Follow along here as Yahoo Sports NHL editors Arun Srinivasan and Kyle Cantlon keep you posted on the key storylines, highlights, major injuries and everything else you need to know from Friday’s Stanley Cup playoffs slate.
Horvat buries overtime winner as Canucks take stranglehold on Blues
Bo Horvat, to put it lightly, had himself a night.
The Canucks captain has been lights out all playoffs long, but he brought his game to another level in Game 2 versus the Blues on Friday. On top of scoring arguably the goal of the playoffs to open the scoring in the first, Horvat buried the overtime winner to give the Canucks a 2-0 stranglehold on the defending Cup champs.
Elias Pettersson was also an absolute monster in this one, setting up the Canucks second goal with a ridiculous saucer pass to the slot, before showing off his insane stick skill and batting one out of the air to put the Canucks up by two.
The Blues battled back hard to send it to overtime, but Vancouver’s two studs were simply too much to manage.
Take a bow, Bo
We try not to be overzealous here but Bo Horvat just scored one of the goals of the playoffs and we’re not sure how it gets better than this.
With the Canucks on the penalty kill, Horvat took off up the ice, evaded Brayden Schenn with a nifty head-fake and was flying. Horvat continued into the zone and dangled Jaden Schwartz out of his skates while Colton Parayko tried in vain to stop the Canucks’ captain from getting to the net.
Horvat then took the puck from one side of his body to the other and buried it past Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington for a 1-0 lead.
Canadiens dominate top-seeded Flyers, chase Carter Hart
The Montreal Canadiens aren’t going down without a fight and turned the tables on the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday with a dominant 5-0 Game 2 victory.
Philadelphia was rolling through its competition, going unbeaten in the round-robin, before edging Montreal 2-1 in Game 1 — but Game 2 was an entirely different story.
Tomas Tatar and Jesperi Kotkaniemi added two goals each, Joel Armia notched another, and the Canadiens cruised to a 5-0 victory, chasing Flyers star goaltender Carter Hart after going up 4-0.
Hart wasn’t happy about it.
Carter Hart slammed the door and went down the tunnel after getting pulled. Allowed four goals on 26 shots but it was far from his fault.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) August 14, 2020
Tatar was the best player on the ice and his second goal sums up the game in a nutshell. Afforded plenty of space to operate on the man advantage, Tatar stepped up to the top of the faceoff circle and sniped it past Hart for his second goal of the contest.
Montreal lacks the top-end talent that other teams boast, but it clearly isn’t going down without a fight and have improbably tied the series at 1-1.
Avalanche topple Coyotes in thriller
In the absence of Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby and Auston Matthews, some wondered what the NHL would do with a perceived lack of high-end star power.
Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche will quiet all of those fears.
MacKinnon looked like the best player standing in the tournament and, quite possibly, the best player alive during Friday’s 3-2 victory over the Coyotes as Colorado took a 2-0 series lead.
The Hart Trophy finalist scored the opening goal of the game, receiving a pass from Gabriel Landeskog before rocketing in on goal, separating from the Coyotes’ defense and wiring a pin-point shot under Darcy Kuemper’s glove for the opening goal.
The highlight is much cooler than the description, I swear.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Avalanche as the normally sound Samuel Girard accidentally scored an own goal, credited to Coyotes forward Clayton Keller.
Tyson Jost and Michael Grabner traded second-period markers, before Andre Burakovsky notched the game-winner in the third period, benefiting from some good fortune.
Nazem Kadri, who was the best player in Game 1, saw his shot ricochet off a defender and right into Burakovsky’s path, who promptly fired the puck into the open cage, almost missing the net.
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