NHL Playoff Bracket 2020: TV Schedule, Live Stream and Sunday Picks

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 30, 2020

Vegas Golden Knights left wing William Carrier (28) celebrates with goaltender Robin Lehner after defeating the New Jersey Devils in an NHL hockey game Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

The Vegas Golden Knights have found the perfect formula for postseason success.

The top seed in the NHL's Western Conference has benefited from Robin Lehner's strong play in net and attackers who have produced 10 goals in three games against the Vancouver Canucks.

If Vegas perfects that combination again in Sunday's Game 4, it could move one step away from the Western Conference Final.

The Dallas Stars and the New York Islanders could also join the Tampa Bay Lightning as teams with 3-1 second-round series leads if they win Sunday.


NHL Sunday Schedule

Game 4: Colorado vs. Dallas (6 p.m. ET, NBCSN)

Game 4: Philadelphia vs. New York Islanders (8 p.m. ET, NBC)

Game 4: Vegas vs. Vancouver (10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN)

All games can be live-streamed on NBCSports.com and NBC Sports app.



Vegas over Vancouver

John Locher/Associated Press

Lehner is the only netminder with two shutouts in the second round.

In Saturday's Game 3, he shut down the Canucks by turning away all of the 31 shots sent in his direction.

Through three games, the trade deadline acquisition has a .952 save percentage and has conceded on four occasions, all of which were in Game 2.

In all of his postseason wins, Lehner has been backed up by a tremendous offense, which scored on three occasions in Saturday's victory. Fourteen of the 18 skaters who have taken the ice for Vegas in the series have recorded at least one point, with blueliner Shea Theodore leading the team with five points.

The Golden Knights' scoring depth is not just tough for the Canucks to deal with, but it could be treacherous for any future opponent.

The one thing that could derail Vegas' success is playing on back-to-back days. The Golden Knights lost the second game of a back-to-back against the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round.

But if Vegas learns from its mistakes in the one-goal performance in Game 4 of the first-round series, it could cruise past the Canucks yet again.

Vancouver is giving Vegas its best fight, as Bo Horvat, Elias Pettersson and others have been active in the offensive zone, but Lehner has simply been better.


Colorado over Dallas

Paul Vernon/Associated Press

Colorado finally found a way to break through Dallas' defense in Game 3.

The Avalanche beat Anton Khudobin on six occasions, with three of those tallies coming in the final eight minutes of the third period.

Colorado was also able to get production from all of its lines instead of relying on Nathan MacKinnon to create all of its offense.

MacKinnon assisted on the third and fourth goals of the six-strike outburst, but outside of those helpers, he was not directly involved in scoring plays. In Games 1 and 2, Colorado's superstar had a hand in all five of Colorado's goals.

Nazem Kadri and Nikita Zadorov chipped in a goal and an assist apiece, and Cale Makar led Colorado with three assists. The 21-year-old defenseman could be the X-factor on both sides of the ice. He can provide extra offensive power from the point and help slow down Dallas' top scorers.

Even though Joe Pavelski and Tyler Seguin each had six shots in Game 3, the duo combined for a single point from Seguin's goal.

If Colorado's defense neutralizes the Stars' top threats again, it could level the series and turn it into a best-of-three matchup for a spot in the Western Conference Final.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90Statistics obtained from Hockey Reference.