Pittsburgh Penguins captain, Sidney Crosby is all smiles as he has seven points in three playoff games, leading the Penguins 2-1 in the series over the Philadelphia Flyers (via @NHL/Twitter)

NHL playoffs weekly roundup

Maple Leafs look to bounce back against the Bruins from a two game deficit tonight

Weekly Stanley Cup playoff notebook:

Eastern Conference:

Tampa Bay Lighting (1) vs. New Jersey Devils (WC2)

Series: Lightning lead 2-0.

Tampa Bay is having no troubles finding the back of the net, as after two games Devils’ goaltender Keith Kinkaid is posting an inflated 5.87 GAA. Eight players on the Lightning have two or more points and Tampa Bay is converting on 75% of their power-play opportunities. Devils star forward Taylor Hall has two points in his first two playoff games.

Next Game: Tonight, 4:30 p.m. in New Jersey.

Pittsburgh Penguins (2) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (3)

Series: Penguins lead 2-1.

The three-headed monster of Sidney Crosby, Evgeny Malkin and Phil Kessel is proving to be difficult to handle for the Flyers. Crosby is second in playoff scoring with four goals and three assists. Pittsburgh is drastically outshooting the Flyers and boasts an impressive 26.7% power-play conversion rate. Pens goaltender Matt Murray is his usual playoff self with a 1.70 goals against average.

Next Game: Wednesday, 4:00 p.m. in Philadelphia.

Boston Bruins (2) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (3)

Series: Bruins lead 2-0.

Bruin’s forward David Pastrnak is leading the playoffs in scoring with nine points in two games. The Bruin’s top line is outscoring Toronto’s 40 points to two. After 30-goal scorer Nazem Kadri was suspended for three games on his hit on Bruins forward Tommy Wingels, and with the Leafs’ Auston Matthews and William Nylander being held pointless after two games, it’s looking to be a relatively quick series.

Next Game: Tonight, 4:00 p.m. in Toronto.

Washington Capitals (1) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (WC1)

Series: Blue Jackets lead 2-0.

Both wins have came in overtime for the Blue Jackets. Columbus forward Artemi Panarin has proven invaluable to his team after setting up the tying goal and eventually slotting the game-winner in Game 1. Despite posting a 3.04 GAA, Blue Jacket goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has proven he is able to perform in the playoffs. Special teams is costing the Capitals as they have killed off only four of eight penalties. It might be time for Washington to bring back starting goaltender Braden Holtby.

Next Game: Tuesday, 4:30 p.m. in Columbus.

Western Conference:

Nashville Predators (1) vs. Colorado Avalanche (WC2)

Series: Predators lead 2-0.

Hart trophy candidate Nathan MacKinnon has had his hands full against an extremely deep Nashville team. The Predators have been able to provide scoring from a handful of players, including seven points from their third line including the likes of Vancouver-born Colton Sissons, ex-Canuck Nick Bonino and Austin Watson.

Next Game: Tonight, 7:00 p.m. in Colorado.

Anaheim Ducks (2) vs. San Jose Sharks (3)

Series: Sharks lead 2-0.

San Jose has been able to provide scoring from more than one line this time around. Vancouver native Evander Kane has shown he is ready for playoff hockey with his first two career playoff goals in Game 1. It has been a battle of the goaltenders between San Jose’s Martin Jones and Anaheim’s John Gibson. Gibson will have to be stellar on the road as they head to San Jose down 2-0.

Next Game: Tonight, 7:30 p.m. in San Jose.

Winnipeg Jets (2) vs. Minnesota Wild (3)

Series: Jets lead 2-1.

After being down 2-0, the Wild came back scoring six goals at home in a Game 3 win. The Wild’s first power-play unit, consisting of Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund, is proving to be effective against the Jets as their power play is converting 37.5% of the time. Jets’ sophomore sensation Patrik Laine is leading the charge with two goals and two assists as well as the dominant play of goaltender Connor Hellebuyck on home ice.

Next Game: Tuesday, 5:00 p.m. in Minnesota.

Vegas Golden Knights (1) vs. Los Angeles Kings (WC1)

Series: Golden Knights lead 3-0.

The Golden Knights are no fluke. Leading the series 3-0 it is almost certain they will advance. Both goalies in the Golden Knights’ Marc-Andre Fleury and Kings’ Jonathan Quick are boasting two of the best goals against average with 0.84 and 1.69, respectively. As well, both teams have the highest penalty-kill percentage in the playoffs with 90.9%. It has been a defensive battle but the depth of Vegas has provided the edge. Missing defenceman Drew Doughty for Game 2 was costly for the Kings.

Next Game: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. in Los Angeles.

B.C.-born player update:

Vancouver’s Evander Kane had two goals in a 3-0 win over Anaheim. The two goals were Kane’s first career playoff goals in his first playoff game.

North Vancouver’s Martin Jones recorded a 25 save shutout in the Sharks’ first meeting with the Kings. Jones followed up the 3-0 shutout with a 28-save 3-2 win to extend the Sharks’ lead to 2-0 in the series against the Ducks.

Nashville’s Colton Sissons, who hails from North Vancouver, has himself a goal and two assists through two games for the Preds.

Vancouver’s Ryan Johansen has a goal and two assists as well for the Preds.

Langley’s Shea Theodore had the lone goal for the Golden Knights in their 1-0 win against the Kings on Wednesday, as well as an assist in the second game.

Way-too-early Conn Smythe Watch:

There are a few early candidates for the Conn Smythe trophy, awarded to the player judged most valuable to his team in the NHL playoffs.

Sidney Crosby: Crosby has carried the Penguins to a 2-1 series lead against the Flyers, producing seven points in their two wins. Crosby has a plus-6 rating and is converting on 44.4% of the shots he takes. Crosby has won the trophy for the last two seasons and knows what it takes to win the Stanley Cup.

Artemi Panarin: Panarin set up the goal from Seth Jones to push the Blue Jackets into overtime in Game 1. In overtime, Panarin produced an amazing play lifting the puck over the shoulder of Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer. Panarin had another two assists in Game 2, helping the Blue Jackets win in overtime once again.

Boston Bruins first line: At this point in the playoffs it is hard to decide which forward deserves the trophy most on the Bruins first line. David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron have scored a combined five goals and 15 assists in two games against a very strong Toronto Maple Leafs team.

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii cleaning up after tree-toppling storm

Crews working to restore power to Queen Charlotte, Skidegate, Tlell, Port Clements, and Tow Hill

In Pictures: Masset Christmas concert stocks lots of laughs

Masset’s community Christmas concert knocked everyone’s yellow socks off last Friday night.… Continue reading

Appeals court upholds existing two-stage plan for Haida title case

Judges dismiss a Haida Nation appeal to keep phase one focused on a broad declaration of rights

Coastal GasLink gets interim injunction against Unist’ot’en

The LNG pipeline company can start work Monday with enforcement approved by court.

Haida Gwaii gets set for major storm on Saturday

Environment Canada warns Saturday southeaster may bring winds of 90 to 120 km/h

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

Boil water notice in effect for Prince Rupert

City expects notice to be in effect for longer than a week

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

Most Read