NHL Playoffs 2020: Updated Bracket After Flyers, Canucks Wins

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorSeptember 2, 2020

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) defends the goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

The Philadelphia Flyers and Vancouver Canucks stayed alive in their respective playoff series on Tuesday.

Philadelphia defeated the New York Islanders 4-3 in overtime off a Scott Laughton deflection, forcing a Game 6 in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals.

Backup goaltender Thatcher Demko made 43 saves to help give the Canucks a 2-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Like the Flyers, the Canucks also forced a Game 6 with their victory.

Here's a look at the updated playoff bracket after those results as well as a look back at Tuesday's action.

         

NHL Bracket

Eastern Conference First Round

1. Philadelphia Flyers def. 8. Montreal Canadiens, 4-2

2. Tampa Bay Lightning def. 7. Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-1

6. New York Islanders def. 3. Washington Capitals, 4-1

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4. Boston Bruins def. 5. Carolina Hurricanes, 4-1

        

Eastern Conference Semifinals

2. Tampa Bay Lightning def. 4. Boston Bruins, 4-1

6. New York Islanders lead 1. Philadelphia Flyers, 3-2

             

Eastern Conference Finals

2. Tampa Bay Lightning vs. 6. New York Islanders or 1. Philadelphia Flyers

           

Western Conference First Round

1. Vegas Golden Knights def. 8. Chicago Blackhawks, 4-1

2. Colorado Avalanche def. 7. Arizona Coyotes, 4-1

3. Dallas Stars def. 6. Calgary Flames, 4-2

5. Vancouver Canucks def. 4. St. Louis Blues, 4-2

          

Western Conference Semifinals

1. Vegas Golden Knights lead 5. Vancouver Canucks, 3-2

3. Dallas Stars lead 2. Colorado Avalanche, 3-2

         

Western Conference Finals

1. Vegas Golden Knights or 5. Vancouver Canucks vs. 2. Colorado Avalanche or 3. Dallas Stars

              

Stanley Cup Finals

Eastern Conference winner vs. Western Conference winner

             

Canucks 2, Golden Knights 1

The Golden Knights outshot the Canucks 43-17 but still came out on the losing end.

That's because Demko, who made all of nine regular-season starts before 2019-20 and zero in the playoffs entering Tuesday, turned aside 42 Vegas shots.

The Canucks shook things up in goal under adverse circumstances: Per Rick Dhaliwal of TSN 1040, starting netminder Jacob Markstrom is reportedly dealing with a lower-body injury, and that forced Demko into the sudden spotlight.

To make matters more difficult, the Knights' offense has been on fire this series, scoring 13 total goals in their three wins.

But Demko was cool under pressure en route to forcing Game 6. He also did something no rookie goalie had done since 1997, per Sportsnet:

Shea Theodore opened the scoring for Vegas with a goal at 15:12 of the second period to give the Golden Knights the early 1-0 lead, but Brock Boeser responded 24 seconds later to tie the game for Vancouver.

Elias Pettersson scored the go-ahead goal at 3:19 of the third, a period in which Demko turned aside 15 Vegas shots on goal. 

Vancouver is looking to advance to the conference finals for the first time since 2010-11, when it represented the West in the Stanley Cup.

              

Flyers 4, Islanders 3 (OT)

Laughton was the hero with his deflection off an Ivan Provorov shot 12 minutes into overtime to give the Flyers a 4-3 win and playoff hope for at least one more day.

Philadelphia looked well in control of the game after scoring three consecutive goals within 8:47 of ice time spanning the second and third periods. A 1-0 Isles lead evaporated after Claude Giroux, James van Riemsdyk and Matt Niskanen all got on the scoresheet.

But the Islanders refused to give up. Brock Nelson scored with fewer than five minutes left in the final period, and Derick Brassard netted the equalizer at 17:19:

It was all for naught, though, as Laughton sent the Flyers home happy.

The 26-year-old, who got an assist on Van Riemsdyk's first-period goal to give the Flyers a 2-0 edge, had been relatively quiet for much of the postseason and did not get a point in his team's six-game series win over the Montreal Canadiens in the first round. But he came through when his team needed him the most.

Both of the Flyers' victories against the Islanders in the playoffs have been 4-3 overtime wins. The first came in Game 2, when New York overcame a 3-0 deficit to tie the game but lost when Philippe Myers scored just over two minutes into overtime.

Philadelphia will now look to tie the series at three in its quest to make the Stanley Cup for the first time in 10 years.

          

What's Next?

Both teams will hit the ice next on Thursday. Philadelphia and New York will play Game 6 beginning at 7 p.m. ET, and Vegas and Vancouver will follow at 9:45 p.m.

They'll be looking to join the Tampa Bay Lightning in the conference finals. Tampa made it by virtue of beating the Boston Bruins in five games in the conference semis.

The Lightning hold the only conference finals berth at the moment: The other semifinal to be determined involves the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars. The Stars lead that one three games to two and will look to close out the series Wednesday at 8 p.m.