Pittsburgh Penguins captain, Sidney Crosby is all smiles as he has seven points in three playoff games, leading the Penguins 2-1 in the series over the Philadelphia Flyers (via @NHL/Twitter)

NHL playoffs weekly roundup

Maple Leafs look to bounce back against the Bruins from a two game deficit tonight

Weekly Stanley Cup playoff notebook:

Eastern Conference:

Tampa Bay Lighting (1) vs. New Jersey Devils (WC2)

Series: Lightning lead 2-0.

Tampa Bay is having no troubles finding the back of the net, as after two games Devils’ goaltender Keith Kinkaid is posting an inflated 5.87 GAA. Eight players on the Lightning have two or more points and Tampa Bay is converting on 75% of their power-play opportunities. Devils star forward Taylor Hall has two points in his first two playoff games.

Next Game: Tonight, 4:30 p.m. in New Jersey.

Pittsburgh Penguins (2) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (3)

Series: Penguins lead 2-1.

The three-headed monster of Sidney Crosby, Evgeny Malkin and Phil Kessel is proving to be difficult to handle for the Flyers. Crosby is second in playoff scoring with four goals and three assists. Pittsburgh is drastically outshooting the Flyers and boasts an impressive 26.7% power-play conversion rate. Pens goaltender Matt Murray is his usual playoff self with a 1.70 goals against average.

Next Game: Wednesday, 4:00 p.m. in Philadelphia.

Boston Bruins (2) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (3)

Series: Bruins lead 2-0.

Bruin’s forward David Pastrnak is leading the playoffs in scoring with nine points in two games. The Bruin’s top line is outscoring Toronto’s 40 points to two. After 30-goal scorer Nazem Kadri was suspended for three games on his hit on Bruins forward Tommy Wingels, and with the Leafs’ Auston Matthews and William Nylander being held pointless after two games, it’s looking to be a relatively quick series.

Next Game: Tonight, 4:00 p.m. in Toronto.

Washington Capitals (1) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (WC1)

Series: Blue Jackets lead 2-0.

Both wins have came in overtime for the Blue Jackets. Columbus forward Artemi Panarin has proven invaluable to his team after setting up the tying goal and eventually slotting the game-winner in Game 1. Despite posting a 3.04 GAA, Blue Jacket goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has proven he is able to perform in the playoffs. Special teams is costing the Capitals as they have killed off only four of eight penalties. It might be time for Washington to bring back starting goaltender Braden Holtby.

Next Game: Tuesday, 4:30 p.m. in Columbus.

Western Conference:

Nashville Predators (1) vs. Colorado Avalanche (WC2)

Series: Predators lead 2-0.

Hart trophy candidate Nathan MacKinnon has had his hands full against an extremely deep Nashville team. The Predators have been able to provide scoring from a handful of players, including seven points from their third line including the likes of Vancouver-born Colton Sissons, ex-Canuck Nick Bonino and Austin Watson.

Next Game: Tonight, 7:00 p.m. in Colorado.

Anaheim Ducks (2) vs. San Jose Sharks (3)

Series: Sharks lead 2-0.

San Jose has been able to provide scoring from more than one line this time around. Vancouver native Evander Kane has shown he is ready for playoff hockey with his first two career playoff goals in Game 1. It has been a battle of the goaltenders between San Jose’s Martin Jones and Anaheim’s John Gibson. Gibson will have to be stellar on the road as they head to San Jose down 2-0.

Next Game: Tonight, 7:30 p.m. in San Jose.

Winnipeg Jets (2) vs. Minnesota Wild (3)

Series: Jets lead 2-1.

After being down 2-0, the Wild came back scoring six goals at home in a Game 3 win. The Wild’s first power-play unit, consisting of Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund, is proving to be effective against the Jets as their power play is converting 37.5% of the time. Jets’ sophomore sensation Patrik Laine is leading the charge with two goals and two assists as well as the dominant play of goaltender Connor Hellebuyck on home ice.

