NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 22, 2018
Lightning eliminate Devils, Capitals take series lead over the Blue Jackets, Leafs stay alive against Bruins. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 3-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils to take their opening-round series in five games. Nikita Kucherov scored his fifth goal of the playoffs and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 26 saves for the win. Devils goaltender Corey Schneider made 35 saves in a losing cause. The Lightning await the winner of the Boston Bruins-Toronto Maple Leafs series.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils proved to be a difficult opponent but they ultimately couldn’t match the Lightning’s talented roster depth. After an injury-plagued season, Schneider redeemed himself with a strong playoff performance.
Speaking of the Bruins and Leafs, the latter staved off elimination in Game 5 with a 4-3 win. Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen made 42 saves while teammates James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak each had a goal and an assist. Game 6 goes Monday night in Toronto with the Bruins holding a 3-2 series lead. Bruins center Patrice Bergeron returned to the lineup after missing Game 4 with an upper-body injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins came out flat in this game and the Leafs made them pay, driving Tuukka Rask out of the game after he gave up four goals on 13 shots. The Leafs came close to blowing this one but Andersen made the difference with 19 saves in the final period.
The Washington Capitals have taken their first lead of their series with the Columbus Blue Jackets, thanks to a 4-3 overtime victory in Game 5. Nicklas Backstrom scored twice, including the winner, and Braden Holtby made 39 saves for the Capitals, who’ve overcome a 2-0 series deficit to take a 3-2 lead. Blues Jackets forward Matt Calvert tallied two goals and Alex Wennberg collected an assist in his first game back since being sidelined with an upper-body injury in Game 1. The two sides face off in Game 6 on Monday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin promised his club would rally back to tie this series, Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella is guaranteeing his team will force a seventh game.
New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle, Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo and Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal are this year’s finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist (lower-body) is expected to return to action in Game 6 today against the Philadelphia Flyers. Penguins center Evgeni Malkin’s status is unclear after suffering a leg injury in Game 5.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes assistant coach Rob Brind’amour has expressed interest in the vacant head-coaching job.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: It appears Randy Carlyle will return next season as the Anaheim Ducks’ head coach.
NEWSDAY: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman expects construction on a new arena for the New York Islanders at Belmont Park to begin in early 2019.