NHL's Top Stats, Best Highlights, Updated Playoff Picture from Aug. 3 ResultsAugust 4, 2020
The road to the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs continued Monday with a restless six-game slate.
As the Tampa Bay Lightning and Vegas Golden Knights earned valuable wins in pursuit of a No. 1 seed, the Carolina Hurricanes edged closer to a postseason berth. Behind a hat trick from Andrei Svechnikov, they upended the New York Rangers 4-1 to take a 2-0 advantage in the series.
And that wasn't the only three-goal outburst Monday.
While highlighting top performances and plays, we're recapping Monday's results and reassessing the NHL playoff picture.
August 3 Scores, Top Stats
Carolina 4, New York 1 (CAR leads 2-0)
Andrei Svechnikov (CAR): 3 goals
Sebastian Aho (CAR): 3 assists
Petr Mrazek (CAR): 23 saves
Winnipeg 3, Calgary 2 (Series tied 1-1)
Jack Roslovic (WPG): 2 A
Adam Lowry (WPG): 1 G, 1 A
Nikolaj Ehlers (WPG): 1 G
Tampa Bay 3, Washington 2 (SO) (TAM: 2 points; WAS: 1 point)
Nikita Kucherov (TAM): 1 G, 1 G in shootout
Evgeny Kusnetsov (WAS): 1 G
Andrei Vasilevskiy (TAM): 31 saves
Vegas 5, Dallas 3 (VGK: 2 points, DAL: 0 points)
William Karlsson (VGK): 1 G, 1 A
Mark Stone (VGK): 1 G, 1 A
Miro Heiskanen (DAL): 3 A
Pittsburgh Penguins 3, Montreal Canadiens 1 (Series tied 1-1)
Conor Sheary (PIT): 2 A
Jake Guentzel (PIT): 1 G, 1 A
Carey Price (MTL): 35 saves
Edmonton 6, Chicago 3 (Series tied 1-1)
Connor McDavid (EDM): 3 G
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (EDM): 3 A
Patrick Kane (CHI): 1 G, 1 A
Recaps and Takeaways
Carolina Hurricanes 4, New York Rangers 1
Following a 3-2 victory in Game 1 of the best-of-five series, Carolina cruised past the Rangers in Game 2.
Svechnikov scored in each period, and Sebastian Aho assisted on all three. Veteran blueliner Sami Vatanen contributed on two of the goals, including the Russian's third of the night.
Jordan Martinook, who rounded out the scoring for Carolina, heaped praise on the 20-year-old after the game.
"Scoring a hat trick in the playoffs? That's pretty special," Martinook said, according to Sara Civian of The Athletic. "I couldn't be more proud of Svech."
Artemi Panarin managed New York's only goal as Hurricanes netminder Petr Mrazek stopped 23 of the 24 shots he faced.
Next Game: Tuesday, August 4 (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Winnipeg Jets 3, Calgary Flames 2
Calgary overcame a 2-0 deficit, but Nikolaj Ehlers scored the winning goal midway through the third period.
Jansen Harkins and Adam Lowry also scored for Winnipeg, which leaned on Connor Hellebuyck for 30 saves in the victory. Impressively, the Jets evened the series 1-1 without winger Patrik Laine and centers Mark Scheifele and Mason Appleton.
"It was a special time for our team to rally," Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said, per the Associated Press. "I'm proud that we won the game in the manner that we did with the injuries that we had because it will give the people that are not familiar to our season a little glimpse of what we've been doing all year."
Elias Lindholm and Sam Bennett accounted for Calgary's goals.
Next Game: Tuesday, August 4 (6:45 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Tampa Bay Lightning 3, Washington Capitals 2 (SO)
In this Eastern Conference round-robin matchup, the Lightning and Capitals needed a shootout to decide the winner.
Nikita Kucherov opened the scoring in the first period and then wrapped up the victory with a goal in the shootout.
Brayden Point assisted Kucherov's early goal and added one of his own in the shootout. Mitchell Stephens also scored for the Lightning during regulation, while Andrei Vasilevskiy had 31 saves.
Similar to Calgary, the Capitals fought back from a 2-0 hole but couldn't finish the comeback. Richard Panik and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored in the loss.
Next Games: Tampa Bay vs. Boston (Wednesday, August 5, 4 p.m. ET, NBCSN); Philadelphia vs. Washington (Thursday, August 6, time TBD)
Vegas Golden Knights 5, Dallas Stars 3
Eight players scored in a wild contest between Vegas and Dallas.
Chandler Stephenson put the Golden Knights ahead 1-0 in the first period. During the second frame, the Stars jumped ahead 3-1 thanks to Joe Pavelski, Jamie Oleksiak and Corey Perry.
But in the third period, it was all Vegas—with one completely ridiculous go-ahead goal from William Carrier.
Mark Stone, Nate Schmidt and Carrier bested Ben Bishop, and William Karlsson added an empty-netter to seal the victory. Stone, Schmidt and Karlsson also had one assist each.
Vegas is now tied with the Colorado Avalanche atop the Western Conference round-robin standings.
Next Games: Vegas vs. St. Louis (Thursday, August 6, time TBD); Colorado vs. Dallas (Wednesday, August 5, 6:30 p.m. ET, NHL Network)
Pittsburgh Penguins 3, Montreal Canadiens 1
Despite a 35-save effort from Carey Price, the Canadiens could not take a 2-0 series advantage on the Penguins.
Sidney Crosby put Pittsburgh ahead quickly, finishing off a tremendous cross-ice pass from Jake Guentzel.
Conor Sheary assisted on Crosby's goal and added a second helper to Jason Zucker in the third period. After a Jesperi Kotkaniemi goal trimmed the Penguins' lead to 2-1, Guentzel's empty-netter in the closing seconds iced Pittsburgh's win.
Matt Murray made 26 saves for the Penguins.
Next Game: Wednesday, August 5 (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Edmonton Oilers 6, Chicago Blackhawks 3
Connor McDavid stole the show as Edmonton evened up the series.
The superstar center needed only 19 seconds to get on the board and scored twice in the opening five minutes.
However, the Blackhawks didn't go away quietly as Patrick Kane's goal made it 2-1. After Tyler Ennis pushed the Oilers ahead 3-1, Slater Koekkoek and Olli Maatta responded to even the score late in the second period. But then, McDavid happened again.
The 23-year-old finished off his hat trick on a power play, giving Ryan Nugent-Hopkins his third assist in the process.
James Neal and Alex Chiasson rounded out Edmonton's scoring.
Next Game: Wednesday, August 5 (10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.