NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 15, 2017

by | May 15, 2017 | News, NHL

Nick Ritchie (left) celebrates his goal with Ryan Getzlaf in Game 2 of the 2017 Western Conference Final.

Ducks win Game 2 of Western Conference Final, plus updates on Carl Hagelin, Kris Russell & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Ryan Getzlaf collected three assists as the Anaheim Ducks overcame an early 2-0 deficit to defeat the Nashville Predators 5-3 in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final. The series is now tied at one game apiece.

Following the game, Predators center Ryan Johansen was critical of how Ducks center Ryan Kesler was playing against him in the faceoff circle.“It just doesn’t make sense how he plays the game. I’m just trying to go out there and play hockey, and it sucks when you have to pull a stick out of your groin after every shift.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While I understand Johansen’s frustration over Kesler’s style of play, he’s allowed the cagey Ducks center to get inside his head. He cannot let Kesler drive him to distraction in this series and must find a way to overcome his chippy tactics. The Ducks also achieved something in this game that the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues couldn’t earlier in this postseason: score four goals on Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Carl Hagelin (day-to-day, undisclosed injury) skated in practice yesterday but remains uncertain when he’ll return to the lineup. The Penguins face off tonight against the Ottawa Senators in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final.  

OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Viktor Stalberg (undisclosed injury, day-to-day) could be ready to play in Game 2 against the Penguins.

EDMONTON SUN: Pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Kris Russell hopes to re-sign with the Edmonton Oilers. 

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman dismissed the notion that his recent firing of assistant coach Mike Kitchen was done as a warning to head coach Joel Qunneville following the club’s swift opening-round elimination by the Nashville Predators. Bowman said there’s no deadline to replace Kitchen but claims Qunneville will play a significant role in the process.