Stanley Cup Playoffs Daily: Leafs, Knights ousted, and another Game 7 on tap

NHL

This might have been the craziest first round in Stanley Cup playoff history, and Tuesday night featured one of the wildest Game 7s you’ll ever see. And oh yeah, there’s another Game 7 in store on Wednesday.

Here’s a recap of last night’s action (check out replays of every playoff game on ESPN+), and what to watch for tonight, in today’s edition of ESPN Stanley Cup Playoffs Daily:

Jump ahead: Last night’s games | Three Stars
Play of the night | Today’s games | Social post of the day


About last night …

Game 7: Boston Bruins 5, Toronto Maple Leafs 1 (Bruins win the series 4-3). Are the Maple Leafs cursed? As long as they keep facing the Bruins in the playoffs, they might be. Toronto has lost each of their last three Game 7s — all against the B’s. No team in Stanley Cup playoff history has lost three straight winner-take-all games to the same opponent. The only other team in NHL, MLB and NBA playoff history to lose three consecutive winner-take-all games to the same opponent is the Pat Riley-led Miami Heat against the New York Knicks from 1998 to 2000.

For Boston, Tuukka Rask was exceptional while bottom-six forwards Joakim Nordstrom, Marcus Johansson and Sean Kuraly provided huge goals, while Patriots receiver Julian Edelman was credited with an assist by Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy in his post-game comments:

Game 7: San Jose Sharks 5, Vegas Golden Knights 4 (OT) (Sharks win the series 4-3). We’ll be talking about this game for years. The Golden Knights looked like they were surely going to win it after building a 3-0 lead by the third period. Then Joe Pavelski went down with an ugly injury, Cody Eakin was given a five-minute major for his role in that injury, and the Sharks rallied around their teammate in quite spectacular fashion.

The Sharks scored four goals in the major to grab the lead. Jonathan Marchessault tied it late and that led us to overtime. (According to MoneyPuck.com, the Sharks had a 1.19% chance to win when they were given a five-minute major with 9:13 left in the third period). It took nearly the entire 20-minute OT period, but none other than Barclay Goodrow scored a beauty of a game-winner after taking a feed from Erik Karlsson:

Three Stars

1. Barclay Goodrow, RW, San Jose Sharks

After one of the wildest playoff games, it felt appropriate that a wild card scored the game winner. Only Lukas Radil (2:36) had less ice time than Barclay Goodrow for the Sharks on Wednesday night. But he looked like a scoring dynamo on his series-clincher.

2. Tuukka Rask, G, Boston Bruins

Stopping 32 of 33 shots? The Bruins goaltender was sensational. “I hope fans recognize what he did tonight,” coach Bruce Cassidy said afterwards. “I think you have to, as a fan, acknowledge when a player plays well. I know in this town when you don’t, you hear about it — that’s fine too. But tonight he played well and hopefully the people get behind him.”

3. Kevin Labanc, RW, San Jose Sharks

The 23-year-old was all over the Sharks’ five-minute power play in the third period, scoring a goal and adding three assists. He’s the first player in NHL history to score four points in a period in a Game 7.

Play of the night

play

0:28

Barclay Goodrow nets the game-winning goal in overtime as the Sharks knock off the Golden Knights in Game 7 to advance to Western Conference Semis.

Another look at the goal that ended it all.

Dud of the night

The play that started San Jose’s furious rally. You be the judge if it was an unfortunate, awkward fall or deserving of a five-minute major.

On the schedule

Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals, Game 7, 7:30 p.m. ET (Series tied, 3-3)

This one has been a tale of two cities of which Charles Dickens himself would be entertained. The Canes have impressed in all three games in Raleigh. But the Caps have looked terrific in Washington, led by the unstoppable duo of Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. You’ll hear a lot about Justin Williams being Mr. Game 7. The Hurricanes forward (and former Capital) has more points in Game 7s (14) than any other player in NHL history. It would be an upset if the Canes (playing in their first postseason in a decade) knocked out the defending champs on their home ice, but … let’s just say stranger things have happened already in these playoffs.

Social post of the day

Zdeno Chara, has quietly become one of the league’s best Instagrammers this season.

View this post on Instagram

Thank you Boston for bringing your best tonight. #madeforthis

A post shared by Zdeno Chara (@zeechara33) on

Quotable

It’s a f—ing joke. It’s embarrassing. That’s what it is. It changed the entire outcome of the game, and the season.” — Golden Knights winger Jonathan Marchessault on the five-minute major.

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