Five things to know about the NHL playoffs
Source: Cheknews

The Vancouver Canucks made it out of the first round Friday night, while the Toronto Maple Leafs look to accomplish something they haven't done in decades on Saturday.

Here are five things to know entering Saturday's post-season action:

ALL-CANADIAN SERIES

It was a close call, but the Vancouver Canucks pulled through. Pius Suter scored the winning marker with 1:39 remaining to give Vancouver a 1-0 victory over the Nashville Predators in Game 6 to take the opening-round series.

Now the Canucks will face the Edmonton Oilers in an all-Canadian second-round matchup. It will be the first time since 1992 the two teams have met in the playoffs.

The series assures that at least one Canadian club will advance into the Western Conference finals.

Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet was one of three Jack Adams Award finalists announced on Friday.

Rick Bowness of the Winnipeg Jets and Andrew Brunette of the Nashville Predators are the other finalists. The award is presented annually to the head coach of the year as voted on by members of the NHL Broadcasters' Association.

Tocchet helped the Canucks finish first in the Pacific Division with a 50-23-9 record in his first full season behind Vancouver's bench. He is a first-time finalist and looking to become the third Canuck coach to win the award.

POTENTIAL HISTORY

The Toronto Maple Leafs are on the verge of advancing to the second round. If done, it will be the second straight year they do so after ending a 19-year drought last season in defeating Tampa Bay in six games.

This time around, though, Toronto looks to complete a comeback after being down 3-1 in its opening-round series against the Bruins when Game 7 commences Saturday.

Toronto has only come back from a 3-1 series deficit to win a series once - in 1942 when the club was down 3-0 to the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup final.

TIME TO STEP UP

Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery was clear in expressing that his top players needed to perform as such after Boston's 2-1 Game 6 loss to the Leafs on Thursday.

He specifically called out star forward David Pastrnak, who has been held pointless the last two games, both of which Boston has lost.

Pastrnak acknowledged that he "should maybe have a little bit more of a shooting mentality," but with the season on the line in Game 7 Saturday, the entire Bruins offence could use more to prevent an early start to the off-season.

LIVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER KNIGHT

The defending champion Vegas Golden Knights showed their mettle Friday night, coming up with their biggest win of the season.

Vegas defeated the Dallas Stars 2-0 after losing three straight in the best-of-seven first-round series.

Dreams of a repeat can stay alive if the Golden Knights can finish the deal on the road in Game 7 on Sunday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 4, 2024.

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