NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 24, 2017
Capitals and Senators advance to second round, Kings hire new coach & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Marcus Johansson scored twice, including the winner in overtime, to give the Washington Capitals a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Capitals win the series in six games and will meet the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round. Braden Holtby made 37 saves for the Caps. Auston Matthews scored for the Leafs while goalie Frederik Andersen made 34 saves.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In what many observers felt would be an easy series for the heavily-favored Capitals, the upstart Leafs proved a handful for the Presidents’ Trophy winner. The rebuilding Leafs exceeded expectations, pushing five of the six games in this series to overtime. They have nothing to hang their heads over and will take away valuable lessons from this series.
Clarke MacArthur’s power-play goal in overtime gave the Ottawa Senators a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins to win their opening-round series in six games. MacArthur also drew the penalty on Bruins winger David Pastrnak that set the stage for his winner. Following the game, it was revealed Sens captain Erik Karlsson was playing with two hairline fractures in his foot.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a hard-fought win for the Senators over the injury-depleted Bruins. For MacArthur, scoring that goal after missing almost the entire season to a concussion must have felt sweet. Same goes for Sens goalie Craig Anderson, who missed time during the season to be alongside his wife during her cancer treatments. Karlsson sometimes gets labeled as a soft player, but playing through that foot injury should silence those critics, especially considering his contributions to the Sens victory throughout this series.
The NHL has released the schedule for the second round of the 2017 playoffs. It begins on Wednesday with the Nashville Predators opening their series with the St. Louis Blues and the Edmonton Oilers meeting the Ducks in Anaheim.
Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau, Minnesota Wild forward Mikael Granlund and St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko are the finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy, which honors the league’s most gentlemanly player.
LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: The Los Angeles Kings promoted former assistant coach John Stevens into the role of head coach.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets have opened preliminary contract talks with restricted free agent forward Alexander Wennberg and unrestricted free agent forward Sam Gagner.