Predators eliminate Ducks, Islanders take first game against Lightning, Vezina Trophy nominees announced and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL Playoff Recap.
YAHOO SPORTS/THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Appearing in their first Game 7 in franchise history, the Nashville Predators edged the Anaheim Ducks 2-1, eliminating the Ducks and extending their streak of losing in seventh-game situations at home to four. Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau’s personal record in Game 7s to 1-7. Predator’s goalie Pekka Rinne was the hero in this one, making 36 saves. Colin Wilson and Paul Gaustad scored first-period goals and Ryan Kesler had the sole tally for the Ducks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a big win for the Predators, advancing to the second round for only the third time in franchise history. Waiting for them are the well-rested San Jose Sharks, coming off their own big playoff series victory over the Los Angeles Kings. As for the Ducks, this is a bitter finish after rallying back into a playoff berth during the regular season and overcoming a 2-0 deficit against the Predators, only to blow a 3-2 series lead. Expect plenty of speculation in the coming days over Boudreau’s fate and suggestions of a roster shakeup.
NEWSDAY/THE TAMPA TRIBUNE: The New York Islanders chased Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop from the net with a 5-3 victory in the opening game of their second-round series. Bishop gave up four goals on 13 shots before getting the hook midway through the second period. Shane Prince scored twice and John Tavares potted the eventual game winner. The Lightning rallied in the third to narrow the lead to 4-3 before Cal Clutterbuck put the game away with an empty-net goal. Lightning winger Erik Condra left the game in the first period after crashing hard into the end boards following a hit by Isles winger Casey Cizikis. Isles coach Jack Capuano also took a stray puck in the face but would return to the game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Isles deserved this win as they outworked the Lightning, who looked rusty after a lengthy layoff between series. Expect a better effort from the Bolts going forward.
Notable NHL Headlines.
NBC SPORTS: The full schedule of the NHL’s second round has been released.
NHL.COM: Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop, Washington’s Braden Holtby and Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick are the finalists for the 2016 Vezina Trophy.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Quick’s addition raised some eyebrows among some NHL fans, but his numbers (“led all NHL goaltenders in appearances (68), starts (68) and minutes (4,034), and ranked second in wins (40), fifth in saves (1,671) and tied for fifth in shutouts (5) in 2015-16.”) merit acknowledgement. Personally, I think Holtby will win the Vezina this year.
TWINCITIES: Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise is optimistic he won’t required back surgery, claiming he’ll be ready for the World Cup of Hockey in September.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers RFA forward Brayden Schenn hopes to re-sign a long-term extension.
NBC SPORTS: The Florida Panthers’ new logo may have been leaked.
OTTAWA SUN: The new home of the Senators could be determined this week, along with their position in the 2016 NHL Draft. The identity of their next head coach could be revealed as well.