Weekly Lost & Found: 2022 Round 1 Recap & Round 2 Predictions

The Stanley Cup Playoffs enter Round 2, and eight NHL franchises are heading to the golf course. This Weekly Lost & Found edition will focus on the teams departing, and the teams moving on to their respective Conference Semifinals.

Weekly Lost & Found What's Trending in the NHL
Weekly Lost & Found What’s Trending in the NHL (The Hockey Writers)

Five series went to Game 7, while two were finished in six games, and we had one sweep. All of the top seeds moved on to the second round, and there were just two upsets. For the “Lost” teams, we’ll take a brief look at each team and recap their side of each series. Then, we’ll make a prediction of who will move on to their respective Conference Finals in the “Found” section. Let’s get going.

It’s golf season, not just for us non-NHLers, but for these eight teams eliminated in the first round. We’ll start things off with the lone team swept this opening round. 

Nashville Predators

The Nashville Predators struggled mightily to contain the Colorado Avalanche offense in their four games, as they were without starting goaltender Juuse Saros throughout the entire series. Saros won 38 games this season with a 2.64 goals-against average (GAA) and .918 save percentage (SV%). He was sorely missed. 

Connor Ingram filled in for most of the series and finished with a 3.64 GAA and .913 SV%. David Rittich played just over 15 minutes and allowed five goals. Matt Duchene scored three goals and four points, while captain Roman Josi tallied two points following a 23-goal, 96-point regular season.

Minnesota Wild

After leading the series 2-1 through three games, the Minnesota Wild lost in six games to the St. Louis Blues after the Blues won three straight. Special teams proved detrimental to the Wild. They scored on just 16.7% of power plays, and their penalty kill was a dismal 69.2%. They also had a minus-6 goal differential overall.

Marc-Andre Fleury started the first five games and finished with a 3.04 GAA and .906 SV%. They decided to start Cam Talbot for Game 6, and he allowed four goals on 26 shots in the loss. Kirill Kaprizov exploded for seven goals and eight points in the series, but it wasn’t enough as only two other Wild players scored more than one goal.

Dallas Stars

After battling to force a Game 7, the Dallas Stars fell in overtime to the Calgary Flames. The series was pretty evenly fought, and heavily defensive. The two teams scored under 30 goals, the Stars scoring 14, and penalty killing squads were superior to power-play units. The series also saw Jake Oettinger become one of the stories of the postseason, let alone the series.

Jake Oettinger Dallas Stars
Jake Oettinger, Dallas Stars (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

The 23-year-old goaltender finished the series on the losing end, but with a shutout as one of his three wins. He allowed just 13 goals in seven games, and he held at least a .935 SV% in every game. This following a 30-win regular season, in just 48 games.

Los Angeles Kings

The Los Angeles Kings took the Edmonton Oilers to the brink: Game 7. They were shut out, despite the herculean effort, and eliminated. The special teams were a disaster for the Kings. Their power play converted at just 12.5% and the penalty kill at 63.2%. 

Related: Kings’ Blake Lizotte Has Been a Force Versus Oilers

Despite the numbers, Jonathan Quick was a huge part of what allowed them to make it seven games. He held a 3.43 GAA and .904 SV% with a shutout. Adrian Kempe led the team in scoring with six points, and Phillip Danault tied with Carl Grundstrom for the team lead with three goals. 27-year-old defenseman Troy Stecher only played four games but had two goals and four points.

Washington Capitals

They had their chances, but the Washington Capitals ended up falling in six games to the Florida Panthers. You can’t blame their special teams play though, as their power play fired just under 30%, and they killed off every penalty they took. To further illustrate how close the series was, they were only outscored 20-19 overall against a Panthers team that led the NHL in goals-for by a 25-goal margin. The Capitals only had seven skaters at or above an even rating. Offensively, T.J. Oshie put on a show.

T.J. Oshie Washington Capitals
T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals winger (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He scored six goals and seven points, while Nicklas Backstrom had four assists and six points, and Alex Ovechkin only tallied one goal but scored six points to round out their point-per-game performers. Ilya Samsonov started four games and finished with a 2.97 GAA and .912 SV%, while Vitek Vanecek had a 4.21 GAA and .863 SV% in his two starts.

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost a tightly battled Game 7 to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and have now gone 17 years without making it out of the first round. Despite what’s become a seemingly perennial result, as it’s also the sixth season in a row, the series was incredibly close. 

The narratives of their stars not showing up took a hit, as they showed up in force. Auston Matthews scored four goals and nine points, while Mitch Marner had eight points. William Nylander scored seven points, and Morgan Rielly and captain John Tavares each scored six. Why did I just detail their top-five scorers? Because those are the guys who should be performing in the playoffs, and despite years of catching heat, they absolutely showed up. 

Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins were written off by some but turned an 0-2 deficit into a seven-game series in which the Carolina Hurricanes won Game 7. They won the special teams battle with a 20.7% power play and 86.1% penalty kill but finished with a minus-4 goal differential. They also held a minus-6 goal differential at 5-on-5.

