entries for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge powered by Samsung on NHL.com, 78% picked the Ducks to win their series against the Jets, including 13.0% that selected them to win in four games.
A total of 107,031 entries (12.96%) are left with the potential for a perfect bracket after Anaheim's four-game series win over Winnipeg.
The Ducks will meet a Pacific Division rival in the Second Round: the winner of the First Round series between the Canucks and the Calgary Flames (Calgary leads 3-1). Anaheim defeated Vancouver in their only playoff meeting, a five-game series in 2007 that featured three overtime contests; they also won their only all-time playoff series against Calgary, a seven-game opening-round matchup in 2006.
HOFFMAN, ANDERSON HELP SENATORS FORCE GAME 5
Mike Hoffman broke a scoreless deadlock with 11:55 left in regulation and Craig Anderson denied all 28 shots he faced to help the Ottawa Senators win Game 4 and extend their series against the Montreal Canadiens.
* The Senators have forced Game 5 in two of five all-time series when trailing 3-0 (also 2006 ESF vs. the Buffalo Sabres).
* Hoffman scored 27 goals during the regular season, the second-most in one season by a Senators rookie behind Alexei Yashin (30 in 1993-94). Hoffman ranked fourth among all rookies with 48 points.
* Jean-Gabriel Pageau was the last Senators player to have his first career postseason goal count as the game-winner. He also accomplished that feat vs. Montreal, tallying 3-0—3 on May 5, 2013 (6-1 W in Game 3 of EQF).
* Craig Anderson had his third career postseason shutout and first since April 21, 2012, at the new York Rangers (2-0 W in Game 5 of EQF). That also was Ottawa's last previous playoff shutout.
* Wednesday marked the club's first shutout on home ice in the postseason since May 14, 2007, vs. Buffalo (Ray Emery, 15 SV; 1-0 in Game 3 of EF).
* Anderson earned his first victory since March 8 vs. Calgary, halting a personal four-game slide (regular season and playoffs). He improved to 11-13 with a 2.45 goals-against average and .930 save percentage in 25 career postseason appearances.
* Only four teams in NHL history have overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-7 series, most recently in the first round of last year's playoffs when the Los Angeles Kings reeled of four straight wins against the San Jose Sharks en route to their second Stanley Cup in three seasons.
HAYES' OT HEROICS GIVES RANGERS 3-1 SERIES LEAD
Kevin Hayes scored his first career playoff goal (4 GP) at 3:14 of overtime to lift the New York Rangers to a 2-1 victory and a 3-1 series lead against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
* Via Elias, Hayes is the first Rangers rookie to score his first career playoff goal in overtime since Don Murdoch on April 13, 1978, vs. Buffalo (Game 2 of Preliminary Round).
* Hayes also is the first Rangers rookie to score a playoff overtime goal (not necessarily his first career postseason goal) since Chris Kreider on May 23, 2013, vs. the Boston Bruins (Game 4 of ESF). Hayes compiled 17-28—45 during the regular season (79 GP) to finish fifth in rookie scoring.
* ICYMI: Hayes was mic'd up when he received the Broadway Hat in the locker room after the game.
* Derick Brassard tied the game late in the second period with his third goal of the 2015 playoffs. He has 12-9—21 in 21 overall games vs. Pittsburgh in a Rangers uniform.
* Henrik Lundqvist made 22 saves to earn his 46th career postseason victory (46-49), passing Tony Esposito and Jonathan Quick into 20th place in Stanley Cup Playoffs history. Only Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury (53 wins) has more postseason victories among active goaltenders.
* Lundqvist improved to 3-1 with a 1.74 goals-against average and .926 save percentage in the 2015 playoffs.
* The Rangers have won 12 of their past 13 road games (including both contests in the series) dating to March 8 at the Chicago Blackhawks. New York won 28 road games during the regular season, tied for the second-most in one season in NHL history (w/ the New Jersey Devils in 1998-99); the Detroit Red Wings hold the record with 31 victories in 2005-06.
* The Rangers improved to 37-48 in 85 playoff overtime games, including 21-29 on the road. They also won their last playoff overtime game against the Penguins on May 2, 2014 in Game 1 of the second round (GWG: Brassard, 3:06 of first overtime).
* The road team is 5-3 in eight overtime games thus far in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
DID YOU KNOW?
