NHL Playoffs 2020: Updated Bracket After Monday's Results

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 1, 2020

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77) celebrates with goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) after the Lightning defeated the Montreal Canadiens during an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 5, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

The Boston Bruins are going home.

The Bruins may have finished the regular season with the most points in the league (100) before play was shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that didn't help them in the second round of the playoffs. The Tampa Bay Lightning finished their victory over Boston with a 3-2 double-overtime win in Game 5 on Monday.

It was Tampa Bay's fourth consecutive win after the Bruins took Game 1.

Elsewhere, the Colorado Avalanche are still alive thanks to a commanding 6-3 win over the Dallas Stars in Game 5 of their second-round series.

Here is a look at the updated bracket situation, as well as Monday's results.

           

Bracket

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The full Stanley Cup playoffs bracket can be found at NHL.com.

The sixth-seeded New York Islanders lead the top-seeded Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 in the Eastern Conference, and the winner will play the second-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final.

In the West, the top-seeded Vegas Golden Knights lead the fifth-seeded Vancouver Canucks 3-1, while the third-seeded Stars lead the second-seeded Avalanche 3-2.

           

Monday's Action

The showdown between the Bruins and Lightning was the headliner.

After all, the Atlantic Division rivals treated fans to a series that featured two overtime games and three games decided by one goal, even if the Lightning won four of the five contests. Monday's game was a fitting end to a tight series, and Victor Hedman played the role of hero.

The defenseman capped off an impressive second overtime for his side with a wrist shot from the left circle, ensuring there will be a new Eastern Conference champion this year.

Anthony Cirelli and Ondrej Palat also scored for Tampa Bay, and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy saved 45 of the 47 shots he faced in a brilliant performance.

The Western Conference game between Colorado and Dallas was nowhere near as exciting, although the Avalanche deserve plenty of credit for responding the way they did with their season on the line.

The victors wasted no time setting the tone and found the net five times in the opening period alone. Dallas was fighting an uphill battle the rest of the game and pulled goaltender Ben Bishop after the fourth goal he allowed.

Dallas scored three of the final four goals but was never truly in realistic striking distance.

Mikko Rantanen, Nazem Kadri, Nathan MacKinnon, Andre Burakovsky and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored in the opening period, and Burakovsky added the sixth goal during the second period.

The Avalanche led the Western Conference in goals per game (3.37) during the regular season and showed why with an offensive explosion to extend their series Monday.