Related: 5 Bruins’ Takeaways From Game 7 Loss to Hurricanes

After two rough starts for Linus Ullmark, who finished with a 4.16 GAA and .860 SV%, Jeremy Swayman established himself as the starter. He finished with a 2.63 GAA and .911 SV% in five starts. Brad Marchand exploded for seven assists and 11 points, and captain Patrice Bergeron had seven points. He is a pending unrestricted free agent. As a result, there’s likely going to be a ton of speculation on his future this offseason.

Pittsburgh Penguins

After a triple-overtime Game 1 win, the Pittsburgh Penguins lost Game 7 in overtime to the New York Rangers. This was an interesting series to follow. Both teams scored in bunches during the second period, and both had injury situations to follow. The Penguins came into the series without Tristan Jarry and lost his backup Casey DeSmith to injury during Game 1. Louis Domingue became the starter.

Louis Domingue Pittsburgh Penguins Mika Zibanejad New York Rangers
Louis Domingue of the Pittsburgh Penguins defends his net against Mika Zibanejad of the New York Rangers (Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images)

He started five games and finished with a 3.65 GAA and .898 SV%, which is impressive given the circumstances. Jarry ended up returning for Game 7 but lost his only start of the postseason. To put it simply, Sidney Crosby took over most of the series, as he and linemates Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust combined for 12 goals and 28 points. All with Crosby missing Game 6 with an injury. Players like Mike Matheson, Jeff Carter and Evan Rodrigues also had a strong series.

Found: Round 2 Playoff Predictions

In a previous Weekly Lost & Found, I predicted the entirety of the playoffs, and haven’t done too bad so far. Any matchups that were predicted correctly will be looked at to see if they need to be changed, while new matchups will be seen through a new lens, and I’ll make my selections.

A note from the author: these predictions are subjective to this writer and do not reflect the views of the entire THW team.

Avalanche Will Def. Blues

This one carries over from the aforementioned article, and it will not change. This series should go six or seven games. While the Avalanche have had more time to rest up, Jordan Binnington has been lights-out for the Blues, allowing just five goals in three starts with a .943 SV%.

Jordan Binnington St. Louis Blues Kirill Kaprizov Minnesota Wild
Colton Parayko and Jordan Binnington of the St. Louis Blues defend the net against Kirill Kaprizov of the Minnesota Wild (Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images)

Despite this, the Avalanche will advance. While the Blues’ depth and experience should steal some games, a fully firing Avalanche offense could end up overpowering them.

Flames will def. Oilers in The Battle of Alberta

For the first time since 1991, the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers will face off in the postseason, and it will be an absolutely amazing thing for the hockey world. The Oilers are 4-1 in five all-time postseason matchups against the Flames, three of which have gone seven games. This should be a vastly different series than either team saw in Round 1. As predicted, though, against the Kings, the Flames will win and move on to the Western Conference Final. They split the four-game regular-season series.

Related: Markstrom’s Consistency Fuels Flames’ Fire

While Connor McDavid has been playing other-worldly for the Oilers, with 10 assists and 14 points in his seven games, goaltending will decide this series. While he played incredibly well against the Kings, the Flames’ suppressed offensive firepower should break out and overpower Mike Smith. As such, Jacob Markstrom will win the battle in the crease. If McDavid and Draisaitl can be limited, this is a winnable series for the Flames.

Lightning will def. Panthers in Second Battle of Florida

Here’s something that’s great for hockey, part two: the second Battle of Florida. Last season, the Lightning took the series in six games en route to a Stanley Cup. This season, the Lightning will do it again. It wasn’t easy last time, and certainly won’t be this time either.

The Panthers’ power play couldn’t find twine against the Capitals, and the Lightning had to fight hard to both force and win a Game 7 against the Maple Leafs. They’ve played a lot of hockey over the past few years, and the tank may be nearing “E.” However, the Lightning will still advance past the Panthers due to their experience and what should be a bounce-back performance by goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, as he finished Round 1 with a 3.04 GAA and .897 SV%.

Rangers will def. Hurricanes

This series is tough to call. Both teams’ scoring depth has been on full display, as well as their big guns stepping up. Goaltending has been relatively solid for each as well. A big question is: how fatigued will the Rangers be; a team that has many players with little to no playoff experience? In addition, how tired will Igor Shesterkin be, given how much hockey he’s played in his first 82-game season?

It’s interesting. The Rangers went 3-1 against the Penguins in the regular season and had to fight to Game 7 to win the series. They went 1-3 against the Hurricanes in the regular season. If the Rangers give Shesterkin a better defensive effort and their depth continues to produce, they will win and move on. I made that Stanley Cup Final pick, so I have to stick by it.

Igor Shesterkin New York Rangers
Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers goaltender (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Round 1 showcased some incredible hockey to the world. Round 2 begins today, so be sure to stick with The Hockey Writers for all your playoff coverage. Don’t forget, our great team also covers the rapidly approaching NHL Entry Draft and more!

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