Columbus Blue Jackets 4-5 Tampa Bay Lightning (OT)
The Lightning became the first team to secure a spot in the Eastern Conference Semifinals after topping a resilient Blue Jackets squad in five games. Columbus was able to compete in most games but, in the end, Tampa Bay’s offensive power was just too much for Columbus to overcome. Tampa had to work quite hard to earn the win in Game 5, however, as they rallied from a 4-2 deficit with two late goals in the third period before closing things out in OT. Brayden Point was the hero for the Lightning after scoring the series-clinching goal 5:12 minutes into extra time.
Carolina Hurricanes 1-2 Boston Bruins
Soon after the Lightning won Game 5, the Bruins did the same thing — eliminating the Hurricanes in the process. Boston had to come from behind after Carolina opened the score in the first period, and they notched two power-play goals to turn things around thanks to Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. Bergeron’s game-winner came with just four seconds left in the second period. Boston outshot Carolina 27-24 in this game, but perhaps the most important thing was the return of David Pastrnak, who made his presence felt with two assists. The star winger will be key for Boston if they want to make a deep playoff run.
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Arizona Coyotes 1-6 Colorado Avalanche
The Avalanche scored seven goals in Game 4 against the Coyotes and many believed they wouldn’t be able to repeat that feat, but they looked absolutely filthy in front of goal once again and repeated the dose against Arizona, securing a 7-1 win and a 4-1 series win against an overmatched Arizona squad. Colorado might face a tougher opponent in the Western Conference Semifinals, but there’s no question they looked like a potential Stanley Cup contender against the Coyotes. Colorado outshot Arizona 34-26, and it’s clear their calling card ahead of the playoffs will be their offensive power, led by names such as Nathan McKinnon and Nazem Kadri — both players scored two goals against Arizona in Game 5, and McKinnon also added an assist for a three-point performance.