Five Things To Know about the NHL playoffs

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Saturday in the Stanley Cup playoffs saw some offence between the Flames and Stars, the Panthers appearing less than presidential and the Avalanche looking like the team to beat.

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

FLAMES-STARS FINALLY BREAKS OUT

After a combined total of just three goals in the first two games of the series, Dallas and the Calgary Flames finally broke out offensively with six goals as the Stars took Game 3 with a 4-2 victory.

Breakout Flames star Elias Lindholm scored his second goal of the series and Trevor Lewis had the other, but Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau still weren't able to find the back of the net for Calgary.

For the Stars, top guns Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin were quiet once again, but their lack of productivity was made up for by 37-year-old Joe Pavelski, who lived up to his "Playoff Pavelski" moniker Saturday with a pair of goals.

Still, for all the scoring, Game 3 was still about goaltending as Jake Oettinger made 39 saves to get the win.

Calgary netminder Jacob Markstrom recorded a shutout in the Flames' Game 1 win, while Oettinger blanked Calgary in Game 2.

PRESIDENTIAL LETDOWN

The Florida Panthers, who won the Presidents' Trophy this season with 58 wins and 122 points, find themselves on the ropes against the Washington Capitals following a 6-1 loss in Game 3..

Florida allowed Washington to steal home ice from them in a 4-2 loss to open the series before bouncing back with a 5-1 win in Game 2.

That momentum didn't carry when the series shifted to Washington, however as the Panthers look to be in trouble as they stare down what is, essentially, a must-win Game 4 on Monday.

AVALANCHE PUT PREDATORS ON THE BRINK

The Colorado Avalanche trounced the Nashville Predators 7-3 and need just one more win to complete the series sweep.

Colorado was the best team in the NHL for much of the regular season before slumping into the playoffs with six losses in their final seven games. Thankfully for the Avs, that late-season funk has not carried over to the post-season.

Colorado has outscored Nashville 16-7 through three games and can finish off the series Monday.

PENGUINS STORM BACK AFTER CHOKING BIG EARLY ADVANTAGE

The Penguins took a 2-1 advantage in their series with the New York Rangers with a 7-4 win in Pittsburgh..

Pittsburgh had a commanding 4-1 lead after the first period as they came out of the gate flying with Brock McGinn opening the scoring just 1:57 into the contest.

The Rangers flipped the script in the second period, however, tying things up at 4-4 entering the third.

The Penguins managed to avoid a disastrous, momentum-stealing loss thanks to a winning goal from Danton Heinen, followed by two empty-net markers.

LEAFS, OILERS LOOK TO TAKE COMMAND

Both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers can take 3-1 series leads in their respective playoff series Sunday night.

Toronto is coming off a 5-2 win in Game 3 to steal back home-ice advantage from the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Leafs are gunning for their first playoffs series victory since 2004.

Edmonton has erupted for 14 goals in its last two contests with the Los Angeles Kings after dropping the first game.

Both Canadian clubs appear to have momentum on their side. Wins tonight would give each team a chance to close their respective series in front of their home fans on Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 8, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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