NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 8, 2024

by | Apr 8, 2024 | News, NHL | 2 comments

The battle for the final Eastern Conference wildcard berth continues as does the jockeying for first place in the overall standings. Get the details in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Detroit Red Wings got first-period goals from Lucas Raymond, Patrick Kane and Dylan Larkin to defeat the Buffalo Sabres 3-1. Tage Thompson replied for the Sabres. With a record of 38-31-8, the Wings vaulted over the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals into the final Eastern Conference wildcard berth with 84 points. The Sabres slipped to 37-36-5 (79 points) and sit five points back of the Wings.

Speaking of the Capitals, they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Ottawa Senators. Jake Sanderson scored in overtime and Ridly Greig had a goal and an assist for the 34-39-4 Senators. Max Pacioretty and Aliaksei Protas scored for the Capitals (36-30-11) as they sit one point behind the Red Wings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals also lost defenseman Rasmus Sandin to an upper-body injury following a hard hit by Senators forward Parker Kelly in the first period. After the game, Capitals head coach Spencer Carbery said Sandin will miss some time from the roster.

The New Jersey Devils’ wildcard hopes suffered a blow as they fell 3-2 to the Nashville Predators on a shootout goal by Ryan O’Reilly, who also had two assists in regulation. Jack Hughes and Chris Tierney scored for the 37-36-5 Devils, who are five points behind the Red Wings. The Predators (45-29-4) hold the first Western Conference wildcard spot with 94 points.

New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Devils defenseman John Marino missed this game with an undisclosed injury. The Devils also learned that forward Curtis Lazar could miss the remainder of the regular season with an upper-body injury suffered during Saturday’s game against the Senators.

Shifting to the top of the table, the league-leading New York Rangers defeated the Montreal Canadiens 5-2. Artemi Panarin extended his points streak to nine games with a goal and three assists for the 53-21-4 Rangers (110 points). Cayden Primeau stopped 41 shots and Mike Matheson collected two assists for the 29-36-12 Canadiens, who have lost three straight games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers tied their franchise record for the most wins in a season.

The Dallas Stars are three points behind the Rangers in the overall standings with a 7-4 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Roope Hintz reached the 30-goal plateau for the third straight season, Tyler Seguin scored twice and Jamie Benn and Wyatt Johnston each had a goal and two assists for the Stars (49-20-9) as they sit second overall with 107 points. Nathan MacKinnon picked up two assists for the 48-24-6 Avalanche (102 points), who sit sixth overall but have won just twice in their last seven games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche were without winger Mikko Rantanen as he entered concussion protocol after being injured during Friday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. The early reports are positive as Rantanen worked out on Saturday and skated on his own on Sunday. He’s listed as day-to-day. Meanwhile, MacKinnon (133 points) moved within three points of Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov, who leads the scoring race with 136 points. 

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen turned in a 23-save shutout to blank the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0. Teuvo Teravainen had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes (49-22-7) as they sit fourth overall with 105 points. Malcolm Subban stopped 32 shots for the 26-40-12 Blue Jackets.

A four-point performance by Robert Thomas powered the St. Louis Blues to a 6-5 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Jordan Kyrou scored the winner in the shootout and picked up three assists in regulation play as the Blues improved to 41-32-5 (87 points). Frank Vatrano and Leo Carlsson each scored two goals for the 25-48-5 Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues kept their playoff hopes alive as they’re five points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the final Western wildcard.

The Minnesota Wild defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0 as rookie Jesper Wallstedt turned aside 24 shots for his first NHL shutout. Kirill Kaprizov scored his 40th and 41st goals of the season for the 37-31-9 Wild. The Blackhawks dropped to 23-49-5.

Arizona Coyotes winger Clayton Keller had a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. Keller extended his points streak to 11 games for the Coyotes (33-39-5). Henry Thrun had a goal and an assist for the 18-51-8 Sharks.


LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Tomas Hertl is expected to make his debut with the Vegas Golden Knights in Monday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. The Golden Knights acquired the 30-year-old forward from the San Jose Sharks at the March 8 trade deadline. He’s been sidelined since Jan. 27 after undergoing knee surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hertl is no playoff rental for the Golden Knights. He’s under contract until 2029-30.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The NHL department of player safety fined Oilers winger Evander Kane $5,000.00 for slashing Calgary Flames defenseman Dryden Hunt on Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane didn’t have a good game against the Flames. Teammate Corey Perry lit into him on the bench at one point over a botched play. That stoked speculation Kane may have worn out his welcome in Edmonton.


  1. Kane is a cancer on every team hehas played on,but who is Perry to talk after Chicago brought him in for a veteran presence and he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar!

    • Some cookie. Some jar! (to paraphrase Winston Churchill in an address before the Canadian House Of Commons,