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5 things to know about the NHL playoffs for May 28

Florida looks to claw back into their series with New York, after comeback/collapse in Edmonton
Dallas Stars Matt Duchene (95), Jamie Benn (14), Miro Heiskanen (4) and Esa Lindell (23) celebrate a goal as Edmonton Oilers’ Zach Hyman (18) skates past during third period third-round NHL playoff action in Edmonton on Monday May 27, 2024.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

The Florida Panthers promised tonight would be one of those fasten-your-seatbelt playoff games when they look to level their Eastern Conference final series at two games apiece. If the Rangers win they’ll be up 3-1 and in the driver’s seat heading back to Madison Square Garden.

And in Edmonton, the Oilers will have a day to figure out how they blew a tire after a fast start against the Stars last night, before trying to tie their West final series at 2-2 tomorrow.

Here are five things to know about the NHL playoffs:


Great comeback or a big collapse? That was the question after Edmonton blew a 2-0 lead and lost 5-3 to the visiting Dallas Stars last night.

Oilers captain Connor McDavid, who had a goal and assist in the first period at Rogers Place, figured it may have been a bit of both.

“They went up a couple levels and we went down a few levels,” McDavid said. “You see the difference.”

The Oilers outshot the Stars 10-3 in the first, outscored, outhit, outhustled and outskated the visitors and led 2-0. Then, the Oilers took their foot off the gas and the Stars, led by Jason Robertson, dominated the second period, outshooting the Oilers 16-7, outscoring them 3-1 and outhustling them for loose pucks.

The Oilers have seen this movie before. They blew a late 4-2 lead in Game 1 against the Vancouver Canucks and lost 5-4. The Oilers led Game 7 against the Canucks 3-0 and then desperately scrambled to hang on for a series-clinching 3-2 win.

McDavid and defenceman Darnell Nurse said 50-minute efforts don’t cut it in the post-season. Both promised to be better in Game 4.


The Replacements, a 2000 sports comedy starring Canadian Keanu Reaves, poked fun at missing players during the 1987 NFL strike.

The Replacements 2.0, a true 2024 sports “drama” starring the Oilers’ Adam Henrique and the Stars’ Roope Hintz, is a real story about the value of injecting skilled players back into the Edmonton-Dallas NHL playoff series.

Hintz, who played his first game last night since suffering an upper-body injury in Game 4 of the second-round series against the Colorado Avalanche, assisted on both Jason Robertson goals in the second period.

Henrique, who injured his ankle in Game 5 of the opening round against the Los Angeles Kings, scored the Oilers’ third goal in the second period which tied the game 3-3 heading into the intermission.


Tyler Seguin played his 130th playoff game last night and the Stars’ forward did more than just show up.

The 32-year-old Seguin, of Brampton, Ont., assisted on Robertson’s first goal in the second period and then set up Robertson’s winning goal in the third period.


New York Rangers’ defenceman and captain Jacob Trouba was fined $5,000 yesterday for Sunday’s second-period elbowing infraction that levelled Evan Rodrigues of the Florida Panthers.

Trouba, now the No. 1 villain in Florida, makes $8 million a year, so the fine is easier to take than a suspension.

In fact, Panthers’ bench boss Paul Maurice — who coached Trouba in Winnipeg — mocked the paltry fine, suggesting reporters pass the hat around so Jake will be able to eat after making the payment.

Trouba said the controversial hit “just happened fast” and insisted he wasn’t targeting Rodrigues’ head. In fact, one New York beat reporter asked the hard-nosed defenceman if the Panthers are guilty of embellishment.

Expect the hitting to get cranked up another notch on Tuesday when the host Panthers aim to level the best-of-seven Eastern Conference final at two games apiece.


The Rangers established an NHL record for most comeback victories in the regular season and playoffs combined as they earned their 34th of 2023-24 with Sunday’s 5-4 overtime victory in Florida.

The Blueshirts also matched their franchise record for most overtime wins in a post-season with four.

READ ALSO: Stars dump Oilers 5-3 to take 2-1 lead in Western Conference final