Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz: Golden Knights host Wild in Game 7

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Welcome to the Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz, a daily in-depth look at the 2021 NHL postseason. There is one playoff game scheduled for Friday and there were two Thursday.

On Tap

There is one game on the Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule Friday:

Minnesota Wild at Vegas Golden Knights (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS, ATTSN-RM, BSN, BSWI+): This is the first Game 7 of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, after the Wild defeated the Golden Knights 3-0 in Game 6 on Wednesday to extend this series. Wild goalie Cam Talbot has two shutouts and is fifth among all goalies with a .937 save percentage in the playoffs. The Wild are 3-0 all-time in Game 7 and the Golden Knights are 1-1. It’s the third time the Wild have forced a Game 7 after falling behind 3-1, advancing the previous two times. Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer has a 5-0 record in Game 7. The winner of this series will play the Colorado Avalanche in the second round.

What We Learned

Here are some takeaways from Day 12 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

Slavin makes an impact again

Yes, we see why the Carolina Hurricanes kept saying they missed defenseman Jaccob Slavin when he missed Games 2-4 with a lower-body injury. He showed in Game 6 why he’s one of the best defensemen in the League with two primary assists, including one on the game-tying goal and the other on the game-winner, when the Hurricanes defeated the Nashville Predators 4-3 in overtime of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup First Round on Thursday. Slavin played a game-high 25:42 and had two shots on goal and two blocked shots. He passed to defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who scored to tie the game 3-3 with 6:01 remaining in regulation. And his shot was redirected by forward Sebastian Aho 1:06 into overtime to help the Hurricanes eliminate the Predators and advance to the Stanley Cup Second Round against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Slavin was outstanding when the Hurricanes needed him most. — Tracey Myers, staff writer

Resilient Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens seemed exasperated heading into Game 5 of the Stanley Cup First Round against the Toronto Maple Leafs. They had been shut out 4-0 in Game 4 and scored four goals in four games. Their power play in the series was 0-for-13. In the previous three games they’d been outscored 7-1 and outshot 55-26 in the second period. A lot hadn’t gone right. It appeared that trend would continue when they surrendered a 3-0 lead in Game 5. Give Montreal credit. There were plenty of reasons to think they would succumb to all their adversity. Instead Nick Suzuki scored the overtime winner to give Montreal a 4-3 victory and help it stave off elimination. Having narrowed Toronto’s lead in the best-of-7 series to 3-2, the Canadiens return home with momentum for Game 6 Saturday. On a night they could have become disheartened, they impressively answered the bell. — Mike Zeisberger, staff writer

About Last Night

There were two playoff games Thursday:

Montreal Canadiens 4, Toronto Maple Leafs 3 (OT): Nick Suzuki scored 59 seconds into overtime in Game 5 as the Canadiens extended their best-of-7 series against the Maple Leafs, who lead 3-2. The Canadiens got 32 saves from Carey Price and two goals from Joel Armia to remain alive in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with Game 6 on Saturday. After the Canadiens took a 3-0 lead in the second period, the Maple Leafs came back to tie the game, getting two goals from Jake Muzzin, the second of which tied the score at 11:54 of the third period. Toronto forward William Nylander extended his point streak to five games (four goals, three assists) with two assists.

Carolina Hurricanes 4, Nashville Predators 3 (OT): The Hurricanes advanced to the Stanley Cup Second Round after an overtime win in Game 6 against the Predators on Thursday. Sebastian Aho scored the game-winning goal at 1:06 of overtime, redirecting a shot by Jaccob Slavin. It was Aho’s second goal of the game. Dougie Hamilton and Brock McGinn each had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes, who will face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round. The Predators had a 3-1 lead before the Hurricanes rallied to tie the game on Hamilton’s goal with 6:01 remaining in the third period, sending the series into overtime for the fourth straight game. Juuse Saros made 27 saves for the Predators; Alex Nedeljkovic made 24 for the Hurricanes. 

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