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Five things to know about the NHL playoffs for May 10

Closing doors the theme as the Stanley Cup chase approaches Mother’s Day weekend
New York Rangers defenseman Erik Gustafsson (56), left wing Artemi Panarin, center Vincent Trocheck (16) and left wing Alexis Lafrenière (13) celebrate after scoring the winning goal in the overtime period in Game 3 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series Thursday, May 9, 2024, in Raleigh, N.C. Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jordan Martinook skates away at left. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)

The Toronto Maple Leafs showed coach Sheldon Keefe the door yesterday, the New York Rangers pushed the Carolina Hurricanes closer to one, and Brad Marchand and the Bruins would like to slam one on the visiting Florida Panthers as their nasty series resumes tonight in Boston.

In Vancouver, the Edmonton Oilers are aiming to earn a split tonight in the Great White North series after blowing a 4-1 lead and losing 5-4 to the resilient Canucks at packed and super loud Rogers Arena.

Here are five things to know about the NHL playoffs:


Hockey coaches know their job security is all about winning. So when a player is injured, especially during the pressure-packed post-season, the bench boss usually stickhandles around the exact problem when questioned.

The sleuth-and-solve crowd spent much of yesterday on social media mocking the “equipment issues” and “cramping” explanation given by Oilers’ coach Kris Knoblauch when was asked about star forward Leon Draisaitl’s ailment during and after Game 1’s opening loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

Draisaitl, who has five goals and 12 points in six playoff games — and 106 points during the regular season — will be re-evaluated this morning to determine if he (and his equipment?) are OK to play in Game 2 later tonight.


Fans in Edmonton, who have had their share of playoff disappointments in recent years, remained upbeat after the Vancouver Canucks erased a 4-1 lead and beat their Oilers 5-4 on Wednesday in Game 1 of the second-round series.

Those interviewed or sharing thoughts on social media pointed out the Oilers basically stopped shooting with a 4-1 lead and were held to just 14 shots over 22 minutes, which rarely happens.

They also felt that Stuart Skinner had a rare off-night in goal, surrendering at least three “stinky” goals — including the winner to Conor Garland — and got a “brain-dead penalty” for touching the puck in the trapezoid zone.

They believe the Oilers won’t let their foot off the gas tonight, and that Skinner will bounce back from a poor performance, ignoring the fact the Canucks are now 5-0 this season against the Oilers.


The New York Rangers are a win away from the Eastern Conference final — and back-to-back sweeps in these NHL playoffs.

Artemi Panarin scored at 1:43 of overtime last night as the Rangers edged the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 to grab a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series featuring two of the league’s best teams during the regular season.

The Rangers, with home-ice advantage against the ‘Canes, won Game 1 by a 4-3 decision, then took Game 2 4-3 in double overtime.

The Rangers swept Washington in the first round and kept Capitals’ scoring star Alex Ovechkin off the scoresheet in the short series.


The Dallas Stars blew a 3-0 lead in Tuesday’s opening game of their second-round series with the Colorado Avalanche and lost 4-3 in overtime.

The Stars bounced back last night with another strong start but allowed three third-period goals and barely escaped with a 5-3 win and a split at American Airlines Center. Games 3 and 4 are at Ball Arena in Denver.

Miro Heiskanen had two power-play goals and Tyler Seguin added a short-handed marker for the Western Conference’s top seed.


From one goal to three, no lead has been safe in the NHL playoffs this spring. Back-to-back opening nights of the second-round series in the Western Conference featured Dallas and Edmonton blowing three-goal advantages in different ways.

Through the first 50 games of the post-season, teams allowing the first goal have won 19 of them. That’s the highest percentage after falling behind in a quarter-century. As impressive as the multi-goal comebacks have been, not being able to hold a lead is a major red flag for teams hoping to make a run at the Stanley Cup.

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