Today’s NHL Playoff Referees and Linesmen – 5/18/23

Referees SEA/COL Game 1, WPG/VGK Game 2, EDM/LAK Game 4, MIN/DAL Game 5, CAR/NYI Game 6 (CAR W 2-1 OT), and FLA/BOS Game 7 (FLA W 4-3 OT) were all played on the same ice by Steve Kozari and Chris Lee in Round 1.

They have seen action in the second round at the games of SEA/DAL, CAR/NJD (CAR won 6-1), and EDM/VGK.

This pair places in the bottom half of official pairings in terms of both penalties and power plays, which takes some attention away from special teams.

The Panthers' power play, which went 3-for-9 (33%) against the Maple Leafs in their last three games, and the Canes' top-ranked postseason penalty kill (90.0%) may have less of an effect. 

In the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, linesmen Brad Kovachik and Bevan Mills will collaborate for the first time.

In the first round, Kovachik worked the MIN/DAL Game 1, FLA/BOS Game 2, CAR/NYI Game 3, and LAK/EDM Game with linesman Kyle Flemington.

In the second round, he teamed up with linesman Matt MacPherson to handle the FLA/TOR Game 2, VGK/EDM Games 3 and 4, and DAL/SEA Game 6

With 195 playoff appearances, Kovachik, who made his playoff debut in 2001, is the active linesman with the most.

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