NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 22, 2022
The Panthers claim the top seed in the Eastern Conference, the Blues and Wild will meet in the first confirmed first-round series, Steven Stamkos, Matthew Tkachuk and Artemi Panarin reach scoring milestones, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers picked up their 12th straight win and clinched first place in the Eastern Conference by clipping the Detroit Red Wings 5-2. Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau collected two assists to tie Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid atop the league scoring race with 113 points. With 118 points, the Panthers sit two ahead of the Colorado Avalanche for first overall.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers also tallied their 320th non-shootout goal to set a new record for the most goals in a season in the salary-cap era.
The first opening-round series of the 2022 Stanley Cup players is confirmed following the Minnesota Wild’s 6-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Kevin Fiala scored twice and Kirill Kaprizov tallied his 44th goal of the season for Minnesota, who’ll meet the St. Louis Blues in the opening round. Both clubs are tied with 105 points but the Wild holds second place in the Central Division with a game in hand. Elias Pettersson scored two goals for the Canucks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 87 points, Vancouver remains four points behind the Dallas Stars in the final Western Conference wild-card berth. The Canucks, Stars and Vegas Golden Knights (89 points) all have four games remaining, setting the stage for what should be an exciting finish as those three teams jockey for that final postseason berth.
Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos set the franchise points record during an 8-1 rout of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Stamkos had a goal and two assists to surpass Martin St. Louis as Tampa Bay’s all-time points leader with 956. Alex Killorn and Ross Colton scored twice for the Lightning, who hold third place in the Atlantic Division with 102 points. The Leafs sit six points ahead of the Bolts.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both clubs playing with two key players missing from their respective lineups. Leafs superstar Auston Matthews missed his third straight game with an undisclosed minor injury while Lightning center Brayden Point is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk set a personal single-season best with his 40th goal and 100th point as his club doubled up the Dallas Stars 4-2. The Flames have clinched the Pacific Division with 106 points while the Stars cling to the final Western wild-card spot with 91 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau are the first Flames teammates to have 100 points in the same season since Al MacInnis and Theo Fleury in 1990-91.
New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin collected four assists and Andrew Copp tallied a hat trick in a 6-3 victory against the New York Islanders. Panarin set a single-season Rangers record for most assists by a forward with 74 and sits third among their single-season scorers. The Blueshirts are tied with the Carolina Hurricanes with 108 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Islanders center Jean-Gabriel Pageau and associate coaches Lane Lambert and Jim Hiller missed this game as they were placed in COVID-19 protocol. Winger Anthony Beauvillier was also sidelined by an upper-body injury.
Third-period goals by Jaccob Slavin, Seth Jarvis and Jordan Staal lifted the Carolina Hurricanes over the Winnipeg Jets 4-2. With 108 points, the Hurricanes maintain their hold on first place in the Metropolitan Division with 44 regulation wins. Jets winger Kyle Connor scored his 44th goal of the season.
Jake Guentzel tallied a hat trick to reach his 40th goal of the season to match a career-high as the Pittsburgh Penguins blanked the Boston Bruins 4-0. Casey DeSmith kicked out 52 shots for the shutout. The Penguins opened a two-point lead over the Washington Capitals for third place in the Metropolitan Division with 99 points. The Bruins remain in fourth place in the Atlantic with 99 points.
The St. Louis Blues set a franchise-record 14-game points streak with a 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks. Pavel Buchnevich had a goal and an assist while Robert Thomas netted his 20th goal of the season. Blues defenseman Torey Krug missed this game with an upper-body injury.
Los Angeles Kings center Phillip Danault extended his goal streak to five games to help his club drop the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1. Adrian Kempe collected two assists for the Kings (94 points), who opened a five-point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights for third place in the Pacific Division.
Buffalo Sabres rookie Owen Power scored his first NHL goal in a 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils. Victor Olofsson collected three assists and Craig Anderson stopped 29 shots.
The Philadelphia Flyers snapped a six-game losing skid by downing the Montreal Canadiens 6-3. James van Riemsdyk scored twice for the Flyers. The Canadiens have lost seven straight.