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NHL Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – May 6, 2024

Wyatt Johnston and Radek Faksa scored each of the Stars’ two goals in what was another tightly-contested Game 7 as Dallas became the eighth and final team to advance to the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Mika Zibanejad led the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Rangers to a Game 1 victory against the Hurricanes in the Second Round as New York remained perfect to begin the postseason.

* The 2024 Second Round continues Monday as the Atlantic Division’s top two teams, the Panthers and Bruins, begin their rematch of last year’s thrilling seven-game opening-round series. For the full Second Round schedule, click here.


STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS SECOND CHANCE BRACKET PRESENTED BY BETWAY OPEN NOW 

With the First Round officially over and the eighth remaining team locked in, the Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Chance Bracket presented by Betway is open. One thing is for certain, the 2024 Second Round will be an interesting one as it marks the fifth time in 44 seasons (since 1980, the first with a 16-team playoff field) that the eight clubs in the second round of the playoffs finished among the top 10 in the NHL standings (also 2022, 2011, 1996 & 1980). 



* Four of the top five teams in each conference, based on regular-season standings points, will play in the Second Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs – the fourth time that has happened over the past 40 years (also 2022, 2011 & 1996).
 
* The No. 1 seed in each conference has advanced past the opening round for the sixth time in nine seasons under the Wild Card format (since 2013-14, excluding 2020 & 2021 due to format changes). That happened five times in the final nine seasons under the previous playoff format (from 2003-04 to 2012-13).

* The 2024 Second Round includes the likes of Connor McDavidNathan MacKinnonDavid PastrnakQuinn HughesJason Robertson, Artemi Panarin, Matthew Tkachuk and Sebastian Aho. Overall, players on the eight remaining teams have combined for 21 100-point seasons and nine 50-goal seasons over the past five years.



JOHNSTON, FAKSA COMBINE TO HELP STARS PREVAIL IN GAME 7
After Wyatt Johnston opened the scoring in front of the home crowd, Brett Howden tied up the winner-takes-all contest but Radek Faksa came in clutch, scoring the series-clinching goal 44 seconds into the third period to help the Stars take down the defending Stanley Cup champions in Game 7 and lock in a Second Round matchup with the Avalanche.



* The Stars became the second team in NHL history to win a best-of-seven series against the reigning Stanley Cup champions after dropping each of the first two games at home, joining the Avalanche (vs. DET in 1999 CSF).

* The Golden Knights’ defeat Sunday guarantees that there will be a new Stanley Cup champion for the 23rd time in 25 seasons (from 1998-99 to 2023-24). The only teams to repeat in that span are the Penguins (2016 & 2017) and Lightning (2020 & 2021). The eight remaining clubs have combined for only one of the past 12 Stanley Cup wins, with Colorado (2022) seeking its second Cup in three seasons.

* Johnston, who leads his team in goals and points this postseason (4-3—7), became the second player in NHL history to score a goal in each of his first two Game 7s at the age of 20 or younger (also 2023 R2), joining Jeremy Roenick (1990 DSF & DF w/ CHI).



* The Stars are now set to face the Avalanche in their sixth head-to-head Stanley Cup Playoffs series, following the 2020 Second Round2006 Conference Quarterfinals2004 Conference Quarterfinals2000 Conference Finals and 1999 Conference Finals. Dallas holds a slight edge with three wins in their five all-time best-of-seven meetings, including in their most recent matchup in the 2020 Second Round (4-3 W).



ZIBANEJAD IGNITES OFFENSE AS RANGERS OPEN SECOND ROUND WITH ANOTHER WIN
Mika Zibanejad (2-1—3), Vincent Trocheck (1-1—2) and Igor Shesterkin (22 saves) all helped the Rangers start their Second Round series the same way they ended their opening round, with a win. New York became the fourth Presidents’ Trophy winner to claim a victory in each of its first five or more games to start a postseason, a feat it also achieved in 1994 (7-0) when it last won the Stanley Cup. The only other teams to do so are the 2021 Avalanche (6-0) and the 1999 Stars (6-0) – Dallas also won the championship that year.

* Zibanejad collected all three of his points in the first period and extended his multi-point streak to four games. He became the third Rangers player with multiple three-point playoff periods (also in P2 in Game 2 of 2022 R1), joining J.T. Miller (2x) and Jean Ratelle (2x).



* Trocheck scored his team-best fourth goal of the 2024 postseason and boosted his totals to 4-4—8, second only to Zibanejad (3-7—10). In doing so, Trocheck became the 10th player in Rangers history with a four-game goal streak in the playoffs and the first since Zibanejad achieved the feat in 2022 (4 GP).

* Shesterkin has backstopped New York in all of its victories in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs and improved his career postseason win total to 18, passing Dave Kerr for sole possession of fourth on the franchise’s all-time wins list. He also joined Kerr (5 GP in 1937) as one of three Rangers goaltenders to win each of his team’s first five games of a postseason, with the other netminder being Mike Richter (7 GP in 1994).

QUICK CLICKS

May 5, 2024 edition of #NHLStats: Live Updates

Panthers ready for ‘great challenge’ of facing Bruins in Eastern 2nd Round

Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz: Thatcher Demko could return for Canucks in Second Round

Gerry Cheevers expecting ‘long, drag-’em out series’ between Panthers, Bruins

Aleksander BarkovAuston Matthews and Jordan Staal Voted Selke Trophy Finalists



ROUND TWO CONTINUES WITH BRUINS-PANTHERS MONDAY

A rematch of the 2023 First Round between the Bruins and Panthers which saw Florida, the Wild Card seed, erase a 3-1 series deficit and win in Game 7 overtime against League-leading Boston begins Monday – this time it’s the Panthers who finished in the Atlantic Division’s top seed, taking on the No. 2 Bruins. The two clubs competed in close games during 2023-24, with three out of four being one-goal contests.



* The Bruins swept the 2023-24 regular-season series against the Panthers (BOS: 4-0-0, FLA: 0-2-2) – the sixth time in franchise history that Boston has done so, following 2013-14 (5-0-0), 2016-17 (5-0-0), 2010-11 (4-0-0), 2001-02 (4-0-0) and 2012-13 (3-0-0). Meanwhile, the Panthers have won both of the previous two postseason series between the two clubs (2023 R1 & 1996 CQF).

* Matthew Tkachuk (3-6—9 in 5 GP) and Carter Verhaeghe (5-4—9 in 5 GP) both lead the Panthers with nine points through the opening round and will look to continue their production as they enter the Second Round. Their 1.80 points-per-game average could finish as the best postseason pace in Panthers history – the current mark is held by Jonathan Huberdeau who produced at a 1.67 pace in 2021.

* Brad Marchand (3-5—8 in 7 GP) led Boston through the First Round, recording half of the club’s game-winning goals. Only four Bruins players in the past 30 years have recorded more game winners in a single postseason: David Krejci (4 in 2011), Daniel Paille (3 in 2013), Nathan Horton (3 in 2013 & 2011) and Miroslav Satan (3 in 2010).

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