Via Elias, Boston's Matt Fraser was the last rookie to score the lone goal in a playoff game and the last player to score his first career playoff goal in overtime, before Hoffman and Hayes achieved the respective feats on Wednesday. Fraser scored his first Stanley Cup Playoff goal at 1:19 of overtime in the Bruins' 1-0 victory vs. Montreal on May 8, 2014 (Game 4 of Eastern Conference Second Round).
Via Elias, teams that go up 3-1 in a best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoffs series hold an all-time series record of 249-27 (90.2%).
TARASENKO (AGAIN) STEALS SPOTLIGHT AS BLUES EVEN SERIES
Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice, including the eventual game-winning goal, and the St. Louis Blues scored three times in each of the first two periods to even their series with the Minnesota Wild.
* Tarasenko (5-1—6) leads all players this postseason with five goals, including his first career playoff hat trick in Game 2.
* Via Elias, he is the first Blues player to score multiple goals in more than one game in the same series since the opening round against Vancouver in 2003. In that series, Doug Weight tallied 2-1—3 in Game 3 (3-1 W) and Game 6 (4-3 L).
* ICYMI: Tarasenko split the Wild defensemen before scoring an amazing one-handed goal.
* Kevin Shattenkirk (0-3—3) set a career high for assists in one playoff game and matched a personal best for points in one postseason game (also April 19, 2014: 1-2—3 vs. CHI). He leads all players with seven assists and is tied for the overall playoff scoring lead (w/ Corey Perry: 3-4—7).
* Shattenkirk's three assists were one shy of the single-game franchise record by a defenseman (in the playoffs), set by Brian Benning on April 11, 1987 vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs (Game 3 of Norris Division SF). Elias says Shattenkirk is the first Blues defenseman with three assists in one postseason game since April 16, 2012 (Carlo Colaiacovo at San Jose).
* Jake Allen (17 saves) has allowed two goals or fewer in 12 consecutive games dating to March 15 at the Dallas Stars (regular season and playoffs).
* Ryan Reaves scored his first career playoff goal/point (18 GP). Patrik Berglund (1-1—2), David Backes (1-1—2) and Paul Stastny scored the other Blues goals.
* The Blues scored at least six goals in the postseason for the first time since April 10, 2003, at Vancouver (6-0 W in Game 1 of WQF). The franchise record for goals in one playoff game is eight, last achieved April 23, 1998 vs. Los Angeles (8-3 W in Game 1 of WQF).
When teams are tied 2-2 in a best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoffs series, Elias says that the winner of Game 5 holds an all-time series record of 185-50 (78.7%).
NHL ANNOUNCES FRANK J. SELKE FINALISTS
The NHL announced that Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron, Kings forward Anze Kopitar and Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews are the three finalists for the 2014-15 Frank J. Selke Trophy, which is awarded “to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game,” the National Hockey League announced today.
All three were Selke finalists in 2013-14, when Bergeron, Kopitar and Toews finished 1-2-3, respectively, in balloting. This marks the first time in 18 years that the same trio has swept finalist berths for any trophy in consecutive seasons: Paul Kariya, Adam Oates and Teemu Selanne were the top three contenders for the Lady Byng Trophy in 1995-96 and 1996-97.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association submitted ballots for the Selke Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 24, during the 2015 NHL Awards from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Click here for more information on each finalist.
* The NHL will reveal the three finalists for the Calder Trophy prior to Thursday's games.
Carey Price played in his 46th career playoff game, surpassing Bill Durnan for fourth place on the Canadiens' all-time list among goaltenders. . . . Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist scored in consecutive games for the first time in his postseason career (28 GP). He has 2-1—3 in four games this series, after compiling 0-2—2 in seven career regular season games vs. the Rangers. . . . Evgeni Malkin played in his 100th career playoff game, becoming the fifth player in franchise history to reach the milestone after Jaromir Jagr (140 GP), Mario Lemieux (107), Kevin Stevens (103) and Tom Barrasso (101). . . . Rangers coach Alain Vigneault earned his 53rd career playoff win, surpassing Jack Adams, Bob Hartley and Bryan Murray for 19th on the NHL's all-time postseason wins list among coaches. . . . Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper stopped all nine shots in relief of Devan Dubnyk. . . . The NHL announced that Game 5 of the Rangers-Penguins series will be played Friday at 7 p.m. ET (NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports) and that Game 5 of the Blues-Wild series will be played Friday at 9:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports).