Weekly Stanley Cup playoff notebook:
Tampa Bay Lightning (1) vs. Washington Capitals (1)
Series: Capitals lead 2-0
It may come as a shock for some to see Washington up two games to none as they head back home for Game 3.
Washington scored four unanswered in Game 1 on Tampa Bay’s Vezina Trophy candidate Andrei Vasilevskiy as he was pulled before the start of the third period. Forwards Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie, combined for six points in the frame.
In Game 2, Tampa Bay found themselves up 2-1 after the first period with goals from Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos.
But Washington took the game into its own hands and scored three goals in the second period and two in the third.
Kuznetsov and Lars Eller each had three points, with Ovechkin plotting his ninth goal and eighth assist in the playoffs.
Next Game: Tuesday, 5 p.m., in Washington
Vegas Golden Knights (1) vs. Winnipeg Jets (2)
Series: Jets lead 1-0
Winnipeg figured out a way to solve the red-hot Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 1, as they were up early in the first period 3-0.
For the rest of the game, the Jets held the Golden Knights to only two goals and won 4-2.
The dynamic duo of Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele combined for five points in the game. Former Prince George Cougar Dustin Byfuglien had the opening goal for the Jets and added another assist.
Next Game: Monday, 5 p.m., in Winnipeg
B.C.-born player update:
With only three games in the Conference finals underway, the top performing British Columbian this week goes to Washington Capitals’ forward Brett Connolly.
Connolly was born in Campbell River and grew up in Prince George. He represented the Prince George Cougars from 2007-11 in the Western Hockey League.
This week, Connolly had a goal and assist as the Caps hold a 2-0 series lead against the Lightning. So far in the playoffs, he has amassed three goals and two assists for five points.
Way-too-early Conn Smythe Trophy watch:
After the Capitals’ Nicklas Backstrom went down with a right hand injury in the second round, Kuznetsov has stepped up.
He is playing alongside Ovechkin as they both continue to climb to the top of the playoff scoring leaderboard. After two games against Tampa Bay, Kuznetsov has combined for one goal and four assists.
— NHL (@NHL) May 14, 2018
At the moment, Scheifele is four goals shy of scoring the most goals in a Stanley Cup playoffs since 2000.
In the second round series against the Nashville Predators, Scheifele set the record for the most road goals in a series with seven.
On a line with Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor, Scheifele does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. If he can continue his scoring ways against Fleury and the Knights, he looks to be a shoo-in for the Conn Smythe.
Mark Scheifele of the @NHLJets scored his League-leading 12th goal of the 2018 #StanleyCup Playoffs (13 GP) – one shy of the leader from the entire 2017 postseason (Jake Guentzel: 13 in 25 GP). #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/6X9seyb1N7
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 13, 2018