NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 25, 2021
Sidney Crosby set a franchise scoring record and a points-per-game milestone, Zdeno Chara reached a games-played milestone, the Wild clinch a playoff spot, injury updates and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines
NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby and Bryan Rust each scored their 20th goals of the season as the Pittsburgh Penguins doubled up the New Jersey Devils 4-2. Crosby’s empty-netter late in the game set a franchise record for most 20-goal seasons with 13. He also joined Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe as the only NHL players with 16 point-per-game seasons, sitting fifth on the all-time list in that category. The Penguins sit in second place in the MassMutual East Division with 65 points, one behind the Washington Capitals. The Devils have dropped nine straight games.
Capitals defenseman Zdeno Chara became the fifth defenseman in NHL history to play 1,600 games during his club’s 6-3 victory over the New York Islanders. Daniel Sprong scored twice and Evgeny Kuznetsov had a goal and two assists for the Capitals, who played without captain Alex Ovechkin as he’s day-to-day with a lower-body injury. The Islanders (63 points) sit third behind the Penguins.
Aleksander Barkov’s overtime goal capped a three-goal rally by the Florida Panthers as they nipped the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3. Florida defenseman MacKenzie Weegar had a goal and three assists while Carolina blueliner Dougie Hamilton scored twice. The Panthers (67 points) sit one point behind the first-place Hurricanes in the Discover Central Division.
The Dallas Stars kept their playoff hopes alive on Jamie Benn’s overtime goal to edge the Detroit Red Wings 2-1. Wings goaltender Jonathan Bernier made 50 saves in a losing cause. With 52 points, Dallas sits just two behind the fourth-place Nashville Predators in the Central. Stars defenseman John Klingberg missed the game with an undisclosed injury.
The league-leading Vegas Golden Knights (70 points) picked up their ninth straight victory by dropping the Anaheim Ducks 5-1. Chandler Stephenson scored twice for the Golden Knights, who opened a four-point lead over the second-place Colorado Avalanche in the Honda West Division. Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf left the game following the second period with an upper-body injury.
A hat trick by Ryan O’Reilly rallied the St. Louis Blues past the Colorado Avalanche 5-3. O’Reilly also collected an assist as the Blues (46 points) are one point behind the fourth-place Arizona Coyotes in the West Division. Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar had a goal and two assists for the Avalanche.
The Minnesota Wild became the third team to secure a berth in the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs in a 6-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Kevin Fiala and Jared Spurgeon each had a goal and an assist for the Wild (65 points), who moved one point behind the Avalanche. Before the game, the Sharks honored Patrick Marleau for recently setting the NHL all-time games played record.
Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper had a 26-save shutout to blank the Los Angeles Kings 4-0. Phil Kessel had a goal and an assist.
Joe Thornton became the oldest player (41 years, 296 days) in Toronto Maple Leafs’ history to score a goal as his club beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-1. Toronto sits atop the Scotia North Division with 65 points, eight up on second-place Winnipeg. The Jets played without forward Adam Lowry, who remains sidelined with an upper-body injury.
The Calgary Flames moved closer to the fourth-place Montreal Canadiens in the Scotia North Division by downing the sputtering Habs 5-2. Johnny Gaudreau scored twice as Calgary sits just four points (45 points) sit just four behind Montreal. Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury. Canadiens forwards Tomas Tatar and Paul Byron missed the game with lower-body injuries while goaltender Carey Price returned to Montreal for further treatment for a concussion suffered earlier in the week.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames season seemed over three weeks ago after winning just once in nine games. They’ve since won five of their last seven to keep their playoff hopes alive while the floundering Canadiens have won just three of their last 11.
Third-period goals by Tanner Pearson and J.T. Miller lifted the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. Ottawa goaltender Matt Murray left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury. Meanwhile, Canucks center Elias Pettersson is reportedly doubtful to return this season as he remains sidelined by an upper-body injury suffered on March 2.
It wasn’t only Murray who suffered an injury in that game. Forsberg was scheduled to start but he tweaked something in the warm-up so Murray, scheduled to back up last night, had to start, and Hogberg was elevated from the taxi squad. He took the loss in a close game.
Talk about musical goaltenders!
Maybe they should change their name to the Maple Goons? I bet old man Joe Thornton is so proud of himself going after a guy 5 inches shorter and who weighs 50 pounds less than him … who is his next target, Connor Sheary? How pathetic …
Poor ed, you must be traumatized.
ed great take, good comment…you removed all doubt.
Need to know, why was Thornton so angry with Ehlers?
Had to be something, can’t see Thornton being that upset for a body check.
I think that Thornton, whose value to the TML’s is minimal, was simply trying to take a valuable Jet’s player off the ice with him.
Lago, more to it then that. The way Joe was barking at Ehlers in the penalty box and the prior penalty, where Thornton broke his stick cross checking Ehlers went and got a new stick and went right back at him with another cross check.
Something got under Thornton skin.
Caper, it was a spear to the “mid section” that set him off the 2nd time. Can’t tell exactly where Ehlers got him, but judging from the reaction, safe to guess near the nuts.
The first go round, not sure.
The link is the spear around the 2:30 mark.
Thornton said after the game the league should look at the slash that Ehlers laid on the back of his legs.
Ray, that all seem to be driven from something else.
BCleaffan, I didn’t see the slash to the back of the legs. That would make more sense to me.
I never seen Thortnton that angry before.
That loss for Ottawa last night was also on the back of an absolutely abysmal Powerplay that could just not get it together even with so many opportunities. Here is where I really want to see Stuetzle shifted to center. What he brings is a lot more offensive creativity to the table.
Also, under 40% on FO% for Ottawa. Still seeing where the major growth needs to happen.
Yep. Those things did stand out – as did Batherson’s failure to cover his check on 1 goal. But this is a team full of rookies, JJB, and you only learn from your mistakes by playing. How many teams have gone through a season – even a shortened one – playing 9 rookies – 3 on the D and 2 in goal – as the season went on?
Sidney Crosby – just think back to 2011.
His concussion symptoms were so ongoing that there was serious talk that his career was over.
Still remember the Golden goal – couldn’t stop jumping up and down and screaming at the top of my lungs.
Unfortunately Thornton exposed the big problem with Jets … no toughness, you don’t have to pay a price when you play the Jets. Thornton and Simmons totally intimidated young jets players and there was no one in there who could do anything about it. If Ehlers and Connor have think about guys like that, they will be off their game.
George not sure but Boston started two rookie goalies and a bunch of kids on D and upfront.
That’s true Obe … and there were probably a few others doing much the same. But 9? For most of the 2nd half.