The Wraparound: Perfectly timed Battle of Alberta for Flames, Oilers

The Wraparound is your daily look at the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’ll break down the NHL playoff games today with the all-important television information.

• Catch up on Game 1 of Blues – Avalanche and Lightning – Panthers in the Tuesday Rink Wrap.

• The NHL announced the 2022 Selke Trophy finalists: Aleksander Barkov, Patrice Bergeron, and Elias Lindholm.

• It’s not too late to read PHT’s Roundtable about the playoffs so far, with some looks at the future.

As exciting as Game 1 (9:30 p.m. ET) is, it’s almost criminal that the Flames and Oilers haven’t engaged in a “Battle of Alberta” since 1991.

For all of the shortcomings of the NHL’s playoff and divisional formats recently, the goal was to develop “Battle of Alberta”-type rivalries. Reignite old ones. Make new ones.

But, to some extent, there’s that key variable: if one or both teams aren’t good enough, they won’t get many chances to make the playoffs.

There’s a bright side to the Flames and Oilers finally meeting in this “Battle of Alberta.” You could argue that there’s never been a better time for this to happen again.

[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2022 schedule, TV info]

Just look at the two biggest superstars.

Connor McDavid was superhuman through Game 7 against the Kings. Fellow Oilers star Leon Draisaitl didn’t just rave about the offense, but also that McDavid would not be “denied.”

“There’s lots of skill with him, that’s a given, but it’s the will,” Draisaitl said. “You can see it in his eyes, you can feel it every shift that he’s out there. He’s determined.

Through seven games, McDavid generated an outstanding 14 points. Beyond that, he dominated at 5-on-5, and played a 200-ft. game.

[NHL Power Rankings: Top Second Round storylines]

Johnny Gaudreau similarly dominated, breaking through when no one else could against Jake Oettinger, including on the overtime-winner in Game 7. Gaudreau’s eight points in seven games don’t match McDavid’s output, yet both stars are silencing doubters about their playoff prowess.

It’s the sort of thing that gets you a big hug.

Delightfully, both McDavid and Gaudreau enjoy better supporting casts than they’ve likely had with the Oilers and Flames respectively. (Calgary’s deeper, but Edmonton has other weapons.)

Aside from wanting more series, more often, there’s not much more you can ask for with a “Battle of Alberta.”

NHL PLAYOFF GAMES TODAY

Game 1: Rangers at Hurricanes, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN, SNE, SNO, SNP, TVA Sports): In PHT’s predictions, four of five people chose the Hurricanes over the Rangers. That’s the sort of confidence you normally only get from dentists. The reasoning is simple. The Rangers faced a Penguins team ravaged by injuries, including in net, and barely won. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes’ goalies were the ones suffering injuries, yet they beat a strong Bruins opponent. Carolina also boasted a far superior team during the season from an analytics standpoint, and many would agree that “the eye test” would argue similarly for them over New York.

If narratives carry over from round to round, then Game 1 (and 2) could favor the Hurricanes over the Rangers even more. After all, the Hurricanes were perfect (and at times, scary-good) at home during their series against Boston.

Game 1: Oilers at Flames, 9:30 p.m. ET (Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports, ESPN)

PHT’s 2022 Stanley Cup previews
Avalanche vs. Blues

Lightning vs. Panthers
Makar, McDavid lead Conn Smythe watch after First Round
NHL Second Round predictions
Storylines for the NHL’s Second Round

PHT Morning Skate: How Battle of Alberta has changed; Zibanejad’s impact

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from the NHL and around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.

• It’s been 31 years since the last Battle of Alberta playoff series. How has the rivalry changed over the years? [Sportsnet]

• How will the Flames go about slowing down Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl? [NHL.com]

• Gerard Gallant has managed to get the very best out of Mika Zibanejad for the Rangers. [NY Post]

• How well do the Hurricanes knows the Rangers? Well, six of them used to play in the Big Apple. [News and Observer]

• What makes Andrew Brunette the “perfect guy” to coach the Panthers? [Florida Hockey Now]

• Barry Trotz reportedly interviewed for the open Jets head coaching job. Would he be a good fit back home? [Daily Faceoff]

[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2022 schedule, TV info]

Alex Killorn had quite the fan club in the AMALIE Arena crowd during Game 1. [Tampa Bay Times]

• Regarding Jason Spezza‘s future, it’s Toronto or retirement. [TSN]

• With salary cap hell coming, how should the Wild go about their future? [Zone Coverage]

————

Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2022 schedule, TV info

The Second Round of the 2021-22 Stanley Cup Playoffs begins on Tuesday, May 17. The final four teams in the Eastern Conference are the Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, New York Rangers, and Tampa Bay Lightning. Out in the Western Conference it will be the Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, and St. Louis Blues.

The winners of the four Second Round series will meet in the 2022 Conference Finals.

