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NHL Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – April 21, 2024

Jake DeBrusk scored two quick goals and Evgeny Kuznetsov had two points in his first postseason contest with Carolina as the Bruins and Hurricanes picked up Game 1 wins during the first night of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

* Teams that take a 1-0 lead in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs round own an all-time series record of 515-242 (.680), including a 355-119 (.749) mark when starting at home.

* Four more First Round series open Sunday, with the full-day slate getting underway when 57-goal scorer Sam Reinhart and the Panthers host Art Ross Trophy winner Nikita Kucherov and the Lightning at 12:30 p.m. ET.

* Game 1 between the Rangers and Capitals is set to pit Ryan Lindgren against his brother, Charlie, making them the fourth set of siblings in NHL history to go head-to-head in the Stanley Cup Playoffs where one was a skater and one was a goaltenderClick here to read more notes on all eight First Round matchups.
 


DeBRUSK LEADS BRUINS TO 1-0 SERIES LEAD AGAINST MAPLE LEAFS

Jake DeBrusk (2-1—3) tallied two second-period goals in a span of 2:32 and John Beecher opened the scoring at 2:26 of the opening frame as Boston beat Toronto in Game 1. DeBrusk (8-4—12 in 15 GP) scored his seventh and eighth career playoff goals against Toronto and surpassed David Pastrnak (7-13—20 in 15 GP) and Brad Marchand (7-13—20 in 15 GP) for the most versus the franchise among Boston players dating to the 2018 First Round.
 
* DeBrusk’s tallies marked the 10th fastest two goals by one player in franchise playoff history. Of note, Glen Wesley scored two goals over a span of 1:25 in the suspended game during the 1988 Stanley Cup Final, but no records that were achieved in that contest were recognized.
 



KUZNETSOV SHINES IN FIRST PLAYOFF GAME WITH HURRICANES

Evgeny Kuznetsov and Martin Necas notched 1-1—2, Stefan Noesen netted the winning goal again and Frederik Andersen made 33 saves – including a highlight-reel stop on Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson – as Carolina took a 1-0 series lead in front of 18,825 “Caniacs” at PNC Arena.

* Kuznetsov, who was acquired by the team ahead of the 2023-24 NHL Trade Deadline and is one of five Stanley Cup winners on the roster, did the “Bird Celly” when he opened the scoring at 1:35 of the first period – he became the second Hurricanes/Whalers player to score a goal in the opening 95 seconds of his first playoff contest with the franchise, joining Matt Cullen (0:50 in Game 1 of 2006 CQF). Cullen’s uncle, John, is the only skater with more points than Kuznetsov in his first postseason contest with the club.


MacLEAN SCORING GOAL IN PLAYOFF DEBUT FEATURED IN #NHLSTATS: LIVE UPDATES

The first 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs edition of #NHLStats: Live Updates featured more notes from the opening night, including Islanders rookie Kyle MacLean scoring a goal in his postseason debut. MacLean’s father, John, is an assistant coach with New York and won a Stanley Cup with the 1995 Devils, who had current Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello at the helm.



QUICK CLICKS

Evgeny Kuznetsov pays dividends for Hurricanes in Game 1 of Eastern 1st Round
Connor McDavid, Oilers ‘know what to expect’ from Kings in Western 1st Round
Igor Shesterkin rejuvenated, ready to lead Rangers on potential run in Stanley Cup Playoffs
Connor Bedard of Blackhawks says he’ll play for Canada in World Championship

Danny Ainge ‘excited for hockey again’ with NHL going to Utah

FOUR MORE FIRST ROUND SERIES OPEN ACROSS FULL-DAY SLATE SUNDAY

Sunday’s schedule is set to feature over 12 hours of Stanley Cup Playoffs action as four more First Round series get underway, with the first game starting at 12:30 p.m. ET and the last beginning at 10 p.m. ET. Each contest is available on ESPN programming in the United States as well as Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada.
 

* The state of Florida has been represented in the Stanley Cup Final in each of the past four years but only one of its teams will advance past the 2024 First Round as the Panthers renew a rivalry with the Lightning – a Wild Card team for the first time since the format was introduced a decade ago.

* This will mark the third all-time playoff meeting between the Sunshine State rivals, all in a four-season span – Tampa Bay claimed a 4-2 series victory in the 2021 First Round en route to its second straight championship and then swept Florida in the 2022 Second Round during a third straight run to the Final. The Panthers enter the postseason as the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic Division after making their own trip to the championship series last year, when they became the second Wild Card team to play for the Cup since the playoff format was introduced in 2013-14 (also 2017 NSH).
 

* The Rangers and Capitals contest another Stanley Cup Playoffs series after New York and Washington bested several teams in the tightly-contested race for the Presidents’ Trophy and final postseason berth, respectively.

* This will mark the 10th playoff series between the Rangers and Capitals, with New York holding a 5-4 edge including victories in each of the past three series – all in Game 7 during a span of four seasons (2015 R22013 CQF & 2012 CSF).
 

* The Jets and Avalanche jockeyed for position in the Central Division all season, with the former earning the right to start the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a “Winnipeg Whiteout” when they face Colorado in Game 1.

* This will mark the first postseason series in League history between the Jets/Thrashers and Avalanche/Nordiques franchises. The WHA’s Winnipeg Jets and Quebec Nordiques contested two head-to-head series in the AVCO World Trophy Playoffs before each club merged into the NHL – the Nordiques notched an 8-2 championship-clinching win against the Jets in Game 7 of the 1977 Final, while Winnipeg swept Quebec in the 1979 Semifinals en route to their third and final title.

* The Stanley Cup Playoffs are back in Vancouver for the first time in nearly a decade, with both the Canucks and Predators starting a journey they hope to cap with their first-ever championship.

* This will mark the second playoff series between Vancouver and Nashville, following the 2011 Conference Semifinals – a six-game second-round matchup that featured five one-goal contests, with the lone exception being a 4-2 victory by the Canucks in Game 4 that was sealed with a late empty-net tally. The series win was part of Vancouver’s journey to its most-recent Stanley Cup Final appearance.

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