NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 29, 2019
Game recaps, Capitals clinch a playoff berth, Masterton Memorial Trophy nominees revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Third-period goals by Jakub Vrana and Nic Dowd gave the Washington Capitals a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. With the win, the Capitals (100 points) clinched a playoff spot and hold a three-point lead over the New York Islanders for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Before the game, Hurricanes captain Justin Williams said his club’s popular “Storm Surge” postgame win celebrations have come to an end for the remainder of the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That should delight Don Cherry and Brian Burke as they are the most vocal critics of the Hurricanes’ postgame antics.
The Islanders, meanwhile, scored three unanswered third-period goals to overcome a 4-2 deficit to upset the Winnipeg Jets 5-4. Jordan Eberle tallied twice for the Isles. The loss leaves the Jets (94 points) two points ahead of the Nashville Predators for the top spot in the Central Division.
The Columbus Blue Jackets regained the second-wild card spot in the Eastern Conference by thumping the Montreal Canadiens 6-2. Both clubs have 90 points but the Jackets hold a game in hand. Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella was furious at Canadiens’ forward Andrew Shaw’s second-period hit to the head of defenseman Adam McQuaid, who left the game and didn’t return. Shaw received a two-minute interference penalty. Tortorella believes the hit was “Suspendable. Ridiculously suspendable.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’ll find out later today if the NHL’s department of player safety agrees.
The Dallas Stars rallied back from a 2-0 deficit to nip the Edmonton Oilers 3-2. Shootout goals by Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn completed the comeback for the Stars. Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl became the first German national to reach 100 points in an NHL season. He and Connor McDavid are also the first Oilers teammates to reach 100 points since Jari Kurri and Jimmy Carson in 1988-89.
The San Jose Sharks suffered their seventh straight loss by falling to the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4. The Sharks (95 points) remains six points behind the first-place Calgary Flames in the Pacific Division. Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat became the youngest player in franchise history (21) to scored 40 goals in a season. The Hawks (78 points) sit five points out of a Western Conference playoff spot.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this month, the Sharks were rolling through a six-game winning streak. Shaky goaltending and the ongoing absence of sidelined defenseman Erik Karlsson have contributed to their current slide.
Tanner Pearson tallied the only goal in a shootout as the Vancouver Canucks edged the Los Angeles Kings 3-2. Kings captain Dustin Brown became the franchise leader in games played (1,112). Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler set a franchise record for most goals by a defenseman with 94.
Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov reached the 90-point plateau for the first time in a 5-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Teammate Jonathan Huberdeau also scored twice. Panthers defenseman Brady Keeper made his debut and became the first member of the Pimicikamak Cree Nation to play in the NHL.
The Detroit Red Wings blew a 4-2 lead but went on to defeat the Buffalo Sabres 5-4 in overtime. Tyler Bertuzzi tallied the game-opening and game-winning goals while Dylan Larkin reached the 30-goal mark for the first time and Anthony Mantha collected three assists.
Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, Calgary Flames blueliner Mark Giordano, Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford, New York Islanders netminder Robin Lehner, and St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester are among the nominees for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
THE DENVER POST: Good news for the Colorado Avalanche as sidelined captain Gabriel Landeskog (separated shoulder) makes his return tonight against the Arizona Coyotes.
NBC SPORTS: Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug (285 career points) recently became the highest-scoring American-born player in franchise history.
Matt Read has been placed on waivers to get him back down to Iowa, a sign Joel Eriksson Ek and/or Zach Parise will be returning tomorrow in Vegas#mnwild
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) March 28, 2019