Stanley Cup playoffs three stars: Blackhawks blanked again, Maple Leafs win OT thriller

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The Nashville Predators crushed the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL playoffs as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Washington Capitals in double overtime.

Pekka Rinne made 30 saves and is a perfect 59 of 59 so far this postseason, becoming the first goalie since 2010 with consecutive shutouts to open a playoff series after helping the Predators shut out the Blackhawks 5-0 on Saturday.

Chicago have now gone a full 120 minutes without scoring a goal, a shocking and unforeseen stat for a mostly healthy roster that boasts six 20-goal scorers. It is the second time the Blackhawks have been shut out in the first two games in a playoff series. The first? In 1935 against the Montreal Maroons.

The Predators now lead 2-0 in the first-round series.

In Washington, the Maple Leafs triumphed 4-3 in double OT to level their series against the Capitals.

Kasperi Kapanen scored 11:53 into the second overtime period to tie the playoff tie at 1-1.

The Ottawa Senators trumped the Boston Bruins 4-3 in overtime, while the Calgary Flames lost 3-2 to the Anaheim Ducks in game two.

 

Three stars

Kasperi Kapanen, Maple Leafs -  Toronto can thank Phil Kessel for their thrilling victory over Presidents' Trophy-winning Washington in double overtime. Kapanen, the hero with two goals - including the OT winner - was a main component in the 2015 trade that ended Kessel's tumultuous tenure with the Leafs. The 20-year-old forward was playing on the fourth line and had just one goal in 18 career NHL games before Saturday's playoff.

Pekka Rinne, Predators -  Never mind Rinne's shutout streak. The goalie also logged assists on two of Nashville's five goals in the game-two blowout - Number four and five in his playoff career.

Dion Phaneuf, Senators -  Ottawa's game-two hero equalled one-fifth of his career playoff production in one game with a three-point performance, including scoring the game-winning goal in overtime. He also set up both third-period goals as the Sens stormed back to pull even with the Bruins.

 

Highlight

Brian Boyle, acquired by the Leafs at the trade deadline, will go down as the unsung hero on Kapanen's winning goal with his slick behind-the-net pass to set the table.

 

Sunday's game to watch

Game three: Penguins at Blue Jackets -  Minus suspended Matt Calvert, the Blue Jackets return to Columbus pressing to avoid a 3-0 series deficit. What showed promise as one of the NHL's most gripping first-round matchups between two of its top four teams has been surprisingly one-sided through two games. Marc-Andre Fleury, having stopped 70 of 72 shots in the series, is in line to make his third straight start in the Pittsburgh Penguins' net over an ailing Matt Murray.