NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 12, 2019
Leafs defeat Bruins, Capitals down the Hurricanes, and the Flames blanked the Avalanche in Stanley Cup playoff action. Recaps and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Mitch Marner scored the game-tying and game-winning goals (the latter on a penalty shot) as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Boston Bruins 4-1 in Game 1 of their opening-round series. It’s the first time the Leafs won the opening game of a playoff series since 2003. John Tavares had a goal and an assist for the Leafs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Definitely a better start to this series for the Leafs compared to a year ago when the Bruins blew them out 5-1. The Leafs had the better of the play for most of this contest, especially after Marner put them up 2-1 on the penalty shot.
The Washington Capitals jumped to a 3-0 lead and held off the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 in Game 1 of their opening-round series. Nicklas Backstrom scored twice, John Carlson collected three assists and Alex Ovechkin tallied what proved to be the winning goal. Rookie Andrei Svechnikov scored both goals for the Hurricanes, who were making their first postseason appearance in 10 years.
Speaking of the Capitals, they re-signed center Nic Dowd to a three-year, $2.25-million contract extension.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals’ special teams made the difference in this contest. They went two-for-four with the man advantage and killed off three Carolina power plays. Credit the plucky Hurricanes for not giving up after falling behind 3-0, they made a game of it in the third period before Lars Eller put it out of reach.
Mike Smith turned in a 26-save shutout and Matthew Tkachuk scored twice as the Calgary Flames blanked the Colorado Avalanche 4-0. It was Smith’s first playoff game since 2012.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Smith showed the form in this game that powered the Arizona Coyotes to the Western Conference Final seven years ago. If he can stay healthy and maintain that high level of performance, it’ll erase much of the doubt about Calgary’s goaltending. The Flames also made the Avalanche pay on the power play, going two-for-five with the man advantage.
NBC SPORTS: San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski had some dental work done yesterday after taking a puck in the mouth during his club’s Game 1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets left wing Brandon Tanev (injured hand) could return to the lineup tonight for Game 2 against the St. Louis Blues.