The Washington Capitals, Dallas Stars and New York Islanders all booked their places in the second round of the Stanley Cup play-offs with victories on Sunday.
The Capitals beat the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0, the Stars edged out the Minnesota Wild 5-4, while the Islanders needed double overtime to beat the Florida Panthers 2-1, with all three advancing teams winning their respective series 4-2.
The Capitals had the most straight forward night, with Nicklas Backstrom’s goal enough to set up a second round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Braden Holtby made 26 saves for his second shut-out of the series. The goaltender also recorded his 20th career play-off win, tying him with Olaf Kolzig in the Capitals’ history books.
The Stars looked like they might cruise against the Wild as goals from John Klingberg, Jason Spezza, Patrick Sharp and Jamie Benn fired them into a 4-0 lead by the end of the second period.
But Jared Spurgeon scored either side of Jonas Brodin’s goal as the Wild cut the gap in the third period. Alex Goligoski eased Dallas’ nerves but Jason Pominville ensured a tight finish.
In Brooklyn, Jonathan Huberdeau gave Florida a first-period lead, but John Tavares levelled the game in the final minute of the third before breaking the deadlock in the second overtime.
The Islanders are into the second round of the play-offs for the first time since 1993.