NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 29, 2017
Game recaps, Oilers clinch playoff berth, Red Wings eliminated & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Connor McDavid and Eric Gryba scored to give the Edmonton Oilers a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. For the first time since 2006, the Oilers clinched a playoff berth. They’re tied for second in the Pacific Division (93 points) with the San Jose Sharks.
The Detroit Red Wings playoff streak officially ended at 25 years as they fell 4-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes. With 82 points, the Hurricanes kept their playoff hopes alive, sitting four points out of the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Canes were missing goaltender Eddie Lack, sidelined with a neck strain following his club’s loss to the Wings on Monday.
The Anaheim Ducks clinched a playoff berth by beating the Vancouver Canucks 4-1. Nick Ritchie and Antoine Vermette each had a goal and an assist for the Ducks (95 points), who’ve won five straight and hold a two-point lead atop the Pacific Division over the San Jose Sharks and Edmonton Oilers.
Brent Burns’ overtime goal lifted the Sharks to a 5-4 win over the New York Rangers. Chris Tierney scored twice for San Jose, snapping their six-game losing skid. Both clubs clinched postseason berths.
Auston Matthews scored his 35th goal as the Toronto Maple Leafs nipped the Florida Panthers 3-2. Matthews broke the Leafs rookie goal-scoring record previously held by Wendel Clark. The Leafs (87 points) remain one ahead of the Boston Bruins for third in the Atlantic Division.
Tuukka Rask made 24 saves backstopping the Bruins to a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators, snapping the latter’s four-game win streak. The Bruins (86 points) hold a three-point lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning for the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.
Alex Ovechkin tallied a hat trick, Marcus Johansson picked up four assists and T.J. Oshie scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Washington Capitals beat the Minnesota Wild 5-4. Wild left wing Zach Parise left the game after taking a high stick to the face from Caps forward Tom Wilson. The Caps (108 points) hold a three-point lead over the Columbus Blue Jackets for first overall in the Eastern Conference.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 41 saves backstopping the Blue Jackets to a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. The Blue Jackets (105 points) moved ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins (103 points) for second in the Metropolitan Division. Sabres forward Sam Reinhart spent the entire game on the bench as punishment for violating a team policy.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed Reinhart missed a team meeting earlier that day.
The Montreal Canadiens (95 points) widened their lead over the Ottawa Senators for first in the Atlantic Division by four points, downing the Dallas Stars 4-1. Habs defenseman Andrei Markov picked up an assist to tie Guy Lapointe for second all-time among Canadiens blueliners in points (572).
Jordan Weal scored the game-tying goal and the winner in a shootout as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the Ottawa Senators 3-2. The Sens (91 points) are four points ahead of the Leafs for second in the Atlantic Division.
Patrik Laine’s shootout goal completed the comeback for the Winnipeg Jets, overcoming a 3-1 deficit to beat the New Jersey Devils 4-3.
USA HOCKEY: Announced last night they’ve reached an agreement with the United States Women’s National Team on a four-year deal. This ensure the Women’s team won’t boycott the upcoming World Championships.