NHL Playoffs 2020: Updated Stanley Cup Schedule and Predictions

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 24, 2020

Colorado Avalanche center Vladislav Namestnikov, right, celebrates with Gabriel Landeskog (92) and Nathan MacKinnon, left, after scoring a goal against the San Jose Sharks in the second period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, March 8, 2020, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

The Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars can't stop scoring. 

The Western Conference second-round opponents combined for eight goals in the opener of their best-of-seven series. 

Dallas has lit the lamp on 12 occasions in its last two playoff games, while Colorado has 10 tallies in the same span. 

Since neither defense could slow down the opposing offense in Game 1, Monday's Game 2 should feature more of the same high-scoring antics. 

The same can't be said for Game 1 between Philadelphia and the New York Islanders, which could feature the best display of goalkeeping of the four second-round openers.


Updated Stanley Cup Playoffs Schedule

Monday, August 24

Game 1: New York Islanders vs. Philadelphia (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN)

Game 2: Dallas vs. Colorado (9:45 p.m. ET, NBCSN)


Tuesday, August 25

Game 2: Boston vs. Tampa Bay (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN)

Game 2: Vancouver vs. Vegas (9:45 p.m. ET, NBCSN)


Wednesday, August 26

Game 2: New York Islanders vs. Philadelphia (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN)

Game 3: Tampa Bay vs. Boston (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN)

Game 3: Colorado vs. Dallas (10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN)


Thursday, August 27

Game 3: Philadelphia vs. New York Islanders (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN)

Game 3: Vegas vs. Vancouver (9:45 p.m. ET, NBCSN)


Friday, August 28

Game 4: Tampa Bay vs. Boston (7:30 p.m. ET, USA)

Game 4: Colorado vs. Dallas (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN)


Saturday, August 29

Game 4: Philadelphia vs. New York Islanders (Noon ET, NBC)

Game 4: Vegas vs. Vancouver (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN)



Colorado, Dallas Continue High-Scoring Series

Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

The Avalanche and Stars converted eight of their 61 shots in Game 1. 

Some of the biggest names on each roster were active in the offensive zone. Nathan MacKinnon scored a pair for the Avalanche and Alexander Radulov had two goals for Dallas. 

Both teams worked the puck around well in front of the net, as all eight tallies were assisted by two players. 

Jamie Benn was the most effective helper, as he put out a trio of assists, two to Radulov and another to Tyler Seguin. 

Colorado defenseman Tyson Jost told NHL.com's Tracey Myers that his unit needs to be better against Dallas' top skaters. 

"It comes down to that we have to better, us as a middle-six group there but as a team, too," Jost said. "We have to take it upon ourselves and be better and go out and try to make a difference in the game. It's a challenge for us, so we have to step up to the plate and own that challenge." 

Even if the Avalanche are better on the defensive end, they could still be susceptible to conceding a goal or two. Their last shutout was in Game 1 of the first-round series against Arizona. 

Dallas has yet to record a shutout in the Edmonton, Alberta, hub, and it allowed a single goal in two of its 10 contests. 

While eight goals may not be on the menu Monday night, Dallas and Colorado could still put up a decent tally. If Colorado decreases Dallas' chances and MacKinnon continues to roll, it could level the series in a six-or-seven-goal thriller.


Carter Hart, Semyon Varlamov Thrive In Game 1 

Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Monday's opener could be a contrast to what we get out of the nightcap. 

Carter Hart and Semyon Varlamov both enter the second-round series with a save percentage over .930.

Hart produced a pair of shutouts and a .943 save percentage against Montreal, while Varlamov owns a single clean sheet and a .934 save percentage for the Islanders. 

Varlamov carries more playoff experience than Philadelphia's young netminder, but he has been far better than his career .915 save percentage in 35 playoff contests. 

The pair of goalies could benefit from the extra days of rest between the first and second rounds to get off to strong starts Monday. 

In each of New York's seven wins over Florida and Washington, it has held its opponent to two goals or fewer. 

The Flyers boast a similar, but better, mark, as they conceded zero or one goals in six of their seven wins inside the Toronto hub. 

If both defenses and goalies play at a high level again, Game 1 could be determined by one or two quality scoring opportunities. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from Hockey Reference