Recap of the NHL second round playoffs

Sylvia Hodges '19, Copy Editor

Winnipeg Jets vs. Nashville Predators

Despite forcing a game seven, the Nashville Predators were unable to defeat the Winnipeg Jets to move onto the Western Conference Final.  Before entering the playoffs this year, the Jets had never won a playoff game before, and won this series 4-3. The Jets had 27 goals during the series, while the Predators scored 19 goals.  Throughout the series, the Predators outshot the Jets 254-237, with both teams totaling 48 or more shots in at least one game. The Jets will go on to the conference finals against the Las Vegas Golden Knights beginning Saturday, May 12.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals

After failing to make it to the conference finals for nearly 20 years, the Washington Capitals claimed victory over the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins, in game six, winning the series 4-2. The winning goal was scored by Evgeny Kuznetsov 5:27 into overtime, the final score being 2-1. The Capitals scored 19 goals during the series, while Pittsburgh had 14 goals. In game three, Capitals forward Tom Wilson made an illegal hit to the head of Pittsburgh center Zach Aston-Reese, causing rookie Aston-Reese to break his jaw and suffer a concussion. Wilson was suspended for three games, although his absence did not affect the Capitals’ historic win. The Capitals will go up against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final beginning Friday, May 11.

Las Vegas Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks

After becoming the first NHL team to ever win its first five postseason games, the Vegas Golden Knights continue making history by winning its second round series against the San Jose Sharks in game six. The Knights also are only the third NHL franchise ever to win multiple series in their inaugural season. The Golden Knights’ goalie Marc Andre Fleury, who entered the second round with 0.54 goals against average, posted a shutout in the final game, with some help from the crossbar, boasting a score of 3-0. Despite losing game two in double overtime, Vegas’ first loss of the playoffs, the Golden Knights were able to score a total of  22 goals, compared to the Sharks’ 14. The Golden Knights will head on to the Western Conference Finals against the Winnipeg Jets beginning Saturday, May 12.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins

After the Boston Bruins went to seven games in their first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Tampa Bay Lightning were able to take down the Bruins in the fifth game of the second round. Although the Bruins scored at the end of the first period, the Lightning were able to grab the win by a score of 3-1. Tampa Bay scored 17 goals in the series compared to Boston’s 13. Boston forward Brad Marchand was given an official warning during the series from the NHL, reprimanding him for his habit of licking his opponents.  Tampa Bay, whose general manager is Detroit hockey legend Steve Yzerman, will head to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Washington Capitals beginning Friday, May 11.