Former NCAA Players Putting on Shows So Far in Stanley Cup Playoffs

Roman Uschak@@RomanUschakCorrespondent IMay 8, 2013

Joe Pavelski scored twice for San Jose on both Sunday and Tuesday.
Joe Pavelski scored twice for San Jose on both Sunday and Tuesday.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Former college players have been filling the scoresheet in the first week of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs, particularly several former Wisconsin Badgers.


Western Conference

Vancouver vs. San Jose

Joe Pavelski (Wisconsin) scored twice in San Jose's 5-2 win over Vancouver on Sunday night, which gave the Sharks a 3-0 lead in the series. Pavelski had two goals and four assists for six points through the first three games and then added two more goals for good measure on Tuesday, as the Sharks completed a four-step sweep of the Canucks with a 4-3 overtime victory.

Dan Boyle (Miami) notched a goal and two assists in the series for San Jose, while Tommy Wingels (Miami) had two assists and also drew the series-ending power play when he was hit in OT of Game 4 by Daniel Sedin.

Cory Schneider (Boston College) returned in net for the Canucks on Sunday following time off for an undisclosed injury. He surrendered five goals on 28 shots to take the loss and then had 43 stops on 47 shots in the series finale in Game 4.

Mason Raymond (Minnesota-Duluth) scored a goal for the Canucks in their last game of the 2013 campaign after Ryan Kesler (Ohio State) had blasted home two goals for Vancouver in a 3-2 OT loss in Game 2.


Los Angeles vs. St. Louis

Brian Elliott (Wisconsin) won the first two games for St. Louis in the Blues' series with the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, stopping 56 of 58 shots. The Kings got back into contention with a 1-0 win on Saturday at home, as 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick (Massachusetts) finished with 30 stops.


T.J. Oshie (North Dakota) scored twice for St. Louis in Monday night's 4-3 loss in California, and David Backes (Minnesota State) also lit the lamp for the Blues in a losing effort. Quick made 19 saves as the Kings tied the series at two games apiece.


Detroit vs. Anaheim

Justin Abdelkader (Michigan State) scored Detroit's first goal in the Red Wings' 5-4 overtime victory Thursday at Anaheim to tie that series but was ejected and then suspended for two games for his hit on Toni Lydman in Game 3, which Anaheim won, 4-0, on Saturday.

Nick Bonino (Boston University) had two goals and an assist through three games for Anaheim, including the Ducks' first goal of the postseason in a 3-1 win in Game 1. Kyle Palmieri (Notre Dame) had scored one goal and set up another through four games for the Ducks, who fell by a 3-2 count in overtime on Monday in Detroit.

Gustav Nyquist (Maine) had the OT winner for Detroit last week in California and then assisted on the winner on Monday night in Michigan. Brendan Smith (Wisconsin) scored for Detroit on Monday, as did David Steckel (Ohio State) for Anaheim. 

Jimmy Howard (Maine) stopped 77 of 87 shots in the first three games for the Wings and had 31 stops in Game 4 at Joe Louis Arena in the win which tied the series once again. 


Minnesota vs. Chicago

Minnesota's Jason Zucker (Denver) made his first career Stanley Cup playoff goal even more memorable when it came in overtime in the Wild's 2-1 win on Sunday against the top-seeded Blackhawks. Charlie Coyle (Boston University) also set up Zach Parise (North Dakota) for Minnesota's second goal of that game.


Chicago now leads the series 3-1, as Patrick Sharp (Vermont) has provided four goals and an assist in the first four games, including a pair of goals in a 3-0 win in Game 4. Duncan Keith (Michigan State) has a goal and two assists for the Blackhawks through four outings.


Eastern Conference

New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals

Ryan McDonagh (Wisconsin) unfortunately lifted the puck into the crowd in overtime in Game 2 at Washington on Saturday, resulting in a power play that the Capitals converted for the game's only goal and a 2-0 series lead over the New York Rangers.

Carl Hagelin (Michigan) had New York's only goal through the first two games, in a 3-1 loss in Game 1. But Derek Stepan (Wisconsin) tipped home the game-winner late in the third period on Monday night to get New York back into the series with a 4-3 triumph at Madison Square Garden in Game 3.

The Rangers' Brian Boyle (Boston College) and the Caps' Jay Beagle (Alaska Anchorage) also scored on Monday, for their first playoff goals of 2013.


Toronto vs. Boston

Phil Kessel (Minnesota) and James van Riemsdyk (New Hampshire) both scored a goal in Toronto's 4-2 win at Boston on Saturday, which enabled the Maple Leafs to knot their series with the Bruins at one win apiece following a 4-1 defeat in Game 1.


Boston, however, responded with a 5-2 win at Air Canada Centre on Monday night to regain the lead, as Rich Peverley (St. Lawrence) scored his first goal of the playoffs for the Bruins.


New York Islanders vs. Pittsburgh

Kyle Okposo (Minnesota) scored the game-winning goal shorthanded for the New York Islanders on Friday in Game 2 at Pittsburgh to tie that series, as Matt Moulson (Cornell) added a goal and an assist for the visitors and Keith Aucoin (Norwich) posted an assist. The Islanders had suffered a a 5-0 loss in Game 1, as Tanner Glass (Dartmouth) scored the Penguins' final goal after Paul Martin (Minnesota) had assisted on their first one.

Okposo tallied another man-down marker on Sunday on Long Island as the Isles fell to the Penguins, 5-4, in sudden death in Game 3. Chris Kunitz (Ferris State) notched the game-winner in the extra session for Pittsburgh, to go with an earlier goal and assist on the afternoon.

Kunitz had another assist in Tuesday's 6-4 loss at Nassau Coliseum, a game in which Okposo scored his third goal of the series for New York.


Ottawa vs. Montreal

Ottawa downed visiting Montreal, 6-1, on Sunday, as the Senators took a 2-1 lead in that series. Rene Bourque (Wisconsin) leads the Canadiens with two goals and an assist through the first four games, including Montreal's first goal of the series in a 4-2 setback in Game 1. Canadiens captain Brian Gionta (Boston College) assisted on Montreal's lone goal in the Game 3 loss.

Kyle Turris (Wisconsin) had a goal and an assist for the Senators in the first three playoff contests between the two Canadian clubs and then put Ottawa one game from the second round with his overtime goal in Game 4 on Tuesday night. Jeff Halpern (Princeton) also had an assist for Montreal that same evening.


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