NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 21, 2018
Jets eliminated Wild, Flyers and Avalanche stave off elimination, Lady Byng Trophy finalist revealed and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by crushing the Minnesota Wild 5-0, winning their best-of-seven opening-round series in five games. Connor Hellebuyck made 30 saves for his second straight shutout while Mark Scheifele, Paul Stastny and Dustin Byfuglien each had two point for the Jets, who await the winner of the Colorado Avalanche-Nashville Predators series. Jets forward Joel Armia left the game after the first period with an upper-body injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a dominating performance by the Jets, whose roster depth was simply too much for the Wild. It also marks the first NHL playoff series victory by a Winnipeg franchise since 1987.
Speaking of the Avalanche and Predators, there will be a sixth game in their series on Sunday in Denver. Third-string goaltender Andrew Hammond, making his first playoff appearance since 2015, made 44 saves to backstop the underdog Avs to a 2-1 victory over the Predators in Game 5. Gabriel Landeskog tallied the game-tying goal, setting the stage for Sven Andrighetto’s game winner late in the third period.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Someone call the cops because “The Hamburglar” just stole another game. Credit his teammates as well for their never-say-die attitude, as they’re certainly proving to be a handful for the heavily favored Predators.
And speaking of never-say-die, the Philadelphia Flyers lived to play another day by doubling up the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 in Game 5 of their opening-round series. Game 6 goes Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia. Sean Couturier snapped a 2-2 tie late in the third and Matt Read added the insurance goal into an empty net.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Couturier was obviously still feeling the effects of the leg injury that sidelined him from Game 4 but his gutsy performance in this game didn’t go unnoticed. Credit also goes to his teammates for overcoming a 2-1 deficit and outworking the Penguins through most of this contest.
Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers, William Karlsson of the Vegas Golden Knights and Ryan O’Reilly of the Buffalo Sabres are this year’s finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy.
BOSTON HERALD: Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (upper-body injury) could return to action for Game 5 tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins lead the series three games to one.
CSN WASHINGTON: Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky (upper-body injury) will miss the remainder of his club’s opening-round series with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The series is tied at two games apiece with Game 5 going this afternoon in Washington.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Head coach Bill Peters announced Friday he was opting out of the final year of his contract with the Carolina Hurricanes. He’s been mentioned as a potential candidate for the vacant head-coaching job with the Calgary Flames. Potential candidates for the Hurricanes coaching position “could include Charlotte Checkers coach Mike Vellucci and Canes assistant coach Rod Brind’Amour.”