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Five things to know about the NHL playoffs for May 14

Is the sun about to set on the Boston Bruins season?
Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) argues with the referee during second period of second-round NHL playoff action against the Vancouver Canucks, in Edmonton, Sunday, May 12, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Will the sun set on the Boston Bruins’ playoff season in Sunrise tonight? Will Artus Silovs let his posts or pads make all the saves tonight in Edmonton? And will we see the day when officials have to explain their suspect calls that leave coaches fuming and shaking like bobbleheads?

Here are five things to know about the NHL playoffs:


We learned two things watching the Vancouver Canucks edge Edmonton 4-3 on Mother’s Day: Posts is not good goaltending, and dirty deeds on Oilers’ captain Connor McDavid aren’t done dirt cheap.

Oilers’ frustrated forward Leon Draisaitl was the killjoy of the Artty Party moments after rookie netminder Arturs Silovs made 42 stops, including 21 in the third period, to help the Canucks steal a win at Rogers Place.

Draisaitl stopped just short of saying the rival goalie had horseshoes up his Riga-raised rump, and made sure he wasn’t about to pump the Latvian’s tires on a night when his team needed two goalies just to make 14 saves.

Canucks’ defenceman Nikita Zadorov was fined $5,000 for cross-checking McDavid’s back as the game ended, and defensive teammate Carson Soucy was suspended a game for cross-checking McDavid’s face.


Oilers’ netminder Stuart Skinner, aware a lot of blaming fingers are pointed in his direction, faced the media yesterday and admitted he didn’t know if he was starting Game 4 tonight against the Vancouver Canucks, who lead the best-of-seven series 2-1.

That’s because his coach, Kris Knoblauch, said he needed to think about the crease crisis overnight before naming a starter. Calvin Pickard did third-period mop-up duty in Game 3 and is a candidate to replace Skinner.

Skinner hasn’t been at his very best against the Canucks, but believes he’s close to regular-season form and just needs a few “mental” adjustments.

He has a .793 save percentage through the first three games of the Canadian showdown. His regular-season save percentage was .905.


Like all teams facing elimination, the Boston Bruins have entered the one-game-at-a-time commentary zone.

While they’re still livid with the non-call on Sam Bennett’s hit that sent their captain and scoring leader Brad Marchand to the quiet room, the Bruins are trying to focus on winning Game 5 in Florida tonight and getting the turbulent series back to Beantown.

Veteran Pat Maroon, who has three Stanley Cup rings, said the recipe for a comeback against the red-hot Cats is more shots, less turnovers and, of course, better execution — all easier said than done.

The Panthers lost the first game of the series in Boston 5-1 then rattled off three straight wins, outscoring the Bruins 15-5 in the process.


Evgeny Kuznetsov gave packed Madison Square Garden his best impression of the flapping Birdman last night, perhaps fittingly as the film is about a down and out actor trying to make a big comeback.

Kuznetsov’s goal snapped a 1-1 tie and ignited a four-goal third period as the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the New York Rangers 4-1 to trim their deficit in the best-of-seven series to 3-2, with Game 6 on Thursday in North Carolina.

Jacob Trouba, with the Rangers’ fourth short-handed goal of the post-season, had given New York a 1-0 lead in the second period. The Rangers have lost two straight in the series, their only losses of the playoffs.


Coaches are used to making lineup adjustments on the fly due to injury, illness or poor performance. But a few hours before puck drop against the visiting Dallas Stars last night, Colorado bench boss Jared Bednar was caught off guard with a league memo.

Avalanche standout forward Valeri Nichushkin — who had nine goals and an assist in 10 post-season games — was suspended for six months without pay, and placed in the Stage 3 of the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program.

The 29-year-old was gone for nearly two months earlier this season to receive care from the program for issues that were not disclosed.

The Stars beat the Avalanche 5-1 to take a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven series.

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