NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 8, 2017
Predators eliminate Blues, Oilers stay alive against Ducks & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: For the first time in franchise history, the Nashville Predators are going to the Western Conference Finals. The Predators defeated the St. Louis Blue 3-1 to win their second-round series in six games. Ryan Johansen netted the winning goal while defenseman Roman Josi scored the game-tying tally and assisted on Calle Jarnkrok’s insurance goal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators’ fan base is among the most enthusiastic in the league and they rocked the Bridgestone Arena in this historic game for their franchise. The Preds and their fans now await the winner of the Anaheim Ducks-Edmonton Oilers series.
As for the Blues, they simply couldn’t generate enough offense (especially on the power play) in this series. One reason was Blues forward Alex Steen played with a broken foot suffered during the opening game of their first-round series against the Minnesota Wild.
Leon Draisaitl scored his first career NHL hat trick and added two assists to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 7-1 beatdown of the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6 of their second-round series. The seventh and deciding game will be played in Anaheim on Wednesday. Mark Letestu also scored two goals and collected two assists for the Oilers, who played without sidelined blueliners Oscar Klefbom and Andrej Sekera.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: About the only thing the Ducks did right in this game was keeping Oilers captain Connor McDavid off the score sheet. Not that it matter, as the Oilers bolted from the gate and had a 5-0 lead by the end of the first period. Klefbom might return for Game 7 but Sekera is out for the remainder of this series.
THE WASHINGTON POST/PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov has emerged as his club’s brightest star in this year’s postseason. Meanwhile, a possible undisclosed injury could knock Penguins defenseman Trevor Daley out of the lineup for Game 6 tonight in Pittsburgh. Mark Streit or Chad Ruhwedel could be Daley’s replacement if he’s unable to play. The Penguins lead the series 3-2.
OTTAWA SUN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The Ottawa Senators need a better effort at Madison Square Garden tonight in Game 6 if they hope to eliminate the New York Rangers. The Senators lost their last two outings there by identical 4-1 scores. As for the Rangers, they’ll need a better effort from their veterans in Game 6 than the average one they had in their previous game if they’re to extend this series to a seventh and deciding game.
PHILLY.COM: Flyers forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare helped France to an upset win over Finland yesterday at the IIHF World Championships, then declined to accept the player of the game award. He instead handed it to his teammate, goaltender Florian Hardy.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A truly selfless and classy move by Bellemare.
NBC SPORTS: Speaking of the IIHF, president Rene Fasel is keeping the door open on NHL participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics.