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Hockey Daily Dose

Reilly Smith leads Vegas to 2-0 series lead

by Corey Abbott
Updated On: August 14, 2020, 11:00 pm ET

Some potentially troublesome injury news dominated the day. Shortly before games were about to commence on Thursday, announcements were made by Columbus, Vegas and Boston that Cam Atkinson, Max Pacioretty and David Pastrnak, respectively, would be unavailable to play. They are believed to be dealing with injuries and were deemed to be “unfit to play.” 

Additionally, Calgary lost Matthew Tkachuk in Game 2 against Dallas. He left for the dressing room a few times in the contest, but had trouble getting off the ice after he was pancaked between Jamie Benn and Jamie Oleksiak.

The Washington Capitals didn’t have a game Thursday, but revealed that Nicklas Backstrom was in concussion protocol and he wouldn’t play in Game 2 against the New York Islanders on Friday.

Check out the Injury Report for updates on the league’s wounded players. 

There was some good news, though, as Lars Eller is expected to be back on Friday, while the Hurricanes had Sami Vatanen and Justin Williams return to the fold on Thursday. 

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COLUMBUS 3 TAMPA BAY 1 (Series tied 1-1)

Oliver Bjorkstrand got the game winner in Game 2 versus Tampa Bay at the 18:35 mark of the first period. He found the back of the net for a second straight match and gave the Blue Jackets a power-play goal for a second consecutive contest. Bjorkstrand didn’t have a point in the qualifying round and the power play was 0-for-14 against Toronto. 

Ryan Murray got the first career postseason goal to get Columbus on the board shortly after Nick Foligno got the Blue Jackets their first shot on goal at the 12:33 mark of the first period. The Lightning had the first 10 shots of the contest.

Alexander Wennberg’s second tally of the postseason gave Columbus what seemed like an insurmountable 3-1 lead during the third period. 

Joonas Korpisalo has been red hot in the crease for the Blue Jackets. He has stopped 154 of the 158 shots he has faced in three starts since he was pulled in Game 3 of the qualifying round. He made 36 saves on Thursday, which must’ve felt like a walk in the park after he stopped 85 of 88 shots in Tuesday’s 3-2 quintuple overtime loss. 

Andrei Vasilevskiy wasn’t on the same level in Game 2 after he was superb in the series opener versus Columbus. He had a save percentage of .864 on Thursday. 

Nikita Kucherov opened the scoring at the 5:24 mark of the first frame for his second goal of the postseason. Brayden Point extended his point streak to five straight games with an assist. He has three goals and three helpers during that span. 

Game 3 is scheduled for Saturday. 

CHICAGO 3 VEGAS 4 (OT) (Vegas leads series 2-0) 

Reilly Smith supplied the overtime winner at 7:13 of the first extra period to give Vegas a fifth straight victory since the start of the round robin. He also had an assist in the match to give him three goals and four assists in the postseason. 

Paul Stastny also notched one goal and one assist on Thursday for Vegas. He opened the scoring just past the midway point of the first period. Stastny also set up Smith’s game winner. He didn’t have a point in four games going into the contest. 

Mark Stone and Tomas Nosek scored the other goals for Vegas in the win, while Jonathan Marchessault collected a pair of assists. Nosek got back in the lineup because Pacioretty was unavailable. 

Robin Lehner made a second straight start and he blocked 22 shots in the victory. 

Lehner was beaten by Kirby Dach’s first postseason goal, Dominik Kubalik’s fourth and Dylan Strome’s second in the contest. 

Patrick Kane registered three assists — two of which were primary — in the defeat, while Corey Crawford defended 35 shots. 

Game 3 is slated for Saturday. 

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CAROLINA 3 BOSTON 2 (Series tied 1-1)

Dougie Hamilton scored the game-winning goal 8:30 into the third period. He returned to the lineup on Wednesday from an injury he suffered during summer training camp. 

Teuvo Teravainen got his second goal of the postseason during a second-period power play and Andrei Svechnikov scored his fourth marker of the playoffs just over one minute later. Svechnikov also added an assist in the win. 

Martin Necas accounted for two helpers to give him four points, including three assists, in five postseason appearances. 

James Reimer stopped 33 shots for the victory. He got the nod after Petr Mrazek started the first half of the back-to-back on Wednesday. It will be interesting to see who starts in Game 3. 

David Krejci and Brad Marchand generated one goal and one assist apiece on Thursday night. They both scored power-play markers in the match, as the Bruins went 2-for-3 with the man advantage. Boston was 0-for-13 on the power play going into Thursday’s game. 

Tuukka Rask started for a second consecutive day following Wednesday’s double overtime win in Game 1. He blocked 23 shots in Thursday’s loss. 

The Hurricanes and Bruins will be back in action for Game 3 on Saturday. 

CALGARY 4 DALLAS 5 (Series tied 1-1)

The Flames got off to a hot start with Dillon Dube’s fourth goal of the postseason just 19 seconds into Game 2, but Dallas took over shortly afterward.

Alexander Radulov and Miro Heiskanen scored their first goals of the playoffs to give the Stars the lead going into the first intermission. Radulov also added an assist for his first points of the postseason. 

Heiskanen potted another goal early in the second and Corey Perry’s power-play marker gave the Stars a 4-2 lead entering the third period. John Klingberg picked up two helpers in the match.

Derek Forbort scored the first postseason goal of his career to give him two points in two matches versus Dallas in the series. 

Tobias Rieder got his second shorthanded goal of this playoffs to make things interesting in the last half of the third period with a one-goal game. 

Sam Bennett’s third goal of the postseason tied the game at 17:11 of the third frame during a late Calgary power play and it looked like the match would be going overtime. 

However, Jamie Oleksiak scored with only 39.2 seconds remaining to put the Stars back on top. It was the second goal of the postseason for the Dallas defender. He jumped into the play and fired in a cross-ice pass from Perry to even the best-of-seven series. 

Ben Bishop played for the first time since Aug. 3, which was Dallas’ round-robin opener. He stopped 22 of 26 shots on Thursday for the win. Cam Talbot made 31 saves in the loss, as his three-game win streak came to an end. 

Dallas and Calgary will be right back at it for Game 3 on Friday night.

Corey Abbott

Corey Abbott is an Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @CoreAbbott.