Two games into the first round of the NHL Playoffs and the Colorado Avalanche have two victories. Both of them have been done in completely different fashions, too, with the heroics of Cale Makar carrying them through in overtime on Thursday night to give them a 2-0 edge in the series. After thrashing the Nashville Predators 7-2 in Game 1 at home, they were made to be much, much more patient in Game 2. They did take an early lead via Nathan MacKinnon’s goal less than five-and-a-half minutes in, but the Preds leveled up later in the period when Yakov Trenin scored.
That proved to be the final goal of regulation, and Makar’s goal 8:31 into the extra period proved to be the difference-maker in the end. Colorado was the only team to go up 2-0 on the night as the remaining three games saw the losing side from Game 1 come out on top. One of those teams was fellow conference leader Florida. The Panthers were not too keen upon going down 2-0 on their home ice, and they avoided that by trouncing the Washington Capitals 5-1 on the evening. Aleksandar Barkov scored a goal and provided an assist while four others got on the board, and the East’s best team evened it up at a game apiece. The story was much the same in New York as the Rangers hammered the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2. Igor Shesterkin made 39 saves while Artemi Panarin had two goals and an assist to help them bounce back from that harsh triple OT loss in Game 1. In the other game of the evening, the nightcap, the Dallas Stars came away from Calgary with a 2-0 win thanks to a flawless 29-save outing from Jake Oettinger and goals from Joe Pavelski and Michael Raffi. That means that through two games of all eight series that only two of them sit at 2-0, meaning we could be headed for some long, dramatic tales in this opening round as they all chase the Stanley Cup.