Playoffs Round Up: Carolina in four

You heard it here first, the Carolina Hurricanes are going to sweep.

Sure, the San Jose Sharks had a comeback like no other in round one of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but another wonderful storyline across the league has been the rise of the Carolina Hurricanes. After winning Game 7 against the defending champion Washington Capitals, they continue to soar as the only team up 2-0, while the first week of the second round comes to a close.

Eastern Conference

Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Islanders

Bet ya thought we wouldn’t see a Carolina Hurricanes/New York Islanders round two match up, huh? Well it’s 2019, this is what we get and I am thankful. After fighting a hard seven-game series against the Washington Capitals, the Carolina Hurricanes kept winning games. Game 1 against the New York Islanders went scoreless until overtime. Both teams tossed around great chances, putting pucks on net to no avail. Jordan Staal saved the day, netting the winner, while his goaltender Petr Mrazek made 31 saves.

Game 2 saw more fight from the Islanders, but the game still ended in Carolina’s favor. Carolina goals from Warren Foegele and Nino Niederreiter led the ‘Canes to a 2-1 win. The Islanders found the net thanks to Mathew Barzal, who struck first. Carolina couldn’t find the net until the third period.

Some not-so-good news for Carolina involved injuries. Sunday saw Trevor van Riemsdyk, Saku Maenalanen and Petr Mrazek out of the line up. Yikes! Maenalanen will undergo hand surgery, expected to be out for up to a week, while van Riemsdyk will apparently not return anytime soon. Curtis McElhinney will probably see some time in net now.

Game 3 is Wednesday at 4 p.m. PT.

Boston Bruins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

The series between the Boston Bruins and Columbus Blue Jackets currently sits at a split. The first game ended in a 3-2 overtime victory for Boston. The Bruins got a goal in the first period, but Columbus bounced back and found a 2-1 lead come the third period. The Bruins put up a fight and found a tying goal thanks to Charlie Coyle, who went on to score the winning goal in overtime as well. Charlie Coyle, who was traded to Boston at the deadline, has five goals in nine playoff games.

Game 2 ended 3-2 yet again, but this time in Columbus’ favor. Oh yeah, this one ended in overtime too! Double overtime at that. The Bruins found another early lead, letting it go by the second period. A goal wasn’t be scored again until trade deadline acquisition Matt Duchene netted the winner. This game was chippy. Boston’s Sean Kuraly took a high-stick  to the eye and was practically crying blood, so that was fun. While Josh Anderson served his four minute major, Zdeno Chara was also sitting in the box for a cross check. I think these two teams are starting to find some beef.

Someone will gain a series lead on Tuesday at 4 p.m. PT.

Western Conference

Dallas Stars vs. St. Louis Blues

Only one series to cover now in the West. This series is definitely the most important to Sharks fans, of course. Whoever wins this series could be a team we see for at least four games, if everything ends in our favor. These games between the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues has been neck-to-neck. Each team has one a game a piece, splitting the series as it heads back to Texas. Game 1 ended 3-2, with St. Louis coming out on top, despite Dallas outshooting them 29-20. They scored one goal each period, thanks in part to Vladimir Tarasenko who had two of them. Ben Bishop made 17 saves for Dallas.

The Stars weren’t going to go down without a fight. They came back tough, winning 4-2 in Game 2. Dallas opened up the first period with three goals. Roope Hintz started scoring for the Stars and ended it as well, with an empty netter. St. Louis stepped their shots on goal up this game, challenging Ben Bishop with 34. Jordan Binnington also faced 34 shots from the Stars. Weird!