Five things to know about the NHL playoffs
The Toronto Maple Leafs face a serious climb in the second round, and Canadian teams get a night off in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Here are five things to know as we head into Friday's post-season action:
Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe had some choice words to describe his team last night, calling the performance disappointing and baffling.
Toronto led the game 2-0 early before giving up a goal in the latter half of the first period. Then Florida struck twice in under a minute to open the second and never looked back, winning 3-2 and taking a 2-0 series lead.
Florida goalie Sergei Bobrovsky outplayed Toronto counterpart Ilya Samsonov again in Game 2, making 35 saves compared to Samsonov's 26.
The Panthers have won five straight, their longest playoff winning streak in franchise history.
INSULT TO INJURY
On top of the defeat, the Maple Leafs lost forward Matthew Knies to injury after he was hit into the boards and thrown to the ice by Florida forward Sam Bennett in the first period last night.
Coach Keefe said after the game he did not have an update on Knies, but said the fact he didn't finish the game wasn't a positive.
The 20-year-old Knies joined the Maple Leafs out of college at the end of the regular season and has been a steady contributor these playoffs, with four points in seven games.
NO OILERS TONIGHT
The Edmonton Oilers were supposed to be playing tonight, but a late schedule change by the NHL pushed Game 2 against the Vegas Golden Knights to tomorrow.
The league did not give a reason for the change, which caused many Oilers fans to incur significant costs for extending their trips. Reports suggest the schedule change was made to accommodate national television broadcasts.
Edmonton lost the series opener against Vegas 6-4 on Wednesday, despite forward Leon Draisaitl's impressive four-goal outing. Draisaitl leads the playoffs with 15 points and 11 goals through eight games.
STARS STRIKE BACK
Joe Pavelski's legend keeps on growing. Two days removed from becoming the oldest player to score four goals in a game, the Stars forward potted the game-winner as Dallas beat the Seattle Kraken 4-2 to even the series.
The 38-year-old Pavelski is the second player in franchise history to score five goals in two playoff games, and is now third among active players in career post-season goals -- his 69 trailing Sidney Crosby by two and Alex Ovechkin by three.
LONE GAME IN THE NHL
There's only one game in the Stanley Cup playoffs tonight, as the Carolina Hurricanes host the New Jersey Devils in Game 2 of their best-of-seven series.
Carolina dominated New Jersey in Game 1 and chased Devils goalie Akira Schmid with three goals on 11 shots.
Schmid took over starting duties and won all four games for New Jersey last series after Vitek Vanecek's struggles. Schmid has a .935 save percentage these playoffs to Vanecek's .841. He's expected to start again.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 5, 2023.
The Canadian Press