NHL playoff matchups determined after frantic final night
Ducks Stars Hockey Dallas Stars left wing Jason Robertson (21) celebrates his goal right wing Alexander Radulov (47) during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Anaheim Ducks in Dallas, Friday, April 29, 2022. The Stars won 4-2. (AP Photo/LM Otero) (LM Otero)It took until the final game on the final night of the NHL regular season to set the matchups for the first round of the playoffs. Technically there's still one more inconsequential, weather-postponed game to be played on Sunday, but all eight first-round series are set. ___Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno___More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsCopyright 2022 The Associated Press.wftv.com
Radulov, Pavelski 2 goals as Stars beat Preds 7-0 in opener
(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)DALLAS – Joe Pavelski had two goals and two assists and Alexander Radulov also scored twice, helping Dallas beat the Nashville Predators 7-0 on Friday night in the Stars' delayed season opener. Five of Dallas' goals came in the second period, including three power-play goals and an unassisted short-handed wrist shot by Esa Lindell. Pavelski and Kiviranta added power-play goals in the third period, those against Pekka Rinne, who entered after Saros allowed five goals on 20 shots. CAPTAIN HURTStars captain Jamie Benn was injured when his right leg buckled awkwardly after a collision with Viktor Arvidsson in the second period. Three of the shots game in the first period, including a wraparound attempt into Khudobin’s pads and a hard second shot on the rebound.
Tampa Bay takes momentum into back-to-back Cup games
After consecutive games with three-goal periods, Tampa Bay has all of the momentum and a 2-1 series lead. Dallas' top line is without a goal against Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay then went ahead in Game 3 with two goals in an 85-second span before three goals in the second period of a 5-2 win. The NHL is playing Stanley Cup Final games on back-to-back nights for the first time since 2009, when Detroit won each of the first two games against Pittsburgh, which eventually won the series in seven games. In its only back-to-back this postseason, Tampa Bay won Games 2 and 3 in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs against Boston.
Stanley Cup: Stars and Lightning turn defense into offense
This is a Stanley Cup matchup for all of those who like their games to be a bit defensive. “In today’s NHL you need that for your team to be successful,” Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh said Friday. “We're not surprised,” Stars defenseman John Klingberg said. ... He’s doing it all right now.”The Stars signed 14-year veteran Andrej Sekera as a free agent last summer, and he is finally in his first Stanley Cup Final with his fifth team. “Everyone is obviously very hungry to go all of the way,” said Hedman, part of Tampa Bay's loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final five years ago.