Next Game: Tuesday, 5:00 p.m. in Minnesota.

Vegas Golden Knights (1) vs. Los Angeles Kings (WC1)

Series: Golden Knights lead 3-0.

The Golden Knights are no fluke. Leading the series 3-0 it is almost certain they will advance. Both goalies in the Golden Knights’ Marc-Andre Fleury and Kings’ Jonathan Quick are boasting two of the best goals against average with 0.84 and 1.69, respectively. As well, both teams have the highest penalty-kill percentage in the playoffs with 90.9%. It has been a defensive battle but the depth of Vegas has provided the edge. Missing defenceman Drew Doughty for Game 2 was costly for the Kings.

Next Game: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. in Los Angeles.

B.C.-born player update:

Vancouver’s Evander Kane had two goals in a 3-0 win over Anaheim. The two goals were Kane’s first career playoff goals in his first playoff game.

North Vancouver’s Martin Jones recorded a 25 save shutout in the Sharks’ first meeting with the Kings. Jones followed up the 3-0 shutout with a 28-save 3-2 win to extend the Sharks’ lead to 2-0 in the series against the Ducks.

Nashville’s Colton Sissons, who hails from North Vancouver, has himself a goal and two assists through two games for the Preds.

Vancouver’s Ryan Johansen has a goal and two assists as well for the Preds.

Langley’s Shea Theodore had the lone goal for the Golden Knights in their 1-0 win against the Kings on Wednesday, as well as an assist in the second game.

Way-too-early Conn Smythe Watch:

There are a few early candidates for the Conn Smythe trophy, awarded to the player judged most valuable to his team in the NHL playoffs.

Sidney Crosby: Crosby has carried the Penguins to a 2-1 series lead against the Flyers, producing seven points in their two wins. Crosby has a plus-6 rating and is converting on 44.4% of the shots he takes. Crosby has won the trophy for the last two seasons and knows what it takes to win the Stanley Cup.

Artemi Panarin: Panarin set up the goal from Seth Jones to push the Blue Jackets into overtime in Game 1. In overtime, Panarin produced an amazing play lifting the puck over the shoulder of Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer. Panarin had another two assists in Game 2, helping the Blue Jackets win in overtime once again.

Boston Bruins first line: At this point in the playoffs it is hard to decide which forward deserves the trophy most on the Bruins first line. David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron have scored a combined five goals and 15 assists in two games against a very strong Toronto Maple Leafs team.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Kitten rescued from under school bus in Duncan

School staff have affectionately called kitten “Axle”

Lake Flashback: Sandy Berry is featured as our look back at Decembers past continues

WFI got a Christmas gift in 1978, but by 1993, some residents were in need of a police warning

Ship sinking in Cowichan Bay

As heavy rains fall and winds kick up waves, a ship was… Continue reading

VIDEO: Celebrate New Year’s Eve ‘Youbou style’ with Eagle Eyes, Joint Chiefs at this big bash

Music, friends, dancing, and fun: sounds like a great way to welcome 2019 for Cowichan Lake folks

Baby, it’s nasty outside: wind and rain will continue across Vancouver Island

Police warn drivers and pedestrians to use precaution during expected rain and winds

Omar Khadr wants changes to bail conditions

‘My life is held in suspension’, says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee

Coming up in Cowichan: Celebrate the second floor with the HUB

Celebrate the second floor this weekend at HUB at Cowichan Station Dec.… Continue reading

Sissons scores OT winner as Predators beat Canucks 4-3

VIDEO: Vancouver battles back to earn single point in Nashville

High streamflow advisory in effect across the Island

River Forecast Centre issues advisory as Pacific storms batter the coast

Trapped Vancouver Island crash survivor celebrates second chance at life

“Life is good now. It’s good to be alive.”

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Coach accused of sexual assault says apology letter was misinterpreted

Dave Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching

Give the gift of nature this holiday season

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

Most Read