NHL News

Stanley Cup Playoffs Daily: Blue Jackets, Sharks take the lead

Great goaltending and timely scoring were the name of the games on Tuesday night, as the Columbus Blue Jackets and San Jose Sharks took 2-1 leads in their respective series.

Here’s what happened in the NHL last night (check out replays of every playoff game on ESPN+) and what to watch for tonight, in today’s edition of ESPN Stanley Cup Playoffs Daily:

Jump ahead: Last night’s games | Three stars
Play of the night | Today’s games | Social post of the day


About last night …

Game 3: Columbus Blue Jackets 2, Boston Bruins 1 (Jackets lead series, 2-1). It’s incredible to think that Sergei Bobrovsky was supposed to be the guy to sink the Jackets in the playoffs, rather than the foundation on which their building a Stanley Cup run. He entered the playoffs with five wins and an .891 save percentage in 20 postseason starts. After his 36-save performance against the Bruins in Game 3, he’s won six of seven games, with a .937 save percentage and a 1.88 goals-against average.

Boone Jenner and Matt Duchene scored for the Blue Jackets, who won a second-round home game for first time in franchise history. Jake DeBrusk had the Bruins’ goal — one that was waved off initially but was reversed in video review after it was established that it was scored as “the culmination of a continuous play where the result was unaffected by the whistle.”

Game 3: San Jose Sharks 4, Colorado Avalanche 2 (Sharks lead series, 2-1). The Avalanche had all the momentum. Matt Nieto‘s goal at 11:45 of the third period tied the game at 2-2, a tally that felt inevitable given how the Avs had titled the ice. But 65 seconds later, Logan Couture had the answer to give San Jose the lead, and then added an empty netter to complete his hat trick and a huge 4-2 win in Denver. Timo Meier had the other goal for the Sharks. Nathan MacKinnon and Nieto scored for the Avs.

Three Stars

1. Logan Couture, C, San Jose Sharks

The Sharks center had himself a night with a hat trick in Game 3. He got the scoring going at 15:24 of the first period, netted his second of the game at 12:50 of the third period for a 3-2 lead and then iced it with an empty netter at 19:30. It’s just the second road hat trick in Sharks postseason history, joining Devin Setoguchi vs. Detroit in 2011. He now leads the playoffs with nine goals.

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1:10

Logan Couture scores one goal in the first, then two more in the third to power the Sharks to a 4-2 win and a 2-1 series lead over the Avalanche.

2. Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Columbus Blue Jackets

Officer Bobrovsky was on the case in Game 3. He made 36 saves in the game, but his 15 saves in the third period to preserve the Jackets’ 2-1 lead was the difference against Boston. Another brilliant performance for the pending unrestricted free agent (and his posts).

3. Martin Jones, G, San Jose Sharks

The Sharks goalie made 25 saves in Denver, some of them of the high-difficulty variety. He was essential in their killing off four Colorado power plays. Couture gave Jones a well-deserved shoutout after the game.

Play of the Night

Nathan MacKinnon‘s goal at 15:51 of the second period was a thing of beauty, a nasty shot over Jones after a Brent Burns turnover. But this coast-to-coast rush as the Avs pressed for the tying goal was incredible, even if it didn’t result in a tally.

Dud of the Night

Like any good heel, Brad Marchand knows exactly when the officials aren’t looking. There was no penalty here, and while there was hue and cry from fans about supplemental discipline, don’t expect it. Alas, this would be the only shot Marchand’s line would get in against Columbus, as they were held scoreless by the CBJ defense.

On the schedule

New York Islanders at Carolina Hurricanes, Game 3, 7 p.m. ET. (Hurricanes lead, 2-0)

Can the Islanders find their mojo on the road? They’ll take on goalie Curtis McElhinney, with Petr Mrazek out until at least Game 4. McElhinney, at 35 years, 343 days, will become the oldest goalie to make his first Stanley Cup playoff start. The Canes should get rookie Andrei Svechnikov back from the concussion he suffered in the Alex Ovechkin fight. Cal Clutterbuck is questionable for the Islanders.

St. Louis Blues at Dallas Stars, Game 3, 9:30 p.m. ET. (Blues lead, 2-1)

The Stars are trying to move past a tough loss, with the game-winner for the Blues scored with 1:38 left in regulation. “We have been in this situation before, we were down 2-1 last series, we have spoken a lot in this locker room about staying even keel,” said Stars defenseman Ben Lovejoy. “You win one playoff game, you feel like you can win the Stanley Cup, you can start planning your parade in your hometown. You lose one game, and it’s summertime. We have talked about being even keel, knowing that you need to come out and be ready for every game.”

Social post of the day

Wherein a cyborg Captain America Columbus Blue Jackets fan is overshadowed by a jubilant John Tortorella.

Quotable

“If my defense ever did stupid things like that, they would hear about it. And that was stupid.” — The venerable Don Cherry on Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton and the way he defended the Blue Jackets’ first goal of Game 3.

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