The first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs has delivered some expected results and some big surprises.
On Thursday night, one of those more expected results took place. At almost the same time, an unexpected result was completed as well.
Following Thursday night's games, three series have come to a close with three teams advancing to the second round of the playoffs and marking the end of the season for three others. That leaves five series still locked in tight, competitive battle as the weekend hits.
Here's the roundup.
The Anaheim Ducks were the first team to advance, completing a sweep of the Calgary Flames with a 3-1 win in Game 4 on Wednesday. The Ducks will face the winner of the Edmonton-San Jose series.
The Pittsburgh Penguins followed with a Game 5 win over Columbus on Thursday to advance, defeating the Blue Jackets, 5-2, to win the series, 4-1. The Penguins will face the winner of the Washington-Toronto series.
In a more unlikely result, the Nashville Predators not only ousted the Chicago Blackhawks, one of the big Stanley Cup favorites going in, from the playoffs, they swept the series, taking a 4-1 win in Game on Thursday night. Pekka Rinne was the standout for Nashville, allowing just three goals while facing 126 shots. The numbers alone are impressive, but when you consider that the group of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Artemi Panarin, Duncan Keith, Marian Hossa and company were held to just three goals is so impressive. Kane and Toews each had one goal in the series. Dennis Rasmussen had the other. Nashville will face the winner of the Minnesota-St. Louis series.
There are also five other series still in action waiting for a final result, but several teams are now on the cusp of clinching.
The St. Louis Blues took a commanding 3-0 series lead, but fell to the Minnesota Wild in Game 4, 2-0, to force a Game 5 on Saturday. St. Louis still remains one win away from advancing, but has to travel to Minnesota for Game 5.
The Ottawa Senators are on the cusp of claiming their series against the Boston Bruins. After Game 3's heroics from Bobby Ryan in overtime, Ryan scored the lone goal of Game 4 to give the Senators a 3-1 series lead with Game 5 on Friday night in Ottawa.
The New York Rangers moved to within a win of advancing as well, defeating the Montreal Canadiens, 3-2, with an overtime goal by Mika Zibanejad in Game 5 to take a 3-2 lead in the series. That series heads back to New York for Game 6 on Saturday. The Rangers also won Game 4, 2-1, to even the series on Tuesday.
The Toronto Maple Leafs came back to Earth a bit after Monday's overtime heroics from Tyler Bozak. The Washington Capitals roared out to an early lead again in Game 4, but Toronto kept things interesting, rallying to make it a 3-2 and 4-3 game. A crucial giveaway led to the goal that would ice it for the Capitals, making it 5-3 later. Toronto got a goal in the final minute to make it interesting, but fell, 5-4, pulling the Capitals even in the series. Game 5 is on Friday night in Washington.
After Game 3 on Sunday, the Oilers grabbed a 2-1 series lead with a 1-0 win. Game 4 was a much-different story for Edmonton. The Sharks came out firing and scored two goals in the first, including one just 15 seconds in, to take the lead. They followed that up with four second-period goals to turn the game into a rout, winning by a final of 7-0 and evening the series.
In Game 5 on Thursday, the Sharks had the Oilers on their heels again, taking a 3-1 lead in the second. A power-play goal by Mark Letestu with 1:27 left in the second and a bomb by Oscar Klefbom with 2:46 to play in regulation tied the game, forcing overtime.
Having rallied from a two-goal deficit, the Oilers completed the comeback late in the first overtime. With 1:45 left, David Desharnais scored the game-winning goal to give the Oilers a 3-2 lead in the series. Game 6 is Saturday in San Jose.