Game recaps, previews of tonight’s NHL playoff games and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
Game Recaps and Previews.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE/THE TENNESSEAN: Scott Darling made 35 saves backstopping the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven opening-round series. Second period goals by Jonathan Toews, Brandon Saad and Brent Seabrook made the difference in this one. Mike Ribeiro and Mattias Ekholm tallied for the Predators.
NEWSDAY/THE WASHINGTON POST: John Tavares scored fifteen seconds into overtime to give the New York Islanders a 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals and a 2-1 series lead. It was the Isles first playoff overtime goal and their first 2-1 series lead in 22 years. The loss spoiled an otherwise stellar performance by Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, who made 40 saves in the game.
TAMPA BAY TIMES/MLIVE.COM: As the Tampa Bay Lightning revel in their strong mixture of youth and experience, the Detroit Red Wings hope for a better, more disciplined effort (particularly from their special teams) in Game Three. Their series continues Tuesday in Detroit.
POST-GAZETTE.COM/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Brandon Sutter has been the Pittsburgh Penguins best forward thus far in their series against the New York Rangers, who won’t be getting defenseman Kevin Klein (broken left forearm) back into the lineup for Game Three tonight in Pittsburgh.
STLTODAY.COM/TWINCITIES.COM: The St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild are prepared for what should be a raucous reception tonight as their best-of seven series shifts to Minnesota’s XCel Center for Games Three and Four.
NOTE: Series involving Canadian NHL teams are recapped in “Canadian Corner.”
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Jack Eichel, the Boston University center and likely Buffalo Sabres first-round pick (second overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft, has a decision to make. Does he make the jump to the NHL next season or does opt to remain in university?
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s assumed Eichel will make the jump to the Sabres next season. Still, it would make things intriguing if he opted to remain in university. Doubt that’ll happen, though GM Tim Murray will likely lay on the sweet talk once he selects Eichel (and he will) to convince the kid to turn pro. If this video posted back in February is anything to go by, Eichel is “coming for Buffalo.”
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty breaks down the list of potential candidates for the vacant post of Boston Bruins general manager. Topping the list is current Bruins assistant GM Don Sweeney.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: All I can say is I hope whoever gets the job won’t be micromanaged and second-guessed by Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs and President Cam Neely. Otherwise, this could get quickly dysfunctional, to the detriment of the Bruins.
PHILLY.COM: It could take a while for Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall to find a new head coach.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s because Hextall is likely awaiting the status of Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock and San Jose Sharks bench boss Todd McLellan. Expect Hextall to pursue either guy if they become available.