Hockey goalkeeper Pavel Francouz kept a clean sheet in his premiere in the NHL playoffs and 27 interventions led Colorado in the group to start in the 1st round to win 4-0 over Dallas. David Pastrňak did not score in the second match either and lost to Tampa Bay 2: 3 with Boston. In the winners' jersey, Ondřej Palat scored an assistance at the first goal.
Colorado coach Jared Bednar announced that in the group he would give both goalkeepers a chance to deploy and that he would then decide who he would determine by number one. Their performances must have a tangled head. Philipp Grubauer covered in the opening match with a 2: 1 win over St. Louis shot 31 shots and the Frenchman became the first goalkeeper in club history who did not collect at the playoff premiere. Both goalkeepers were declared the best players of the match.
“I wasn’t nervous at all today and it scared me a bit, because I’m usually quite a lot. So I was a little scared, but it didn’t affect my performance. I don’t even know why I felt so comfortable,” said the Frenchman.
He caught the whole match for the first time since March 11. In preparation, he started only half of the match against Minnesota and did not collect from 14 shots. “After a long time it was a real match again. I concentrated more than usual and with each operation I felt more confident. But my teammates helped me a lot and blocked a lot of shots in the weaknesses, it was great. It was a pleasure to be able to catch them. , “he added.
The score was opened in the fourth minute by a shot from the blue line by defender Cale Makar, who is together with Dominik Kubalik from Chicago in a three-member nomination for the award for the best rookie of the season. Then the Frenchman was lucky, after Radek Faksas shot, the puck passed under his equipment and stopped at the goal line. Joonas Donskoi raised the backhand in the opening third.
“We dominated and worked out a lot of good chances. We scored goals. As I mentioned, my teammates helped me a lot and played a lot in their zone as well. I enjoyed it,” continued the Frenchman, who dealt with dangerous hits at 2-0. Tylera Seguina.
Colorado scored the remaining two goals at the turn of the second and third periods. Vladislav Naměstnikov was penalized for a mistake by Faksa, who lost the puck on the defensive blue line. Alexandr Burakovsky had a fantastic opportunity to put Dallas up another goal 42 minutes into the match. He could have prepared the French for zero in the rest of the match from a solo escape by Corey Perry, but the Czech goalkeeper fired his shot.
The Frenchman caught 34 matches in the basic part and belonged to the elite ten in average goals (2.41) and success rates (92.3%). He picked up the only zero of the season on the day he extended his contract with Colorado at the end of February, now adding his second in the NHL. “We have two capable goalkeepers, the team trusts both. If you look at their statistics, they have similar numbers. Frankie (French) deserves credit for his work and for how quickly he fit into the team,” said Bednar.
Boston, who lost the first match to Philadelphia 1: 4, started sleepily and lost 0: 2 in the eleventh minute. The opening goal had a Czech track: Palat passed to Nikita Kučerov, whose shot Tuukka Rask did not keep and the puck reached Brayden Point. Alex Killorn increased the score, from whose skate Victor Hedman’s shot from the blue bounced into the goal.
The best team of the basic part did not give up and at the turn of the second and third period they equalized with hits by Charlie McAvoy and Chris Wagner. But the last word was given to Tyler Johnson, who decided in 58:33 from the finish to win Tampa Bay.
Boston, for which Ondřej Kaše did not play again, will not defend the position of the best team of the Eastern Conference. “But we gave a good performance. We didn’t start as we wanted, but we played. We had nice actions, goal chances and we evened up. We lost, but it was better than last time,” said Boston leader Patrice Bergeron.
After Washington (3: 2 win after the raids), Tampa Bay scored the scalp of another strong team. “But we lost 2-0 in both games. It’s something we should think about,” said Tampa Bay striker Blake Coleman. “Keeping teams like Boston and Washington on two goals proves that we didn’t do badly,” added coach Jon Cooper, who also put Jan Rutta in the defense.
Chicago defeated Edmonton 4: 3 and in the qualification to advance to the 1st round of the NHL playoffs leads 2: 1 in matches. Kubalik, who shone five points (2 + 3) in the opening match of the series, came out empty-handed for the second time in a row.
Chicago took the lead twice in the opening period, scoring Olli Maatta and Jonathan Toews. Leon Draisaitl tied for Edmonton each time, and Connor McDavid turned the score around 40 minutes. Goalkeeper Mikko Koskinen was saved by the pole at the beginning of the last part after Toews’ shot for the third time in the match, but in the final six minutes the Blackhawks still survived. Matthew Highmore equalized and Toews decided the match in a time of 58:44.
Montreal also made a turnaround, turning the match with Pittsburgh from 1: 3 to 4: 3 and leading the match in the qualifying for the 1st round of the playoffs 2: 1. The turnaround was completed by Jeff Petry, who scored the winning goal in the extension of the opening match of the series. The twelfth team of the Eastern Conference thus separates a single win from the promotion.
NHL Playoff Qualification Results:
Eastern Conference (Toronto):
Playoff Qualifiers – Match 3:
Montreal – Pittsburgh 4:3 (1:2, 2:1, 1:0)
Goals: 5. S. Weber, 31. Drouin, 36. Byron, 46. Petry – 9. Hornqvist, 10. Zucker, 26. Blugers. Shots on goal: 31:33. Played without spectators. Match stars: 1. S. Weber, 2. Chiarot, 3. Byron (all Montreal). Series status: 2: 1.
About deployment to the playoffs:
Boston – Tampa Bay 2:3 (0:2, 1:0, 1:1)
Branky: 37. McAvoy, 42. Wagner – 8. B. Point (Palat), 11. Killorn, 59. T. Johnson. Shots on goal: 27:35. Played without spectators. Match stars: 1. T. Johnson, 2. B. Point (both Tampa Bay), 3. McAvoy (Boston).
Western Conference (Edmonton):
Playoff Qualifiers – Match 3:
Chicago – Edmonton 4:3 (2:1, 0:2, 2:0)
Goals: 20th and 59th J. Toews, 10th Maatta, 55th Highmore – 10th and 25th Draisaitl, 40th McDavid. Shots on goal: 25:28. Played without spectators. Match stars: 1. J. Toews, 2. Maatta (both Chicago), 3. Draisaitl (Edmonton).
About deployment to the playoffs:
Dallas – Colorado 0:4 (0:2, 0:1, 0:1)
Goals: 4. Makar, 16. Donskoi, 38. Namestnikov, 42. Burakovsky. Shots on goal: 27:40. Played without spectators. Match stars: 1. Frenchman, 2. Burakovsky, 3. Donskoi (all Colorado).