2022 NHL playoff schedule: Second Round – Eastern Conference

FLORIDA PANTHERS v. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (TBL leads 1-0)

Game 1 – May 17: Lightning 4, Panthers 1
Game 2 – May 19: Lightning at Panthers, 7 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
Game 3 – May 22: Panthers at Lightning, 1:30 p.m. ET (ESPN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports)
Game 4 – May 23: Panthers at Lightning, 7 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
*Game 5 – May 25: Lightning at Panthers, TBD
*Game 6 – May 27: Panthers at Lightning, TBD
*Game 7 – May 29: Lightning at Panthers, TBD

NEW YORK RANGERS v. CAROLINA HURRICANES
Game 1 – May 18: Rangers at Hurricanes, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN, SNE, SNO, SNP, TVA Sports)
Game 2 – May 20: Rangers at Hurricanes, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN, SNE, SNO, SNP, TVA Sports)
Game 3 – May 22: Hurricanes at Rangers, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN, Sportsnet, SN360, TVA Sports)
Game 4 – May 24: Hurricanes at Rangers, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN, SNE, SNO, SNP, TVA Sports)
*Game 5 – May 26: Rangers at Hurricanes, TBD
*Game 6 – May 28: Hurricanes at Rangers, TBD
*Game 7 – May 30: Rangers at Hurricanes, TBD

* if necessary
TBD – To Be Determined

2022 NHL playoff schedule: Second Round – Western Conference

COLORADO AVALANCHE v. ST. LOUIS BLUES (COL leads 1-0)
Game 1 – May 17: Avalanche 3, Blues 2 (OT)
Game 2 – May 19: Blues at Avalanche, 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
Game 3 – May 21: Avalanche at Blues, 8 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
Game 4 – May 23: Avalanche at Blues, 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
*Game 5 – May 25: Blues at Avalanche, TBD
*Game 6 – May 27: Avalanche at Blues, TBD
*Game 7 – May 29: Blues at Avalanche, TBD

CALGARY FLAMES v. EDMONTON OILERS
Game 1 –
May 18: Oilers at Flames, 9:30 p.m. ET (Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports, ESPN)
Game 2 – May 20: Oilers at Flames, 10:30 p.m. ET (Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports, ESPN)
Game 3 – May 22: Flames at Oilers, 8 p.m. ET (Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports, ESPN2)
Game 4 – May 24: Flames at Oilers, 9:30 p.m. ET (Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports, ESPN)
*Game 5 – May 26: Oilers at Flames, TBD
*Game 6 – May 28: Flames at Oilers, TBD
*Game 7 – May 30: Oilers at Flames, TBD

* if necessary
TBD – To Be Determined

First Round – Eastern Conference

FLORIDA PANTHERS v. WASHINGTON CAPITALS (FLA wins series 4-2)
Game 1: Capitals 4, Panthers 2
Game 2: Panthers 5, Capitals 1
Game 3: Capitals 6, Panthers 1
Game 4: Panthers 3, Capitals 2 (OT)
Game 5: Panthers 5, Capitals 3
Game 6: Panthers 4, Capitals 3 (OT)

CAROLINA HURRICANES v. BOSTON BRUINS (CAR wins series 4-3)
Game 1: Hurricanes 5, Bruins 1
Game 2: Hurricanes 5, Bruins 2
Game 3: Bruins 4, Hurricanes 2
Game 4: Bruins 5, Hurricanes 2
Game 5: Hurricanes 5, Bruins 1
Game 6: Bruins 5, Hurricanes 2
Game 7: Hurricanes 3, Bruins 2

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS v. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (TBL wins series 4-3)
Game 1: Maple Leafs 5, Lightning 0
Game 2: Lightning 5, Maple Leafs 3
Game 3: Maple Leafs 5, Lightning 2
Game 4: Lightning 7, Maple Leafs 3
Game 5: Maple Leafs 4, Lightning 3
Game 6: Lightning 4, Maple Leafs 3 (OT)
Game 7: Lightning 2, Maple Leafs 1

NEW YORK RANGERS v. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (NYR wins series 4-3)
Game 1: Penguins 4, Rangers 3 (3OT)
Game 2: Rangers 5, Penguins 2
Game 3: Penguins 7, Rangers 4
Game 4: Penguins 7, Rangers 2
Game 5: Rangers 5, Penguins 3
Game 6: Rangers 5, Penguins 3
Game 7: Rangers 4, Penguins 3 (OT)

First Round – Western Conference

COLORADO AVALANCHE v. NASHVILLE PREDATORS (COL wins series 4-0)
Game 1: Avalanche 7, Predators 2
Game 2: Avalanche 2, Predators 1 (OT)
Game 3: Avalanche 7, Predators 3
Game 4: Avalanche 5, Predators 3

CALGARY FLAMES v. DALLAS STARS (CGY wins series 4-3)
Game 1: Flames 1, Stars 0
Game 2: Stars 2, Flames 0
Game 3: Stars 4, Flames 2
Game 4: Flames 4, Stars 1
Game 5: Flames 3, Stars 1
Game 6: Stars 4, Flames 2
Game 7: Flames 3, Stars 2 (OT)

EDMONTON OILERS vs. LOS ANGELES KINGS (EDM win series 4-3)
Game 1: Kings 4, Oilers 3
Game 2: Oilers 6, Kings 0
Game 3: Oilers 8, Kings 2
Game 4: Kings 4, Oilers 0
Game 5: Kings 5, Oilers 4 (OT)
Game 6: Oilers 4, Kings 2
Game 7: Oilers 2, Kings 0

MINNESOTA WILD v. ST. LOUIS BLUES (STL wins series 4-2)
Game 1: Blues 4, Wild 0
Game 2: Wild 6, Blues 2
Game 3: Wild 5, Blues 1
Game 4: Blues 5, Wild 2
Game 5: Blues 5, Wild 2
Game 6: Blues 5, Wild 1

What is the longest overtime game in NHL playoff history?

