NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 3, 2019
Game recaps, Stars clinch a playoff berth, Wild eliminated from postseason chase, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Nashville Predators (96 points) defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 to move into a tie with the Winnipeg Jets for first place in the Central Division. P.K. Subban had a goal and an assist and Ryan Johansen tallied the winning goal.
Brad Marchand became the first Boston Bruin to reach 100 points since Joe Thornton in 2002-03 as his club beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-2. Marchand’s teammate Jake DeBrusk scored twice and set up another. With the win, the Bruins (105 points) secured second place in the Atlantic Division. The Blue Jackets (94 points) slipped into a tie with the Montreal Canadiens for the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.
The Canadiens, meanwhile, kept their playoff hopes alive by overcoming a 2-1 deficit to double up the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2. The loss means the Lightning no longer have a shot at breaking the NHL single-season record of 62 wins set by the Detroit Red Wings in 1995-96
The Carolina Hurricanes (95 points) moved back into the first wild-card spot in the East by defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1. Dougie Hamilton scored two goals for the Hurricanes. The Leafs (99 points) have secured third place in the Atlantic.
Tyler Bertuzzi became the first player in Detroit Red Wings history to tally three-or-more points in four straight games in a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Bertuzzi scored two goals and collected an assist while teammates Dylan Larkin had three assists and Anthony Mantha scored twice. Earlier in the day, the Red Wings formally announced head coach Jeff Blashill was re-signed to a two-year contract extension. The loss prevented the Penguins (97 points) from clinching a playoff position. They also played without defenseman Brian Dumoulin, who’s day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
Despite defeating the Winnipeg Jets 5-1, the Minnesota Wild (83 points) was eliminated from the playoff race last night. Zach Parise scored two goals for the Wild.
The Dalla Stars are heading to the playoffs for the first time since 2016 thanks to a 6-2 drubbing of the Philadelphia Flyers. Alexander Radulov led the way with two goals and two assists while Mats Zuccarello (one assist) returned to action after being sidelined for over a month with a broken arm.
The Wild was eliminated because the Colorado Avalanche overcame a 2-0 deficit to thump the Edmonton Oilers 6-2. Alex Kerfoot scored twice for the Avalanche (88 points), who opened a four-point lead over the Arizona Coyotes for the final playoff berth in the Western Conference.
Speaking of the Coyotes (84 points), their playoff hopes took a hit by falling 3-1 to the Los Angeles Kings. Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper left the game in the third period after taking a stick to the face. His status for their remaining two games remains in doubt. Kings defenseman Kurtis MacDermid missed the game with an upper-body injury.
The Vancouver Canucks rallied from a 2-1 deficit to beat the San Jose Sharks 4-2. Tanner Pearson scored twice and Markus Granlund tallied the winning goal. The Sharks have won just once (1-8-1) in their last 10 games.
Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, and Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand are the NHL’s three stars for the month of March 2019. St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington was named rookie of the month for the second straight month.
NBC SPORTS: Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn left hamstring and is expected to be sidelined four-to-six months.