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What’s Going On In The Playoffs: Four teams have been eliminated, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Nashville on the brink of elimination

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Photo credit:© Jayne Kamin-Oncea - USA Today
Ryley Delaney
1 month ago
The second round of the playoffs is nearly here, but there are still some series that need wrapping up.
If you didn’t read last Wednesday’s article, this is a new weekly series looking at the National Hockey League playoffs, a replacement for the What’s Going On In The Pacific Division article. Four teams have already been eliminated from the ultimate goal in hockey, while three teams are on the brink.
Let’s dig into the latest edition of What’s Going On In The Playoffs!

Vancouver up three games to two over Nashville

What a series this is turning out to be. Last time we looked, the two teams were heading to Nashville with a series split after the Predators blocked a metric crap ton of shots in Game 2. They turned it around in Game 3, outshooting the Vancouver Canucks 30-12. However, Casey DeSmith saved all but one shot, as he stole a 2-1 win to take the 2-1 series lead.
Game 4 was even more wild, as the Predators had a 3-1 lead with just under three minutes remaining. However, Brock Boeser scored to make it 3-2, Colton Sissons hit the post on an empty net, and Boeser scored his hat trick goal with barely any time remaining on the clock to send it to overtime, where former Calgary Flame Elias Lindholm ended it, giving the Canucks a 3-1 series lead.
The Predators didn’t make the same mistake in Game 5 though, as they were able to keep the Canucks off the board with the empty net, defeating the British Columbian team to send the series back to Nashville.
Game 6 will be played on Friday and if the Canucks win, they’ll move on to face either the Edmonton Oilers or the Los Angeles Kings… but probably the former. It’s worth noting that the sooner the Canucks are out, the higher the Calgary Flames will pick.

Edmonton has a commanding 3-1 series lead against Los Angeles

Since the last “What’s Going On In The Playoffs” (WGOITP), the Edmonton Oilers have expanded their series lead to 3-1. Last Wednesday in Game 2, the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Oilers 5-4 in overtime, with Stuart Skinner having a not-so-great game. It was an entirely winnable game for the Oilers, but the Kings picked up the win early in the extra period.
Game 3 was the total opposite, as the Oilers dominated the Kings and won 6-1, taking an early 3-0 lead and never looking back. The two teams combined for 92 penalty minutes, including a massive scrum that led to Evander Kane (who was the one being hit) fighting Andreas Englund. Somehow, the Kings were down to a 5 on 3 after this, allowing the Oilers to score.
The Kings played much better in Game 4, but still fell 1-0 to the Oilers. Despite the score, the Oilers were out shot 33-13, but didn’t allow the Kings to shot on Skinner for the remaining 6:32 of the game. This team certainly can close out games.
Game 5, which may be Los Angeles’ final game of the season, comes on Wednesday at 8 PM MT in Edmonton.

Colorado has eliminated the Winnipeg Jets

The first team to be eliminated in the Western Conference were the Winnipeg Jets, as they fell 4-1 in the series to the 2022 Stanley Cup Champions.
In the last article, the teams split the series and headed  to Denver. The Jets held a 2-1 lead heading into the third period, but allowed five unanswered goals to fall 6-2 in Game 3. It wasn’t much different in Game 4, as the two teams were tied at one heading into the second period, before the Colorado Avalanche scored three unanswered goals in the third period en route to a 5-1 win.
The series was all but done when the series returned to Winnipeg in Game 5, but the two teams were tied at three early in the third period. However, the Jets once again allowed three unanswered goals, losing 6-3.

Vegas and Dallas tied 2-2

Interestingly, this was the only series of the eight to be evened up after the first four games. The Vegas Golden Knights took the first game in Dallas, but also won Game 2, beating the Presidents’ Trophy winners 3-1.
However, the Dallas Stars got both wins back when the series turned to Vegas, as Game 3 went to overtime where youngster Wyatt Johnston ended the game late in the fourth period. Game 4 ended 4-2, but was a close game until Roope Hintz scored his first goal of the series in the empty net.
Calgary Flames fans want Vegas to win this series, as if they win a playoff series, the 2024 third round pick they received in the Noah Hanifin trade will upgrade to a 2025 second rounder if they win a playoff series. The conditional on the 2026 third round from the Stars in the Chris Tanev trade will only head to Calgary if the Stars make it to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Toronto down 3-2 in the series

Let’s just put this simply: The Eastern Conference, at least for round one, was incredibly boring. This is the only ongoing series in the East, and the Boston Bruins still took a 3-1 series lead.
In Game 3, they defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs thanks to three third period goals, including taking a 3-2 lead less than a minute after Toronto tied it up. The fourth game of the series was a lot less close, as the Leafs went down 3-0 heading into the third period, before Mitch Marner scored his first playoff goal of the series just over five minutes into the period.
Without Auston Matthews, the Leafs were able to defeat the Bruins 2-1 in overtime at TD Garden to send the series back to Toronto. This isn’t the first time the Leafs have been down 3-1 in a series against the Leafs, as they were down in the 2013 and the 2018 playoffs, forcing a Game 7 in both series.

Florida eliminated their state rivals

One of the more exciting series in the east, the Tampa Bay Lightning lost the series 4-1 to their state rival, the Florida Panthers.
Game 3 saw the Lightning pick up the lead in the second period, but three unanswered goals from the Panthers saw the score go to 4-2 in their favour. The Lightning scored a goal with just over five minutes left in the game, but weren’t able to get the game-tying goal.
Right-shot defenceman Mikhail Sergachev returned in Game 4 after a horrific leg injury ended his regular season. He picked up an assist en route to a 6-3 Lightning win, extending the series to five games. However, the Panthers demolished the Lightning in Game 5, beating the 2020 and 2021 Stanley Cup Champions 6-1.

New York Islanders fell in five games to the Carolina Hurricanes

A snooze fest of a series, the New York Islanders also went down 3-0 in the series with a 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3. They avoided a sweep in Game 4 with a Double Overtime win, but allowed two goals in quick succession in Game 5 (similar to Game 2) for the Hurricanes to overtake the Islanders.
Hopefully the next series the Hurricanes are in will be a lot more interesting.

New York Rangers swept the Washington Capitals

It was pretty clear that this series was going to end in a sweep for the New York Rangers, as they defeated the Washington Capitals in Game 1 and Game 2 at Madison Square Garden.
In Game 3, the Capitals jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period, but the Rangers quickly answered less than a minute later. Exactly two minutes later, Barclay Goodrow scored the game-winning goal to make it 2-1, with the Rangers winning 3-1. It was the last time the Capitals had a lead, but in Game 4, the game was tied at two until an Artemi Panarin goal early in the third period.
An empty netter sealed the Capitals fate, losing the game 4-2 and the series 4-0. Still, they gave the best team in the Eastern Conference a good series, keeping most games close.
Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Twitter @Ryley_L_D.
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