NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 20, 2022

by | Apr 20, 2022 | News, NHL | 10 comments

Jonathan Huberdeau takes over the scoring race, Matt Duchene sets a Predators record, the battle for the Western Conference wild-card berths continues and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau collected three assists to take over the lead in the NHL scoring race as his club downed the New York Islanders 3-2. Huberdeau (111 points) sits one point ahead of Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid. Aleksander Barkov tallied a hat trick for the Eastern Conference-leading Panthers, who’ve won 11 straight games. With 116 points, they’re tied with the Colorado Avalanche but the latter holds first place on the basis of regulation wins.

Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Islanders honored their late Hall-of-Famer Mike Bossy with a video tribute and a moment of silence. Bossy passed away last Thursday at age 65 of lung cancer.

A shootout goal by Mikael Granlund gave the Nashville Predators a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames. Matt Duchene set a personal and franchise record with his 40th goal of the season while teammate Filip Forsberg tallied his 39th. The Predators sit in the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 93 points, two up on the Dallas Stars. Andrew Mangiapane tallied twice for the Flames (104 points) as they hold a 10-point lead over the Edmonton Oilers atop the Pacific Division.

A third-period goal by Phillip Danault lifted the Los Angeles Kings over the Anaheim Ducks 2-1. Jonathan Quick made 29 saves for the win as the Kings (93 points) sit two behind the second-place Oilers in the Pacific Division and five points ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Vancouver Canucks’ playoff hopes suffered a setback following a 4-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators. Drake Batherson and Adam Gaudette scored in the shootout to give Ottawa the win. Alex Formenton tallied twice in regulation for the Senators as they ended Vancouver’s six-game win streak. The Canucks gained a point to move into a tie with the Golden Knights (87 points) and sit four behind the Stars for the final Western wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canucks goaltender Jaroslav Halak left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury. He won’t be traveling with the club during its upcoming road trip.

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell kicked out 37 shots to backstop his club over the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2. William Nylander and Ilya Mikheyev each had two points for the Leafs, who’ve won 11 of their last 13 and hold the second-best record in the Eastern Conference with 108 points. Leafs star Auston Matthews missed his second straight game dealing with what’s described as a minor injury but took part in practice yesterday with his other injured teammates.

An overtime goal by Charlie McAvoy gave the Boston Bruins a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues, snapping the latter’s nine-game win streak. Jake DeBrusk scored and had the assist on McAvoy’s game-winner as the Bruins (99 points) moved within one point of the third-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division. Pavel Buchnevich and Robert Thomas scored for the Blues, who sit in third place in the Central Division with 103 points.

Minnesota Wild goaltender Cam Talbot made 26 saves to shut out the Montreal Canadiens 2-0. Kevin Fiala and Matt Boldy were the goal scorers as the Wild (103 points) hold second place in the Central with a game in hand. Canadiens goalie Carey Price made 28 saves in his second game of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens forward Paul Byron left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury. Earlier in the day, the club announced that forward Joel Armia has been granted a leave of absence to attend to a family matter in Finland.

Speaking of the Lightning, they were upset by the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 on a third-period goal by Jakub Vrana. Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos collected three assists to tie Martin St. Louis as the franchise career points leader with 953.

The New York Rangers picked up their third consecutive shutout and 50th win over the season by blanking the Winnipeg Jets 3-0. Igor Shesterkin stopped 31 shots, Ryan Strome tallied twice and Artemi Panarin reached the 70 assist mark.

San Jose Sharks netminder Kaapo Kahkonen made 22 saves as his club held off the Columbus Blue Jackets for a 3-2 victory, snapping a 10-game losing skid. Scott Reedy scored twice for the Sharks while Jack Roslovic netted both Jackets’ goals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks coach Bob Boughner said sidelined winger Kevin Labanc won’t play in the club’s final seven games. He’s been sidelined by a shoulder injury since Dec. 11. Boughner also doubted goalie Adin Hill will return to action from the lower-body injury that’s kept him out of the lineup since March 12.


THE SCORE: Marc-Andre Fleury isn’t ready to hang up his skates yet. The 37-year-old Minnesota Wild goaltender said he hopes to play “at least another season.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Will he re-sign with the Wild if they can afford him? Is a reunion with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the cards? Let’s get the speculation started early.

TSN: Evander Kane’s grievance hearing over the termination of his contract in January by the San Jose Sharks was held on Tuesday. He was in the fourth year of a seven-year deal with the Sharks and stands to lose over $22 million.

The Sharks placed him on unconditional waivers on Jan. 8 citing breach of contract over a violation of the AHL’s COVID-19 protocols. Kane was skating with the Sharks AHL affiliate at the time. In late January, he signed a one-year deal with the Edmonton Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Chris Johnston reported this isn’t expected to end quickly. He points out there could be significant salary-cap ramifications for the Sharks. The outcome could take months before a settlement is reached.

