Toronto and Dallas Eager To Even Their Respective Second Round Series Tonight – Game 2 Preview


By NHL Public Relations

May 4, 2023

A doubleheader broadcast nationally in the U.S. (TNT) and Canada (SN, TVAS, CBC) features the higher-seeded Maple Leafs and Stars looking to even their respective Second Round series against the Panthers and Kraken. Teams that dropped Game 1 in the 2023 First Round owned a series record of 6-2, with Toronto and Dallas accounting for two of the wins.

Auston Matthews (5-5—10 in 7 GP) and Morgan Rielly (3-6—9 in 6 GP) enter Thursday with active point streaks of seven and six contests, respectively, with the latter’s run kickstarted by a four-assist performance as the Maple Leafs rebounded in Game 2 of the First Round.Rielly needs one point to become the third defenseman in franchise history to reach 10 within a postseason in eight contests or fewer, following Tim Horton in 1962 (3-8—11 in 7 GP) and Ian Turnbull in 1978 (3-7—10 in 8 GP).

Carter Verhaeghe can become the second player in League history to score three consecutive winning goals within a postseason multiple times in his NHL career, joining Jaromir Jagr (1992 & 2000). Florida would be the fifth franchise since 1979-80 (when the League expanded its postseason structure to include 16 teams) with a five-game winning streak after entering the playoffs with the fewest regular-season points among all clubs (outright or tied), following Montreal in 2021 (7-0), Philadelphia in 2010 (6-0), Nashville in 2017 (5-0) and Toronto in 1987 (5-0).

Yanni Gourde, who got the overtime winner in Game 1, and Seattle will look to keep its momentum going at American Airlines Center and improve to 5-1 as visitors in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Kraken would be the fifth franchise in NHL history with five or more road wins during their first trip to the postseason, joining the Golden Knights (6-4 in 2018), Wild (6-4 in 2003), Panthers (5-6 in 1996) and Islanders (5-5 in 1975).

Joe Pavelski made his presence known in his return to the Stars’ lineup when he potted four goals as Dallas erased a 4-2 third-period deficit in Game 1. Pavelski can become the 11th different player in NHL history with five goals in a postseason at age 38 or older and first since Mark Recchi did so with the eventual-champion Bruins in 2011 (5-9—14 in 25 GP).

Source: NHL Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition – May 4, 2023

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