5 Things: Flames stifle Stars to score win in series opener

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The second day of NHL playoff action featured a torrid offence, a stingy defence, a marathon match and a surprising upset.

Here are five things to know as we head into Wednesday's post-season action:

STARS SMOTHERED

The Calgary Flames managed just one goal in their series opener with the Dallas Stars.

Turns out that would be all the offence they would need.

The Flames limited the Stars to just 16 shots, including three in a defensively dominant first period.

Dallas didn't test Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom until 11:05 into the first period.

Calgary's Elias Lindholm scored on a power play just over five minutes into the game to account for all the scoring.

LONG NIGHT AT THE OFFICE

It didn't take long for these playoffs to produce a marathon match.

Evgeni Malkin's goal 5:58 into the third overtime period gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 win in Game 1 of their series with the New York Rangers.

It was the 54th game in league history to need a third extra period.

The Penguins have a history of going long into the night and have been involved in two of the five longest games in the post-expansion era, including a 2-1 loss to Philadelphia on May 4, 2000 that wasn't decided until 12:01 into the fifth extra frame.

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

The Florida Panthers were a virtual lock for a win during the regular season when leading after two periods.

Seems like the Washington Capitals didn't get the memo.

The Capitals stunned the Panthers with three third-period goals en route to a 4-2 win in Game 1 of their series.

Teams had been 0-39-1 against Florida in the regular season when trailing after 40 minutes and 0-22-0 when doing so on the Panthers’ home ice.

The Panthers entered the playoffs after winning the Presidents Trophy as the team with the best regular-season record. That distinction hasn't meant much in the playoffs, with only two teams in the salary-cap era finishing first in the regular-season standings and going on to win the Stanley Cup.

Florida is just the second Presidents Trophy-winner in the least eight seasons to drop its playoff opener. The 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning is the other.

AVALANCHE OF GOALS

These playoffs have already seen an abundance of offence, with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes posting five goals in their openers Monday.

It took the Colorado Avalanche just one period to match.

The Avalanche buried Nashville with five first-period goals en route to a 7-2 win in Game 1 of their series.

Only eight teams have scored more goals in one period in an NHL playoff game. And only two -- the Edmonton Oilers in 1987 and the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1989 -- have done it in the first period.

MAPLE LEAFS, OILERS BACK AT IT

The Maple Leafs played a near-perfect game to open their series with the Lightning, with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner leading the offence and Jack Campbell shutting the door on Tampa Bay's stars in a 5-0 rout.

They will likely need to be as good again to take a 2-0 lead with them when the series shifts to Florida.

The Lightning look to even the series Wednesday night in Toronto. After Lightning coach Jon Cooper said his squad gave the Leafs a "a bit of a freebie" in Game 1, expect the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions to respond.

Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers will try to bounce back after a bad turnover gifted the Los Angeles Kings a 4-3 win in their season opener.

Phillip Danault scored the winner when he took advantage of a turnover by Edmonton goalie Mike Smith, but the Oilers have positives to build on entering Wednesday's Game 2 especially on special teams.

The Oilers killed off all four penalties they faced and went 2 for 4 on the power play in Game 1.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 4, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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