Welcome to the “Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition,” a daily collection of the latest news and notes from around the NHL. Feel free to forward this email to colleagues who may be interested and encourage them to sign up by clicking here.
Home Team in Caps
NY RANGERS 2, Pittsburgh 1 – NYR leads 1-0
Detroit 3, TAMPA BAY 2 – DET leads 1-0
Minnesota 4, ST. LOUIS 2 – MIN leads 1-0
ANAHEIM 4, Winnipeg 2 – ANA leads 1-0
Down 2-1 after 40 minutes, the Ducks scored three unanswered goals in the third period – including the tying and winning markers by Corey Perry (2-2—4) – to grab a 1-0 lead in their First Round series against the Jets.
* The Ducks’ third-period comeback continued a trend from the regular season. In 2014-15, Anaheim set an NHL record for wins when trailing at any point in the third period (18). The Ducks also matched a League record with 12 victories when trailing after two periods (12-23-0).
* Perry set a career high for points in a playoff game, equaling the franchise mark established by Joffrey Lupul (May 9, 2006 at COL: 4-0—4) and matched by Andy McDonald (April 25, 2007 vs. VAN: 3-1—4).
* Via Elias, Perry became the first player to score the tying and winning goals in the third period of the same playoff game since Predators forward J-P Dumont on April 16, 2010 vs. CHI (2-0—2).
* Ryan Getzlaf posted 1-2—3, including an insurance goal with 3:05 remaining in regulation. It marked his fourth career three-point game in the postseason, a feat last achieved on April 25, 2014 vs. DAL (1-2—3).
* Overall, Getzlaf ranks first in Ducks playoff history with 26-51—77, ahead of Teemu Selanne (35-34—69) and Perry (24-36—60).
* Sami Vatanen also registered 1-2—3, including his first career postseason goal and first career three-point performance in the playoffs.
* Frederik Andersen stopped 25 shots, including all 10 he faced in the third period, to improve to 4-2 in eight career postseason appearances (2.94 GAA, .903 SV%).
Making his postseason debut, Petr Mrazek turned aside 44 shots – including 35 over the final two periods – to backstop the Red Wings to a 1-0 series lead against the Lightning.
* Mrazek, a fifth-round selection (141st overall) by the Red Wings in the 2010 NHL Draft, became the fifth goaltender in franchise history to win his playoff debut. The others: Johnny Mowers (1941), Glenn Hall (1956), Bob Champoux (1964) and Chris Osgood (1994).
* Mrazek established a career high with 44 saves, surpassing his previous mark of 42 set on March 15 at PIT. His 44 saves also were the most by a rookie goaltender – in a regulation contest – in his first playoff appearance since April 8, 1980 (Jiri Crha: 55 SV w/ TOR in 6-3 L at MIN).
* Pavel Datsyuk (2-0—2) recorded his sixth career multi-goal playoff game and first since April 27, 2010 vs. PHX (2-0—2). Elias says all six of his multi-goal postseason performances have come on the road and against different opponents.
* Overall, Datsyuk has 4-3—7 on a four-game point streak (dating to April 5 vs. WSH), including three consecutive multi-point performances. Datsyuk totaled 26-39—65 during the regular season (63 GP) and ranked sixth in the NHL with an average of 1.03 points per game.
* Datsyuk scored his second goal at 0:08 of the second period. Per Elias, that set a Red Wings record for fastest goal to start any playoff period. The previous mark of 0:09 was set by Gordie Howe on April 1, 1954 vs. TOR (1st period).
* ICYMI: Luke Glendening added a shorthanded, spin-o-rama goal that stood as the decisive tally. It marked his first career shorthanded goal (144 GP, regular season and playoffs) and first game-winner in the postseason (6 GP).
* The Red Wings won despite being outshot 46-14. Elias says that was their fewest shots on goal in a playoff victory in the expansion era (since 1967-68). The last team to win a postseason game in regulation with a -32 shot differential (or more) was the Canadiens on April 26, 2010 vs. WSH (54-22).
Derick Brassard scored 28 seconds after the opening face-off to spark the Rangers to an early lead en route to a 2-1 victory over the Penguins and 1-0 edge in their First Round series.
* Via Elias, Brassard’s goal was the second-fastest to start a playoff game in Rangers history. Ed Hospodar set the mark with his goal at 0:27 of the first period on April 9, 1981 vs. LAK.
* Brassard registered 4-1—5 in the Rangers’ seven-game victory over the Penguins in the Second Round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including the winning goals in Game 1 (in OT) and Game 5. He also has 5-11—16 in 14 career regular-season contests vs. PIT, including 4-5—9 during an active eight-game point streak.
* Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves to pick up his 44th career playoff victory, third among active goaltenders behind Marc-Andre Fleury (52) and Jonathan Quick (45). He also played in his 93rd career postseason game, tying Walt Tkaczuk for first in franchise history (among skaters and goaltenders).
* Lundqvist improved to 5-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and .955 save percentage in five career Game 1s at Madison Square Garden (all since 2012 CQF vs. OTT).
