Capitals have Rangers at the brink of elimination, Adams Trophy finalists announced and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
Game Recaps and Playoff Headlines.
THE WASHINGTON POST/NEW YORK POST: Rookie Andre Burakovsky scored twice to lift the Washington Capitals to a 2-1 Game Four win over the New York Rangers, taking a commanding 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven series. The Rangers have struggled to score in this series, who find themselves on the brink of playoff elimination.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers found themselves in a similar position in the second round of last year’s playoffs but rallied back to win the series. They must find a way to crack the Capitals’ tight-checking defense and unflappable goaltender Braden Holtby or their President’s Trophy-winning season comes to an end on Friday. Perhaps facing elimination on home ice in Game Five will inspire the Blueshirts.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: After a shaky start to the 2015 playoffs, the Blackhawks are reaching peak form as they’re on the verge of eliminating the Minnesota Wild for the third straight year.
TWINCITIES.COM: Down 3-0 in their best-of-seven series to the Blackhawks, the Minnesota Wild are hoping to use their midseason turnaround as inspiration to stave off elimination.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Game Four of the Blackhawks-Wild series is tonight, with the ‘Hawks looking to complete the sweep.
Other Notable Headlines.
NHL.COM: Calgary’s Bob Hartley, Nashville’s Peter Laviolette and the New York Rangers’ Alain Vigneault are finalists for the Jack Adams trophy as NHL coach of the year
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laviolette and Vigneault are worthy finalists, and I think Winnipeg’s Paul Maurice or Washington’s Barry Trotz would’ve deserved a nod. But the obvious winner here is Hartley, who did a magnificent job turning a rebuilding Flames team into a playoff club this season.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars backup and pending UFA Jhonas Enroth told a Swedish hockey site he’s unlikely to return to Dallas next season.
NHL.COM: The Nashville Predators have signed goaltender Marek Mazanec to a one-year contract.