The 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs are underway and if you’re wondering what the longest overtime game in NHL playoff history is, we’ve got a list of the top 10 below.

Top 10 Longest Overtime Games in NHL Playoff History:

  1. 116:30, 6 OT – March 24, 1936: Detroit at Montreal Maroons (1936 NHL Semis)
  2. 104:46, 6 OT– April 3, 1933: Toronto vs. Boston (1933 NHL Semis)
  3. 92:01, 5 OT – May 4, 2000: Philadelphia at Pittsburgh (2000 Eastern Conference Semis)
  4. 90:27, 5 OT – August 11, 2020: Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (2020 East First Round)
  5. 80: 48, 5 OT – April 24, 2003: Anaheim at Dallas (2003 Western Conference Semis)
  6. 79:15, 4 OT – April 24, 1996: Pittsburgh at Washington (1996 Eastern Conference Quarters)
  7. 78:06, 4 OT – April 11, 2007: Vancouver vs. Dallas (2007 Western Conference Quarters)
  8. 70:18, 4 OT – March 23, 1943: Toronto at Detroit (1943 NHL Semis)
  9. 69:03, 4 OT – May 4, 2008: Dallas vs. San Jose (2008 Western Conference Semis)
  10. 68:52, 4 OT – March 28, 1930: Montreal vs. New York Rangers (1930 NHL Semis)

[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2022 schedule, TV info]

2022 NHL playoff schedule: Second Round – Eastern Conference

FLORIDA PANTHERS v. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

Game 1 – May 17: Lightning at Panthers, 7 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
Game 2 – May 19: Lightning at Panthers, 7 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
Game 3 – May 22: Panthers at Lightning, 1:30 p.m. ET (ESPN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports)
Game 4 – May 23: Panthers at Lightning, 7 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
*Game 5 – May 25: Lightning at Panthers, TBD
*Game 6 – May 27: Panthers at Lightning, TBD
*Game 7 – May 29: Lightning at Panthers, TBD

NEW YORK RANGERS v. CAROLINA HURRICANES
Game 1 – May 18: Rangers at Hurricanes, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN, SNE, SNO, SNP, TVA Sports)
Game 2 – May 20: Rangers at Hurricanes, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN, SNE, SNO, SNP, TVA Sports)
Game 3 – May 22: Hurricanes at Rangers, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN, Sportsnet, SN360, TVA Sports)
Game 4 – May 24: Hurricanes at Rangers, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN, SNE, SNO, SNP, TVA Sports)
*Game 5 – May 26: Rangers at Hurricanes, TBD
*Game 6 – May 28: Hurricanes at Rangers, TBD
*Game 7 – May 30: Rangers at Hurricanes, TBD

* if necessary
TBD – To Be Determined

2022 NHL playoff schedule: Second Round – Western Conference

COLORADO AVALANCHE v. ST. LOUIS BLUES
Game 1 – May 17: Blues at Avalanche, 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
Game 2 – May 19: Blues at Avalanche, 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
Game 3 – May 21: Avalanche at Blues, 8 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
Game 4 – May 23: Avalanche at Blues, 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
*Game 5 – May 25: Blues at Avalanche, TBD
*Game 6 – May 27: Avalanche at Blues, TBD
*Game 7 – May 29: Blues at Avalanche, TBD

CALGARY FLAMES v. EDMONTON OILERS
Game 1 –
May 18: Oilers at Flames, 9:30 p.m. ET (Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports, ESPN)
Game 2 – May 20: Oilers at Flames, 10:30 p.m. ET (Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports, ESPN)
Game 3 – May 22: Flames at Oilers, 8 p.m. ET (Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports, ESPN2)
Game 4 – May 24: Flames at Oilers, 9:30 p.m. ET (Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports, ESPN)
*Game 5 – May 26: Oilers at Flames, TBD
*Game 6 – May 28: Flames at Oilers, TBD
*Game 7 – May 30: Oilers at Flames, TBD

* if necessary
TBD – To Be Determined

Avalanche trotz Binnington weiter makellos – Tampa Bay gewinnt Auftaktderby

Die Colorado Avalanche und Titelverteidiger Tampa Bay Lightning sind erfolgreich ins Viertelfinale der NHL-Play-offs gestartet.

Sieg nach Verlängerung: Die Colorado Avalanche jubelten auch zum Auftakt des NHL-Viertelfinals.