* Ryan McDonagh scored what proved to be the game-winning goal, his first such tally in the postseason (63 GP). After totaling 1-7—8 in his first 47 playoff games, Elias says McDonagh has 5-13—18 in his last 16 such contests.
* Rick Nash collected the primary assist on Brassard’s goal. He has 4-4—8 in five games against the Penguins this season (regular season and playoffs) after posting 0-1—1 in their seven-game playoff series in 2014.
* The Rangers have won four consecutive postseason games against the Penguins dating to Game 5 of the 2014 Second Round. Overall, they improved to 7-0-1 in their last eight head-to-head meetings (regular season and playoffs, PIT: 1-6-1).
Ahead 2-1 late in the third period, the Wild added a pair of empty-net goals – including the eventual winner by Mikael Granlund – to take a 1-0 series lead against the Blues.
* The Wild earned their second all-time win in a Game 1 (2-7), snapping a seven-game skid in the first contest of a series. Their lone other victory in a Game 1 was in the team’s first playoff outing, on April 10, 2013 vs. COL.
* Devan Dubnyk made 19 saves to become the first goaltender in Wild history to win his playoff debut. Dubnyk improved to 3-1-0 vs. STL since joining the Wild in mid-January; prior to that, he was 0-7-0 in seven career appearances against the Blues.
* Dubnyk also improved to 12-1-0 in his last 13 road appearances (dating to Feb. 18 at CGY). His lone such loss in that span was against the Blues, on the final day of the regular season (4-2 L).
* Granlund recorded his second career game-winning goal in the postseason (also April 21, 2014 vs. COL). Only two other players in Wild history has posted multiple game-winning goals in the playoffs: Nino Niederreiter and Wes Walz, both with two.
* Jason Pominville (1-1—2), Matt Dumba and Jason Zucker provided the other goals for the Wild. Pominville has 3-8—11 in his last 12 playoff appearances dating to April 21, 2014 vs. COL.
Thursday’s WPG-ANA game featured the playoff debuts of Jets teammates Toby Enstrom, Bryan Little and Chris Thorburn as well as Ducks forward Tim Jackman. Via Elias, those four players entered the contest among the top 10 in NHL history in terms of most regular-season games played without a postseason appearance.
Most Regular-Season GP Without Playoff Appearance, NHL History
1. Ron Hainsey: 754 GP*
2. Guy Charron: 734 GP
3. Chris Thorburn: 604 GP
4. Sam Gagner: 562 GP*
5. Ladislav Smid: 561 GP
6. Bryan Little: 556 GP
7. Toby Enstrom: 544 GP
8. David Vyborny: 543 GP
9. Vitali Yachmenev: 487 GP
10. Tim Jackman: 481 GP
* Active
Nearly 900,000 fans registered for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge powered by Samsung, a 71% year-over-year increase. Their picks for the First Round:
Jake Allen (25 SV) became the first rookie goaltender to start a playoff game for the Blues since May 21, 2001 (Brent Johnson vs. COL). Allen allowed two or fewer goals for the ninth consecutive appearance (dating to March 15 at DAL) . . . Lightning defenseman Nikita Nesterov scored while making his postseason debut. He has 2-2—4 during a four-game point streak (dating to April 4 at FLA) . . . Jets forward Adam Lowry also recorded his first goal in his playoff debut . . . Penguins forward Blake Comeau notched his first career playoff goal/point (7 GP) . . . Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 36 saves. He has a 2.07 goals-against average, .926 save percentage and three shutouts in 13 career postseason appearances vs. NYR . . . Jets forward Drew Stafford notched his fourth career playoff goal and first since April 18, 2011 vs. PHI (w/ BUF) . . . Blues forward Alexander Steen scored his second shorthanded goal in the postseason (also April 30, 2013 vs. LAK). Only four other players in Blues history have registered multiple shorthanded goals in the playoffs: Scott Young (3), Doug Gilmour (2), Brett Hull (2) and Peter Zezel (2) . . . Lightning forward Brian Boyle posted his second career shorthanded postseason goal. The other one came in his last playoff appearance, on June 13, 2014 at LAK (w/ NYR) . . . Red Wings forward Darren Helm (0-2—2) recorded his first career multi-point postseason game . . . Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (0-2—2) posted his second career multi-point playoff game (also April 19, 2014 vs. CHI: 1-2—3) . . . Wild forward Zach Parise also collected two assists . . . Captain Mikko Koivu skated in his 30th career playoff game to move past Marian Gaborik (29) and into sole possession of first place on the Wild’s all-time postseason games played list . . . ICYMI: Click here for an all-access look at the opening night of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
All Times Eastern
Ottawa @ Montreal, MTL leads 1-0, 7:00 p.m., CNBC, CBC, TVA
NY Islanders @ Washington, NYI leads 1-0, 7:00 p.m., NBCSN, SN, TVA2, MSG+, CSN-DC
Chicago @ Nashville, CHI leads 1-0, 9:30 p.m., NBCSN, SN, SN360, TVA3, CSN-CH, SPSO
Calgary @ Vancouver, CGY leads 1-0, 10:00 p.m., CNBC, CBC, TVA

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