The Stanley Cup semi-final series look like they’re going to go down to the wire. Four games into each series, they could both still go either way.
Four games have been played in each of the Stanley Cup semi-final series, and there are still four different Stanley Cup Final match-ups that are all very possible.
How close are these series? Not only are they both tied 2-2, but six of the eight games have been decided by one goal. Two of them were in overtime.
At this point, your Stanley Cup Final guess is as good as mine. Before we see how the rest of these series play out, let’s recap how we got here in this week’s edition of our playoff roundup.
Tampa Bay Lightning VS New York Islanders
After a Game 1 win in Tampa, the Islanders dropped back-to-back games, 4-2 in Game 2 and 2-1 in Game 3, to put themselves in a 2-1 hole for the third straight series.
That meant another Game 4 that had a chance to be the final game ever played at Nassau Coliseum if New York lost on Saturday.
The Isles came out looking determined to make sure that wasn’t the case, though. They built up a 3-0 lead through two periods, though they nearly saw the Lightning erase it in the third period — until Ryan Pulock saved the day.
Brayden Point scored yet again for Tampa Bay in the loss.
Point is building up quite the reputation as a big-time playoff performer. He’s scored in all four games of this series, seven straight games overall and nine of the last 10. He leads the playoffs with 12 goals and has 26 goals and 49 points in 38 playoff games over the last two seasons.
The win ensures the Islanders will play at least one more game at the old barn. First things first, though, is Game 5 back in Tampa tonight. The winner will have a chance to punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final in Game 6 on Wednesday.
Vegas Golden Knights VS Montreal Canadiens
After splitting the first two games of the series in Las Vegas, the Canadiens were getting dominated at home in Game 3 against the Golden Knights on Friday. They were outshot 40-21 in regulation, including 30-8 through the first two periods.
Anderson also went on to seal a stunning 3-2 win for Montreal in overtime.
The Canadiens clearly should have been given a four-minute power play, but they won it shortly after this anyway. In fact, Perry was still in the Habs’ room getting stitched up when Anderson won it, which gave us this great shot of Perry returning to the ice, looking like he was fresh off the set of The Walking Dead to celebrate the win with his teammates.
Hockey’s a funny sport, though. After winning Game 3, they didn’t really deserve to. The Habs played much better in Game 4 on Sunday, particularly defensively. Montreal outshot Vegas 28-18 through regulation, but the game went to overtime after former LA Kings defenseman Brayden McNabb managed to squeeze a shot through Carey Price to tie the game at 1-1 with under 10 minutes to go in the third period.
Nicolas Roy then scored the winner just over a minute into overtime to even up the series at 2-2.
After Fleury’s Game 3 gaffe, the Knights tabbed Robin Lehner to make just his second start of the playoffs in Game 4. Lehner had a great game, finishing with 27 saves, perhaps none of those saves bigger than this third period stop on a Cole Caufield breakaway to keep the Canadiens from making it a 2-0 game.
After that performance, it seems like a safe bet that Lehner will be back between the pipes for Game 5 back in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
COVID-19 has begun to have an impact on this series. On Friday, Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme tested positive and will have to isolate from the team for 14 days. Then on Sunday, it was announced that Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon had tested positive as well.