Cam Atkinson scored early in the third period and the Columbus Blue Jackets got a historic performance in net to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-0 in the opener of a best-of-five qualifying series in Toronto on Sunday night.
Joonas Korpisalo, making his career playoff debut, stopped 28 shots to earn the first playoff shutout in the history of the Blue Jackets.
Atkinson gave Columbus a 1-0 lead at 1:05 of the third period with his eighth career playoff goal on a shot from the top of the right circle after a breakout down the wing. David Savard earned an assist. Alexander Wennberg added an empty-net goal at 19:41 of the third period.
Frederik Andersen made 33 saves in the Toronto goal.
Wild 3, Canucks 0
Alex Stalock made 28 saves for the shutout victory and Jared Spurgeon collected three points as Minnesota topped Vancouver in Game 1 of their Western Conference qualifying round series in Edmonton.
Game 1 was just Stalock’s second playoff start and fifth overall postseason appearance of his nine-year NHL career. The Wild didn’t reveal their starting goaltender until close to game time, leaving the Canucks guessing as to whether Stalock or the more playoff-tested Devan Dubnyk would be in net.
Spurgeon had two goals and an assist, setting a career best for points in a playoff game. The forward scored one of the Wild’s two power-play goals as well as an empty-net goal in the final minute of play. Eric Staal had two assists for the 10th multi-point playoff game of his career. The veteran forward has 48 points (20 goals, 28 assists) over 59 career playoff games.
Avalanche 2, Blues 1
Nazem Kadri’s buzzer-beater with one-tenth of a second remaining in the game was the difference as Colorado claimed a thrilling win over St. Louis in a Western Conference round-robin clash in Edmonton.
With the Avalanche on a power play and buzzing around the net with all kinds of chances, Kadri pounced on a loose puck in the slot and fired it home just before the clock hit zero in both teams’ first clash since the NHL resumed play after the 4 1/2-month pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It took a lengthy review before it was declared to be a good goal, and served as a thrilling finish as both clubs began gearing up for the upcoming Stanley Cup playoffs.
Despite the Avalanche holding a drastic edge in play, Blues forward David Perron opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 16:46 of the opening frame. Colorado defenseman Ryan Graves finally solved Blues goalie Jordan Binnington and cued the comeback when he evened the count at 5:33 of the third period.
Coyotes 4, Predators 3
Michael Grabner scored a short-handed breakaway goal in the second period which proved to be the difference in Arizona’s victory over Nashville in Game 1 of their best-of-five NHL qualifying series in Edmonton.
Phil Kessel and Taylor Hall had two assists each for the Coyotes, who also got first-period goals from Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Christian Dvorak and Clayton Keller.
Filip Forsberg scored twice for the Predators and Ryan Ellis added a goal. Roman Josi added two assists for the Nashville crew.
Flyers 4, Bruins 1
Michael Raffl collected a goal and an assist to lift Philadelphia past Boston in the opener of the Eastern Conference round-robin tournament in Toronto.
Scott Laughton, Nate Thompson and defenseman Philippe Myers each scored a goal and Carter Hart made 34 saves for the Flyers, who had won nine of 10 before the shutdown in March.
Chris Wagner scored the lone goal for the Bruins, who are jockeying with the Flyers, Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning to determine the Eastern Conference’s seeding of its top four clubs. Boston goaltender Jaroslav Halak made 25 saves while making his first playoff start since 2015. He got the nod in place of Tuukka Rask, who was ill.
–Field Level Media