5 things to know about the NHL playoffs at this point

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The Battle of Alberta keeps giving us fireworks, McDavid remains elite and all eyes will be on St. Louis.

Here are five things to know as we head into Saturday’s post-season action:

Battle of Alberta gives us more goals

While it didn’t quite reach the levels of goal-scoring insanity as Game 1’s 15 combined did, Game 2 still saw plenty of pucks finding the back of the net Friday as the Edmonton Oilers evened up their series with the Calgary Flames 5-3.

Click to play video: 'Battle of Alberta divides families with diehard Flames, Oilers fans' Battle of Alberta divides families with diehard Flames, Oilers fans
Battle of Alberta divides families with diehard Flames, Oilers fans – May 18, 2022

Trailing 3-1 early in the second period, the Oilers exploded for four unanswered goals, including a shorthanded marker from Zach Hyman midway through the final frame that proved to be the game-winning goal.

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READ MORE: Flames looking for ‘foundation’ after Game 2 loss to Oilers

Like a throwback to the battles that raged between these two teams in the 1980s, this sixth edition of the Battle of Alberta in the playoffs has seen the offensive skill on both sides highlighted in a big way.

Through two games, the two teams have combined for 23 goals with the Flames just outscoring the Oilers 12-11.

McDavid joins elite company

Oilers superstar captain Connor McDavid scored and added an assist in Edmonton’s victory Friday and in doing so, joined some elite company.

Edmonton Oilers centre Connor McDavid, left, is checked by Calgary Flames defenceman Michael Stone, centre left, as teammet left wing Zach Hyman, centre right, is checked by Flames defenceman Oliver Kylington during first period NHL second round playoff hockey action in Calgary, Wednesday, May 18, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

His two-point game gave him 20 points so far during this post-season (six goals, 14 assists), making him the fastest active player to reach that mark in a playoff run and the fastest since Mario Lemieux in 1992.

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READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers come from behind to take Game 2 in Calgary

Additionally, the four-time Art Ross Trophy winner extended his post-season multi-point streak to five straight games.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton Oilers’ McDavid clocked going over 40 km/h while scoring goal against the Calgary Flames' Edmonton Oilers’ McDavid clocked going over 40 km/h while scoring goal against the Calgary Flames
Edmonton Oilers’ McDavid clocked going over 40 km/h while scoring goal against the Calgary Flames – Oct 5, 2017

Only Darryl Sittler in 1977, Tony Currie in 1981, Wayne Gretzky in 1983, Dale Hawerchuk in 1993 and Evgeni Malkin in 2009 have gone on runs of five or more consecutive games that saw them record more than one point in a playoff game.

Carolina can’t stop winning at home

The Carolina Hurricanes blanked the New York Rangers 2-0 Friday to take Game 2 of their second-round series.

Considering how they’ve performed thus far this post-season, the result shouldn’t come as a surprise as the victory improved the Canes to a perfect 6-0 at home.

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New York Rangers’ Ryan Strome (16) drives the puck between Carolina Hurricanes’ Brady Skjei (76) and Brett Pesce (22) only to have it blocked by goaltender Antti Raanta (32) during the first period of Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, May 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

The flip side to this is that Carolina has yet to win a road playoff game this year, but with home-ice advantage on its side again this series it may not matter.

Shesterkin outduelled again

A point of concern for the Rangers as things shift to Madison Square Garden for a couple games beginning Sunday is that Igor Shesterkin, the Vezina and Hart Trophy finalist, hasn’t been the best goalie in the series.

Both Shesterkin and Hurricanes goalie Antti Raanta faced 21 shots on Friday, but the difference was Raanta stopped all of the ones he faced, while Shesterkin allowed one goal.

Carolina Hurricanes defenceman Brendan Smith (7) puts the puck past New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) for a goal during the second period during Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series Friday, May 20, 2022, in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Seward). (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

Granted, he was put in a tight spot as Brendan Smith beat him on a shorthanded attempt all alone in front of the net, but the margin of error has been so razor-thin in this series so far that conceding just one goal is enough to flip a game.

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Raanta’s shutout comes on the heels of his solid Game 1 performance that saw him stop 27-of-28 shots. Shesterkin made 24 saves of the 26 attempts he faced in that contest.

The Rangers will be hoping Shesterkin becomes the better goalie over their next couple games to help them turn things around.

Saturday night in St. Louis

In a bit of odd schedule-making, the only game on deck in the Stanley Cup playoffs Saturday is Game 3 between the Colorado Avalanche and Blues in St. Louis.

The Avs are coming off their first defeat of the playoffs as the Blues handily defeated them in Game 2, 4-1.

St. Louis Blues left wing David Perron (57) celebrates a goal against Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper (35) during the third period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series Thursday, May 19, 2022, in Denver. The Blues won 4-1. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

For St. Louis, it will be hoping to make the most of its stolen home-ice advantage and keep some of the momentum from Game 2’s win going.


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