As the East prepares for the NHL Playoffs Conference Final the West is still undetermined with both series going to Game 7 today and tomorrow.
On Monday night, the Boston Bruins defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0 to seal a 4-2 series win while the Carolina Hurricanes surprised everyone with a series sweep of the New York Islanders. The Eastern Conference Final between the Bruins and Hurricanes begins on Thursday at Boston’s TD Garden.
In the West, the Dallas Stars will face off against the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 on Tuesday night while the Colorado Avalanche will face the San Jose Sharks in their Game 7 on Wednesday.
Here’s what you need to know as the NHL Playoffs, Round Two comes to an end:
Dallas Stars vs. St. Louis Blues
The Blues faced elimination on Sunday night at Dallas’ American Airlines Center and rallied to a 4-1 win to force Tuesday’s Game 7. After missing the playoffs in 2018, the Blues will try to make it to the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2016, when they lost to the Sharks in six games.
The Blues defeated the Winnipeg Jets in six games to reach the second round, while the Stars defeated the heavily favoured Nashville Predators also in six games to meet the Blues in the second round for the second time in as many trips to the playoffs. In 2016, the Blues offered up a 6-1 Game 7 beat down to win the series.
This series has been close with every game, aside from the Blues’ 4-1 Game 6 win, decided by a goal or two. However, the Stars are 4-2 in road games in these playoffs and have a 2-1 record at St. Louis’ Enterprise Center. They have also been the Western Conference’s best defensive team with a 2.33 goals-against average.
It’s anyone’s guess who will take this series at this point.
Colorado Avalanche vs. San Jose Sharks
The Avalanche avoided elimination on Monday night with a valiant 4-3 overtime win to force Game 7. The Avs had the early jump on the game but the Sharks kept coming, tying up the game three times and forcing overtime with a late third-period tally. Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog sealed the win at 2:32 of overtime to keep the Avs’ Stanley Cup hopes alive.
The series now heads to San Jose’s SAP Center for the deciding Game 7 on Wednesday night.
Despite the home-ice advantage, this is the second Game 7 in as many series for the ageing Sharks, who defeated the Vegas Golden Knights in a hard-fought series in round one. To their advantage, however, the Sharks have a 7-4 record in Game 7s all-time while the Avs are 4-6.
The teams have traded victories in this series since the Sharks took Game 1 at home. Can the Avs make it two in a row?