It was a long schedule of hockey games on Sunday as there were only four playoff matchups but they ran in the East from 3 pm until close to 1am.
The Penguins and the Blues have taken commanding 3-0 leads while Montreal has regained home ice advantage with a win in Game 3 at Madison Square Garden.
Let’s get right to the action.
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MONTREAL 3 NEW YORK RANGERS 1
There have not been too many prettier goals than the eventual insurance goal scored by Alexander Radulov. The Russian stole the puck at the blueline, got it over to Phillip Danault who gave it back to Radulov. He fought off Kevin Hayes with one hand while tucking the puck with the other arm around Henrik Lundqvist. It was a thing of beauty and you can watch it again here.
After a scoreless first period, Artturi Lehkonen got the Habs off to a 1-0 lead with only 2:23 left in the second period as he sniped a power play goal home from the slot. The Rangers were shorthanded as J.T. Miller took a rarely called delay of game for a face-off violation.
It remained that way into the third when Mats Zuccarello took a double minor for high-sticking Andrei Markov. It was with only 25 seconds left in the second minor that Radulov found Shea Weber in the slot and he put it past Lundqvist.
After Radulov’s beauty made it 3-0, the only thing left to see was whether or not Carey Price would get the shutout. He didn’t as Brady Skjei scored with less than three minutes to go to make it 3-1.
Price stopped 20-of-21 shots for his second win of the post-season. Lundqvist stopped 26 shots in the Rangers cage.
PITTSBURGH 5 COLUMBUS 4 (Overtime)
Jake Guentzel’s overtime winner gave him the hat trick as Pittsburgh took a commanding 3-0 series lead with a 5-4 win over Columbus in overtime.
The Blue Jackets came out flying in the first period as it Cam Atkinson only 11 seconds to beat Marc-Andre Fleury and give Columbus the 1-0 lead.
The hometown Jackets then went ahead 3-1 at the 6:10 mark of the first after Guentzel tied the game at 1 when Atkinson scored unassisted at 5:02 and Zach Werenski found the back of the net on the power play. That was all the scoring in the first (and it was plenty).
The Penguins got even in the second as Bryan Rust and Evgeni Malkin each potted their second goals of the series.
Guentzel’s second of the game was on the power play in the third and he gave the Pens a 4-3 lead but Brandon Dubinsky got the equalizer at 15:11 and the game went into overtime where the rookie became the hero of the night.
Nick Foligno, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each chipped in with a pair of assists.
Zach Werenski was forced to leave the game in the third after he took a puck to the eye in the second. He played into the third before his eye closed up, not allowing him to see.
Fleury overcame a shaky first period and made 33 saves for the win. Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside 42 shots but took the loss for the third time in the series.
ST. LOUIS 3 MINNESOTA 1
Wow!!! Has Jake Allen stole the show in the series. After making 51 saves in a Game 1 overtime win, Allen gave the Blues a 3-0 series lead by kicking aside 40 shots in a 3-1 win over the Wild.
Colton Parayko started things off in the first with his first of the post-season as the Blues outshot Minnesota 15-9.
Charlie Coyle tied the game at 1 in the second as the Wild outshot St. Louis 32 to 16 in the final two periods as Allen stole the show.
Jaden Schwartz scored the winner as his second goal of the series was on the power play to give the Blues a 2-1 lead heading into the final period.
The Wild continued to press and pulled the goalie but Alexander Steen hit the empty net with only 1:11 left to seal the victory.
Devan Dubnyk played well in stopping 28-of-30 shots but he has been outplayed by Allen all series.
Allen has given up only three goals in the series on 117 shots as he has been the best performer thus far, a far cry from his horrible start to the season where he was a mediocre netminder. Everything seemed to change with the firing of Ken Hitchcock on February 1 as Allen has been exceptional under Mike Yeo.
EDMONTON 1 SAN JOSE 0
Boy do the fans of the San Jose Sharks hate Zack Kassian. Kassian converted a turnover by the Sharks as he backhanded the puck through the legs of Martin Jones for the only goal of the game as the Oilers grabbed a 2-1 series lead with a 1-0 win.
Cam Talbot was perfect in goal stopping all 23 shots for the shutout while Martin Jones managed to stop 21-of-22 shots but took the loss.
Leon Draisaitl had six hits in the game while Connor McDavid chipped in with four. Timo Meier led the way for San Jose with nine hits but it’s not baseball and the name of the game is goals and the Sharks were shutout. The Sharks outhit the Oilers 58-37 in a tough game.