Toronto – Associated Press – Well later this evening that Tampa Bay Lightning will see if they can lockdown the top seed in the NHL East for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They face a Flyers team with the same goal of locking down number one.
The loser can do no worse than the second seed and Boston will face the Washington Capitals as those two looks to sort out the third and fourth seeds respectively. Over in the West, it looks a great deal like Vegas is going to lock up the top spot as they have dominated pool play thus far.
Both the Knights advanced to the pool finals with wins Thursday. Three unanswered third-period goals rallied Las Vegas 6-4 over the defending champion St. Louis Blues while Philadelphia’s Scott Laughton scored twice in the Flyers’ 3-1 victory over the Washington Capitals.
Brian Elliott made 16 saves for the Flyers, who outlasted the 2018 champion Capitals to sustain their bid for the top seed. Washington will play Boston, which had the most wins and points in the NHL when the hiatus hit, on Sunday for an East third seed.
Pierre-Luc Dubois completed a hat trick with a game-winning breakaway goal 18:24 into overtime to lift the Columbus Blue Jackets over Toronto 4-3 for a 2-1 lead in their East qualifying series.
The Maple Leafs took a 3-0 lead on their home ice, only to surrender four unanswered goals, the last only 96 seconds before the end of the first overtime period.
Dubois put Columbus on the board 11:39 into the second period and after a Seth Jones goal pulled the Blue Jackets level with 9:11 to play in the third, setting the stage for his dramatic finisher.
Vancouver’s Jacob Markstrom made 27 saves and the Canucks blanked Minnesota 3-0 to seize a 2-1 lead in their West qualifying series.
Brock Boeser, Antoine Roussel and Elias Pettersson scored for the Canucks, who can advance to the Stanley Cup playoffs with a victory in game four Friday at Edmonton.
In the late game in Edmonton on Thursday, the Calgary Flames sealed their place in the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 4-0 rout of the Winnipeg Jets, completing a 3-1 series victory.