The Philadelphia Flyers avoided elimination, the Panthers evened up their series with the Islanders, the Stars pushed the Wild to the brink and the Sharks did the same to the Kings.
Here are five things we learned in the NHL on Wednesday night.
Jagr joins elite company…again
It took him four games to get on the score sheet, but Jaromir Jagr registered his first assist of the series on the opening goal of Florida’s Game 4 victory.
The point helped Jagr achieve quite a milestone as the assist gave him his 200th career playoff point, which ranks fifth all-time in NHL history.
If you can believe it, the four ahead of him all happen to be from the Edmonton Oilers‘ dynasty of the 1980s.
The 44-year-old NHL legend racked up almost 19 minutes of ice time in Wednesday’s win, but he’s still looking for his first playoff goal in almost four seasons.
Game of goalies
If there was a pattern to the Philadelphia Flyers’ goals Wednesday, it was screened shots from the point by defencemen — something Braden Holtby is usually able to fight, according to goalie guru Kevin Woodley.
Shayne Gostisbehere (happy birthday, BTW) scored on the power play in the first period while Andrew Macdonald put the Flyers up 2-0 in the second.
Michal Neuvirth, playing his former team in Washington, made some changes to his game over the summer that seem to have worked. He was strong all season and earned first-star honours Wednesday.
For Neuvirth, it had been a while.
Included without comment:
Not really sure what’s going on here, but it looks fun… pic.twitter.com/ZcGRK6yBNP
Flyers stay disciplined
The Flyers stayed alive in their series with the Capitals Wednesday and did so by staying out of the box — something they couldn’t get out of in the last contest. In fact, Washington scored five (!) power-play goals in Game 3.
Philadelphia took just two penalties in Game 4 and the Caps could not convert in a 2-1 loss.
The Flyers gave up three power-play goals late in the third period of Game 3 after an ugly hit from behind that produced a five-minute major. After the regrettable way with which they finished Monday’s contest, it was an efficient and quiet win for Philadelphia on Wednesday.
Ales Hemsky scores in playoffs for first time since 2006 Stanley Cup Final
Yeah. Soak that in.
Of course, the Wild-Stars series is also the first post-season appearance for Hemsky since that same Final, but good golly. Hemsky played for the Oilers from 2002 to 2014 when he was dealt to the Ottawa Senators. (He joined the Stars prior to last season, but Dallas missed the playoffs.)
Here’s some more context for the unbelievable amount of time between his two playoff goals:
- Justin Timberlake’s hit single SexyBack had yet to be released
- The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift was in theatres
- Twitter was three months old
- And, um, the Edmonton Oilers were in the Stanley Cup Final
Sharks surround Kings
Much like the Flyers in Monday’s Game 3, the Los Angeles Kings could not stay out of the box Wednesday — and it cost them.
The San Jose Sharks scored three power-play goals on four opportunities. That should make the Kings think twice about getting aggressive in Game 5, as they attempt to remain in the series.
Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau each tallied goals with the man-advantage to help the Sharks to a 3-1 series lead. And despite a late rally from the Kings, their penalties cost them the game.
Dimitri Filipovic highlighted this exact trend in a recent article, saying that discipline would be the difference in this California rivalry series. Boy, was he right.