NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 9, 2017

by | Apr 9, 2017 | News, NHL | 17 comments

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Connor Brown celebrates his game winner against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Game recaps, more opening-round match-ups determined, Bryan Bickell to retire & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Connor Brown scored the game winner late in the third period to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Leafs clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2013, eliminating the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders from the playoff chase in the Eastern Conference.

Leafs starting goalie Frederik Andersen left the game in the second period with an apparent head injury following a collision with Penguins forward Tom Sestito. No word yet on his status for the playoffs. 

The Boston Bruins (95 points) fell to the Washington Capitals 3-1, leaving them tied for third with the Leafs in the Atlantic Division. Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo left the game with an upper-body injury and is questionable for the start of the playoffs later this week. The Bruins are also missing blueliner Torey Krug (lower body).  

The Ottawa Senators clinched (98 points) clinched second spot in the Atlantic Division with a 3-1 win over the New York Rangers. 

Connor McDavid tallied his 100th career NHL assist as the Edmonton Oilers (101 points) secured home-ice advantage in the opening round of the postseason with a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. It’s the first time since the Oilers reached 100 points since 1986-87.

Vladimir Tarasenko’s shootout goal gave the St. Louis Blues (97 points) a 5-4 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. The Blues clinched third place in the Central Division and will face the Minnesota Wild in the opening round of the playoffs. Hurricanes winger Bryan Bickell has announced his retirement following this season. He was diagnosed last November with multiple sclerosis. 

The Wild set a franchise record for wins (49) and points (106) with a 3-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. 

Chris Tierney had a two-point game as the San Jose Sharks downed the Calgary Flames 3-1. The Sharks (99 points) secured third place in the Pacific Division while the Flames hold the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Sharks scratched captain Joe Pavelski, ending his ironman streak at 495 games. 

The Islanders defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-2. Before the game, long-time Devils star Patrik Elias went through a final warm-up with his teammates and was overcome with emotion during the ceremonial puck drop with his family. Elias recently announced his retirement. 

Drew Doughty’s overtime goal gave the Los Angeles Kings a 3-2 win over the slumping Chicago Blackhawks, who’ve now dropped four straight games. It was also the final game for long-time Kings play-by-play man Bob Miller, who’s retiring after 44 seasons behind the mike. 

The Winnipeg Jets finished their season with a seven-game win streak by edging the Nashville Predators 2-1. The Preds face the Blackhawks in the opening round of the playoffs. 

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2, handing the playoff-bound Jackets their sixth straight loss entering their final game of the regular season today against the Leafs. Flyers goalie Steve Mason picked up his 200th career win. 

Alex Galchenyuk’s overtime goal gave the Montreal Canadiens a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings in the second-to-last NHL game at the Joe Louis Arena. The Habs end the season atop the Atlantic Division with 103 points. 

James Reimer turned in a 30-save shutout as the Florida Panthers snapped a six-game losing skid by blanking the Buffalo Sabres 3-0. It was the final NHL game for retiring Panthers enforcer Shawn Thornton. 

Tyler Seguin’s shootout goal lifted the Dallas Stars to a 4-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Four of the eight opening-round series are now set. In the East, it’s the Penguins vs the Blue Jackets and the Canadiens vs the Rangers. In the West, the Blackhawks face the Predators and the Wild tangle with the Blues. 

NBC SPORTS: The NHL Draft Lottery will reportedly take place on April 29.


  1. Garret Sparks was recalled from the Marlies so I gather Andersen will sit out 2nite’s game against Columbus

  2. I wonder whether Sestito picked up a bonus for a job well done, considering Pitts. put him there for a single purpose. Makes a person wonder whether they`re told to hit the goalie. Kane twice, now Sestito, in 3 weeks and of course there`ll be no response from the NHL, no reviews, no suspensions, no fines, no nothing. A coach exploiting another teams weakness, a pawn taking out a knight. Fair trade off, especially Pitts didn`t even lose the pawn

    • Lol he barely touched him! Quit whining if that bump hurts Anderson maybe he should think of retiring and save his after hockey career. The leafs do the same/harder to other goalies all the time but you don’t notice that right? And they don’t deserve suspensions either right? A lot of fans need to look at their team in the mirror before sounding like a baby

    • He also knocked the Jets’ Enstrom out for the year with a concussion a few weeks ago with a dirty hit . He’s a true goon and doesn’t belong in the NHL.

    • What was the purpose again? What do the Penguins care if Anderson plays in the playoffs? The Leafs will be lucky to not get swept. And Pittsburgh is not doing the Caps any favours.

    • I agree with all below yogi. He barely touched him. Stop whining. He is a goon who shouldn’t be in the NHL. And doing the caps favors is dumb.

  3. Well, unlike last year we know at least one Canada-based team is going to the second round for certain.

    • You never know George, team depth, injures, hot goalie. There always seem to be a couple of upsets. Wonder who will be this years unlikely hero

      • Oh, I agree – but as I said, that’s for certain with Ottawa meeting Toronto in round 1.

      • Only if Toronto gets a point out of todays game, other than that they`ll play the Caps

      • They’ll beat Columbus – or at the very least get a point. Like Pittsburgh, the Blue Jackets have absolutely nothing to gain by going full out for 60 minutes and will likely rest a few key elements.

      • I`ll tell you George, I`d love to see Toronto play and upset the Caps. The Caps may feel the pressure a lot more than any other club this year, especially if they get behind early. Toronto`s speed did give the Caps a fair bit of problems and the kids may not realize who their playing and that they`re not supposed to win. Or the Caps will steamroll over them and it will be lesson learned

      • Well, you got your wish. What a weird game! All 5 goals in the 2nd.

  4. The Pens’ injuries have been well publicized, whereas the Leafs have 10 players, including Matt Martin, who have appeared in at least 80 games, and 5 others who have been in at least 70. This compares to only 2 Pens appearing in 80 or more games and 6 others in 70 or more. Maybe the disparity can be attributed to the resiliency of youth, or to luck, or to the physicality of divisional opponents, but I have to think that Matt Martin deserves some credit. The Pens don’t have a guy like him. He emboldens his teammates, and players on opposing teams tend to be more careful of players on a team that has a hammer who can play well enough to deliver some blows and not hurt his team.

    A fine, but largely unheralded, addition to the Leafs, and a major component of their success.

    • Most of the Pens injuries have come from blocking shots this season. I’m not sure how Matt Martin prevents the Leafs players from getting hurt blocking shots but that’s quite the skill he has.

      • ‘m not aware of how you would know how most of the Pens’ injuries resulted, since player injuries are hockey’s best kept secrets. Neither do I recall players frequently missing 10-30 games because of blocking a shot, too. Don’t the Leafs block shots? However, I do recall hearing of Penguins being out for long periods because of concussions. Maybe, they are blocking shots with their heads. It’s been said, as well, that many have been hurt by battering from bigger teams that have found that to be the best tactic for beating the faster Pens. Thus, they are outhit most games. That’s something Martin would mitigate.

  5. Zaitsev is out and now Polak has returned on a give a try basis for the balance of the game.Torts has targeted the Leafs Dman with good hits and their folding under the pressure. Gardiner is a giveaway machine so he’s doing all he can to panic under fire. Leafs vs Caps..Book it