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NHL Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – May 15, 2024

Evan Bouchard trumped the Canucks’ late tying tally by scoring the winning goal in the final minute of regulation as the Oilers evened their Second Round series at 2-2.

* Charlie McAvoy and Jeremy Swayman helped the Bruins force a Game 6 in their Second Round matchup with the Panthers via another one-goal victory to evade elimination.
 

Wyatt Johnston, who celebrated his 21st birthday Tuesday and accounts for two of the Stars’ last three series-clinching goals, looks to lead Dallas to its second straight Conference Finals appearance and third over the last five seasons.
 

Jacob Trouba of the Rangers was named the 2023-24 recipient of the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award on Tuesday. New York will look to close out its series with Carolina tomorrow, while the Hurricanes hope to become the 10th team in NHL history to force a Game 7 after facing a 3-0 series deficit.
 

BOUCHARD BURIES LATE WINNER AS EDMONTON EVENS SERIES
Evan Bouchard (1-1—2) buried the go-ahead goal with 38.1 seconds remaining in regulation after Canucks forward Dakota Joshua pulled Vancouver even at 18:19 of the third period as Edmonton evened its Second Round series.
 


* Bouchard became the fourth player in franchise playoff history with a go-ahead goal in the final minute of regulation, joining Joe Murphy (59:46 in Game 3 of 1991 DSF), Steve Smith (59:34 in Game 4 of 1989 DSF) and Marty McSorley (59:24 in Game 3 of 1987 CF). The Oilers became the fourth team in Stanley Cup Playoffs history to earn a win in regulation despite allowing a tying goal within the final 2:00 of the third period, following the Devils (Game 2 of 1995 CSF), Bruins (Game 3 of 1977 QF) and Red Wings (Game 3 of 1964 SCF).


Leon Draisaitl (8-12—20 in 9 GP) drew the primary assist on Bouchard’s winner and became the first player to reach the 20-point mark in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Draisaitl and Connor McDavid connected on the 1-0 goal, marking the 54th time in their NHL career where they both factored on the same postseason tally.



McAVOY, SWAYMAN SEND SECOND ROUND SERIES WITH FLORIDA BACK TO BOSTON
Charlie McAvoy (1-1—2) scored the winning goal and Jeremy Swayman stopped 28 of 29 shots against – including stonewalling Panthers forward Sam Reinhart in the dying seconds of regulation – as the Bruins forced a Game 6 after facing a 3-1 series deficit for the eighth time in franchise history (also 2017 R12009 CSF2008 CQF1999 CSF1998 CQF1983 CF & 1974 SCF).



* McAvoy (1-9—10 in 15 GP) recorded his ninth and 10th career points in potential elimination games to pass Mike O’Connell (1-7—8 in 9 GP) and tie Zdeno Chara (2-8—10 in 25 GP) as well as Andrew Ference (2-8—10 in 11 GP) for third place on the franchise’s all-time list among defensemen. McAvoy (6-42—48 in 90 GP) also leapfrogged Glen Wesley (15-32—47 in 105 GP) for sole possession of the sixth most playoff points among Boston blueliners. Wesley’s totals include two goals in the suspended game during the 1988 Stanley Cup Final.

* Swayman, who backstopped the Bruins to a 2-1 overtime win against the Maple Leafs in Game 7 of the First Round, improved to 2-0 and his last two potential elimination contests with a 0.98 goals-against average and .967 save percentage. Click here to read Tuesday’s edition of #NHLStats: Live Updates, which featured more notes on Boston’s victory.



TROUBA TAKES HOME MARK MESSIER NHL LEADERSHIP AWARD

Rangers captain Jacob Trouba was named the 2023-24 recipient of the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, which is presented “to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season and who plays a leading role in his community growing the game of hockey.” Click here to read more.


* Trouba and the Rangers can clinch their second Conference Finals berth in the last three seasons when they visit the Hurricanes tomorrow (7 p.m. ET on TNT, Max, truTV, SNO, SNE, SN360, TVAS, CBC). Carolina can become the first team to force a Game 7 after rallying from a 3-0 series deficit since Los Angeles did so 10 years ago en route to facing New York in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.


 

PWHL’S FIRST JAPAN-BORN PLAYER MAKING HER MARK

Akane Shiga, a forward with PWHL Ottawa from Obihiro, Japan, was featured by NHL.com after becoming the first Japan-born player in the league. Shiga began her hockey journey at age six by skating alongside her older sister, Aoi, who is a defenseman for Japan and HC Ladies Lugano in the Swiss Women’s Hockey League A. Shiga says she was inspired by seeing the Japanese women’s team perform at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and has since represented her country in their gold-medal entry at the 2016 IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship Division I.


QUICK CLICKS

Jeremy Swayman wishes dad happy birthday after Game 5 win
Tyler Seguin‘s scoring touch has Stars on verge of Western Conference Final
Lucas Raymond tasked to keep ‘driving the pace’ for Red Wings next season
Andy Aitkenhead in Rangers lore as ‘best goalie you never heard of’
National Hockey League Statement on the passing of Bill Friday

AVALANCHE AIM TO AVOID ELIMINATION WHILE STARS LOOK TO ADVANCE

The Avalanche seek to stave off elimination when they visit the Stars at American Airlines Center for Game 5 of their Second Round series, broadcast nationally on ESPN in the U.S. as well as on Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada. Colorado will look to overcome a 3-1 deficit in a best-of-seven series for the first time in franchise history (0-5) while Dallas, which owns a 12-1 (.923) all-time record when leading 3-1, looks to advance to the Conference Finals for the second straight year.
 


* The Avalanche have a few players with experience putting up offense in potential elimination games, including Mikko Rantanen (6-5—11 in 10 GP). Rantanen owns the third-most points in Avalanche/Nordiques history in those contests behindonly Joe Sakic (11-11—22 in 22 GP) and Peter Stastny (3-13—16 in 14 GP). He also has the third-most goals, trailing Sakic and Michel Goulet (8-2—10 in 14 GP).


Miro Heiskanen, who leads Dallas with 4-8—12 (11 GP) in the postseason, has 3-7—10 in 14 career potential series-clinching games, the second-most points by a defenseman in Stars/North Stars history behind Sergei Zubov (1-11—12 in 15 GP). Meanwhile, Wyatt Johnston (3-0—3 in 5 GP)already has three career goals in potential clinching games, including two series winners (2023 R1 & 2023 R2).

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