Sieg nach Verlängerung: Die Colorado Avalanche jubelten auch zum Auftakt des NHL-Viertelfinals.

Getty Images

Die Colorado Avalanche sind in den NHL-Play-offs weiter ohne Niederlage, mussten sich zum Viertelfinalauftakt gegen die St. Louis Blues in der Nacht auf Mittwoch (MESZ) aber ganz schön strecken. Josh Manson, der schon am zwischenzeitlichen Treffer zum 2:1 beteiligt gewesen war, traf in der Verlängerung nach 8:02 Minuten zum 3:2 (0:1, 2:0, 0:1).

Blues-Torhüter Jordan Binnington hatte zuvor 51 Schüsse pariert. Nico Sturm stand bei den Gastgebern acht Minuten auf dem Eis und blieb ohne Torbeteiligung.

Das beste Vorrundenteam der Liga, die Florida Panthers, verloren indes Game 1 ihrer Derby-Serie in der Eastern Conference gegen Tampa Bay klar mit 1:4 (1:0, 0:1, 0:3). Nikita Kucherov und Corey Perry sammelten jeweils Tor und Vorlage beim Auswärtssieg des Titelverteidigers, der auch ohne den verletzten Angreifer Brayden Point im ersten Duell der beiden heißen Titelkandidaten zu überzeugen wusste.

Draisaitl wohl fit für “Battle of Alberta”-Auftakt

NHL-Vorschauen:

Leon Draisaitl und die Edmonton Oilers bekommen es ab Mittwochabend (Ortszeit) mit den Calgary Flames zu tun. Erstmals seit 1991 kommt es in den Play-offs zur sogenannten “Battle of Alberta” der beiden Teams aus der kanadischen Provinz. Draisaitl soll laut Trainer Jay Woodcroft trotz einer Verletzung am Bein einsatzbereit sein, auch wenn er zuletzt mit dem Training aussetzen musste. Das vierte Viertelfinalduell bestreiten die Carolina Hurricanes und die New York Rangers.

NHL Rink Wrap: Blues almost upset Avalanche; Lightning win Game 1

• Without Brayden Point in Game 1, the Lightning still beat the Panthers. While the score was misleading (4-1), Florida still has some thinking to do.

Jordan Binnington (and some post luck) helped the Blues get to overtime, but the Avalanche overcame that performance in Game 1.

• The NHL announced the 2022 Selke Trophy finalists: Aleksander Barkov, Patrice Bergeron, and Elias Lindholm.

• Apparently Mitch Marner was the victim of a carjacking.

It’s not too late to read PHT’s Roundtable about the playoffs so far, with some looks at the future.

Game 1: Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Florida Panthers 1 (TBL leads 1-0)

To reiterate: the Lightning didn’t beat the Panthers to the degree that backs up the 4-1 score. This was a close one.

But, without Brayden Point and arguably with fresher legs, the Panthers have a lot to chew on after being largely muzzled by the Lightning in Game 1. In the end, this was an even contest at 5-on-5 when it came to high-danger chances, with Florida holding an early edge and Tampa Bay finishing strong.

There’s some comfort in that, yet also room for doubts. Some disturbing trends carried over from the Panthers’ work against the Capitals and Game 1 versus the Lightning. After going 0-for-18 vs. the Caps, Florida went 0-for-3 in Game 1. The Lightning struck three times on the power play.

[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2022 First Round schedule, TV info]

Beyond that, the Lightning slowed down the Panthers’ rush/transition game quite often, much like the Capitals did. For some speculation on how Florida may spark a better pace, check out this detailed recap.

Check the three stars for another story in this game: Tampa Bay’s stars really delivered.

Game 1: Colorado Avalanche 3, St. Louis Blues 2 [OT] (COL leads 1-0)

You know how the Panthers’ relentless offensive style hasn’t translated to the playoffs, at least yet? The Colorado Avalanche appear immune to such an affliction.

An improved Blues team struggled mightily with the Avalanche attack almost all Game 1 long, to the point that it was surprising that it went to overtime.

As you’ll note in the three stars section, Jordan Binnington was the main reason why. It’s also worth noting that the Avalanche hit at least five posts during this one.

Ideally, the Blues would be able to slow down the Avalanche, much like other teams can use tactics like a 1-3-1 trap to bottle up speedy teams. Could Colorado end up a unique animal in this regard, though?

Players like Cale Makar and Nathan MacKinnon can knife through defenses, neutralizing neutral-zone traps. Colorado also boasts a deeper rotation of puck-movers than most teams manage to pile up. It’s also noteworthy that the Blues emphasize skill more than size these days, opening up questions about how successful St. Louis would be trying to slow things down.

It’s the sort of thing that might make St. Louis throw a fit or three.

Three Stars in NHL Playoffs (Game 1 of Blues – Avalanche; Lightning – Panthers)

1. Jordan Binnington, Blues

Confession time: while Jordan Binnington earned a Game 1 start, I wondered if the Blues might eventually turn to Ville Husso.

