NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 8, 2018
Capitals beat Penguins advance to Eastern Conference Final, Predators defeat Jets to force a seventh and deciding game. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: For the first time in 20 years, the Washington Capitals are going to the Eastern Conference Final. And for the first time in 24 years, they’ve defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in a playoff series.
Evgeny Kuznetsov scored in overtime to give the Capitals a 2-1 victory over the Penguins, ending their second-round match-up in six games. The Capitals got the win despite the absence of center Nicklas Backstrom, who missed Game 6 with an upper-body injury and is considered day-to-day.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a hard-fought and well-deserved victory for the Capitals. Goaltender Braden Holtby was superb, their best players all stepped up and they got contributions from their secondary scorers. Their ability to exploit the Penguins’ propensity to give up odd-man rushes played a significant role in winning this series. Fatigue was probably a factor for the Penguins. After winning two consecutive Stanley Cup titles, the looked like a tired team as this series progressed.
Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson each scored twice and Pekka Rinne had a 34-save shutout as the Nashville Predators blanked the Winnipeg Jets 4-0 in Game 6 of their second-round series. There will be a seventh and deciding game in Nashville on Thursday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators also did a good job killing penalties as Jets went oh-for-four in this game.
THE ATHLETIC: Tampa Bay Lightning sophomore center Brayden Point was the heartbeat of his club in its drive to the Eastern Conference Final.
LAS VEGAS SUN: Player depth will be key for the Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference Final. They’ll face either the Nashville Predators or Winnipeg Jets.