NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 30, 2018
Game recaps, playoff standings updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins doubled up the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 to take over first place in the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference standings. Patrice Bergeron had three points and David Pastrnak a Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist, fight) for the Bruins (107 points), who sit one point up on the slumping Lightning, who’ve lost three in a row.
Sidney Crosby’s highlight-reel overtime goal gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. Crosby rang a shot off the post and swatted in the midair rebound. The victory leaves the Penguins with 94 points, one up on the Columbus Blue Jackets for second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Devils (89 points) remain three up on the Florida Panthers for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
Speaking of the Panthers, they failed to gain ground on the Devils after dropping a 3-2 decision to the Ottawa Senators. Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored twice for the Senators, including the winner in overtime. Earlier in the day, the Senators recalled forward Colin White and announced Chris Wideman suffered a season-ending hamstring injury.
Pierre-Luc Dubois tallied a hat trick and Sergei Bobrovsky kicked out 37 shots to give the Blue Jackets a 5-1 victory over the Calgary Flames. The Jackets (93 points) move to third place in the Metro Division, one up on the Philadelphia Flyers. Earlier in the day, the Blue Jackets announced the re-signing of defenseman Markus Nutivaara to a four-year, $10.8-million contract extension.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A reasonable signing by the Blue Jackets. Nutivaara’s blossomed in his sophomore season, with 23 points in 60 games. He’s a very good puck-moving defenseman who’s provided an extra measure of mobility to the Jackets’ blueline, forming a solid third defense pairing with Ryan Murray.
Jeff Carter’s hat trick powered the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. With 93 points, the Kings moved two points up on the Anaheim Ducks for third in the Pacific Division.
Zach Parise scored twice and Matt Dumba had four points to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 5-2 victory over the Dallas Stars. The Wild (96 points) hold a five-point lead over the St. Louis Blues for third in the Central Division.
The San Jose Sharks failed to clinch a playoff berth after falling 5-3 to the Nashville Predators. Filip Forsberg collected three assists and goaltender Juuse Saros made 39 saves for the Predators.
Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid netted his 41st goal of the season in a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. With 103 points, McDavid sits six points up on Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov in the NHL scoring race. Kucherov has a game in hand.
The Detroit Red Wings snapped an 11-game road-losing skid by beat the Buffalo Sabres 6-3. Anthony Mantha and Dylan Larkin each had a goal and an assist for the Wings.
Emergency backup goaltender Scott Foster made seven saves to preserve a 6-2 win for the Chicago Blackhawks over the Winnipeg Jets. Fisher, an 36-year-old accountant who played four seasons with Western Michigan University, came into the game when Collin Delia (making his own NHL debut) left the game with cramps in the third period. Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook also played his 1,000th career NHL game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is now one of my favorite stories of this season. Foster won’t play another game in the NHL, but for one night and for several minutes, he got to live the dream. His post-game interview was fantastic.
Hilarious post-game interview from 36-year-old Scott Foster, who was called into action as the Blackhawks Emergency Backup Goaltender tonight pic.twitter.com/p4ExOQz8oA
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) March 30, 2018
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price and winger Brendan Gallagher have declined invitations to join Team Canada at the upcoming World Championships. Price wants to spend time with his family while Gallagher wants to rest his banged-up body.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt Canadiens management are upset over Price and Gallagher skipping the Worlds this season. Price also had his own health issues to deal with this season, including a recent concussion that sidelined him for 13 games. Price played for Canada in the 2014 Olympics and 2016 World Cup of Hockey, while Gallagher skated for Canada at the Worlds in 2016.
The family of former #NHL defenseman Lyle Odelein – the Blue Jackets’ inaugural captain – asks for your prayers, thoughts and well wishes. Odelein, 49, is facing serious health issues at this hour in a Pittsburgh hospital. No further details, per the family’s wishes. #odie #CBJ
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) March 29, 2018
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery for Odelein.