Five things to know about the National Hockey League playoffs

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Saturday night was jam-packed in the NHL, as three different Game 7s took place, including two involving Canadian teams.

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

THEY DID IT AGAIN

The Toronto Maple Leafs played a hard-fought Game Seven against the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning, but ultimately came up short in a 2-1 loss.

It’s the sixth consecutive year that Toronto has lost in the first round, and the fifth year in a row that they’ve lost in a winner-take-all game.

According to the statistics service STATS, the Leafs are the first team in the history of the NHL, NBA, or MLB to lose a do-or-die game in the opening round of the playoffs five years in a row.

EDMONTON MOVES ON

The Oilers have faced goaltending questions all season long, but veteran netminder Mike Smith stepped up when it mattered most, as he posted a 29-save shutout in the Edmonton Oilers 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings Saturday night.

Connor McDavid also showed up when it mattered most, as Edmonton’s captain assisted on Cody Ceci’s goal that opened the scoring before he took matters into his own hands, scoring the dagger to put the Oilers up two with less than four minutes left in the game.

CALGARY UP NEXT

After the Leafs and the Oilers, the Calgary Flames will be the next Canadian team to face the challenge of a Game 7, as they take on the Dallas Stars in the series finale on Sunday.

The Flames lost Game 6 in Dallas on Friday night 4-2, as Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger continued his standout play in the series.

Calgary will get the privilege of playing at home, where it was 25-9-7 in the regular season and is 2-1 in this series.

THE CHAMPS STAY ALIVE

The Tampa Bay Lightning survived a tough first-round challenge from the Toronto Maple Leafs to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Tampa Bay won Game 7 in Toronto by a score of 2-1, with both of their goals coming from forward Nick Paul.

The Lightning withstood a third period rally from Toronto largely on the back of goaltender Andrei Vasilevsky, who made 30 saves in the win.

HURRICANES HANG ON

The Carolina Hurricanes eliminated the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon with a 3-2 win.

Max Domi led the way for the Hurricanes with two goals and one assist as Carolina came out on top in a series in which the home team won every game.

Antti Raanta made 27 saves for the Hurricanes, who survived the first round without goalie Frederik Andersen. Andersen missed all seven games in the series with a lower-body injury.

The loss marks the first time that Boston has lost in the first round of the playoffs since 2017.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 15, 2022.

Griffin Porter, The Canadian Press

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