NHL's Top Stats, Best Highlights, Updated Playoff Picture from Aug. 7 Results

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2020

Artturi Lehkonen and the Canadiens sent the Penguins home.
Artturi Lehkonen and the Canadiens sent the Penguins home.Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

Only one of the NHL's eight qualifying series ended in a sweep, but many bags are starting to be packed around the league.

Since Friday's slate included six series in Game 4 of the best-of-five format, there wasn't a guarantee any team would be eliminated. However, only one series is headed to the ever-exciting win-or-go-home matchup.

And it's hard to believe the Toronto Maple Leafs are still alive.

B/R is looking back through a busy Friday in the NHL, recapping the games while sharing the best performances, top highlights and storylines to watch.


August 4 Scores, Top Stats

New York Islanders 5, Florida Panthers 1 (NYI wins series 3-1)

According to Neil Best of Newsday, New York Islanders winger Anthony Beauvillier has a simple reminder written on his grip: "have fun."

Beauviller did exactly that in Game 4.

x-New York Islanders @NYIslanders

Beauvillier. Backhand. Boom. 🚨 https://t.co/MCxMpNN7XJ

During the first period, the 23-year-old scored twice and sparked a 5-1 triumph over the Florida Panthers. Brock Nelson added a goal and an assist, and Josh Bailey had two helpers for the Islanders.

"Sometimes it's good to remind yourself a little bit why you're doing this," Beauvillier said of the message on his grip, per Best. "I've been writing that on my stick for over six, seven years now. ... It's just something I do every time."

Next up for the Islanders is a first-round matchup with either the Washington Capitals or Boston Bruins.


Arizona Coyotes 4, Nashville Predators 3 (OT) (ARI wins series 3-1)

The Nashville Predators recovered from a 2-0 deficit and scored a game-tying goal in the final minute of regulation, but it wasn't enough to extend their series with the Arizona Coyotes.

Brad Richardson slapped home a rebound of his own deflection to hand Arizona a thrilling 4-3 overtime win.

Arizona Coyotes @ArizonaCoyotes


Michael Grabner, Phil Kessel and Jordan Oesterle all scored for the Coyotes, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson notched two assists. The hero, though, is goaltender Darcy Kuemper after he made 49 savesthe third game time in the series he made at least 39.

"Yeah, he's unbelievable," Kessel said, per Richard Morin of the Arizona Republic. "You watch him out there; he makes every save he should. He's why we're moving on."

The Coyotes will challenge the loser of Saturday's game between the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights.


Montreal Canadiens 2, Pittsburgh Penguins 0 (MTL wins series 3-1)

After winning the Stanley Cup in both 2016 and 2017, the Pittsburgh Penguins are headed home early for the third straight year.

Carey Price turned aside all 22 shots he faced to send the Montreal Canadiens past Sidney Crosby and the Penguins. Montreal winger Artturi Lehkonen scored the game-winning goal late in the third period, scoring on an absurd pass from Paul Byron.


First Round? You betchya! Artturi Lehkonen (@arsilehkonen) helped extend the @CanadiensMTL season for a little longer. 🙌 #StanleyCup https://t.co/zen43MsQ9Y

Shea Weber's empty-netter sealed the deal for Montreal, which will take on either the Tampa Bay Lightning or Philadelphia Flyers in the first round of the postseason. Those teams face off Saturday, and the winner will be the Eastern Conference's top seed.

Canadiens coach Claude Julien knows it will be a major challenge.

"We're believing in ourselves," he said, per Gregory Strong of the Canadian Press. "We're having fun with it. I think we're enjoying the success that we're having right now, but we also know that the next round will be against a top-seeded team, and we're going to have to be even better."


Chicago Blackhawks 3, Edmonton Oilers 2 (CHI wins series 3-1)

In each conference, the No. 12 seed is moving on. After Montreal finished off Pittsburgh earlier in the day, the Chicago Blackhawks eliminated the host of the Western Conference playoffs, the Edmonton Oilers.

How rude.

During the third period, with the game deadlocked at 2-2, Blackhawks rookie Dominik Kubalik scored the game-winner on a pass from captain Jonathan Toews.

#StanleyCup Qualifiers on NBC @NHLonNBCSports

Another CLUTCH set up by the Captain! The @NHLBlackhawks want this series done tonight 🔥 https://t.co/hTZ9EvcPoB

Toews had another assist, ending the series with four goals and three helpers. Chicago also received a huge performance from veteran goalie Corey Crawford, who made 43 saves. It was, by far, Crawford's best game in Edmonton.

The winner of Saturday's clash between Colorado and Vegas will be Chicago's first-round opponent.


Toronto Maple Leafs 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 3 (OT) (Series tied 2-2)

Just as it appeared the Columbus Blue Jackets would provide a fifth straight series-deciding win Friday, the Toronto Maple Leafs had other plans. And they made a little history in the process.

Stats By STATS @StatsBySTATS

The @MapleLeafs are the first NHL team all-time to come back to win after trailing by 3+ goals in the final 5 minutes of an elimination playoff game. #LeafsForever

Columbus surged ahead with goals from Cam Atkinson, Vladislav Gavrikov and Boone Jenner. Considering the last goal happened with 5:42 left in the third period, the game seemed decided.

But during the last four minutes of regulation, Toronto clawed back into proceedings thanks to William Nylander, John Tavares andwith 22.2 seconds remainingZach Hyman. Auston Matthews assisted on two of those goals. Then he provided the winner in overtime.


Auston Matthews (@AM34). Game on the line. Full send in OT. The @MapleLeafs storm back to play another day. 🔥 #StanleyCup Qualifiers https://t.co/tzCum6Ga1E

After the game, per James Mirtle of The Athletic, Matthews provided a perfect recap of the wild finish: "I don't even know what to say. What a comeback."

Game 5 is slated for Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.


Vancouver Canucks 5, Minnesota Wild 4 (OT) (VAN wins series 3-1)

This back-and-forth contest opened with the Minnesota Wild scoring a goal within three minutes. Later in the first period, the Vancouver Canucks evened the score. Forty seconds later, the Wild regained the lead.

And the excitement was only just starting.

Early in the second period, Minnesota moved ahead 3-1. But a couple minutes later, the Canucks scored two goals in 84 seconds. Nico Sturm pushed the Wild back in front during the final minute of the frame, but Vancouver tied it up again in the third period. Bo Horvat's goal forced the third overtime game of the day.

Incredibly, Chris Tanev and the Canucks needed only 11 seconds in the extra session to wrap up the series.

#StanleyCup Qualifiers on NBC @NHLonNBCSports

The overtime winner! It took the @Canucks 11 seconds to seal the deal and punch their ticket to the #StanleyCup Playoffs. https://t.co/HiZHFUFIUd

Tanev and Horvat both finished with a goal and two assists, while Tanner Pearson and Quinn Hughes each had a goal and an assist for Vancouver. Brandon Sutter scored the other goal.

As the Wild return home, the Canucks await the loser of the St. Louis Blues-Dallas Stars matchup Sunday.


Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.