Now that the Tampa Bay Lightning are out, the field is wide open, and even then things are more closed than ever, with three of the remaining six series tied (awaiting the result of Thursday's clash between Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals). Raleigh, North Carolina).
Here is a summary of the action on Wednesday night (check out the replays of each playoff game on ESPN +) and what to see tonight in the Thursday edition of the ESPN Stanley Cup Playoffs Daily:
Jump ahead: games last night | Three stars
Game of the night | Today's games | Social publication of the day.
About last night …
Game 4: Boston Bruins 6, Toronto Maple Leafs 4 (tied series 2-2) Now that Tampa Bay has been eliminated, we can officially say that this is the most intriguing series of the first round of the Eastern Conference. The frenetic pace of the third period in Game 4 was a microcosm of the intensity of this series. Auston Matthews has officially exploded, recording his first multi-goal playoff game of his career. The return of the Leafs was fun, but the night belonged to the Boston offensive and the resurgence of David Pastrnak.
The Bruins resist the Maple Leafs 6-4 despite the increase of two goals from Toronto in the third period, matching the series to 2-2.
Game 4: Dallas Stars 5, Nashville Predators 1 (series tied 2-2) Talk about flipped stories. The Predators have been the epitome of superior defense and goalkeeping throughout the season. The Stars were one of the league's worst offensive teams this season. So, of course, a Dallas route chased last year's Vezina Trophy winner, Pekka Rinne, out of the game. In an encouraging development, it was not the top line or the bankruptcy of the Stars; they obtained secondary qualifications thanks to Mats Zuccarello and Roope Hintz.
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Game 4: Colorado Avalanche 3, Calgary Flames 2 (OT) (Avalanche lead 3-1) What series is being profiled to be. Now we know that the Avs are prone to the late theatricality of the game, thanks to their second victory in the AT of the series. The Flames' defense is not doing their goalkeeper any favors, since Mike Smith has faced a ridiculous 102 shots in the last two games in regulation. The encouraging news: Smith recovered from his game of game 3, so there is hope for a return of the series.
And a great moment in the crowd during this game, as Cale Makar continues to make fans in his new NHL home:
My boy really brought a cabbage head to the game lmao pic.twitter.com/OwBwFOxesl
– Ryan Koenigsberg (@RyanKoenigsberg) April 18, 2019
1. Mikko Rantanen, RW, Colorado Avalanche
Who would have thought that this series would be the most exciting of all? It was another extra-time game, which meant that someone had to be the hero. And after Nathan MacKinnon scored the winner of the game in Game 2, this time it was line partner Rantanen who finished the matter 10:23 in the extra session.
2. David Pastrnak, RW, Boston Bruins
Pastrnak did not look like himself in the first three games of this series. Maybe it was persistent effects of his thumb injury? The day started with Pastrnak being removed from the top line. He finished with him scoring two goals, his first two playoffs. The pasta is back.
3. Roope Hintz, LW, Dallas Stars
Hintz broke the open score with a goal in the first period, but he did not do it there. The rookie from Tampere, Finland, scored again midway through the second. He did not have postseason points before Wednesday night, and only one multi-goal game in the whole season. His first count was one of the three power game objectives for the Stars in the opening period.
Game of the night
A magnificent pbad from MacKinnon and a well-executed tip from Rantanen, tying the game at 2 at the end of the third:
Nathan MacKinnon finds Rantanen for the equalizer. Great deviation pic.twitter.com/BRO0TWKPns
– Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 18, 2019
Dud of the night
First period of Nashville get the go here. The Pred lost four goals at the end of the first, and to put it bluntly: they just sucked. There were times this season when we questioned whether the Predators really looked like a contender. Wednesday was another of those nights.
The Stars jump over Nashville early, scoring four goals in the first period in a 5-1 victory over the Predators.
In the schedule
Washington Capitals at Carolina Hurricanes, game 4, 7 p.m. ET (Washington leads 2-1)
After a 5-0 statement in Game 3, the Hurricanes have made this a series. However, they will have to fight without two of their top scorers, Andrei Svechnikov and Micheal Ferland. Svechnikov is in the concussion protocol after his fight with Alex Ovechkin. Coach Rod Brind & Amour indicated that Ferland could be out for a while. The Caps are veterans of the long playoff races and know they can not be beaten for a single night. Ovechkin said he spent the first of the last two days off doing nothing and not thinking about hockey.
We think Winnipeg could be one of the toughest road environments in the postseason, but that has not been the case. Instead, the Blues won their first two at White Out, then Winnipeg recovered with two victories at St. Louis. The Jets have started to look like the best version of themselves lately, with Dustin Byfuglien, Kyle Connor, Patrik Laine, Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler, all producers.
Vegas Golden Knights in San Jose Sharks, game 5, 10 p.m. ET (Vegas takes 3-1)
Martin Jones looks as unstable as he has been all season, which is saying something. It's clear that Vegas also has its number. Jones ranks last in the postseason in both the save percentage (.838) and the average goals against (a whopping 5.33). And yet, coach Peter DeBoer is joining him for what could be a decisive Game 5. On the other net, Marc-Andre Fleury looked quite solid in Game 4, stopping all 28 shots. But just as important for Las Vegas: the offensive is to click.
Social publication of the day.
The chirpfest of Ryan Reaves against Joe Thornton continues:
I can not wait to tell my grandchildren about the 2k19 Muffin Man chirpfest pic.twitter.com/0ggr383usT
– Sara Civ (@SaraCivian) April 18, 2019
"If I had just traded Panarin for selections, and Bobrovsky for selections, everyone in our fan base and city would have said, 'F-ing Blue Jackets, that's all they do is exchange for selections and tell us that We are going to be good in the future, just wait, be patient No, we wanted to send a message to the fan base and to the costumes on the deadline that we take the possibility of winning seriously If it does not translate into winning, hey, I will take responsibility. " – Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen sums up what the first-round upset of the Blue Jackets means for Columbus. (through Alex Prewitt of Sports Illustrated)