NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 2, 2018
Jets and Capitals net thrilling Game 3 victories, Senators retaining their coaching staff and Hurricanes hire new senior VP of hockey ops. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets overcame a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Nashville Predators 7-4 in Game 3 of their second-round series. The Jets erupted for four unanswered second-period goals, including two by Dustin Byfuglien. Predators forward Filip Forsberg tied the game in the third but the Jets replied with three more goals (two by Blake Wheeler) for the win. Paul Stastny also collected three points for Winnipeg. Game 4 is slated for Thursday night with the Jets leading the series 2-1.
Alex Ovechkin scored with 67 seconds remaining in the third period to give the Washington Capitals a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of their second-round match-up. Washington leads the series two games to one. Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom collected three assists while Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel each had a goal and an assist for the Penguins.
For the second straight game, Capitals winger Tom Wilson had another controversial hit on a Penguins player, leaving forward Zach Aston-Reese with a broken jaw and a concussion. In Game 2, Wilson knocked Pittsburgh defenseman Brian Dumoulin out of the contest, though he returned to play in Game 3.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Odd-man rushes are killing the Penguins while sloppy defensive play has been the Predators’ undoing. As for Wilson, it remains to be seen if he’ll face any supplemental discipline. No penalty was called for his hit on Aston-Reese.
TAMPA BAY TIMES/THE BOSTON GLOBE: Undersized forwards Brayden Point and Tyler Johnson came up big for the Tampa Bay Lightning in their Game 2 win over the Boston Bruins. Meanwhile, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy is looking for a better forecheck and puck possession from his secondary forwards.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL/THE MERCURY NEWS: The Vegas Golden Knights jokingly refer to themselves as the “Golden Misfits” to create a sense of camaraderie. As for their second-round opponent, the San Jose Sharks will be without winger Joonas Donskoi (lower-body injury) for Game 3 tonight.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That “Golden Misfits” nickname provides some insight into why the Vegas players bonded so quickly into a strong team during their inaugural season. Left exposed by their former clubs in last year’s expansion draft, they have an “us against the world” mentality.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators yesterday announced head coach Guy Boucher and his staff will return next season. The club’s struggles in 2017-18 prompted some speculation of possible coaching changes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After this season’s difficulties, Boucher and company must change their system if they wish to remain with the Sens beyond 2018-19.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes named Rick Dudley as their senior vice-president of hockey operations.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A good hire by the Hurricanes, as Dudley has decades of front-office experience. This move should help to muffle the questions being raised of late over the club’s inability to find a new general manager.
TSN: The Edmonton Oilers reached an agreement with KHL goaltender Mikko Koskinen to a one-year, $2.5-million contract. The deal will be officially signed on July 1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Koskinen will spend next season backing up Cam Talbot.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Russ Brandon resigned yesterday as managing partner and president of the Pegula sports empire, which includes the Buffalo Sabres.