After being told to come back the next morning because another game lasted five overtimes, the Boston Bruins didn't want to repeat history so quickly.
"We talked about trying to end this before the fifth overtime," Patrice Bergeron said.
Bergeron accomplished that by scoring early in the second overtime, and the Bruins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 Wednesday in Game 1 of their first-round series that was postponed 15 hours to a rare late-morning start.
The game scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday night began the next morning at 11 after the Columbus Blue Jackets-Tampa Bay Lightning series opener became the fourth-longest playoff game in NHL history. Playing all Eastern Conference games at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena had this potential for games going long, messing with the schedule.
"We knew it was a possibility," said Bergeron, whose four playoff OT goals are the second most behind Patrick Kane among active players. "You didn't expect five overtimes, but that being said, we knew it's part of having a tournament like this in one rink and be ready for the unexpected."
Hurricanes-Bruins Game 1 wasn't quite the same marathon with Bergeron scoring 1:13 into the second extra period. But it had plenty of theater from Carolina's surprise scratches to a controversial goal and video review.
Boston continued its dominance more than a year after sweeping Carolina in the 2019 Eastern Conference finals. The Bruins showed quick recovery from losing all three round-robin seeding games and handed the Hurricanes their first loss since hockey returned.
"As a group, we didn't love our effort. and we didn't do some of the things we're known for and what makes us a great team," Carolina captain Jordan Staal said.
N.Y. Islanders 4, Washington 2: Josh Bailey scored a shorthanded goal 6:52 into the third period and the Islanders overcame a two-goal deficit to beat the Capitals in a hard-hitting opener to the first-round playoff series in Toronto. Jordan Eberle and former Edina star Anders Lee scored 1:54 apart spanning the second intermission.
Philadelphia 2, Montreal 1: Carter Hart made 27 saves, Joel Farabee scored 16 seconds after the Canadiens tied the score in the second period, and the Flyers hung on in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series in Toronto.
Colorado 3, Arizona 0: Nazem Kadri and J.T. Compher scored 10 seconds apart in the third period and the Avalanche opened its playoff series by shutting out the Coyotes in Edmonton, Alberta. Colorado outshot Arizona 29-7 through two periods yet couldn't get anything past former Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper (37 saves) until the third period.
Vancouver 5, St. Louis 2: Troy Stetcher had the go-ahead goal in the third period, Bo Horvat scored twice and Jacob Markstrom made 29 saves as the Canucks, having dispatched of the Wild in the qualifying round, beat the defending champion Blues to open their series.