Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid had 105 points in 56 games in a spectacular season.
But after two games of the NHL playoffs, he has zero points, one reason his team is trailing the Winnipeg Jets 2-0 in the first-round series.
Coach Dave Tippett put McDavid and Leon Draisaitl (84 points) together at times for Game 2, usually a winning combination. They combined for nine shots in the 1-0 overtime loss but were held without a point for the second game in a row.
Connor Hellebuyck made 38 saves to shut down the Oilers. But the most impressive save might have been by defenseman Dylan DeMelo, who raised his hand to block a McDavid shot with Hellebuyck out of position during a penalty kill.
“That was a scrambly play,” Hellebuyck said. “There were so many bodies in front of me, but that shows why we are where we are. We’re grinding and fighting for every second, we’re not giving up on a play.”
DeMelo said “it was lucky” that the puck hit him, and Paul Stastny (the overtime scorer, who was in the penalty box at the time), said, “I was wondering how that didn’t go in. Now that makes sense.”
McDavid, whose team was upset in the qualifying round last season, had 22 points in nine regular-season games against the Jets. Winnipeg lost nine of 10 games down the stretch before winning the final two.
The series shifts to Winnipeg, where the Jets will have the last line change and can get the matchups they want.
“We dug ourselves a bit of a hole,” McDavid said. “Both games could have gone either way. Obviously, it’s not the position we want to be in, but we’ve been a good road team all year long and had success in that building as well.”
Bruins coach unhappy with call
Another playoff day, another trip to the hospital.
Though the incident wasn’t as scary looking as the Maple Leafs’ John Tavares leaving the ice on a stretcher after taking a knee to the head, the Boston Bruins announced that defenseman Kevan Miller had to go to the hospital for tests Friday night.
Miller was checked by Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov during the second period of the Bruins’ 4-1 victory, and fell and hit his head.
NHL referees originally looked at calling a major penalty against Orlov, but after a review, the defenseman got a double minor for roughing.
And Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy wasn’t happy about that.
“What happened there is their guy left his feet, borderline late, and drove right under his chin,” he told reporters.
He said referees told him that Orlov made contact with Miller’s upper body, though he disagreed with that assessment.
“Kevan’s at the hospital, undergoing some CTs, and until he gets back, we won’t know nothing there. Obviously frustrating to watch that call, even the review go by the wayside, essentially a two-minute minor. And later on, you watch the penalty to (Brad) Marchand, and it’s just a complete head-scratcher sometimes.”
Duchene comes through
Nashville Predators coach John Hynes changed up his power play Friday, removing Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen with his team down 0-2 in the series against the Carolina Hurricanes.
“Obviously I’m a power play guy and I have been my whole career, … but at the end of the day, you cheer on our teammates and you be a good teammate,” Duchene said.
All worked out. The power play connected for a 5-on-3 goal, Johansen scored in the third period and Duchene scored in the second overtime for a 5-4 win.
“Those two guys had a good response tonight,” Hynes said. “Part of being a team and winning is you have to accept the role that you’re in.
“I give the two guys credit. They came in, they played hard, they played with a little chip on their shoulder tonight, they found a way on the scoreboard. I thought the line played well. That’s what you need.”
Saturday’s playoff games
Florida at Tampa Bay, 12:30 p.m. ET, CNBC. Lightning lead 2-1
Pittsburgh at NY Islanders, 3 p.m. ET, NBC. Penguins lead 2-1
Montreal at Toronto, 7 p.m. ET, CNBC. Canadiens lead 1-0
Vegas at Minnesota, 8 p.m. ET, NBC. Golden Knights lead 2-1