NHL playoffs first round recap

Matthew Szymanowski, Staff Writer

After a wild start to the playoffs, the beginning of the 1st round of the 2021 NHL playoffs is complete. There have been many multi-overtime games and some crazy upsets so far. After the completion of the Montreal-Edmonton series, there were only eight teams remaining.

Panthers vs. Lightning

The former Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning had a tough challenge in the first round when they faced the Florida Panthers. After a rough first few games, goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy found his stride, and the Lightning won the series in six games.

Hurricanes vs. Panthers

After putting together a great regular season, the Hurricanes had a hard-fought battle against the Nashville Predators in Round 1. Four of the six games went to overtime, but Carolina prevailed in the series.

Capitals vs. Bruins

Though only five games long, this was a bruising series. The Capitals won Game 1, but Bruins’ goalie Tuukka Rask got hot and led them to four straight victories.

Penguins vs. Islanders

One of the biggest first-round upsets came when the Islanders beat the Penguins in six games. The veteran goalie Seymon Varlamov lost the two games he played in, but rookie goalie Ilya Sorokin went 4-0.

Oilers vs. Jets

The Jets winning the series was an upset in itself, but not many people saw a sweep coming. They were able to hold the most electric offensive player in hockey, Connor McDavid, to one goal in four games, and Kyle Connor got the game-winner in Game 4 in triple-OT.

Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens

This was absolutely the biggest upset of the first round. After dominating and taking a commanding 3-1 series lead, the Maple Leafs fell apart. The Canadiens rallied for three straight wins on the back of red-hot goalie Carey Price.

Golden Knights vs. Wild

After losing Game 1, Vegas rolled off three straight victories to take a commanding series lead. However, the Wild won the next two to force a Game 7. At the end of the day, Vegas won Game 7 thanks to Mattias Janmark’s hat trick.

Blues vs. Avalanche

Though St. Louis had high hopes, the Avalanche dashed those quickly from them. Colorado’s high-powered offense scored 20 goals in four games to sweep the Blues.

The next round is already underway, and it should be a crazy ride to the finish.

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