NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 20, 2017
Ducks eliminate Flames, Senators push Bruins to brink & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: John Gibson made 38 saves to backstop the Anaheim Ducks to a 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames, eliminating the latter from the opening round of the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs in four straight games. Patrick Eaves, Nate Thompson and Ryan Getzlaf scored for the Ducks, while Sean Monahan tallied the Flames’ only goal. The Ducks await the winner of the Edmonton Oilers-San Jose Sharks series.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks were simply too strong defensively for the Flames. Brian Elliott’s shaky goaltending was a key factor in the Flames’ demise. He’s likely played his final game for Calgary.
Bobby Ryan scored the only goal and Craig Anderson had a 22-save shutout as the Ottawa Senators blanked the Boston Bruins 1-0, taking a 3-1 series lead and pushing the Bruins to the brink of elimination. Senators forward Tom Pyatt left the game with an upper-body injury in the first period and didn’t return. Bruins defenseman Colin Miller returned to action after missing Games 2 and 3 with an injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators are doing a fine job clogging up the neutral zone and stymieing the Bruin’s attack. While Ryan’s been a clutch scorer for the Sens, captain Erik Karlsson is the dominant player of this series so far. His playmaking is a big reason the Sens hold a 3-1 series lead.
Four first-period goals, including two by winger Tom Wilson, helped the Washington Capitals to a 5-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, tying their series at two games apiece returning to Washington for Game 5. T.J. Oshie also scored twice for the Caps, including the game winner in the third period. Leafs forwwards William Nylander and Mitch Marner each collected two assists.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The score flattered the Leafs, as the Capitals dominated most of the play in this game and never surrendered the lead.
Devan Dubnyk made 28 saves as the Minnesota Wild shut out the St. Louis Blues 2-0 to stave off elimination. Charlie Coyle and Martin Hanzal scored for the Wild. The Blues hold a 3-1 lead in the series as it head back to Minnesota for Game 5 on Saturday.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres center Jack Eichel and his agent yesterday denied a report citing team insiders claiming he wouldn’t sign a contract extension if Dan Bylsma remained as head coach. Eichel is in the second season of a three-year entry-level deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report added more spice to an offseason of intrigue for the Sabres. With the club missing the playoffs and failing to notable improve, speculation is swirling over Bylsma’s future. Eichel made headlines earlier this month by calling out some of his teammates for sub-par play.
EDMONTON SUN: Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl was fined $2,569.44, the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement, for spearing San Jose Sharks forward Chris Tierney in the crotch during the Sharks 7-0 win over the Oilers in Game 4.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Draisaitl had no previous history of suspensions or fines, hence the reason he got off lightly for jabbing Tierney in the junk.
NHL.COM: Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler and Minnesota Wild center Mikko Koivu are the finalist for the 2017 Frank J. Selke trophy honoring the league’s top defensive forward.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the league has no plans to change the playoff format.
TORONTO SUN: NHL Hall of Famer Lanny McDonald has been inducted in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks could scratch veteran defenseman Johnny Oduya from Game 4 of their series against the Nashville Predators.