NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 14, 2019
Capitals take 2-0 series lead over Hurricanes, Predators, Bruins, and Avalanche tie their respective series, Nikita Kucherov receives a one-game suspension, an update on Connor McDavid, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Brooks Orpik’s overtime goal gave the Washington Capitals a 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes and a 2-0 lead in their opening-round series. Orpik became the oldest defenseman in NHL history to score an overtime playoff goal. Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and T.J. Oshie each collected two points for the Capitals.
Hurricanes winger Micheal Ferland was ejected during the second period for a hit to the head of Capitals forward Nic Dowd. Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton’s elbow to the head of Kuznetsov will be reviewed by the league’s department of player safety but it’s unclear if it’ll merit a suspension.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals haven’t had an easy time of it with the Hurricanes, who overcame an early 2-0 deficit to force the extra period. They lack the Capitals depth in experienced talent but they’re a plucky hardworking bunch with a bright future.
An overtime tally by Craig Smith enabled the Nashville Predators to edge the Dallas Stars 2-1, squaring their series at a game apiece. Rocco Grimaldi also scored for the Predators while Jamie Benn netted the Stars’ only goal. Dallas goaltender Ben Bishop made 40 saves. The Predators skated without center Brian Boyle (illness) and lost winger Wayne Simmonds after he took a shot off his left knee.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bishop was outstanding in this game and deserved a better fate. This performance is but one reason why I believe he should win the Vezina Trophy this season. No word yet on Simmonds’ status for Game 3.
Brad Marchand had a goal and an assist and Tuukka Rask kicked out 30 shots as the Boston Bruins downed the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 to tie their series 1-1. The physical contest took a toll on both clubs.
Bruins defenseman Torey Krug left the game in the second period following a hit by Leafs blueliner Jake Muzzin. Leafs center Nazem Kadri, meanwhile, will have a hearing today with the department of player safety and faces a suspension following a match penalty for cross-checking the head of Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk. Bruins winger Marcus Johansson missed the game with the flu.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins ratcheted up the physical play in this one and effectively neutralized the Leafs speed. Kadri was obviously still angry over a knee-on-knee collision with DeBrusk in the second period and allowed his emotions to once again boil over, just like in last year’s series between these two clubs. That time, he got a three-game suspension. He could get more for his latest infraction.
The Colorado Avalanche evened their series with the Calgary Flames as Nathan MacKinnon’s overtime goal gave them a 3-2 victory in Game 2. Mikko Rantanen collected two assists while Philipp Grubauer made 35 saves for the Avalanche. The Flames’ Sam Bennett also had two assists.
SPORTSNET: Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov received a one-game suspension for boarding Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Markus Nutivaara in Game 2 of their opening-round series.
Speaking of the Lightning, defenseman Anton Stralman (upper-body injury) is uncertain when he’ll return to the lineup.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins center Jared McCann (upper-body injury) expects to be in the lineup for this afternoon’s game against the New York Islanders. The Isles hold a 2-0 lead in that series.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers center Connor McDavid has a small ligament tear in his left knee and will begin rehab almost immediately. He’s expected to be good to go for training camp in September.
Hearing tonight that PHI has permission to talk to Alain Vigneault for its head coaching job. No guarantees, but he’s on the radar.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 12, 2019
‘Tip of the Hat’ to Peter Budaj, who last night played his final professional game in Ontario (he is the winningest goalie in Reign history with 49 wins across 2 seasons). Budaj will retire at the age of 36 at the end of the 2018-19 season. Congrats on a stellar pro career! pic.twitter.com/UqtwEuaivK
— LAKingsPR (@LAKingsPR) April 13, 2019