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It’s almost like an episode of The Twilight Zone. In the first two nights of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, we’ve had two players score four goals — which accounted for all of their team’s scoring — only to lose.
It’s a more stunning twist than when Burgess Meredith was all excited to read a bunch of books but then accidentally broke his glasses, or the time William Shatner got really obnoxious on an airplane because he thought he saw a gremlin on the wing.
The first to experience this bizarre phenomenon was Joe Pavelski of the Dallas Stars. Not only did Pavelski pot 4 goals on the Seattle Kraken, but it was also his first game back from injury after getting obliterated by Minnesota’s Matt Dumba in the opening round.
It was a stellar performance from a guy who has thrown down stellar performances for a long time. Still, it wasn’t enough to win Game 1, as Pavelski’s Stars fell to the Kraken in overtime.
Okay, the Hockey gods will surely be kinder to the next fella who puts his team on his shoulders like that.
*Morgan Freeman Voice* They were not.
Edmonton Oilers sniper Leon Draisaitl is one of the league’s preeminent goal scorers. There are few things more impressive in the NHL this year — and maybe ever — than Edmonton’s power play. It’s the best the league has ever seen. They scored on 32.4% of their power plays during the regular season, which is an NHL record.
So far this postseason…57.9%
It’s absolutely lethal, and one of the marquee attractions is the left-handed Draisaitl stationed at the faceoff dot to the poor goalie’s left, waiting to take a seam pass and blister it into the back of the net.
The German-born star scored 4 on the road against the Vegas Golden Knights including a pair of PPGs.
And how did that end up for the Oilers? They lost 6-4.
This Has Never Happened In The History Of The Stanley Cup Playoffs
This is only the second time two players have scored 4 goals in a game on back-to-back nights in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It’s the first time it has happened since Buffalo’s John Tucker and St. Louis’ Tony Hrkac did it in 1988.
Here’s the difference: When Tucker scored 4 on April 9, 1988, his Sabres defeated the Boston Bruins 6-4. He also got some offensive assistance from teammate Mike Foligno — Nick and Marcus’ old man — who had two himself.
The same goes for Hrkac and the Blues. On April 10, 1988, they topped the Blackhawks 6-5 thanks to 4 from Hkrac and one each from Doug Gilmour and Brett Hull.
This means it’s the first time in NHL history that two players have scored four on back-to-back nights only to lose.
It seems impossible that this could happen. It’s counter-intuitive, but that’s what makes it seem like something that was pulled out of the genius brain of Rod Serling.
He’d probably introduce it by saying something like…
Submitted for your approval: offensive explosions that doomed the very teams who benefitted from them. An unthinkable result of two herculean individual efforts. One that could only occur in the Twilight Zone… or the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Something like that.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle