After a shocking first round, who is ready for more? The second round is officially underway and looks to bring just as much excitement, despite both higher seeds winning on Thursday night (for a change).
Here's a recap of Thursday night's action (check out replays of every playoff game on ESPN+) and what to watch for Friday night, in today's edition of ESPN Stanley Cup Playoffs Daily:
About last night ...
Game 1: Boston Bruins 3, Columbus Blue Jackets 2 (OT) (Bruins lead the series, 1-0). The Bruins came out hot. The Blue Jackets looked like a team settling in after a week off. But then, Columbus scored two goals in 13 seconds (by Brandon Dubinsky and Pierre-Luc Dubois, after the scoresheet was corrected), and we had a game. In the end, it was third-line center Charlie Coyle who played hero to the home crowd at TD Garden and all the hometown fans back in Weymouth, Massachusetts.
Game 1: St. Louis Blues 3, Dallas Stars 2 (Blues lead the series, 1-0). Vladimir Tarasenko's first of two goals came on the power play (for a penalty he drew), and his second proved to be the game-winner. It's the first power-play goal the Stars have allowed this postseason. It wasn't the best night for Dallas goalie Ben Bishop, who allowed a goal to Robby Fabbri on the opening shot, then heard his hometown St. Louis crowd chant his name derisively for most of the night.
Hometown boy comes home, does good. Coyle, who fell out of favor in Minnesota, has been everything you'd want in a trade-deadline acquisition; at times, he was the Bruins' best forward in the first-round series. Now he scores the game-tying and overtime goals to open Round 2.
Tarasenko started the season slowly as he recovered from offseason shoulder surgery. He's as hot as ever, with two goals on Thursday. Only two Blues players in history have more playoff goals than Tarasenko: Brett Hull and Bernie Federko.
The kid continues to impress. He stopped 16 of 17 shots in the third period alone (including a few wild ones). Binnington's five postseason wins are now the most by a St. Louis rookie goaltender.
Play of the night
Vlad Tarasenko gets his second of the game pic.twitter.com/fCsNULcto4
- Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 26, 2019
That's how you drive to the net.
Dud of the night
Marchand steps on Atkinson's stick... pic.twitter.com/VB8KwfZFHg
- Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) April 26, 2019
Uhh... not cool, Brad.
On the schedule
These are two plucky underdogs battling it out, but there's one storyline you'll hear more than any other one heading into Game 1: The Canes are likely exhausted -- physically and emotionally -- after grinding out their series against the defending champion Washington Capitals two days ago. The Isles have been resting up for a week. Our take? That might make for a sloppy first period, but things should settle after that.
The Sharks are a bit banged up and will be without captain Joe Pavelski for at least one game. The Avs, meanwhile, are getting healthier. Defenseman Samuel Girard, who missed the last three games of the Calgary series, is healthy and ready to go. Could we see both Girard and Cale Makar on a power-play unit together (as suggested in practice on Thursday)? Derick Brassard (illness) is available too.
Social post of the day
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It's been a crazy past two weeks but here are my wife's words! (she says it perfectly) #AGTG -Hey everyone..we have a DAUGHTER! 💛🌸 -Man oh man. Adoption is, by far, the most amazing, difficult, beautiful, exhausting, emotional, exciting, incredible journey that we have ever embarked on. But it all led us to THIS. It all led us to HER. God's plans were SO MUCH BETTER than anything that we could have dreamt of. -There really aren't words to describe the feelings that are felt when the absolute strongest woman that you have ever met chooses to trust you to raise her child. E's birthmom is easily the bravest person we know. She chose life for this precious baby girl. She selflessly chose to carry E for 9 months, knowing that she would not be the one to take her home. I'm crying as I type this because my feelings and connection with her run just as deep as they do with our daughter. She is our hero and she is our family. -And oh, baby E. This girl. This beautiful, perfect, snuggly baby girl. Being chosen to be her parents is an honor that we will never grow numb to. She is the absolute best thing in our world. Our bond with her was instantaneous. She is the greatest gift of our lives. WE are the lucky ones in this story. 👶🏾🎀 -And finally, God. Our loving Father. My goodness, how much I feel His love for me as I love on her. To know that He adopted me into His family is something that hits me so much harder than it did 2 weeks ago. He sought after me and took me as His own child. He gives me (and all of the other saints) the same inheritance as His own Son. We were brought into His family by no doings of our own, but by His love and mercy. And that, too, is something that pray will never grow old to us. ✝️ -We ask that everyone be respectful to the privacy of E and her birthmother, as we cannot and will not disclose their stories to the world... because they are THEIR stories. We also cannot post pictures of E's face or her name until the finalization of the adoption, which could be many months. (Which sucks because the world deserves to see this precious face!!!😍) Please keep us all in your prayers as we go through this journey and transition!
A sweet moment for Canes defenseman Jaccob Slavin and his family.
Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee said the NHL apologized to the Knights for an incorrect major penalty call that opened the door for a four-goal San Jose Sharks rally and eventual victory in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series, and added: "There will be no pity parties. Stuff happens in games. We're going to take the rearview mirror out and put a real good team on the ice next year. We're not going to carry around a big suitcase full of yesterdays."
- Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) April 25, 2019
You never want to be caught carrying a big suitcase full of yesterdays.