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Monday, April 24, 2017

NHL Peachy: Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – April 22, 2017

Home Team in Caps
WASHINGTON 2, Toronto 1 (OT) – WSH leads 3-2
Boston 3, OTTAWA 2 (2OT) – OTT leads 3-2

Fifteen of the first 37 games in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs have required overtime (40.5%), including both contests on Friday.

* Elias notes that this marks the fourth time since 1979-80, when the League expanded its playoff structure to include 16 teams, that the opening round has featured at least 15 overtime contests. The other instances: 17 in 2013 (47 GP), 16 in 2012 (48 GP) and 15 in 2001 (44 GP).

* Game 5 of the Maple Leafs-Capitals series was the shortest overtime contest this postseason, with the winning goal scored just 64 seconds into the extra frame. Meanwhile, Game 5 of the Bruins-Senators series was the second-longest in 2017 (30:19), behind Game 2 between the Maple Leafs and Capitals (31:53).

Playing in just his third career playoff game, Sean Kuraly (2-0—2) tied the score at 17:05of the second period and netted the winning goal at 10:19 of double-overtime to help the Bruins erase a two-goal deficit and stave off elimination against the Senators.

* Kuraly scored his first two career NHL goals (regular season and playoffs, 11 GP). Elias says that he became the seventh Bruins rookie to score an overtime goal in the postseason, joining Mel Hill (3 in 1939), Ab DeMarco (1943), Don Gallinger (1943), Ted Donato (1992), Patrice Bergeron (2004) and Matt Fraser (2014).

* Kuraly, a native of Dublin, Ohio, was selected in the fifth round (133rd overall) by the Sharks in the 2011 NHL Draft and acquired by Boston on June 30, 2015 in a trade for goaltender Martin Jones (who was acquired from LAK four days earlier). The 24-year-old made his NHL debut on Nov. 3, 2016 at TBL and collected 0-1—1 in eight games in 2016-17.

* Elias notes that the Bruins won a playoff game in overtime in which they faced elimination for the ninth time franchise history; the only other such victory to require multiple extra frames was Game 7 of the 1939 Semifinals vs. NYR (2-1 3OT W).

* Elias adds that the Bruins overcame a multi-goal deficit to win a playoff game in which they faced elimination for the fourth time in franchise history (also Game 7 of 1983 DF vs. BUF, Game 4 of 1985 DSF vs. MTL and Game 7 of 2013 CQF vs. TOR).

Justin Williams scored at 1:04 of overtime to power the Capitals past the Maple Leafs in the fourth overtime contest of the series and move Washington to within one win of the Second Round.

* Williams scored his seventh career game-winning goal in the postseason and second in overtime (also Game 1 of 2014 F vs. NYR w/ LAK). Elias notes that Williams has collected 16-20—36 in Games 5-7 in his career (44 GP), with his teams holding a 26-18 record in those contests.

* The Capitals and Maple Leafs have split their four overtime games. It marks the second time that Washington has gone past regulation in four games in one series (also 2012 CQF vs. BOS: 2-2) and the third such instance for Toronto (also 1933 SF vs. BOS: 2-2 and 1951 F vs. MTL: 4-1).

* Sean Kuraly became the fourth rookie to score an overtime goal this postseason, joining Kasperi Kapanen (TOR), Jake Guentzel (PIT) and Kevin Fiala (NSH). Elias notes that NHL record for the most rookies with an overtime goal in a playoff year is five, set during the 1968 Stanley Cup Playoffs (Jacques Lemaire: 2; Milan Marcetta, Larry Keenan, Gary Sabourin and Don Blackburn: 1 each).

* Auston Matthews scored for a third straight game (3-1—4). Elias notes that Matthews became the fourth rookie in Maple Leafs franchise history to score in three or more consecutive playoff games. The first instance occurred in the NHL’s inaugural season when Alf Skinner scored in Games 1-3 of the 1918 Stanley Cup Final against the Vancouver Millionaires of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association. The other rookies to achieve the feat with Toronto: Walt Poddubny (3 GP in 1983) and Wendel Clark (4 GP in 1986).

Brent Burns of the Sharks, Victor Hedman of the Lightning and Erik Karlsson of the Senators are the three finalists for the 2016-17 James Norris Memorial Trophy, which is awarded “to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.”

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Norris Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 21, during the 2017 NHL Awards at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Click here for more information.

Elias notes that when teams are tied 2-2 in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series, the winner of Game 5 holds all-time series record of 193-54 (78.1%) . . . Capitals forward T.J. Oshie has collected at least one point in all five games this postseason (3-4—7) . . . Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (41 saves) improved to 4-2 in six career postseason games when facing at least 40 shots against . . . Senators captain Erik Karlsson paced all players with 41:51 TOI, the third-highest TOI in franchise playoff history behind Zdeno Chara (44:19) and Wade Redden (44:04) who each eclipsed 44:00 in Game 2 of the 2002 Conference Semifinals at TOR, a triple-overtime contest that stands as the second-longest game in franchise history.

All Times Eastern
St. Louis @ Minnesota, STL leads 3-1, 3 p.m., SN, TVAS, NBC
Montreal @ NY Rangers, NYR leads 3-2, 8 p.m., CBC, TVAS, NBC
Edmonton @ San Jose, EDM leads 3-2, 10:30 p.m., SN, TVAS, NBCSN, NBCSCA

The Blues, Rangers and Oilers aim to advance to the Second Round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs:

* St. Louis aims to rebound from a 2-0 defeat in Game 4 to reach the Second Round in consecutive seasons, a feat they last achieved in 2001 and 2002.

* New York sets out for a third straight win and a series victory at Madison Square Garden, where they posted a series-clinching win over Montreal in Game 6 of the 2014 Conference Finals (their last postseason matchup).

* Edmonton travels to SAP Center in San Jose aiming to win a playoff series for the first time since the 2006 Conference Finals, a series they clinched in California (4-1 series win at ANA).

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