NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 2, 2019

by | Apr 2, 2019 | News, NHL

Game recaps, Maple Leafs clinch a playoff berth, Oilers officially eliminated from the playoff race, stars of the week, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning became the third team in NHL history to win 60 games in a season with a 5-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Yanni Gourde scored two goals and Nikita Kucherov added three assists. Earlier in the day, the Lightning revealed defenseman Victor Hedman is doubtful to play the club’s remaining regular-season games due to an upper-body injury

John Tavares scored the winning goal as the Toronto Maple Leafs clinched a playoff berth with a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders (Photo via NHL Images)

John Tavares scored the winning goal as the Toronto Maple Leafs clinched a playoff berth by edging the New York Islanders 2-1. Tavares also set a franchise record for most goals by a Leafs center (46), while reaching a personal best with his 87th point of the season. The Leafs will face the Boston Bruins next week in the opening round of the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs. 

The Washington Capitals missed an opportunity to clinch first place in the Metropolitan Division by dropping a 5-3 decision to the Florida Panthers. Vincent Trocheck scored two goals and Aleksander Barkov collected three assists for the Panthers. The Capitals (102 points) remains three points ahead of the Islanders. 

The Calgary Flames picked up their 50th win of the season by thumping the Los Angeles Kings 7-2. Derek Ryan scored twice and Mark Jankowski had a three-point performance. Flames forward Sam Bennett left the game late in the second period following a hit from Kings defenseman Kurtis McDermid but is expected back in the lineup for their next game. 

Kevin Hayes scored in overtime as the Winnipeg Jets nipped the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3. Jack Roslovic also scored twice for Winnipeg.  With the win, the Jets (96 points) move into sole possession of first place in the Central Division, holding a two-point lead over the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues.  Dylan Strome scored two goals for the Blackhawks (80 points), who sit six points out of a playoff spot. 

The Blues, meanwhile, slipped past the Predators into second place in the Central Division with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Ryan O’Reilly scored the only goal in the shootout. The Blues and Predators each have 94 points but the Blues have lost one fewer game. The Avalanche (86 points) picked up a point and hold a two-point lead over the Arizona Coyotes for the final Western Conference wild-card berth. 

The Vegas Golden Knights picked up their first win in six games by beating the Edmonton Oilers 3-1, eliminating the latter from postseason contention. Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury missed his ninth straight game as he works his way back from a lower-body injury. 

Connor Carrick scored the winning goal and picked up an assist as the New Jersey Devils doubled up the New York Rangers 4-2. Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich was held out of the game for precautionary reasons related to being sent into concussion protocol during Saturday’s 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. 

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, Detroit Red Wings left winger Tyler Bertuzzi, and Arizona Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending March 31, 2019. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens got some good news as winger Paul Byron will return to the lineup this week after missing two games with a concussion.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks rookie Tory Terry suffered a broken tibia during Friday’s loss to the Calgary Flames.