The Pittsburgh Penguins are moving on while the Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota Wild forced Game 7's.
5 things to know
Kings force Game 7
No lead has been safe this postseason, and that isn't just true for individual games. It now extends to entire series' as well. After losing three straight games to open their Western Conference playoff series against the San Jose Sharks, the Los Angeles Kings have roared back to win three straight games and force a Game 7 in San Jose on Wednesday night. Justin Williams scored a pair of goals on Monday, including a controversial goal late in the third period when it appeared that Sharks goalie Alex Stalock had the puck covered. Given all of San Jose's shortcomings in the postseason over the years, that is going to be one tense environment for Game 7 after letting a 3-0 series slip away.
Columbus made it exciting, even in defeat
We've seen teams blow one-goal leads this postseason. We've seen two-goal leads slip away, and we even saw a three-goal lead disappear. But surely a four-goal lead with 10 minutes to play was going to be enough for the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night, right? Well, it was. But barely. After jumping out to a 4-0 lead and holding it until the midway point of the third period, Pittsburgh allowed Columbus to score three goals in five minutes to create a thrilling, insanity-filled finish at Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets ended up coming up short, but the season was a huge step forward for the franchise and may be a launching point for the entire organization.
Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby were facing a lot of criticism heading into Game 6 on Monday night because they had yet to score a goal, even though both were playing pretty strong hockey just like a couple of other stars around the league that were still without a goal. Malkin did his part to silence the critics with his second career postseason hat trick in Pittsburgh's 4-3 win. They move on to the second round and await the winner of the New York Rangers-Philadelphia Flyers series.
Minnesota forces Game 7
What's better than one Game 7? How about two Game 7s, and thanks to the Minnesota Wild's 5-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Monday that's exactly what we're going to get on Wednesday night. Matt Duchene's return to the lineup wasn't enough for Colorado. The Avalanche also ran out of late-game magic by failing to tie the game late with the extra attacker for what would have been the third time in the series. Instead, Minnesota scored a pair of goals with Semyon Varlamov on the bench to send the series back to Colorado.
Stanley Cupcheck Playoffs
What? This again? Come on. It's starting to get to the point where it's going to be news when the NHL goes one night without somebody getting hit in the groin. Here we see Colorado Avalanche forward Paul Stastny getting a two-minute minor for "slashing" Cody McCormick of the Minnesota Wild right in the groin. What made this even worse for Minnesota is they ended up getting a two-man advantage shortly after this and not only failed to score, but gave up a goal to Stastny on a breakaway after he came out of the penalty box. The good news for Minnesota? It ended up getting the last laugh on the scoreboard.
New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers Series 3-2 NYR | 7:30PM, NBCSN, TSN Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia