May 16 — Glorious Game 7s & Dustin Brown Departs

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

WEEKEND OF ACTIVITY: Since our Friday issue, the NHL playoffs saw six of the eight first-round series decided across one Game 6 and five Game 7s. With Round 2 set, the next leg of the postseason will begin Tuesday night. Is it too late to take work off this morning?

CAPITAL CONCERNS: Health issues plaguing a trio of Washington Capitals veterans could make for a problematic summer in the nation’s capital. First, Nicklas Bäckström’s hockey career could be in jeopardy following a significant hip injury, while Tom Wilson might require surgery after missing most of the club’s first-round series with a knee injury. Finally, Carl Hagelin will work towards returning to the ice after suffering a freak eye injury during an early March practice.

RALLYING RANGERS: Down 3-2 going into the third period, the New York Rangers rallied to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in overtime last night on an Artemi Panarin power-play goal. With the OT victory, the Rangers eliminated the Penguins, coming back from down three games to one to beat Pittsburgh in seven games.

JOHNNY (ON THE SPOT) HOCKEY: Speaking of overtime heroics, Johnny Gaudreau ended the second dose of bonus Game 7 hockey on Sunday, scoring at 15:09 to set up the first postseason Battle of Alberta in 31 years. Gaudreau wasn’t the only hero, as Jake Oettinger made 64 saves to keep the Dallas Stars in the game. 

KUEMPER-ING EXPECTATIONS: Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper says he is ready for Game 1 on Tuesday against the St. Louis Blues. Kuemper was injured when he took Ryan Johansen’s stick to the eye on May 7 in Game 3 against the Nashville Predators. 

OH YEAH, THE WORLDS: In other NHL-related action, the IIHF Men’s World Championships are happening in Finland, where the United States and Canada are undefeated through their first two games. The US needed overtime to get by Austria on Sunday, as the Canadians cruised by the Italians 6-1. Also, multiple teams are gaining reinforcements as NHL players’ Stanley Cup dreams are slowly turning gold: NorwayTeam USA, and Finland

By the Numbers: Game 7s Galore

Five Game 7s took place over the weekend, the most in a single Stanley Cup playoff round since 1992. In light of the most Game 7-heavy postseason round in 30 years, here are some exciting numbers surrounding the history of Game 7s in the NHL.

Max Domi and the Hurricanes beat the Bruins, 3-2, Saturday in the first Game 7 of the weekend (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

187 – Game 7s played in NHL playoff history, starting in 1939 when the league instituted the best-of-seven series structure. Of those 187, 47 went to overtime, 17 were in the Stanley Cup Final, 29 featured the Boston Bruins (most of any team), while 15 victories by the Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens tie for the most.

62.5 – Percentage of first-round series that went to a Game 7 this year. Five out of the eight Round 1 matchups went the distance, with only the Colorado Avalanche and Nashville Predators (four games), St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild (six games), and Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals (six games) series not going all seven.

6 – Game 7s in the Division Semifinals of the 1992 Playoffs, most in a single round in NHL history. Two took place on April 30 of that year, while four games were played on May 1. Of those six, the home team won five, four were won by multiple goals, and one of the other two one-goal games went into double overtime.

7 – NHL record for most Game 7s in a single postseason, set in 1994, 2011, and 2014. Both 1994 and 2011 needed a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final to reach the record, with the Rangers (1994) and Bruins (2011) beating the Vancouver Canucks. Meanwhile, 2014 featured three Game 7 triumphs by the Kings en route to their five-game Cup victory.

19 – Conversely, 19 postseasons have not featured a single Game 7, although the last time that happened was way back in 1977. However, seven of the next eight years only saw one Game 7. Since 1985, only two postseasons have had a solo Game 7 featured (1998 Round 1 Oilers over Avalanche, 2007 Round 1 Canucks over Stars). 

109-78 – Home teams’ record in NHL Game 7s. So far this postseason, the home team is 4-1 in Game 7s, as Toronto was the only team unable to get it done on home ice.

Player Spotlight – Dustin Brown

It is the end of an era for the Los Angeles Kings. Their former captain, who led them to two Stanley Cup victories, played the final hockey game of his career. Brown suited up for 1,296 career games, finishing with 712 points (325 goals, 387 assists). Fans know plenty about what he has brought to the ice, but what about his life outside of hockey? Let’s check in.

What is Your Favorite Video Game?:

Call of Duty

Favorite TV Show?:


Where Did You Spend Your Day with the Stanley Cup?:

Hometown of Ithaca, NY

Where Will You Live to Begin Your Retirement?:

Los Angeles

What Other Sports Did You Play Growing Up?:

Lacrosse and baseball

What’s Your Favorite Summer Activity?:

Spending time with my kids

In Memoriam

When you last heard from us on Friday morning, just two teams (the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues) had claimed their second-round spots, leaving six Conference Semifinal participants to be determined. After a whopping five Game 7s across Saturday and Sunday, we have our surviving eight teams.

While so much focus rests on those who will move on, we’ll use the next two days to bring back our “In Memoriam” segment and spare a thought for the first-round casualties who have fallen by the wayside.

Nashville Predators
Dates Active: 10/12/21 – 5/9/22
Cause of Death: Going into a series against one of the league’s premier offenses without your star goaltender.
Last Words: Now Juuse us; now you don’t!

Minnesota Wild
Dates Active: 10/12/21 – 5/12/22
Cause of Death: A young, inexperienced team’s second-period lapse in Game 6 was the difference in a tight series.
Last Words: Hey, NHL, maybe it’s time to reconsider that playoff format??

Washington Capitals
Dates Active: 10/12/21 – 5/13/22
Cause of Death: Inability to “Capital”-ize on early leads.
Last Words: It’s not how you finish, but how you start—wait, that can’t be right.

Boston Bruins
Dates Active: 10/12/21 – 5/14/22
Cause of Death: First-period follies and pains at PNC Arena.
Last Words: Tie Domi’s kid ain’t too bad!

Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket

Stanley Cup Playoffs Leading Scorers