Game recaps, plus updates on Jamie Benn, Tuukka Rask, Jack Johnson and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Kevin Hayes enjoyed a three-point performance as the New York Rangers edged the New Jersey Devils 4-3 to clinch the President’s Trophy for 2014-15 and home-ice advantage throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs. It’s the first time the Rangers won the President’s Trophy since 1994, the same year as their last Stanley Cup championship.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blueshirts have been dominant throughout the second half of this season. They’re certainly among the Stanley Cup favorites this season.
TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild clinched a postseason berth with a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks, completing their amazing second half comeback after they were 12th in the Western Conference in mid-January. Season-saver Devan Dubnyk made 32 saves while Jason Zucker scored in his first game back from a broken collarbone. The Wild have now made the playoffs in three straight seasons, setting a franchise record.
MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings inched closer to securing a playoff spot with a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Henrik Zetterberg scored his second goal in 28 games while much-maligned starter Jimmy Howard made 30 saves, including 16 in the third period. The Wings can clinch a berth with a win on Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens.
PHILLY.COM: Claude Giroux scored twice and Mark Streit collected three assists as the Philadelphia Flyers upset the New York Islanders 5-4. Anders Lee scored twice and John Tavares tallied three points in a losing cause for the Isles, who are struggling to clinch a playoff berth.
THE DENVER POST: Joey Hishon’s first NHL goal turned out to be the game winner as the Colorado Avalanche upset the Nashville Predators 3-2.
NOTE: Games and news involving Canadian NHL teams are recapped in “Canadian Corner.”
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars missing the playoffs has taken some of the luster off Jamie Benn’s jockeying with Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby for the Art Ross Trophy. Benn has 80 points, only one behind Crosby. Both players have two games remaining in the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Benn has quietly posted a career-best performance this season. Certainly no one foresaw him as a contender for the scoring title this season. He also did it with linemate Tyler Seguin sidelined for several weeks with a knee injury.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Tuuka Rask is close to setting a Bruins record for most regular season games by a goaltender.
CBS SPORTS: Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson was reportedly caught up in former NFL football player Will Allen’s Ponzi scheme.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnson’s money troubles were revealed last fall as his parents (who had power of attorney over his money) squandered the millions of dollars he’s earned in his playing career. It’s possible Johnson was unaware that he was involved in this scheme.
ESPN.COM: Craig Custance writes Las Vegas could be a stronger hockey market than its critics believe.
NBC SPORTS: Quebec City doesn’t have an NHL team but they have a name for their new arena: Videotron Centre.