A lot can change during a series, so maybe that will eventually happen. Perhaps Jordan Binnington may pass out from exhaustion after having to make so many saves?

Anyway, the Avalanche were almost unstoppable in pushing the pace against the Blues, but Binnington’s brilliance accounted for that “almost” part. Setting new career-highs, Jordan Binnington faced 54 shots and made 51 saves.

Incredible stuff.

2. Nikita Kucherov, Lightning

Heading into the Lightning – Panthers series, people were aware that Brayden Point was hurt, and unlikely to play in Game 1. There were also rumblings than Nikita Kucherov isn’t healthy.

If Kucherov isn’t at full-strength, then it’s scary to imagine him at 100-percent.

At whatever level he is, Kucherov was the prime difference-maker in the Lightning’s Game 1 win against the Panthers. After making a move that forced MacKenzie Weegar to take a penalty, Kucherov made an even better juke to get Aaron Ekblad out of position, and set up an easy Corey Perry goal.

While that’s a bad gaffe by Ekblad, note that Kucherov pulled off these moves against high-quality blueliners (Weegar and Ekblad have, at times, quietly performed like stealth Norris finalists).

Kucherov also scored a key power play goal to turn a tense 2-1 contest into a comfortable 3-1 lead. You know all that talk (that’s now parodied) about Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau being “underrated?” They need to rise to Kucherov’s level if they want to get more of the spotlight.

(Andrei Vasilevskiy‘s 33 saves earn him an honorable mention.)

3. Josh Manson, Avalanche

By certain metrics, Josh Manson hasn’t been a slam-dunk-addition for the Avs. That trade deadline move feels more successful after the success he had in Game 1.

Josh Manson scored the overtime-winner, assisted on Samuel Girard‘s 2-1 tally, and drew the penalty that trickled into OT, and caused Brayden Schenn to lose his mind and damage a camera.

Not a bad night’s work.

THURSDAY’S NHL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

Game 1: Rangers at Hurricanes, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN, SNE, SNO, SNP, TVA Sports)
Game 1: Oilers at Flames, 9:30 p.m. ET (Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports, ESPN)

PHT’s 2022 Stanley Cup previews
Avalanche vs. Blues

Lightning vs. Panthers
Makar, McDavid lead Conn Smythe watch after First Round
NHL Second Round predictions
Storylines for the NHL’s Second Round

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2022 schedule, TV info

The Second Round of the 2021-22 Stanley Cup Playoffs begins on Tuesday, May 17. The final four teams in the Eastern Conference are the Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, New York Rangers, and Tampa Bay Lightning. Out in the Western Conference it will be the Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, and St. Louis Blues.

The winners of the four Second Round series will meet in the 2022 Conference Finals.

2022 NHL playoff schedule: Second Round – Eastern Conference

FLORIDA PANTHERS v. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (TBL leads 1-0)

Game 1 – May 17: Lightning 4, Panthers 1
Game 2 – May 19: Lightning at Panthers, 7 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
Game 3 – May 22: Panthers at Lightning, 1:30 p.m. ET (ESPN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports)
Game 4 – May 23: Panthers at Lightning, 7 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
*Game 5 – May 25: Lightning at Panthers, TBD
*Game 6 – May 27: Panthers at Lightning, TBD
*Game 7 – May 29: Lightning at Panthers, TBD

NEW YORK RANGERS v. CAROLINA HURRICANES
Game 1 – May 18: Rangers at Hurricanes, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN, SNE, SNO, SNP, TVA Sports)
Game 2 – May 20: Rangers at Hurricanes, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN, SNE, SNO, SNP, TVA Sports)
Game 3 – May 22: Hurricanes at Rangers, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN, Sportsnet, SN360, TVA Sports)
Game 4 – May 24: Hurricanes at Rangers, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN, SNE, SNO, SNP, TVA Sports)
*Game 5 – May 26: Rangers at Hurricanes, TBD
*Game 6 – May 28: Hurricanes at Rangers, TBD
*Game 7 – May 30: Rangers at Hurricanes, TBD

* if necessary
TBD – To Be Determined

2022 NHL playoff schedule: Second Round – Western Conference

COLORADO AVALANCHE v. ST. LOUIS BLUES (COL leads 1-0)
Game 1 – May 17: Avalanche 3, Blues 2 [OT]
Game 2 – May 19: Blues at Avalanche, 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
Game 3 – May 21: Avalanche at Blues, 8 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
Game 4 – May 23: Avalanche at Blues, 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
*Game 5 – May 25: Blues at Avalanche, TBD
*Game 6 – May 27: Avalanche at Blues, TBD
*Game 7 – May 29: Blues at Avalanche, TBD

CALGARY FLAMES v. EDMONTON OILERS
Game 1 –
May 18: Oilers at Flames, 9:30 p.m. ET (Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports, ESPN)
Game 2 – May 20: Oilers at Flames, 10:30 p.m. ET (Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports, ESPN)
Game 3 – May 22: Flames at Oilers, 8 p.m. ET (Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports, ESPN2)
Game 4 – May 24: Flames at Oilers, 9:30 p.m. ET (Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports, ESPN)
*Game 5 – May 26: Oilers at Flames, TBD
*Game 6 – May 28: Flames at Oilers, TBD
*Game 7 – May 30: Oilers at Flames, TBD

