We’re back! The NHL continues the 2019-20 playoff qualifiers after a four-month break and we’ll be here to capture all the action from every game.
Follow along here as Yahoo Sports NHL editors Arun Srinivasan and Kyle Cantlon keep you posted on the key storylines, highlights, major injuries and anything else you need to know.
Blackhawks steal one late, pushing Oilers to brink
Just get it on net, folks.
That’s “all” Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy had to do to push the Oilers to the brink of elimination, as he somehow greased a point shot through a circus of bodies and ricocheted the game-winner off the stick of Ethan Bear with just 1:16 left in the final frame.
A fitting end to a game that was as sloppy — but fun — as any in this series.
— Brandon Cain (@brandonmcain) August 6, 2020
Matthew Highmore, as you might have suspected, played hero to tie the game for the Blackhawks with his first career playoff goal with five-and-a-half minutes left, setting the stage for Murphy’s winner.
Edmonton’s stars, needless to say, were studs once again, with Leon Draisaitl scoring the Oilers’ first two of the night and assisting on the third, which Connor McDavid buried to give Edmonton the lead late in the second period.
Petry’s goalline snipe gives Habs shocking series lead
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) August 6, 2020
Man, these Canadiens just won’t go away.
In the most lopsided qualifying round matchup, the No. 24-ranked Habs are just one win shy of knocking out the star-studded Penguins after a three-goal burst yielded a gutsy 4-3 win.
After Teddy Blueger added an insurance marker just over five minutes into the second frame to put the Penguins up by a pair, Jonathan Drouin potted one for the Habs. Paul Byron converted a slick little wraparound with four minutes left and the game was tied at the second break.
Moments into the third, Petry’s short-side, goalline rip grazed of the neck of Matt Murray and somehow found daylight to put the Canadiens ahead for good — and within one win of pulling off a pretty absurd upset.
Jeff Petry snipes from a bad angle pic.twitter.com/RY3oVCvFzd
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) August 6, 2020
Malkin threads the needle as Pens’ PP ignites
The Canadiens drew first blood in Game 3, but the Penguins found their power-play groove before the end of the opening frame — and that should be frightening for an already overmatched Montreal squad.
Pittsburgh capitalized twice on the man advantage in less than a minute, with Patric Hornqvist and Jason Zucker converting on back-to-back PPs.
Hornqvist’s tally gave us our first truly jaw-dropping glimpse of one of the new, low camera angles the league has been able to implement without fans in the building. Evgeni Malkin’s insane vision and skill was on full display as he threaded the needle with a cross-ice slap pass — the visual is glorious:
— NHL (@NHL) August 6, 2020
Garland puts Ekholm in the spin cycle
In the second game of Wednesday’s slate, the Arizona Coyotes scored three unanswered goals in the third period to defeat the Nashville Predators 4-1, taking a 2-1 series lead.
Few goals throughout the playoffs have been prettier than Conor Garland’s winner, it’s worth another look:
Garland received a feed from Derek Stepan, then put Mattias Ekholm — a normally positionally sound defenceman — into the spin cycle with a picture-perfect toe drag before sniping it past Juuse Saros for one of the goals of the week so far.
Take a shower Conor, this was filthy. 🚿 pic.twitter.com/jw5oreRpmo
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) August 5, 2020
All you need to take is one look at Ekholm sweeping the puck out of the net in apparent disgust to know how filthy this goal was, and as game-winners go, there have been few better.
Panthers stave off elimination
A two-minute offensive barrage is all that kept the Florida Panthers alive, but sometimes that’s all it takes.
Florida, trailing 2-0 in the series to New York entering Wednesday’s game, failed to break down its opponent’s conservative defensive scheme for the majority of the series and looked likely to be the second team heading home from Toronto.
But Mike Hoffman gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead 41 seconds into the final frame. After the team worked the puck around with expert precision, he wired a one-timer home from inside the faceoff circle.
Brian Boyle would follow up with an insurance goal just over two minutes later, and the Panthers held on for a 3-2 win to stay alive. It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.
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