Five things to know about the NHL playoffs

Five things to know about the NHL playoffs
Vancouver Canucks' Nikita Zadorov celebrates his goal against the Edmonton Oilers with Teddy Blueger during the third period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series, in Vancouver, on Wednesday, May 8, 2024.

The Florida Panthers, who have outscored the Bruins 12-3 in the last two games, will be aiming to take a 3-1 series lead in Boston tonight, while the Vancouver Canucks and Oilers resume their series in Edmonton tonight, where snow and Nikita Zadorov zingers are forecast.

Here are five things to know about the NHL playoffs:


Towering Vancouver defenceman Nikita Zadorov might need a few more punchlines before giving the comedy circuit a shot, but his playful zinger yesterday drew some laughs, especially in Vancouver and Calgary. Edmonton? Not so much.

Asked about playing Game 3 tonight in Alberta’s capital, Zadorov said the Canucks were confident and didn’t mind playing on the road or under pressure.

He said the Oilers have good, die hard fans, adding with a big grin that there’s pretty much nothing else to do (in boring Edmonton) except for watching hockey.

Zadorov played more than two seasons with the Flames and likely has a lengthy list of Edmonton put-downs from that fierce rivalry. Undoubtedly he’ll be on the receiving end of some tonight from Oiler Nation.


The Colorado Avalanche figured they were in the driver’s seat after earning a split in Dallas.

The Stars reminded the Avs last night that momentum can be a fleeting thing in the post-season.

Logan Stankoven and Tyler Seguin each scored twice as the Texans torched the hosts 4-1 to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven, second-round series.

Mikko Rantanen scored for the Avalanche, giving him 99 career points in 77 playoff games.


Bruins’ captain Brad Marchand, whose appetite for playoff hockey is well documented, remains a question mark for tonight’s key Game 4 against the visiting Florida Panthers.

Marchand picked up an upper-body injury in Saturday’s 6-2 loss, and is unsure if he can play. The forward did not practise yesterday.

Marchand has two assists in the best-of-seven, second-round series, which the Bruins trail 2-1. He leads the Bruins with 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 10 games this post-season.


The Carolina Hurricanes, pumped after beating the New York Rangers 4-3 last night to prevent elimination and a series sweep, still have an uphill battle to reach the third round.

Only the Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs have won a series after being down 3-0. The Kings were the last to do it — a decade ago.

The ‘Canes also have to hope that Rangers’ star netminder Igor Shesterkin is tiring out — he’s made 126 saves in the last three games.

The Rangers, the first team in 16 years to start the post-season at 7-0, aim to start a new winning streak Monday when they host the ‘Canes in Game 5.


Leon Draisaitl went from game-time decision to game-breaker in a hurry Friday as he scored once and added three assists, including one in overtime, as the Edmonton Oilers edged the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 to earn a West Coast split.

Connor McDavid also had a goal and three assists for the Oilers, who tied the best-of-seven 1-1 after dropping the second-round series opener 5-4.

With the four-point efforts, Draisaitl and McDavid each passed the 90-point mark in their post-season careers. Draisaitl, with 37 goals, 56 assists, 93 points in 56 games, and McDavid with 31 goals, 61 assists, 92 points in 56 games, joined a short list of stars to reach that milestone so quickly.

The Oilers’ dynamic duo joins Wayne Gretzky (43 games) and Mario Lemieux (45 games) as the fastest to 90 post-season points.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 12, 2024.

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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