NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 2, 2018
Game recaps, another milestone for Alex Ovechkin, stars of the month and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Washington Capitals clinched the Metropolitan Division crown with a 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Washington goalie Philipp Grubauer made 36 saves for the win. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin reached another milestone, playing in his 1,000th career NHL game. He was held off the score sheet in this contest. Teammate Jay Beagle left the game with an upper-body injury and is unavailable for Monday’s match against the St. Louis Blues.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 45 goals this season, Ovechkin also has three games left to reach 50 goals for the eighth time in his career.
Third-period goals by Adam Henrique and Ryan Kesler set the stage for Ondrej Kase’s overtime winner as the Anaheim Ducks overcame a two-goal deficit to beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-3. Tyson Jost scored twice for Colorado. The win moved the Ducks (95 points) into third place in the Pacific Division, while the Avalanche (93 points) cling to a one-point lead over the St. Louis Blues for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Claude Giroux scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the Boston Bruins 4-3. With 94 points, the Flyers sit one point above the New Jersey Devils in the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth and within two points of second place in the Metropolitan Division.
The Devils (93 points), meanwhile, got third-period goals by Nico Hischier and Taylor Hall to beat the Montreal Canadiens 2-1. Sitting in the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot, the Devils widened their lead over the Florida Panthers by seven points, with the Panthers (77 games played) holding two games in hand.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That was a big win for the Devils, improving their chances of clinching their first playoff spot since 2012. The Panthers still have a chance to gain ground on New Jersey but their margin of error has narrowed.
Filip Forsberg scored two goals to give the Nashville Predators a 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Bolts captain Steven Stamkos left the game with a lower-body injury. An update on his condition is expected today. The loss put the Lightning (108 points) two points behind the Bruins for second place in the Eastern Conference standings, while the Preds (113 points) widened their lead for top spot in the Western Conference over the Vegas Golden Knights by six points.
Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand and Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson are the NHL’s stars of the month for March 2018. Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller was named rookie of the month.
TSN: The NHL department of player safety fined Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Ian Cole $5,000.00 for a dangerous trip on Vancouver Canucks center Brandon Sutter during a recent game.
WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Victor Antipin is sidelined indefinitely after suffering multiple injuries resulting from a hit from behind by Nashville Predators winger Scott Hartnell on Saturday. Antipin has a concussion, a broken nose, facial lacerations and requires dental work.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hartnell received a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct but won’t face supplemental discipline. “”It was unfortunate, and I feel really bad about it,” Hartnell said. That’s cold comfort for Antipin.