* if necessary
TBD – To Be Determined

First Round – Eastern Conference

FLORIDA PANTHERS v. WASHINGTON CAPITALS (FLA wins series 4-2)
Game 1: Capitals 4, Panthers 2
Game 2: Panthers 5, Capitals 1
Game 3: Capitals 6, Panthers 1
Game 4: Panthers 3, Capitals 2 (OT)
Game 5: Panthers 5, Capitals 3
Game 6: Panthers 4, Capitals 3 (OT)

CAROLINA HURRICANES v. BOSTON BRUINS (CAR wins series 4-3)
Game 1: Hurricanes 5, Bruins 1
Game 2: Hurricanes 5, Bruins 2
Game 3: Bruins 4, Hurricanes 2
Game 4: Bruins 5, Hurricanes 2
Game 5: Hurricanes 5, Bruins 1
Game 6: Bruins 5, Hurricanes 2
Game 7: Hurricanes 3, Bruins 2

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS v. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (TBL wins series 4-3)
Game 1: Maple Leafs 5, Lightning 0
Game 2: Lightning 5, Maple Leafs 3
Game 3: Maple Leafs 5, Lightning 2
Game 4: Lightning 7, Maple Leafs 3
Game 5: Maple Leafs 4, Lightning 3
Game 6: Lightning 4, Maple Leafs 3 (OT)
Game 7: Lightning 2, Maple Leafs 1

NEW YORK RANGERS v. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (NYR wins series 4-3)
Game 1: Penguins 4, Rangers 3 (3OT)
Game 2: Rangers 5, Penguins 2
Game 3: Penguins 7, Rangers 4
Game 4: Penguins 7, Rangers 2
Game 5: Rangers 5, Penguins 3
Game 6: Rangers 5, Penguins 3
Game 7: Rangers 4, Penguins 3 (OT)

First Round – Western Conference

COLORADO AVALANCHE v. NASHVILLE PREDATORS (COL wins series 4-0)
Game 1: Avalanche 7, Predators 2
Game 2: Avalanche 2, Predators 1 (OT)
Game 3: Avalanche 7, Predators 3
Game 4: Avalanche 5, Predators 3

CALGARY FLAMES v. DALLAS STARS (CGY wins series 4-3)
Game 1: Flames 1, Stars 0
Game 2: Stars 2, Flames 0
Game 3: Stars 4, Flames 2
Game 4: Flames 4, Stars 1
Game 5: Flames 3, Stars 1
Game 6: Stars 4, Flames 2
Game 7: Flames 3, Stars 2 (OT)

EDMONTON OILERS vs. LOS ANGELES KINGS (EDM win series 4-3)
Game 1: Kings 4, Oilers 3
Game 2: Oilers 6, Kings 0
Game 3: Oilers 8, Kings 2
Game 4: Kings 4, Oilers 0
Game 5: Kings 5, Oilers 4 (OT)
Game 6: Oilers 4, Kings 2
Game 7: Oilers 2, Kings 0

MINNESOTA WILD v. ST. LOUIS BLUES (STL wins series 4-2)
Game 1: Blues 4, Wild 0
Game 2: Wild 6, Blues 2
Game 3: Wild 5, Blues 1
Game 4: Blues 5, Wild 2
Game 5: Blues 5, Wild 2
Game 6: Blues 5, Wild 1

Avalanche vs. Blues: 5 questions about Second Round series

PHT previews each Second Round playoff series with five questions. In this post, we explore the rematch between the Colorado Avalanche vs. St. Louis Blues. 

COLORADO AVALANCHE VS. ST. LOUIS BLUES

Game 1 – May 17: Blues at Avalanche, 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
Game 2 – May 19: Blues at Avalanche, 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
Game 3 – May 21: Avalanche at Blues, 8 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
Game 4 – May 23: Avalanche at Blues, 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
*Game 5 – May 25: Blues at Avalanche, TBD
*Game 6 – May 27: Avalanche at Blues, TBD
*Game 7 – May 29: Blues at Avalanche, TBD

1. Will Cale Makar take over another series?

After having one of the best regular seasons for a defenseman in recent NHL memory, Makar showed up in the First Round against Nashville and absolutely took over in the Avalanche’s four-game sweep. He was a one-man wrecking crew against the Predators, recording 10 points (three goals, seven assists), recording 41 total shot attempts and 20 shots on goal, while also completely controlling the pace of the game. He did all of that in four games!

Makar is a finalist for the Norris Trophy for the second year in a row and is going to be a mainstay in that discussion for the foreseeable future. He is a special, special player and already on the very short list of best players in the league regardless of position. On a team that has Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog it is Makar that has become the must-see player and its most impactful.

