Uh-oh, could we be seeing a second-round sweep? After taking care of Barry Trotz's old team in the first round in seven games, the Carolina Hurricanes are now up 3-0 on his current team, the New York Islanders.
Here's a recap of last night's action (check out replays of every playoff game on ESPN+) and what to watch for tonight, in today's edition of ESPN Stanley Cup Playoffs Daily:
About last night ...
Game 3: Carolina Hurricanes 5, New York Islanders 2 (Hurricanes lead the series 3-0). Oh, how quickly it has soured for the Islanders. We knew they'd have a hard time generating offense this postseason, but this series has been a particular struggle. It's rare to climb out of an 0-3 deficit (though in this year's wacky playoffs, who would rule out anything?). Only four teams in NHL history have done it; the most recent was the 2014 Kings. Carolina, once again, put on a show for the home crowd, with an especially big third-period goal from captain Justin Williams. It proved to be the winner.
Game 4: Dallas Stars 4, St. Louis Blues 2 (series is tied 2-2). The Blues would strike first, but the Stars would control so many aspects, playing a more physically dominating game and capitalizing on turnovers. Blues rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington has been ultra-composed since inheriting the No. 1 job, and he started the night off excellently. But then, for the first time in his NHL career, we saw him lose his cool with a pair of dumb penalties. The Stars' decision to mix up the top two lines paid off, as four different players scored goals.
At 35 years and 343 days old, he became the oldest goaltender to make his first career postseason start. He made it count, turning away 28 of 30 shots.
Yeah, yeah, he's Mr. Game 7. But maybe he's just Mr. Clutch. His go-ahead goal midway through the third period was the by-product of perfect positioning and a killer finish.
- NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) May 2, 2019
Play of the night
One of the plays that earned McElhinney our first star of the night:
Curtis McElhinney this is a seeeeeerious skate save pic.twitter.com/L9Ngd2xc2m
- Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) May 2, 2019
Dud of the night
Blues rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington unraveling at the end of the second period.
First, Binnington retaliates after a jab from Stars captain Jamie Benn. Both players would receive two-minute penalties (Binnington's was for roughing).
This is the Benn-Binnington incident. pic.twitter.com/McTqBQGNzY
- Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) May 2, 2019
Then, on his way off the ice, Binnington took a swipe at Dallas goalie Ben Bishop near the bench.
Overhead (and only) angle shown by NBCSN of the Binnington chop on Bishop: pic.twitter.com/yr7pQyUuzS
- Alex Prewitt (@alex_prewitt) May 2, 2019
That meant the Stars had to begin the third on a penalty kill. It's the rare goalie-on-goalie slash, and it's not cool.
On the schedule
The Blue Jackets are rewriting their postseason narrative this spring. Perhaps no one more so than goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who is having a dynamite playoff run. The two-time Vezina Trophy winner had been 5-14 in the playoffs, with a goals-against average of 3.49 and a save percentage of .891. This postseason? He's 6-1, with a 1.88 GAA and .937 save percentage. Columbus has all the hallmarks of a John Tortorella-coached team, clogging lanes and blocking shots -- and the Bruins' stars are getting frustrated. David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron have combined for just one goal so far. And now Marchand (who had done a good job this season of rewriting his narrative as a pest ... until this series) is on notice after some unsportsmanlike play.
The Sharks got their mojo back in Game 3, thanks to a hat trick from Logan Couture and some nifty playmaking by new dad Gustav Nyquist, who is having a whirlwind week. Now San Jose may be getting reinforcements. Captain Joe Pavelski is skating again (after FaceTiming the team after their critical road win). Colorado started strong in Game 3 but then fell apart in what might have been one of their worst performances of the postseason. Avs coach Jared Bednar lamented his team's miscues, which included "some bonehead decisions with the puck." The Avalanche are a young team, and their style is conducive to mistakes.
Social post of the day
A good boy and his favorite Bread:
"Just a bunch of grown men being donkeys." -- Jamie Benn on the skirmishes at the end of the second period of the Stars-Blues game.