NHL Playoffs 2021: TV Schedule, Live-Stream Guide for Monday's Stanley Cup GamesMay 24, 2021
NHL Playoffs 2021: TV Schedule, Live-Stream Guide for Monday's Stanley Cup Games
The first two teams have advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Colorado Avalanche completed a four-game sweep of the St. Louis Blues on Sunday, while the Boston Bruins notched their fourth straight win over the Washington Capitals to win their series in five games.
Three more teams could join the Avalanche and Bruins in the second round with wins Monday. It will also be the busiest day of the postseason, with five games on the day's slate.
Here's a look at Monday's schedule, followed by a look at the top storylines heading into the day.
Game 5 (series tied 2-2): No. 4 New York Islanders at No. 1 Pittsburgh Penguins, 7 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network
Game 3 (series tied 1-1): No. 1 Toronto Maple Leafs at No. 4 Montreal Canadiens, 7 p.m. ET, NHL Network
Game 5 (TBL leads 3-1): No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning at No. 2 Florida Panthers, 8 p.m. ET, CNBC
Game 4 (WPG leads 3-0): No. 2 Edmonton Oilers at No. 3 Winnipeg Jets, 9:45 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network
Game 5 (VGK leads 3-1): No. 3 Minnesota Wild at No. 2 Vegas Golden Knights, 10:30 p.m. ET, CNBC
Games can be streamed live on the NBC Sports app.
3 Teams Looking to Advance to 2nd Round with Wins
Colorado may not be the only team to earn a first-round sweep, as there's still one other series that could end in four games. The Winnipeg Jets own a 3-0 lead over the Edmonton Oilers and will be looking to advance to the second round with a victory on home ice Monday.
It's a surprise that Winnipeg has dominated the series in this fashion. It beat Edmonton 4-1 in Game 1 and then notched overtime wins in Games 2 and 3. The Jets went 2-7-0 against the Oilers during the regular season.
The Lightning and Vegas Golden Knights are also each a win away from advancing to the second round. But these teams were among the top contenders, so it's not a shocker that both are off to strong starts this postseason.
Tampa Bay has a 3-1 lead over Florida, having scored 19 goals already in the series. The Lightning dropped Game 3 in overtime, but they bounced back for a 6-2 win in Game 4.
Vegas had some trouble against Minnesota during the regular season, going 3-4-1 in the eight matchups between the teams. Then the Golden Knights dropped Game 1 of their opening-round series 1-0 in overtime. However, they have rebounded to win three straight games, outscoring the Wild 12-3 in those contests to move to the cusp of advancing.
Penguins, Isles Set to Face Off in Crucial Game 5
The Penguins and Islanders continue to trade blows in their opening-round series. New York won 4-3 in overtime in Game 1. Pittsburgh responded by winning Games 2 and 3 by a combined score of 7-5. Now, the series is tied at 2 after the Isles won 4-1 in Game 4, the first game of the series decided by more than one goal.
Game 5 will be a crucial matchup, as the winning team will move to one victory away from advancing. If that's going to be the Penguins (who will be playing on home ice), they may need more production from captain Sidney Crosby, who has one goal in this series.
"With the position that they were in, you knew they were going to fight," Crosby said, per Will Graves of the Associated Press. "And I just think that we have to have that same mentality. We can't wait and see and have that type of approach. We've got to go in there and dictate the pace."
The Islanders have already been victorious on the road in this series, taking Game 1. If they can win in Pittsburgh again, they will have a chance to secure a series victory on home ice in Game 6.
While Game 5 may not determine who wins the series, this is an important contest for both teams as each looks to extend its season.
Will Maple Leafs or Canadiens Take Control in Game 3?
After a slow start to the first round, the Toronto Maple Leafs looked more like the team that people expected them to be in Game 2 of their series against the Montreal Canadiens. After falling 2-1 at home in Game 1, Toronto bounced back on its home ice in Game 2, beating Montreal 5-1.
The series shifts to Montreal for Games 3 and 4, and the Maple Leafs will be looking to carry over the momentum from their Game 2 win. Otherwise, the Canadiens, who had 59 points in the regular season (the lowest total of any playoff team), could end up regaining control of the series.
"Montreal's made it very clear that they want to be very physical," Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said, per NHL.com's Dave Stubbs. "I think the quote or term was they want to make it a war. If you're going to do that, you're at risk of getting penalties called against you. It's our job as a power play to make them pay for that."
The Maple Leafs did that in Game 2, with two of their five goals coming on power plays. Toronto has a strong offense, so if it can keep that pressure on, it may not have trouble taking control of this series and moving further past its surprising Game 1 loss.