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NHL Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – May 24, 2024

Connor McDavid came up just short during a scoring chance in the first overtime period but redeemed himself 32 seconds into the second overtime period to help the Oilers hold off the Stars in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final.

Leon Draisaitl opened the scoring with his 40th career playoff goal and The NHL DataCast powered by AWS broke down the Opportunity Analysis for his tally, which pushed his point streak to 13 games.

* Edmonton followed in Florida’s footsteps in the 2024 Conference Finals by capturing a road win in the series opener. The visitors won Game 1 of both series in the Conference Finals/Semifinals for the first time since 2017.


McDAVID’S OT WINNER LIFTS OILERS TO FIRST CONFERENCE FINALS WIN SINCE 2006

Leon Draisaitl (1-0—1) and Zach Hyman (1-1—2) – the top point getter and top goal scorer in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs, respectively – both tallied early in the second period but Tyler Seguin’s first Conference Finals goals in 13 years sent Game 1 to overtime. After serving a double-minor penalty assessed 17 seconds into the fourth period and being denied by a highlight-reel stick save from Jake Oettinger later in the frame, Oilers captain Connor McDavid (1-1—2) ended the game with his second career playoff overtime goal and first in double-OT.

“Apologies to everyone for keeping everyone up a little longer.” Connor McDavid post-game on NHL on TNT


* McDavid’s goal 32 seconds into double-overtime was the third fastest from the start of an overtime period in franchise history, behind goals from Randy Gregg (0:21 into OT in Game 2 of 1984 DSF vs. WIN) and Ryan Smyth (0:22 into Game 5 of 1997 CQF at DAL). Smyth’s winner in Dallas more than 27 years ago marked the last time the Oilers had won a multi-overtime game on the road before McDavid’s decisive tally Thursday.

* It marked the second straight year that Game 1 of a Conference Finals series required multiple overtime periods, following the quadruple-OT thriller in 2023 between the Panthers and Hurricanes. Before that, the last time a Conference Finals/Semifinals opener needed double-OT or more in consecutive campaigns was 85 years ago.


* Road teams won Game 1 of both series in the Conference Finals/Semifinals for the first time since 2017 when the Senators and Predators did so against the Penguins and Ducks, respectively. Overall, this is the third time it has happened in 23 postseasons since 2001 (also 2006: BUF at CAR and EDM at ANA).

MORE OT TIDBITS

* This is the fourth multi-overtime game of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the most in one postseason since 2021 when there were five overall (all in the First Round).

* The Stars headed to double-overtime in consecutive games for the second time in franchise history. The other instance came during the 2000 Stanley Cup Final when they won Game 5 in triple-overtime before the Devils clinched the Stanley Cup in double-overtime in Game 6. Overall, this is the third time the franchise has played more than one multi-overtime game in the same postseason (2 in both 1999 & 2000). 

* The Oilers were a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill, part of a string of 20 consecutive successful kills dating to Game 3 against Vancouver. Edmonton’s penalty-kill percentage stands at 92.5% this postseason – a mark only three teams on record (since 1977-78) have maintained through an entire postseason (min. 10 GP): the 2004 Red Wings (96.0%), 2019 Stars (94.6%) and 2000 Devils (92.5%).

* The 37 total one-goal contests during the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs are the most at this stage of a postseason since 2017 when 44 of the first 71 contests were decided by a single goal.

DRAISAITL, SEGUIN ALSO MAKE PRESENCE FELT IN SERIES OPENER
While Connor McDavid stole the spotlight with his winner in double-overtime, Tyler Seguin and Leon Draisaitl also produced notable performances in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final.

* Seguin, who netted both tallies for the Stars, including the tying marker with 3:23 remaining in regulation, became the seventh player in NHL history to score a goal in the Conference Finals/Semifinals as a teenager and at age 30 or older. He joined Dainius Zubrus (1997-2016), Brendan Shanahan (1988-2002), Eric Desjardins (1989-2000), Bryan Trottier (1976-1992), Ted Lindsay (1945-1965) and Hec Kilrea (1927-1939).

* Draisaitl broke the ice with the first goal of the series – and the 40th of his Stanley Cup Playoffs career – to extend his postseason-opening point streak to 13 games. The NHL DataCast powered by AWS, a new analytics-driven alternative viewing experience on truTV and Max for the entirety of the Western Conference Final, broke down the Opportunity Analysis for the play.

QUICK CLICKS
 

Sheldon Keefe hired as Devils coach, replaces Travis Green

Gabriel Landeskog planning to return to Avalanche next season

*ThunderBug surprises Ryan McDonagh’s kids with welcome back video

2024 Eastern Conference Final Game 1 on ESPN up 16%

Patrik AllvinJim NillBill Zito finalists for General Manager of the Year Award


RANGERS AIM TO EVEN SERIES ON HOME ICE, PANTHERS EYE ANOTHER 2-0 LEAD

Trailing in a series for the first time this postseason, the Rangers will try to become the first team since 2021 to earn a split in the first two games during the round before the Stanley Cup Final – a feat last achieved during the 2021 Stanley Cup Semifinals when the Canadiens and Lightning both tied their matchup at 1-1 en route to series wins. The Panthers, meanwhile, will try to become the first team in 15 years to pull ahead 2-0 in back-to-back Conference Finals (DET & PIT both did so in 2008 & 2009, en route to Final appearances each time).


* A goaltending battle in Game 1 saw Sergei Bobrovsky (24-save shutout) outmatch Igor Shesterkin (25 saves, 2 GA). Bobrovsky (8-1 in 10 GP) can match Andrei Vasilevskiy (9-1 in 11 GP) for the fifth-most career playoff wins by a goaltender against a Presidents’ Trophy winner, while Shesterkin enters with a career save percentage of .937 in playoff games following a loss (8-8 in 16 GP, 2.11 GAA) – tied for the second highest among netminders since 2020, when he made his playoff debut (min. 5 GP) and behind 2023 Stanley Cup champion Adin Hill (.938 SV% in 5 GP). Hill (2 in 2023), Vasilevskiy (2 in 2021) and Martin Jones (2 in 2016) are the only active goaltenders to post multiple shutouts in a single Conference Finals/Semifinals series.

Matthew Tkachuk, with nearly a point per game in his playoff career (23-32—55 in 59 GP), has factored on more than half of Florida’s goals in the Conference Finals since last year (5-2—7 on 13 goals). With a point in Game 2, Tkachuk would both match his father’s career postseason point total (Keith Tkachuk: 28-28—56 in 89 GP) and surpass Jeremy Roenick on the all-time list for points by a U.S.-born player through 60 career playoff games.

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