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NHL Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – May 30, 2024

Connor McDavid collected a three-point outing in his club’s two-goal comeback victory as the Oilers won four contests in a single postseason to at least tie a series in consecutive years – an NHL first.

* The 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs marks the seventh time in the past 20 postseasons that both Conference Finals/Semifinals series went at least six games.


* After the 2024 Eastern Conference Final witnessed three straight overtime contests, the Rangers and Panthers could make history with another when they clash for Game 5 at Madison Square Garden.
 

* PWHL Minnesota became the first-ever Walter Cup champion with a 3-0 win over PWHL Boston, concluding the league’s inaugural season.

DOWN BUT NOT OUT: OILERS STAGE MULTI-GOAL COMEBACK WIN TO TIE SERIES
Two days after the Stars staged a thrilling multi-goal comeback win, the Oilers followed suit with Connor McDavid (0-3—3), Evan Bouchard (1-0—1) and Leon Draisaitl (1-0—1) spearheading a rally that saw the club net five consecutive goals – including two in a span of 51 seconds – to defeat Dallas and even their series at two apiece. Edmonton has now won four or more games in a single postseason to at least tie a series in consecutive years – a feat no other team in NHL history has accomplished.



* McDavid collected his fourth three-assist contest of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs and moved into a tie with Draisaitl (2022), Wayne Gretzky (1988 & 1987), Paul Coffey (1985) and Bob Bourne (1983) for the second most in a single playoff year in NHL history – a list Gretzky tops with five in 1985. The Edmonton captain also recorded his 16th career three-point playoff game and tied Glenn Anderson for fifth place on the Oilers’ all-time list.

* Bouchard, who had the tying tally for Edmonton, recorded his sixth goal of the postseason and surpassed Steve Smith (5 in 1990) and Chris Pronger (5 in 2006) for the fourth most by an Oilers defenseman in a single playoff year

*Draisaitl (10-16—26 in 16 GP) scored his 10th goal of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs and became the fifth active player to hit double digits in consecutive postseasons, joining Brayden Point (2020-2021), Jake Guentzel (2017-2018), Nikita Kucherov (2014-2015) and Evgeni Malkin (2008-2009).

BOTH CONFERENCE FINALS SERIES EVENED AT 2-2

The four teams remaining in the hunt for the Stanley Cup are now all within six wins of hoisting the trophy as the Oilers evened the 2024 Western Conference Final a day after the Panthers did the same in the East. Should the clubs force a winner-take-all contest, it would mark just the fourth time that both series in the Conference Finals/Semifinals require seven games, with the only instances coming in 2015, 2000 and 1964.

* This is the fifth time in 10 postseasons that both Conference Finals/Semifinals series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs are tied 2-2 (also 2021, 2017, 2016 & 2015). Before that stretch began in 2015, it had occurred only twice in the prior 34 seasons since the introduction of the 16-team playoff field in 1980. 

* When a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series is tied 2-2, the winner of Game 5 goes on to claim the series 79% of the time (231-62), though that rate drops slightly in the round before the Stanley Cup Final (77%; 50-15).


TICKETS FOR 2024 DISCOVER NHL WINTER CLASSIC GO ON SALE JUNE 14
The NHL announced tickets to the Discover NHL Winter Classic will go on sale Friday, June 14 at 10 a.m. CT. The outdoor game between the Blues and Blackhawks is set for Dec. 31, 2024 at Wrigley Field, returning to the iconic home of the Chicago Cubs for the first time since the 2009 NHL Winter Classic. Click here for more details.

QUICK CLICKS

Wednesday’s #NHLStats: Live Updates

Jake Oettinger’s stray stick robs McDavid of goal in Game 4

Coming June 4: “No Easy Victories” from E60 & “Garden Party” episode of NHL Backstory podcast

PWHL Minnesota win the first-ever Walter Cup

2024 Western Conference Final Audiences up 63% Across North America

THE GARDEN COULD WITNESS HISTORY IN PANTHERS-RANGERS GAME 5

Madison Square Garden could witness history Thursday as the Rangers and Panthers clash in Game 5 on the heels of three straight overtime finishes won on the sticks of Barclay Goodrow (Game 2), Alexander Wennberg (Game 3) and Sam Reinhart (Game 4). A Conference Finals/Semifinals series has never featured four consecutive overtime games – in fact, only three series in any round have witnessed an OT streak of that length.

* Only three series in NHL history have witnessed four-plus consecutive overtime contests: the 2021 First Round between Carolina and Nashville (4), along with the 2012 Conference Quarterfinals between Phoenix and Chicago (5) and the 1951 Stanley Cup Final between Toronto and Montreal (5).

* One more overtime contest between the Rangers and Panthers this round (regardless of when it occurs) would match the most overtime games in a Conference Finals/Semifinals series – a feat achieved just once in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68).

* Florida forwards Carter Verhaeghe (3-3—6) and Sam Reinhart (3-0—3) share the series lead with three goals apiece alongside New York teammates Alexis Lafrenière (3-0—3) and Barclay Goodrow (3-0—3). Reinhart and Lafrenière can extend their goal streaks to three games – a feat achieved by at least one player within a Conference Finals/Semifinals series in each of the past 19 years from 2004 to 2023 (last year: Jonathan Marchessault, 3 GP in w/ VGK).

* With his win in Game 4, Sergei Bobrovsky improved to 17-6 in his playoff overtime career to surpass Billy Smith (16-5) and Martin Brodeur (16-24) into sole possession of fourth place in NHL history. Bobrovsky’s career .708 winning percentage in playoff overtime is tops among active netminders (min. 5 GP).
 

Mikey Balhan Sports

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