The Toronto Maple Leafs finally break their 19-year curse
The GIST: The competition’s never been tighter, with a whopping 14 NHL first-round playoff games needing overtime (OT). And it could soon be 15 as the NY Rangers vs. NJ Devils meet for their Game 7 tonight at 8 p.m. ET.
- But with the dust settled on nearly all of the first-round series, here’s how round two is shaping up.
Eastern Conference: As mentioned, the Toronto Maple Leafs finally broke their first-round curse with Saturday’s 2–1 OT Game 6 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Started from the bottom now they’re here, and hungry for more.
- Next up, they’ll face the Wild Card Florida Panthers, who shocked the Stanley Cup favorite Boston Bruins 4–3 in OT in yesterday’s Game 7 to complete a massive turnaround. They don’t call ’em the comeback cats for nothing.
- Rounding out the East, cue the Jeopardy! theme because the Carolina Hurricanes are patiently waiting to face the winner of tonight’s aforementioned Hudson River rivalry Game 7.
Western Conference: The Canadian squads continued to deliver, as center Connor McDavid led the Edmonton Oilers to an explosive 5–4 Game 6 dub over the LA Kings on Saturday and a ticket to the second round for the second-straight year. But their reward? A date with their toughest competition yet, the Western Conference–leading Vegas Golden Knights.
- Elsewhere, the newbie Seattle Kraken earned their first-ever franchise playoff series win by taking down the injury-riddled defending champion Colorado Avalanche 2–1 in last night’s Game 7. Now for a round two date with the Dallas Stars. Bring it on.