The 2019-20 NHL season was one unlike anything the sport had ever seen. The league was forced to temporarily suspend its season in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and did not return until August.
Tampa Bay Lightning lost only four games throughout the entire post-season period en route to the second Stanley Cup title in franchise history in Canada’s NHL bubbles. Tampa Bay defeated the Dallas Stars in six matches with Lightning Star defender Victor Headman to win the Cone Smith Cup for Best Player in the Stanley Cup Finals.
On Wednesday, the league was back in action and presented a very entertaining roster of five matches.
The action began with the Battle of Pennsylvania where the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3. The Flyers had a production top and bottom of their list, but wingwoman Joel Farabi was the story in that story. Farabi scored four points (one goal and three assists) and assisted in two goals in strength.
One of the most impressive stories of that night proved to be the Stanley Tampa Bay Lightning Cup champion. Lightning seemed to completely dominate the Chicago Blackhawks as they knocked out a 5–1 win. Tampa Bay jumped across Chicago in the opening period with goals from Ondrej Balat, Matteo Joseph, and Anthony Cirelli. And goalkeeper Andrei Vasilievsky was also unharmed as it was a brick wall in the net where he stopped 22 shots at night.
The Toronto Maple Leaves were also playing for the Montreal Canadiens and were looking to put an early exit from last season behind them. Montreal was definitely impressive out of the gate and jumped 3-1 ahead in the second half. However, the Maple Leafs bounced back to score four of the last five goals in the match including overtime winner Morgan Riley in the 5–4 win. John Tavares and William Nylander each scored three points each to overtake Toronto.
In another game north of the border, the Vancouver Canucks were looking to build their playoff career in 2020 having missed the post-season spell in the previous four campaigns. The Edmonton Oilers found themselves playing catch-up against Canucks all night. Every time the Oilers equalize, the Canucks score and regain the lead. Winger Brock Boeser scored twice to lead the way for the Vancouver team who started their season with a 5-3 win.
To wrap up the evening, two of the most talented teams at the Western Conference fought a fight as the Colorado Avalanche hosted the St. Louis Blues. The Avalanche showed their deadly attack early on as Andrei Borakovsky scored in one timing just five minutes into the match. Nevertheless, the Blues hit back with three straight goals from the likes of Oscar Sundqvist (two), Jordan Kiro, and Kyle Clifford and St. Louis won 4-1. Goalkeeper Jordan Pennington dropped 26 shots to slow down the Colorado attack.
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