That old thing about your best players have to be your best players. That was certainly the case last night for the Winnipeg Jets, who edged the St. Louis Blues 2-1 in overtime. Mark Scheifele scored the tying goal 7 1/2 minutes into the third period. And Kyle Connor added the game winner at 6:02 of OT to send the series back to Winnipeg tied at two games apiece.
The play of netminders Connor Hellebuyck and Jordan Binnington kept it a scoreless tie until Vlad Tarasenko’s powerplay goal in the opening minute of the third. Scheifele said surviving early pressure from the Blues was crucial:
Head Coach Paul Maurice says his No. 1 line seems to have found that extra gear — just like they did in last spring’s playoffs:
Hellebuyck made 31 saves and Binnington 37 in what was easily the best game of the series. And you’d expect more of the same for game 5 tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m.
What was not expected — an early playoff exit by the regular season champion Tampa Bay Lightning. But the curse of the Presidents Trophy continues, as the Bolts were beaten 7-3 in Columbus — dropping all four games of that series. Rookie Alexander Texier scored twice, and Pierre Luc-Dubois had a goal and 2 assists in becoming the 11th and 12th different Blue Jackets to score in the series. So those 62 regular season wins don’t add up to a hill of post season beans for the Lightning – the only first place finisher in the post-expansion era to go winless in the playoffs.
Sidney Crosby finally got on the scoresheet for Pittsburgh. But it was his only point as the Penguins lost 3-1 at home to the Islanders who completed a sweep of that opening round matchup. Isles netminder Robin Lehner was fabulous in allowing just 6 goals in that series.
By contrast, Martin Jones of San Jose has allowed 13 goals in just over eight periods of work against Vegas. The Golden Knights spanking the Sharks 5-0 last night for a 3-1 series lead as Jones was yanked after the first period when he gave up two goals on only seven shots.
Toronto, Washington, Nashville and Colorado will all be looking to take 3-1 leads in their respective series tonight,.
The Swan Valley Stampeders were 4-3 triple overtime winners in Portage to take a 3-2 series lead in the MJHL’s Turnbull Cup Final. Brady Goethals scoring the winner at the 41:46 mark of extra time for the Stamps who host the Terriers in Game Six tomorrow night.
Kawhi Leonard scored a game high 37 points and Kyle Lowry added 22 as the Toronto Raptors blasted Orlando 111-82 to even their NBA first round series at a game apiece.
Toronto outfielder Teoscar Hernandez delivered a go ahead, two-RBI single in the top of the seventh, and then began a perfectly executed game ending relay to snuff out Minnesota’s tying run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth, as the Blue Jays edged the Twins 6-5.