Ranking Game 7s From Saturday

This is a once-in-a-lifetime weekend. Rarely do we see playoff series go the full seven games, let alone seven Game 7s across two sports over two days. The bulk of the action goes down today, with two series finals in the NBA and two more in the NHL. Surely, these games will live up to the hype in their own regard, but here we’re running back yesterday’s action, ranking the three NHL playoff games.

# 3: Los Angeles Kings 0 – Edmonton Oilers 3

Game 7 between the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings had the makings of a letdown spot for the home team. Edmonton needed to overcome years of disappointment, facing their former coach after a dramatic victory at the Crypto.com Arena. The moment wasn’t too big for the Oilers, as Connor McDavid led his squad to playoff glory for the first time since 2016-17.

Although entertaining, the nightcap on Saturday’s three-game slate was a one-sided affair. The Oilers dominated from the outset, making it a matter of when they broke through, not if. McDavid put the team on his back, becoming just the second player in NHL postseason history to have six multi-point performances in a single series.

The Kings had a few chances late, but they were never really in contention. Considering some of the late-game heroics we saw in the other two contests, this Western Conference Quarterfinal ranks third on the list.

# 2: Boston Bruins 2 – Carolina Hurricanes 3

If we were ranking these matchups on the first 40 minutes alone, the Carolina Hurricanes vs. Boston Bruins would have ended in the third spot. However, a gut-wrenching final period pushed this game closer to the top than the bottom.

Boston spent most of the first two periods chasing the puck, falling into a two-goal deficit twice. That did not deter them in the third, with the Bruins dominating the period and coming painfully close to tying things late. Down 3-1, Charlie Coyle missed a yawning cage which would have closed the gap to one. The B’s eventually got there, with David Pastrnak scoring with 20 seconds left in regulation.

The excitement continued with Boston having three chances to tie things in the waning moments of Game 7, but it wasn’t meant to be. The Bruins left themselves a short runway in what turned out to be a much more dramatic game than anticipated.

# 1: Tampa Bay Lightning 2 – Toronto Maple Leafs 1

This one is going to sting for a while. The Toronto Maple Leafs’ postseason disappointment continued, as they dropped the decisive contest to the Tampa Bay Lightning on home ice. Still, Leafs fans can take solace (maybe?) In the fact that they were the better team from start to finish, making this the most exciting game from yesterday.

Toronto came out blazing, posting a 62.1% Corsi rating at five-on-five in the opening stanza, but a late-period tally put them in a hole heading into the second. The Leafs tied things up just past the halfway point, only for the two-time defending Champs to re-establish their lead just over three minutes later.

The Leafs were relentless in the third period. Although they spent most of the frame with the puck on their sticks, they could not crack the Bolts’ defensive shell and failed to generate many high-quality chances. Playing with an extra attacker for most of the final two minutes raised the stakes but did not change the outcome. If nothing else, the Leafs put on a show and proved once more that they are one of the best in the league.

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