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Lightning Round: Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby are already heading home

The Bolts will face the Flyers tonight at 8:00 PM ET

Tampa Bay Lightning v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

It was announced yesterday the Tampa Bay Lightning will play the Philadelphia Flyers tonight at 8:00 PM ET. The game will determine the top seeding for the first round of playoffs. The winner of this game will face the Montreal Canadiens and the losing team will get the winner of series between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Toronto Maple Leafs

Tampa Bay Lightning’s head coach, Jon Cooper, informed the media that Steven Stamkos won’t play in the final game of the round robin against the Philadelphia Flyers. It’s also unclear if the Lightning captain will be ready for Game 1.

Yesterday’s Results

New York Islanders 5-1 Florida Panthers – Islanders wins series 3-1

The Panthers join a list of eliminated teams after a big loss against the Islanders. The Isles took a two goal lead in the first period after two goals by Anthony Beauvillier. Mike Hoffman gave the Panthers a hope, scoring a power play goal at the end of the period, but the Isles dictated the rest of the game and finished the series with a 5-1 win

Nashville Predators 3-4 Arizona Coyotes – Coyotes win series 3-1

Unlike the Panthers in the previous game, the Predators managed to fight back after trailing two goals by the start of second period. Matt Duchene started a comeback with a power play goal and Viktor Arvidsson tied a game four minutes later. Jordan Oesterle gave the Yotes the lead with a snipe from the blueline at the start of the third period. The Predators responded with pressure on Darcy Kuemper’s net which resulted in a Filip Forsberg goal, forcing the overtime. However the Predators still couldn’t save the game as Brad Richardson scored the game-winning goal in the overtime, sending the Arizona Coyotes to the first round. Darcy Kuemper has set a franchise record for most saves in a post season game, stopping 49 shots.

Pittsburgh Penguins 0-2 Montreal Canadiens - Canadiens win series 3-1

Despite the status of the game it didn’t really feel like one of the team were facing the elimination on Friday’s afternoon. The Penguins stars never managed to find their game: Evgeni Malkin recorded just one point in four games in Toronto, Kris Letang is heading home without any point and Sidney Crosby, who was still probably one of the best players for the Pens in the “bubble“, remained scoreless on his 33th birthday. Twenty-two saves were enough for Carey Price to record the 6th postseason shutout in his career. The first two periods were finished without goals, and two goals from Artturi Lehkonen and Shea Weber in the third period helped the Habs to advance to the first round.

Edmonton Oilers 2-3 Chicago Blackhawks - Blackhawks win series 3-1

Connor McDavid is leading the scoring race in the 2020 postseason with nine points in four games, however it’s highly unlikely that the Oilers forward find it comforting. The 12th-seeded Chicago Blackhawks advanced to the first round after beating the Oilers thanks to Dominik Kubalik goal in the third period. However the Oilers still can finish the season on a positive note winning the 1st overall pick in Draft Lottery on Monday, because that’s what they do, unlike winning in the playoffs.

Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 Columbus Blue Jackets - series tied 2-2

The Leafs avoided elimination in another thrilling game between these teams. Just like the Leafs one day before, the Jackets blew a three-goal lead in the third period. During the last five minutes of the period, the Leafs tied the game with goals by William Nylander, John Tavares and Zach Hyman. Auston Matthews completed the comeback in overtime, saving the Leafs from an early elimination in their hometown. Both teams will face each other on Sunday to determine the advancing team.

Vancouver Canucks 5-4 Minnesota Wild - Canucks win series 3-1

In the last yesterday’s game the Vancouver Canucks beat the Minnesota Wild in overtime, advancing to the first round for the first time since the 2015 NHL Playoffs. Quinn Hughes scored his first postseason goal, and recorded six points in four games and Christopher Tanev scored a game-winning goal just 11 seconds after start of overtime. It was also probably the last career game for the Wild’s Mikko Koivu.

Today’s Other Game

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Colorado Avalanche

3:00 PM ET; NBC, TVAS, SN

Both teams remain unbeaten in Edmonton and will decide the 1st seeding in face-to-face match-up. The winner of tonight’s game will get the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round, and loser - the Arizona Coyotes

Other News and Notes

Reportedly the Florida Panthers decided to make some changes in their management after elimination from the qualifying round.

A former Syracuse Crunch defenceman Dominik Masin has signed a deal with the HC Amur from the KHL

Last evening the KHL released a schedule for the 2020-21 season, the opening game is scheduled for September 2.

With unclear start of the new season in the NHL and the AHL, the Detroit Red Wings have loaned Filip Zadina and Moritz Seider to European teams

The NHL will continue investigation of the Arizona Coyotes pre-draft fitness testing allegations