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NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Round One Recap

The Stanley Cup Playoffs round one ended on May 1, and there was quite a lot that happened that was not on my 2023 playoff bingo card for sure.

The matchups during this round included:

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets

Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings

Colorado Avalanche vs. Seattle Kraken

Dallas Stars vs. Minnesota Wild

Boston Bruins vs. Florida Panthers

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Islanders

New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers

Now let's dive into each series and talk about the major events that happened.

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets

This series was the quickest to end as it only lasted five games making the Golden Knights the first team to clinch their spot to round two. The Jets won the first game, but the Golden Knights took it from there winning four games in a row. Game three went into double overtime but Michael Amadio scored the goal to end the game.

The Jets were struggling with a lot of injuries which didn’t help them out at all. Jets coach, Rick Bowness, said he was “disgusted” after the season ended and added the team had “no pushback” during their game five loss.

The Golden Knights will now take on the Edmonton Oilers in the second round.

Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings

This series was very close with three overtime games, but the Oilers ended up winning the series in six.

Connor McDavid, captain of the Oilers, dedicated the Oilers 2023 Playoffs to Ben Stetler, a superfan who sadly passed away.

Leon Draisaitl leads the Oilers in points with 11 and he even scored a goal during this series while he was falling.

Adrian Kempe of the Kings was generating lots of points, but it was unfortunately not enough to send the Kings to the second round.

The Golden Knights are the next opponent for the Oilers during the second round.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Seattle Kraken

The Kraken made the playoffs during only their second season and they eliminated the defending cup champions in seven games.

The Avalanche were trying to overcome injuries during this series, but they were still proud of their efforts. One of the biggest injuries happened in this series when Andrew Cogliano fractured his neck after a controversial hit from Jordan Eberle.

This series was history for the Kraken and now they take on the Dallas Stars in the second round.

Dallas Stars vs. Minnesota Wild

The Stars have been quite the team during this series and they eliminated the Wild in six games.

Just like most teams, the Wild were dealing with injuries and slumps. Krill Kaprizov was struggling to get points and Joel Eriksson Ek was trying to play with a broken leg.

Roope Hintz leads the Stars in points with 12 and their young goaltender, Jake Oettinger has been great with a save percentage of .929.

The Stars will play the Kraken in the second round.

Boston Bruins vs. Florida Panthers

This series had pretty much the whole hockey world in shock. The Bruins had an NHL record-breaking season and lost to the Panthers in game seven.

A lot of people thought that the Bruins would sweep the first round, but the Presidents’ Trophy curse had other plans.

Game seven was an overtime game with Carter Verhaeghe scoring the game-winning goal. This game only went into overtime because Brandon Montour tied up the game with one minute left.

The Bruins blew their 3-1 lead in the series and some of that came from Matthew Tkachuk as he has been fabulous for the Panthers.

The Panthers next opponent is the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

The Presidents’ Trophy curse might still be a thing, but the Leafs finally broke their curse of not making it past the first round in 19 years.

This series was very back and forth and even included overtime in three games. Game six was where the Leafs won it all and it was an overtime game-winning goal by their captain, John Tavares that sent them to the second round.

Fans in Toronto were going crazy as the curse was finally broken after 19 long years of memes and close games.

The Leafs will now play the Panthers in hopes to move on to the next round.

Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Islanders

The Hurricanes took down the Islanders in six games including their sixth game going into overtime with Paul Stastny scoring the game-winning goal.

Lots of fans loved to see Sebastian Aho take on Sebastian Aho especially when they would take penalties against each other. Frederik Andersen, the goaltender of the Hurricanes, has a save percentage of .971 in the one postseason game he’s started so far.

The Hurricanes will now face the New Jersey Devils in the second round.

New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers

This rivalry was taken to the playoffs and it did not disappoint. With home advantage not helping either team until game five, it was very back and forth.

The Rangers blew out the Devils 5-1 in both the first and second games of the series. The Devils finally started to win in game three when they put in their superstar goalie, Akira Schmid.

The Rangers forced a game seven, but it was no luck for them as the Devils won in a shutout of 4-0 to send them to the second round.

Not only has Schmid been awesome for the Devils, but so has Erik Haula as he leads in goals with four.

The Devils will play the Hurricanes in the second round with hopes to move on to the next round.

The first round of the Playoffs has been extremely exciting and I personally can’t wait to see what else happens in the rest of the games.

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