THE ATHLETIC: Kane also settled a seven-year-old lawsuit filed against him by a Buffalo woman who accused him of assault while he was a member of the Sabres.

GOPHNX.com’s Craig Morgan reports Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun and forward Christian Fischer will be sidelined for the remainder of the season.

LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: The Canadiens issued a statement in full support of Hall-of-Famer Guy Lafleur during his ongoing battle with lung cancer. They asked fans to respect the privacy of Lafleur and his family and indicated they would not issue any further comment on the matter.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Lafleur, who issued a statement last week mourning the passing of Mike Bossy.


  1. Now THAT (👍👍)was the Jack Campbell Leafs will need in the playoffs…. 🤞🙏

    11 straight , many of them (including last night) comebacks; now tied with Avs… Cats are the real deal. Zito absolutely should have won GM of year last year…this year it better be unanimous

    BTW…. good onya HoobieDoobieDoo… first overall in points right now👍👍👍

    Holy Shesh%@tkin Batman…. Another shutout…. That’s 2 in a row for him….. last 5 games…. 3 shutouts; 0.80 GAA; 970 save %…. Yes he will win Vezina….. but how is he not the talk of all media re Hart (most valuable to HIS team)…. If the PHWA votes without emotion; with logic; and properly by definition…. Shesterkin absolutely should win; and by a large margin. This Pens fan is absolutely hoping first round is NOT v Blueshirts…. Shesterkin can very well walk away with a series

    Now Vazy on the other hand is struggling … last 5 starts…. 3 losses; 1 OTL; 1 no decision….last 5 games…. 3.37 GAA, save percentage of 898….Leaf’s need THAT Vazy to show up round 1

    Re Kane v Sharks and Johnson “could be significant salary-cap ramifications for the Sharks. “…. I think that certainly will be the more probable outcome… independent investigation found in Kane’s favour

    • Wings stepping up w/o their captain! 1st win against Vazy in 13 games! Greiss stole the show.
      Hmmm…..It might have helped the Wings to sign Hellberg to push Greiss

      • Hi JZ

        Sorry , was not meant to detract from the great effort/performance by Wings (especially Greiss)…. they did very well…But more to point out that Vazy has not the “usual” Vazy, of late.

    • Peggy, yesterday’s loss was not all Vas’s fault, although he was not super sharp. Tampa was horrible for the second and third periods defensively, especially Sergachev, who was brutal. Tampa gave up multiple breakaways and odd man rushes, and was loose with the puck in their own zone in a way I have not seen for the past two seasons.. If Tampa were to play that way against Florida or Colorado, they may give up double digit goals.

      • Hi Iago

        Sorry if I at all inferred that the Bolts loss yesterday was all on Vazy

        Not the case

        My point was that Vazy has had poorer numbers/performances of late … and with the playoffs only 2 weeks away…. Something to think about

      • Hi Pengy. I am thinking that Vas is having the same kind of experience that Andersen had in Toronto. Playing in front of a leaky defense is tiring both physically and mentally. It’s tough to have to stop large numbers of high quality scoring chances night after night. Eventually, goalies break down under those circumstances. It looks to me that is what is happening in Tampa.

  2. Maf only needs 35 more wins to pass Roy. I’ll bet he plays till he does. But he might prefer a team he’d be the definitive number one. Other wise it could take two more seasons. Pens and wild hed be in a 1a1b situation.

    • Hi Chrisms

      I can’t possibly see him staying with Wild if he has his sights set on #2 in wins….. with $13M, then $15 M then $15 M in dead cap…. Wild are not likely to be competitive next year

      Would love him on Pens…. But that is a longshot …. and as you said… likely 1A1B with Jarry

      He’s not going to Habs (grew up in Montreal sub-burb) unless Price is moved…. So…. Very unlikely

      I’m confident that he’d want to be on a competitive team

      I don’t see him in T.O. (space etc)

      It won’t be either of the FLA clubs

      Canes have Freddy

      Rangers are set

      Caps… forgeddabowdid

      Bruins… doubt it

      Can’t see him back with Knights

      Flames have Markstrom

      Blues would need to shed Binnington… if they do… they are likely all in with Husso

      Kings (up and coming team)… have Quick and Pettersson under contract for next year

      I think it may come down to strong bid from Oil or Avs (if they don’t re-sign Kuemper)

  3. Sadly, I read the posts here yesterday and put all my money on the Bruins losing 4-2. I am now broke. Eichel and OEL are injured or something? I didn’t even see them on the ice once!

    • Ha! It’s been a tough go of it lately.