NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 7, 2022
Alex Ovechkin reaches another scoring milestone during Wednesday’s games plus updates on Carey Price, Jason Zucker and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: John Carlson scored twice and set up two others as the Washington Capitals held off the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3. Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin had a goal and an assist as he became the 21st player in NHL history to reach 1,400 career points. He has 43 goals this season. The Capitals have a firm hold on the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 86 points. The Lightning, meanwhile, sit seven points ahead of the Capitals in the first wild-card spot as they’ve won just four of their last 10 games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway missed this game with a non-COVID-related illness.
Calgary Flames defenseman Michael Stone had a goal and an assist in his 500th career NHL game as his club doubled up the Anaheim Ducks 4-2, handing the latter their 13th loss in their last 14 games. Johnny Gaudreau and Andrew Mangiapane each collected two assists while Elias Lindholm scored his 36th goal of the season. The Flames (93 points) opened a seven-point lead over the Edmonton Oilers atop the Pacific Division standings.
Third-period goals by Jordan Kyrou and Ryan O’Reilly gave the St. Louis Blues a 4-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Ville Husso got the win by stopping 28 shots as the Blues sit one point behind the second-place Minnesota Wild in the Central Division with 90 points.
The Vancouver Canucks kept their slim playoff hopes alive by dropping the Vegas Golden Knights 5-1, snapping the latter’s five-game win streak. Elias Pettersson scored twice and set up two others, J.T. Miller and Oliver Ekman-Larsson each collected two points and Thatcher Demko kicked out 33 shots. With 76 points, the Canucks sit six points back of the Golden Knights, who are one point behind the Dallas Stars for the final Western Conference wild-card berth.
Detroit Red Wings forward Sam Gagner scored twice (including his 500th career point) as his club upset the Winnipeg Jets 3-1. Thomas Greiss got his first win since Feb. 17 with 32 saves. The Jets are tied with the Canucks but have lost three straight.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks and Jets have little room for error in their quest to secure a playoff berth. Both clubs have 11 games remaining and must win almost all of them while the clubs ahead of them (Golden Knights, Stars and Nashville Predators) will have to lose most of their remaining contests.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Carey Price is traveling with the Canadiens during their current two-day road trip to New Jersey and Toronto. However, he will not be playing in those games. Rookie defenseman Justin Barron remained in Montreal as he’s nursing a leg injury suffered during Tuesday’s game against the Ottawa Senators.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price seems to be getting closer to returning to action for some of the Canadiens’ remaining games in the schedule. He’s expected to continue practicing with his teammates during this road trip.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jason Zucker returned to full practice yesterday with his teammates. He’s listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury but was skating on the second line with Evgeni Malkin. The oft-injured Zucker was hurt during a game last week and had to be helped from the ice.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the NHL Players Association held its first meeting with player agents in three years.
PA executive director Donald Fehr remains confident the players will be protected against potential revenue losses from the Arizona Coyotes temporarily moving to a 5,000-seats venue starting next season. He also agreed with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s prediction that the players could fully repay their escrow debt to the owners by 2024-25.
The PA and the league will also continue conversations about filing no-trade lists with NHL Central Registry.
OTTAWA SUN: It’s believed Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, who passed away on March 28, signed off on entering a bid to build a major events center at LeBreton Flats before his untimely death. The area is located 10 minutes from downtown Ottawa. The deadline to submit bids to the National Capital Commission was Feb. 28. An update is expected today.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks are unveiling a new season-ticket membership program reducing the cost for 84 percent of seats under that plan after conducting surveys and receiving feedback from fans. The Blackhawks’ average attendance (18,418) is the NHL’s fifth-highest but the club’s long sellout streak ended earlier this season.