NHL roundup: Leafs clinch first playoff series since 2004

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

John Tavares scored 4:36 into overtime Saturday night as the Toronto Maple Leafs broke a 19-year playoff series drought, beating the host Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in Game 6 of a first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.

Tavares’ OT shot skittered past Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (20 saves) and clinched a Stanley Cup playoff series for the first time since 2004 — with the last three games coming in overtime in Tampa. Auston Matthews scored in regulation, and Ilya Samsonov was sharp in stopping 31 of 32 shots.

By winning for the first time in its last nine playoff series, Toronto will move to the next round to face the winner of Sunday’s Game 7 between the Florida Panthers and host Boston Bruins.

Steven Stamkos scored the only goal for the Lightning.

Oilers 5, Kings 4

Kailer Yamamoto scored with 3:03 left and visiting Edmonton held on to eliminate Los Angeles with a win in Game 6 of a first-round Western Conference playoff series.

Klim Kostin had two goals and an assist, Connor McDavid and Yamamoto each had a goal and an assist and Stuart Skinner made 40 saves for the Oilers, who won the final three games of the series. Kevin Fiala had a goal and two assists, Sean Durzi, Adrian Kempe and Phillip Danault also scored and Joonas Korpisalo made 21 saves for the Kings.

The Oilers went on the man advantage at 6:42 of the third period while holding a 4-3 lead. The puck came to Skinner, and he had time to clear it, but his blade had cracked, allowing Danault to skate in and score short-handed to tie it 4-4 at 7:46. Yamamoto brought the puck from below the goal line and above the left faceoff circle before spinning and shooting through traffic to score the game-winner, his first goal of the series.

Rangers 5, Devils 2

Chris Kreider had a goal and two assists as New York staved off elimination with a win against visiting New Jersey in Game 6.

The win tied the Eastern Conference first-round playoff series at 3-3, with Game 7 set for Monday in New Jersey. Mika Zibanejad and Vladimir Tarasenko each had a goal and an assist, and Adam Fox had two assists for the Rangers. Igor Shesterkin stopped 34 of 36 shots.

Curtis Lazar and Dawson Mercer scored for the Devils and Akira Schmid allowed five goals on 29 shots before being replaced by Vitek Vanecek late in the third period.

–Field Level Media

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