[Conn Smythe watch: McDavid, Makar lead after First Round]

2. What will Jordan Binnington do for the Blues?

This might be the difference between the Blues having a chance to win and potentially losing in four or five games. To say that Binnington has been hit-and-miss over the past couple of years would be quite the understatement.

He has not consistently played at the level we saw back in 2019 when he backstopped the Blues to their first ever Stanley Cup, and his playoff performances the past two years were absolutely dreadful. He ended up losing the starting job in the second half of this season to Ville Husso, but was thrust back into the spot when Husso struggled early in the series against the Minnesota Wild. Binnington played very well the rest of that series to help the Blues get through (especially behind a banged up defense) and is heading into the Second Round as the starter once again.

He is going to need to repeat that performance from the First Round to give the Blues a chance.

The concern: Colorado has had his number over the years. In 19 career starts against Colorado, including last year’s First Round playoff matchup (in which the Blues were swept with Binnington in goal) he has a 7-12 record with an .896 save percentage. Not great.

3. Will the Blues defense hold up against Colorado’s offense?

This is the other big question for the Blues. For years defense had been the team’s strength, right up to their Stanley Cup winning team in 2019, but they have rapidly transitioned into more of an offensive, goal scoring team this season where the blue line is probably its biggest question mark. That was true at the start of the season after losing Alex Pietrangelo and Vince Dunn in recent years, and it remains true now in the playoffs where they have dealt with an extensive list of injuries on the blue line. Robert Bortuzzo and Nick Leddy have already been injured this postseason and are probably playing at less than 100 percent right now, while Torey Krug remains out of the lineup.

The Avalanche have one of the league’s best offenses and a defense that, on paper, is probably the most talented in the league.

[NHL Power Rankings: Top Second Round storylines]

4. Can Colorado win a Second Round series?

This is their hurdle. This is the giant obstacle standing in their way. The Avalanche have been one of the league’s best teams over the past five years, have an absolutely loaded roster, and really have no obvious weaknesses on paper. But they can not clear that second round barrier, losing here in each of the past three seasons (after a First Round loss four years ago) to Vegas (six games), Dallas (seven games), and San Jose (seven games). I am a believer that talent ultimately wins out and that teams like this will eventually have their day. It happened for St. Louis after all of those years, it happened for Washington, and it happened for Tampa Bay. The Avalanche arguably have more talent on this roster than all of those teams did.

5. Who will win?

Avalanche in 5

As good as the Blues’ offense is, Colorado is one of the few teams better, while the Avalanche have the superior defense and the better goalie (assuming Darcy Kuemper‘s eye is okay). This is the year the Avalanche get out of the Second Round and continue this core’s quest for a Stanley Cup.

Roundtable: First Round impressions; potential Second Round upsets

Which player or team impressed you the most during the First Round?

Adam Gretz, NHL writer: Does it have to be a player from a team that won? Because Jake Oettinger was unbelievable. Not only in Game 7, but that entire series. I never would have guessed he would take over the job so quickly, especially given the way their depth chart looked at the start of the season, but that net is his now and he looks sensational. What a performance. He almost single handedly willed that team to the Second Round.

Michael Finewax, NBC Sports Edge Senior Hockey Writer/Editor: Jake Oettinger impressed me the most in the opening round. He was absolutely sensational, especially in Game 7 when he stopped 64 shots as the Flames threw everything but the kitchen sink at Dallas. It’s too bad the Stars started Oettinger in the minors to start the season, playing Braden Holtby and Anton Khudobin, as they could have finished higher than the first wild card which would have given them possibly an easier matchup.

Jake Abrahams, Managing Editor, NHL contentConnor McDavid. Considering the circumstances, he delivered arguably the best two games of his career in Games 6 and 7 with his team facing elimination against the Kings. In Game 7, with Leon Draisaitl injured and having a reduced impact, McDavid played a whopping 27:23 and factored on both goals in the 2-0 win. Time will tell how much further he can carry the Oilers.

[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2022 schedule, TV info]

James O’Brien, NHL writer: As great as Cale Makar was, Connor McDavid was absolutely superhuman. Deep down, I’m not sure how anyone can truly believe that he isn’t the best player in the NHL.

From a team-wide perspective, the Avalanche look like the juggernauts we expected.

Sean Leahy, NHL writer: Carter Verhaeghe showed us during the regular season he’s a very good player and that performance rolled over into the postseason with 12 points in six games against the Capitals. The loaded Lightning didn’t have room on the roster for him so the Panthers signed him and he’s blossomed with them, becoming one of their most valuable contributors in a lineup that is built to win a Stanley Cup. All of Verhaeghe’s points came at even strength with two of his goals coming via overtime.

Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

Which Second Round series has the biggest potential to end in upset?

Jake Abrahams, Managing Editor, NHL content: The Blues/Avalanche series. St. Louis has the depth and talent to hang with Colorado, especially after the Blues pretty easily dismantled the Wild to close them out (outscoring MIN 15-5 in Games 4-6). The question mark I have with the Avs is with their mental fortitude – this group has yet to prove it can overcome adversity within a series and still emerge victorious – so if Jordan Binnington can channel the best version of his game and steal one or two wins early on, maybe things will tilt in St. Louis’ favor.

