NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 17, 2022
The Avalanche clinch the top seed in the Western Conference, the Flames, Blues and Bruins secure playoff berths, Kirill Kaprizov sets a new Wild scoring record, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche secured the top seed in the Western Conference with 116 points by defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 7-4. Nathan MacKinnon and J.T. Compher each scored twice while rookie forward Ben Meyers scored in his first NHL game. Jordan Staal scored twice for Carolina but left the game with an undisclosed injury following a hit by Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar. Hurricanes goaltender Frederic Andersen left the game in the third period with an apparent injury to his left leg. The Hurricanes remain in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 104 points.
Calgary Flames forwards Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk each had two goals and two assists in a 9-1 drubbing of the Arizona Coyotes. Elias Lindholm had a goal and three assists for the Flames, who sit in first place in the Pacific Division with 101 points. They clinched a playoff berth earlier in the day following the Edmonton Oilers’ win over the Vegas Golden Knights.
Speaking of the Oilers, they blanked the Golden Knights 4-0 with Mike Smith kicking out 39 shots for his second shutout in as many games. Kris Russell, Cody Ceci, Warren Foegele and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for the goal scorers as the Oilers sit in second place in the Pacific Division with 94 points. The Golden Knights (87 points) sit four points out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth.
After blowing leads of 4-1 and 5-3, the St. Louis Blues bested the Minnesota Wild 6-5 on an overtime goal by Brayden Schenn to clinch a playoff berth. Schenn and teammate Pavel Buchnevich each had a goal and two assists as the Blues hold second place in the Central Division with 100 points. Minnesota center Ryan Hartman scored twice and collected an assist while teammate Kirill Kaprizov tallied his 43rd goal to set a single-season franchise record. The Wild are one point back of the Blues.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blues defenseman Nick Leddy left the game after taking a stick near one of his eyes. He’ll be undergoing further evaluation. Meanwhile, Wild forward Tyson Jost suffered a lower-body injury and will miss today’s game against the San Jose Sharks.
The Boston Bruins secured a playoff berth by holding off the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 thanks to early first-period goals by Trent Frederic and Erik Haula and a 23-save effort by goaltender Jeremy Swayman. With 97 points, they hold the first wild-card position in the Eastern Conference. Danton Heinen replied for the Penguins, who sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 97 points. Earlier in the day, they announced goalie Tristan Jarry is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins have already clinched a playoff berth so Jarry’s absence won’t hurt them in that regard. However, this could be a problem if he’s still sidelined when the playoffs open in early May.
New York Rangers netminder Igor Shesterkin made 20 saves to shut out the Detroit Red Wings 4-0. Alexis Lafreniere put the game out of reach with two third-period goals. The Rangers are tied with the Hurricanes with 104 points but the former holds first in the Metro division with 42 regulation wins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers winger Kaapo Kakko left this game in the first period with a lower-body injury. It was only his fourth match since missing 31 games with a wrist injury. On Friday, the club revealed winger Tyler Motte will be sidelined for at least the remainder of the regular season with an upper-body injury.
An overtime goal by Mark Giordano gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 5-4 win over the Ottawa Senators. Giordano finished the game with a goal and two assists while Mitch Marner scored twice for the Leafs (104 points) as they tied a franchise record with their 49th win of the season. They hold a four-point lead over the third-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators played without Colin White as the 25-year-old center was placed in COVID protocol yesterday.
The Lightning, meanwhile, got four-point performances from Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman to down the Winnipeg Jets 7-4. Kyle Connor tallied his 43rd goal of the season for the Jets, who sit 10 points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets aren’t eliminated yet from the postseason chase but they’re on the brink.
Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars (91 points) maintained their grip on that final Western wild-card position by nipping the San Jose Sharks 2-1. Tyler Seguin and Michael Raffl scored for the Stars while Jake Oettinger made 23 saves for the win.
Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi scored his 20th goal of the season as his club held off the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3. Juuse Saros picked up the win by stopping 28 shots while Mikael Granlund had a goal and an assist. The Predators are tied with the Stars but they hold the first wild-card spot with 35 regulation wins.
The Los Angeles Kings strengthened their hold on third place in the Pacific Division with a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Dustin Brown and Phillip Danault scored first-period goals and Jonathan Quick made 21 stops as the Kings sit three points ahead of the Golden Knights with 90 points and are four back of the Oilers.
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin netted his 47th goal in an 8-4 thrashing of the Montreal Canadiens. Anthony Mantha and Dmitry Orlov each had four-point performances as the Capitals hold the final Eastern wild-card spot with 94 points. Canadiens center Nick Suzuki reached the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his career while Ryan Poehling tallied twice.
The Seattle Kraken got a shootout goal from Ryan Donato to defeat the New Jersey Devils 4-3. Kraken rookie Matty Beniers scored his first NHL goal in his second game while Philipp Grubauer made 23 saves for the win.
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin had a goal and an assist while teammate Kyle Okposo netted his 20th goal of the season in a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.
It will be interesting to see if NYR can pass Canes for 1st in metro or if Vegas can catch LA as I do not think they will catch Dallas
LA’s schedule is too easy for Vegas to catch backup
Glad to see Boston get the win. Pens without Jarry and Malkin probably helped. Still even with all the pieces in place I don’t see how this team’s ever gonna get out the first round though. Just not enough. If they face TO first round exit likewise for Tampa & Florida four straight yuck!
No team will sweep bruins in a playoff series I will gladly bet $$ on that any day
I totally agree !
Bruins need to get healthy !
I was hoping for a Bruins , Leafs match , more intense , a lot more exciting
Wishful thinking – maybe see them in the second round !!!
I would love another rematch with Leafs just to increase the rivalry. Canes may have lost Anderson for while getting a MRI. This could be very bad news for a Canes team that has been great all year long
And if the playoffs ended today it would be B’s V Canes. Seems like the most likely scenario down the road as well. We’ll see.
I don’t hate that matchup if we’re healthy.
Need to get the PP going. Miss Pasta’s off side one timer out their to keep them honest and create passing lanes off of it.
They needed that one last night.
Bruins need Pasta and Lindholm back for sure nice to see the kid Swayman play a great game. Toronto Tampa first round would be fun to watch Leafs for sure have the offense but lightning have huge advantage in goal. No easy outs in the east for sure will be a battle in every series.
As a hockey fanthe Wild-STL and Tampa-Toronto series are both going to be fun to watch. As a Rangers fan the Pens, Caps, Bruins…all can turn it up for Playoff hockey. Not going to choose one over the other..but if Jarry cannot go that makes things different.
and whichever of Calgary-Colorado gets the Preds….that could be the upset
ds the Avalanche will destroy the Predators. I don’t care how well they’re playing, the Avalanche will steam roll them IMHO! With Landeskog and Kadri healthy in addition to Kuemper, they will be lucky to win 1 game! GO AVS!!!!!
Since woodcroft and Manson took over the bench the commitment to
defending from the leaders /vets has been outstanding and it’s trickling down the ladder.
Koskinen and smith have been much better , in large part due to that commitment. Smith healthy and playing well and Koskinen fresh and ready for duty is the best scenario oilers fans could hope for . For the last few years when they are both healthy and sharing the load , both play well , when one is asked to do too much , especially koski , his play slides . They are set up well and firing on all cylinders heading down the stretch, much more prepared for the playoff style and grind .
Well said Craig.
Maybe Holland does know what he is doing?
Yeah ray , I have never been on the hate train for Kenny . Like all gm , has made mistakes but the team has got better each year and the forward group with Kane kassian foegele Hyman Jesse they are bigger and deeper . Keith has been good and his presence in the playoffs should only help , that’s why they got him .