Monday, May 20, 2024

NHL Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – May 7, 2024

* Defensemen Mason Lohrei and Brandon Carlo sparked a Bruins offense in a Game 1 win to begin the Second Round, with the latter doing so after he and his wife welcomed their son into the world earlier Monday morning.

Jeremy Swayman continued to hold the opposition’s offense at bay as the Bruins netminder surrendered two or fewer goals for the seventh consecutive time to start the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

* The 2024 NHL Draft Lottery, which will determine the order of selection for the first 16 picks of the 2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft, is set for tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

* More Second Round action headlines a two-game Tuesday in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which also includes the series opener between Nathan MacKinnon and the Avalanche and Jason Robertson and the Stars for Game 1 in Dallas.


The 2024 NHL Draft Lottery will take place Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. ET from NHL Network’s Secaucus, N.J., studio, ahead of the Second Round Game 2 between the Hurricanes and Rangers (ESPN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports). The 2024 NHL Draft Lottery will determine the order of selection for the first 16 picks in the first round of the 2024 NHL Draft. Participants are all teams that did not qualify for the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs (or the teams that have acquired the first-round drafting positions of those non-playoff teams).

Click here for Information Guide (Odds & Look-up table)
Click here for Draft Lottery format
Click here for NHL Central Scouting’s Final Draft Rankings


Following a four-game sweep of the regular-season series, the Bruins continued their winning ways against the Panthers in Game 1 thanks to a pair of goals from the blue line – including one from Brandon Carlo, who showcased his renewed dad strength after he celebrated the birth of his son Monday morning – and another near-perfect performance from Jeremy Swayman (38 saves on 39 shots).

Mason Lohrei, whoscored the second of five unanswered Bruins goals, became the fourth rookie defenseman to record a game-winning postseason goal for the franchise as well as the NHL’s ninth different rookie blueliner in the past 20 years to achieve the feat and first since Colorado’s Cale Makar (Game 6 of 2020 R2). Lohrei also became the first player born in the state of Louisiana to find the back of the net in the Stanley Cup Playoffs; Minnesota (97 players) leads a list of 36 represented states.

* As Swayman logged his seventh start of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Boston allowed three or fewer goals in each of its first eight contests of a postseason for the third time in franchise history – trailing only a pair of 12-game runs to start 1999 and 1939. The Bruins are the first team to accomplish the feat since the Islanders and Canadiens each had 10-game stretches to begin 2020.


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The Second Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs continues Tuesday with the Western Conference getting into the act when Nathan MacKinnon and the Avalanche visit Jason Robertson and the Stars for Game 1 in Dallas. Prior to that, the Hurricanes will look to even their Second Round series with the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Rangers, who have yet to lose a game this postseason.

* The Avalanche-Stars series will see two high-octane offenses go head-to-head, after Colorado led all teams in the regular season with 304 goals for (including shootout-deciding goals) while Dallas led all teams in the 2023-24 season with eight different 20-goal scorers.

* The high-scoring nature of both clubs has made for many memorable games recently, with each team averaging over three goals per game in the 11 head-to-head meetings they have had since 2020-21 (COL: 3.64; DAL: 3.09). The star players have led the way over that 11-game span, with Joe Pavelski (9-4—13 in 11 GP) and Jason Robertson (5-8—13 in 11 GP) leading the way for the Stars and Nathan MacKinnon (7-5—12 in 10 GP), Mikko Rantanen (4-7—11 in 10 GP) and Cale Makar (2-9—11 in 11 GP) doing the same for the Avalanche.

* This will mark the second Stanley Cup Playoffs series featuring one franchise who eliminated the reigning champions and one team who ousted the club with that season’s William M. Jennings Trophy winner(s) in their previous round. The first was between the Bruins and Devils in the 1994 Conference Semifinals after Boston and New Jersey eliminated Montreal (1993 Stanley Cup) and Buffalo (1993-94 Jennings), respectively, during the Conference Quarterfinals.


After the Rangers prevailed with a one-goal victory in Game 1 on Sunday, the Hurricanes will look to even the series in Game 2 and hand the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Rangers (5-0) their first loss of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

* Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen has bounced back in starts following a loss across the past two seasons. Since the start of the 2022-23 campaign, Andersen has a 12-5-1 record in starts following a loss (regular season & playoffs combined) with a 2.22 goals-against average, .910 save percentage and two shutouts. That includes a 3-0-0 mark in 2023-24 (1.34 GAA, .944 SV%, 1 SO).

Mika Zibanejad (3-7—10 in 5 GP) leads the Rangers offense and has recorded multiple points in each of his last four games. With another multi-point outing in Game 2, Zibanejad would become the first player in Rangers history to record five consecutive multi-point games in the playoffs and just the seventh active player to do so, joining Connor McDavid (7 GP in 2022 & 6 GP in 2023), Leon Draisaitl (6 GP in 2022), Evgeni Malkin (6 GP in 2009), Nathan MacKinnon (5 GP in 2020), Mark Scheifele (5 GP in 2018) and Sidney Crosby (5 GP in 2010).

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