James O’Brien, NHL writer: I’m going to go ahead and cancel out either team in the Battle of Florida, as that seems like cheating.

Despite a pile of serious injuries, the Rangers looked awful against the Penguins, yet advanced for the same reason I picked them to win: they’ve been really, really lucky this season. Few remaining teams maintain those elements of luck like the Rangers still do: a power play that can get hot, some dangerous high-end talent, and Igor Shesterkin. Shesterkin could only do so much last round, but absolutely has the ability to swing a series.

Most of the truly flawed playoff teams fell in the First Round, so buckle up for a fun ride.

Adam Gretz, NHL writer: I am going to take the easy way out here and say Florida-Tampa Bay because, well, I am not really sure who the upset would be? I could see either team winning it, and depending on who you see as the favorite (Florida for the better regular season record; Tampa Bay as defending back-to-back champions and with the experience) it could end up as an upset in your eyes. Florida is probably the favorite on paper this season, but I see Tampa Bay winning it. 

Michael Finewax, NBC Sports Edge Senior Hockey Writer/Editor: I don’t know if I would consider it an upset, but the Tampa Bay Lightning finished 12 points behind the Florida Panthers. The Lightning are the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions and seem to be able to turn it on when they need to. The Panthers will need outstanding goaltending from Sergei Bobrovsky and I am not sure he is capable of doing so in the playoffs.

Sean Leahy, NHL writer: During many postseasons we get a hot goalie — someone who will carry a team through a few rounds, maybe even to a Stanley Cup. As wild as it might be, is it crazy to think Mike Smith can’t keep up this heater he’s been on since April? In 16 regular season and playoff games played since the start of April, Smith has a .943 5-on-5 save percentage and a 2.19 goals saved above average, per Natural Stat Trick. The Flames already almost got goalie’d in the First Round by Jake Oettinger. Maybe Smith can hold the fort while McDavid, Draisaitl, Kane, and Oilers power play lead the way?

The Wraparound: Kuemper ‘eager to get going’ after scary eye injury

The Wraparound is your daily look at the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’ll break down the NHL playoff games today with the all-important television information.

• If you missed it, here is your Second Round NHL playoff schedule.

• Some NHL coaching news from Monday: Lane Lambert will replace Barry Trotz behind the Islanders’ bench and Peter DeBoer is out in Vegas.

• What storylines should you be following during the Second Round?

It was a pretty normal game situation with an Avalanche player defending a Predators player in front of Darcy Kuemper‘s crease. But as the Colorado goaltender was tracking the puck as it was coming to the front of the net an errant stick entered his mask and hit his eye.

“I didn’t know what happened until I watched it,” Kuemper said on Sunday. “It happened so quickly. Obviously, pretty scary when your eyes are involved but, you know, I got pretty lucky that it wasn’t worse.

“I think just bad luck.”

Fortunately, there was no damage to Kuemper’s eye, only swelling around his eyelid which forced him to miss the rest of Game 3 and all of Game 4 during their First Round sweep of Nashville. He’s been back at practice since the weekend and is expected to get the Game 1 start when the Avalanche begin their Second Round series against the Blues Tuesday night (9:30 p.m. ET).

[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2022 schedule, TV info]

“For me individually, it’s been great to have that extra time to heal up,” Kuemper said. “We’re biting at the chop to get back playing. Playoffs are the funnest time of year to play. Especially at home here in front of the crowd. The crowd here was so fun [against Nashville], so we’re eager to get going.”

Kuemper, who posted a .942 5-on-5 save percentage against the Predators in three games, per Natural Stat Trick, has impressed head coach Jared Bednar since returning to practice. Colorado has not played since May 9 as they awaited to find out who they would play in the Second Round.

“So that is the one positive for us, [our] goalie will be sharp, ready to go and feel 100 percent,” Bednar said

NHL PLAYOFF GAMES TODAY

Game 1: Tampa Bay Lightning at Florida Panthers, 7 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports): Brayden Point is likely out for the Lightning tonight after suffering an injury versus Toronto in Game 7 of the First Round. Good thing Tampa Bay is known for its depth, right? The Panthers, meanwhile, will be playing in the Second Round for the first time since 1996. After losing to the Lightning in six games last season, Florida is ready for the rematch. “They’ve been the best the last couple of years,” said forward Sam Reinhart. “Obviously they’re the team everyone wants to be, everyone wants to beat. You start with [Andrei Vasilevskiy], another great series out of him [vs. Maple Leafs]. First and foremost you try to make his life difficult. Their top-end guys are some of the best in the world. It’s going to be a great challenge and we’re up for it.”

Game 1: St. Louis Blues at Colorado Avalanche, 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)

PHT’s 2022 Stanley Cup previews
Avalanche vs. Blues

Lightning vs. Panthers
Makar, McDavid lead Conn Smythe watch after First Round
NHL Second Round predictions
Storylines for the NHL’s Second Round