Welcome to the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz, your daily look at the stories impacting the sprint to the finish line of the 2016-17 Stanley Cup Playoffs. All 16 playoff berths have been decided, and final matchups were determined on Sunday. Here are the brackets for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Here is all the playoff news for Monday:
The marathon begins
A lot happened on the final day of the NHL regular season as one division title, four playoff positions and four Stanley Cup Playoff first-round matchups were determined. The NHL announced the dates, starting times and national television coverage for the first round of the playoffs, which begins Wednesday.
Now that all the first-round series have been determined, NHL fans can begin to share their predictions by way of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge. Register early and prove how great an NHL soothsayer you really are at NHL.com/Bracket.
Here’s a look at three of the 10 games Sunday that had an impact on playoff positioning and first-round matchups:
Anaheim Ducks 4, Los Angeles Kings 3 (OT):The Ducks clinched their fifth straight Pacific Division title when defenseman Shea Theodore scored his second goal of the season on a breakaway 53 seconds into overtime. Ducks right wing Patrick Eaves, who scored his 32nd goal of the season in the first period, left in the second because of an upper-body injury, but coach Randy Carlyle said that Eaves looked fine after the game. Eaves has 11 goals in 20 games with the Ducks since being acquired in a trade with the Dallas Stars before the NHL Trade Deadline. The victory means the Ducks will play the Calgary Flames in a Western Conference First Round series.
Edmonton Oilers 5, Vancouver Canucks 2: The Oilers finished second in the Pacific Division and will play the third-place San Jose Sharks in a first-round matchup in the West. Connor McDavid had two assists to reach 100 points on the season. At age 20 years, 86 days, he’s the third-youngest player in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) to lead the League in points, behind Sidney Crosby (19 years, 244 days in 2006-07) and Wayne Gretzky (20 years, 69 days in 1980-81). McDavid enters the playoffs with 25 points (seven goals, 18 assists) during a 14-game point streak. The Oilers ended the season with a franchise record nine-game home win streak.
Columbus Blue Jackets 3, Toronto Maple Leafs 2: The Maple Leafs had an opportunity with a win or a loss in overtime or the shootout to pass the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division, but instead will play the Washington Capitals as the second wild card in the East. The Bruins clinched third place in the Atlantic and will face the Ottawa Senators in the playoffs for the first time. Maple Leafs defenseman Nikita Zaitsev left the game with an upper-body injury after playing one shift in the second period but coach Mike Babcock said he is not concerned about Zaitsev’s status for Game 1 against the Capitals. Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews didn’t have a point, but finished with 40 goals and 69 points to lead all rookies this season. The Blue Jackets ended a six-game losing streak (0-5-1) and will play the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round.
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