<
>

Stanley Cup Playoffs Daily: Predators eliminated, Caps and Canes will go 7

Fare thee well, Nashville Predators, a team that felt disjointed all season and was bounced in six games by the Dallas Stars. Meanwhile, the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes are headed to a Game 7.

Here's what happened in the NHL on Monday night (check out replays of every playoff game on ESPN+) and what to watch for Tuesday night in today's edition of ESPN Stanley Cup Playoffs Daily:

Jump ahead: Last night's games | Three Stars
Play of the night | Today's games | Social post of the day


About last night ...

Game 6: Dallas Stars 2, Nashville Predators 1 (OT) (Dallas wins series 4-2) The Dallas Stars scored 10 goals in their previous two victories over the Predators to set up an elimination Game 6 at home. But this contest fit the template we assumed would characterize most of this series: Two goaltenders dueling until one of the big names on either team made a play. After Austin Watson and Blake Comeau traded goals in regulation, the game went into overtime for the second time in the series.

The Predators won Game 2 in the extra session; this time, it was John Klingberg capitalizing on some great playmaking by Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov to score his first of the playoffs and end the Predators' season. Ben Bishop made 47 saves. Pekka Rinne had the bounce-back game Nashville needed from him with 49 saves, but it wasn't enough. The Stars move on to face the St. Louis Blues.

Game 6: Carolina Hurricanes 5, Washington Capitals 2 (series tied 3-3) This contentious series between the defending Stanley Cup champions and the "Bunch of Jerks" playing in their first postseason in a decade will have a seventh and deciding game back in Washington on Wednesday. Which might be good news for the Capitals, as the home team has rolled to victory in each game. In Game 6, that was the Hurricanes, who rallied twice before scoring three unanswered goals in the third period -- a period, it should be said, that saw a controversial goalie interference call go against the Capitals that would have tied the score.

Jordan Staal had the eventual game-winning goal and picked up an assist on Justin Williams' critical goal at 11:58 of the third. You know, Justin Williams ... aka Mr. Game 7. Just something to keep in mind for the future. Alex Ovechkin scored his fourth of the playoffs but was given a misconduct penalty at 18:52 of the third for sarcastically applauding the on-ice officials.

Three stars

1. John Klingberg, Dallas Stars. The 26-year-old defenseman did not miss in overtime, scoring his second career playoff goal in spectacular fashion to give Dallas the series win over Nashville. He finished the series with a goal and five assists in six games.

2. Jordan Staal, Carolina Hurricanes. Staal scored at 3:51 of the third period to give the Canes the lead, and then added an assist on Justin Williams' goal. He also won 56 percent of his faceoffs.

3. Ben Bishop, Dallas Stars. He made 47 saves to win Game 6 and ended the first round with a .945 save percentage and a 1.90 goals-against average.

Play of the night

At 10:34 of the third period, with Carolina up by a goal, Evgeny Kuznetsov sneaked a puck in tight on goalie Petr Mrazek. Alex Ovechkin bulled his way to the net and appeared to knock a loose puck in. The Capitals celebrated, but the officials waved off the goal. Why? According to the NHL Situation Room, which reviewed a Capitals coach's challenge, it was "confirmed that Alex Ovechkin interfered with Petr Mrazek by pushing his pad, which caused the puck to enter the net." According to Rule 69.3, "if an attacking player initiates contact with a goalkeeper, incidental or otherwise, while the goalkeeper is in his goal crease, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed."

Said Ovechkin after the game: "Yeah, I saw the puck. He didn't control. He didn't see it. I don't know what the referee saw. I don't know what his explanation was. It's kind of weird. It's OK. It's over. Move forward. Nothing you can do right now."

Dud of the night

Nashville's power play. What would this series have looked like if the Predators' power play hadn't remained powerless? Nashville had the worst power play in the regular season (12.9 percent) and then went 0-for-15 against Dallas in its six-game defeat. That included a man advantage for the last 1:53 of regulation that the Predators squandered.

On the schedule

Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs, Game 7, 7 p.m. ET (series tied 3-3)

The series that everyone figured would go seven games goes seven games. For Toronto, the question is where Mitch Marner and John Tavares went, as they both have two assists and a minus-6 in their past five games. For Boston, the question is whether coach Bruce Cassidy working the refs on the Leafs' alleged skate-bump tactics will work. "Whether it's just dumb luck, or how they battle for pucks," Cassidy said, "we've brought it up with the supervisor."

Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant isn't worried about his team's emotional state after blowing two chances to close out San Jose ahead of Game 7, including a strong effort that came up empty in their double-OT loss last night. "It's not like we choked or anything," said Gallant.

Greg Wyshynski, ESPN28d ago

San Jose Sharks at Vegas Golden Knights, Game 7, 10 p.m. ET (series tied 3-3)

Vegas coach Gerard Gallant was confident that his team wouldn't be frustrated by the fact that it played well enough in Game 6 to deliver the knockout blow to the Sharks, only to lose in double overtime. But it's hard to ignore the momentum the Sharks have right now, or the fact that Martin Jones has stopped 88 of the past 91 shots he faced. The team that scored the first goal has won each game, and that team also has never trailed in any game.

Social post of the day

Hamilton The Pig, the good luck swine who "watched" the Canes' Game 3 and 4 wins from outside the arena, was inside the arena for Game 6. Time to load up the trough and head to D.C.?

Quotable

"If we were gonna lay an egg there, we might as well have done it now. We're going to go and f---ing plow this thing right to the end." -- Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour in the locker room after Game 6.