Five things to know about the NHL playoffs

The Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes put themselves one win away from earning first-round sweeps, while three Canadian teams set out to take the lead in their series on Friday.

Here are five things to know entering Friday’s post-season action:


The Vancouver Canucks might have taken both games in Nashville in the regular season, but the playoffs are a different animal. After an impressive regular season, Vancouver finds itself in a 1-1 series against the Predators after a 4-1 home loss on Tuesday.

With the expectation in mind of the kind of territory they're stepping into, the Canucks will need to avoid falling behind 2-1 in the series with Game 4 on the road as well.


After losing its home-ice advantage with a 5-2 loss on Tuesday, the Winnipeg Jets know they need to at least take one in Colorado from the Avalanche.

The Jets finished the regular season with eight straight wins and carried that into the post-season with a 7-6 Game 1 victory last Sunday.

Now they'll have to avoid allowing the Avalanche to build on their momentum in Game 3 Friday and put Winnipeg on the ropes.


Stuart Skinner had a rough Game 2 for Edmonton in the Oilers' 5-4 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday.

Skinner allowed three goals on the first seven shots he faced but wasn't pulled from the game. Edmonton head coach Kris Knoblauch said he never considered taking his starting goalie out.

However, the Oilers will need improved goaltending to match their offensive firepower in order to take a 2-1 series lead in Game 3 on Friday.


Florida and Carolina both earned wins on Thursday to take 3-0 leads in their respective series.

The Panthers handed Tampa Bay a 5-3 loss, putting the Lightning on the brink of a second consecutive first-round exit. This comes on the heels of three consecutive trips to the Stanley Cup Final for Tampa Bay.

Meanwhile, Florida is looking to make a second trip back to the Cup final after suffering defeat at the hands of the Vegas Golden Knights last season.

Carolina, on the other hand, held on for a 3-2 road win on Thursday against the New York Islanders for a 3-0 edge in their series.


The Rangers have a chance to join the Panthers and Hurricanes on Friday with a victory over the Capitals in Washington.

New York held on for a 4-3 win on Tuesday to have its 2-0 series advantage over Washington.

However, a sweep wouldn't leave room for additional rest with Carolina on the verge of its own sweep and both teams set to meet in the second round if they advance.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 26, 2024.

The Canadian Press