NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 2, 2018

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. 

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin played in his 1,000th NHL game on Sunday in a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo via NHL Images)

 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. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 1, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 1, 2018

Saturday’s games saw an unusually high number of injuries. It’s no April Fool’s, it’s your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Jake DeBrusk scored twice and David Krejci collected three assists to lead the Boston Bruins (109 points) to  a 5-1 win over the Florida Panthers, handing the latter a potentially lethal blow to their playoff hopes. With the loss, the Panthers (86 points) sit five points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with five games left. The Bruins regained first place in the Eastern Conference but lost defenseman Brandon Carlo (ankle) and center Riley Nash (head) to injuries. They also learned winger Rick Nash, who’s been sidelined with a suspected concussion since March 17, is making progress toward returning to action.

The Devils, meanwhile, extended their lead over the Panthers by nipping the New York Islanders 4-3. Taylor Hall scored twice for New Jersey. Before the game, the Devils honored longtime broadcaster Stan Fischler, who is retiring at the end of this season to spend more time with his family.

The Pittsburgh Penguins (96 points) clinched a playoff berth for the 12th consecutive season by beating the Montreal Canadiens 5-2. The Penguins sit three points behind the Metropolitan Division-leading Washington Capitals. Pittsburgh winger Phil Kessel left the game in the third period with an undisclosed injury. An update on his status could be made today.

The Vegas Golden Knights (107 points) clinched a playoff berth and the Pacific Division title by defeating the San Jose Sharks 3-2. William Karlsson snapped a 2-2 tie in the third period with his 42nd goal of the season. Before the game, the Golden Knights raised a banner in memory of the 58 victims of the Oct. 1 Strip shooting. The team also announced it is retiring No. 58.

Second period goals by Josh Morrissey, Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Copp powered the Winnipeg Jets to a 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Jets also welcomed back defenseman Jacob Trouba, who missed the last two weeks with a concussion. Leafs defenseman Travis Dermott left the game in the first period after taking a shot off his left foot.

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel collected five assists in a 7-4 win over the Nashville Predators (Photo via NHL Images).

 Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel collected five assists and teammate Sam Reinhart tallied a hat trick to lead their club to a 7-4 upset of the Nashville Predators. Sabres defenseman Viktor Antipin was stretchered from the game in the second period after being hit from behind by Predators winger Scott Hartnell, who received a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct. Predators rookie Eeli Tovanen was held pointless in his NHL debut.

Alex Edler scored in overtime as the Vancouver Canucks squeaked past the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4. The Jackets forced the extra frame with three goals in the final four minutes of the third period. The loss spoiled a strong game for Blue Jackets’ Artemi Panarin (four assists) and Seth Jones (one goal, three assists). Columbus sits in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 94 points.

The Dallas Stars (88 points) kept their playoff hopes alive with a 4-1 win over the Minnesota Wild to move within four points of the St. Louis Blues for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. It was a costly loss for the Wild as defenseman Ryan Suter left the game late in the second period with what appeared to be a serious leg injury.

Antti Raanta turned in a 34-save shutout as the Arizona Coyotes blanked the Blues 6-0. Max Domi and Dylan Strome each collected three assists.

Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves backstopping the New York Rangers to a 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes to officially eliminate the latter from playoff contention.

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard made 31 saves to pick up his first shutout of the season as his club blanked the Ottawa Senators 2-0.

The Calgary Flames snapped a seven-game losing skid by edging the Edmonton Oilers 3-2. Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was a late scratch with a lower-body injury.

DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche received bad news yesterday, as goaltender Semyon Varlamov (lower-body injury) will miss the remainder of the regular-season while defenseman Erik Johnson is out at least six weeks with a fractured patella.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Losing their starting goaltender and top defenseman could be a serious blow for the Avalanche’s playoff hopes. They were able to cope with their absences to injuries earlier in the season and must do the same again if they’re to keep their postseason chances alive. They’re tied with the St. Louis Blues (92 points) but the Blues have the advantage with one more victory. Both clubs have four games remaining. 

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith is on the verge of setting the NHL record for shooting futility. He’s managed just one goal on 183 shots on goal in 79 games this season. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals winger T.J. Oshie is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 26, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 26, 2017

Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin pose with the Prince of Wales Trophy after defeating the Ottawa Senators in the 2017 Eastern Conference Final.

Penguins returning to the Stanley Cup Final plus updates on the Ducks, Blues and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: For the second straight year and the sixth time in franchise history, the Pittsburgh Penguins are heading to the Stanley Cup Final.

Chris Kunitz scored twice, including the winner in double overtime, as the Penguins edged the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. Justin Schultz also scored for the Pens while Mark Stone and Ryan Dzingel tallied for the Sens.

The defending champion Penguins will face the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of the Cup Final on Monday in Pittsburgh. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Penguins for becoming the first defending champion to return to the Final since the 2009 Detroit Red Wings. Kudos as well to the Senators. Despite their heartbreaking defeat in this game, they proved a handful for the Penguins, pushing them to the limit in this series. Hopefully their performance in this year’s playoffs will be something they can build upon for next season. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen will undergo major shoulder surgeries that will sideline both for months. Lindholm is expected to require four-to-five months of recovery, while Vatanen could  be out longer.

Meanwhile, goaltender John Gibson suffered a hamstring injury, forwards Rickard Rakell and Patrick Eaves had high-ankle sprains, defensman Kevin Bieksa suffered a torn MCL, forward Nate Thompson suffered a hairline fracture in his ankle while winger Jared Boll had a bad back. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The injuries to LIndholm and Vatanen raises questions over the effect upon the Ducks’ expansion draft plans. It’s rumored the Ducks could trade Vatanen, rather than risk losing him for nothing to the Vegas Golden Knights. Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston points out an injured player can still be traded so this news might not affect the Ducks’ plans. 

TSN: Speaking of the Ducks, contract extension talks with blueliner Cam Fowler are expected to resume next week. Fowler’s a year away from eligibility for unrestricted free agency. Talks have reportedly gone well thus far. 

Meanwhile, contract discussions between the Montreal Canadiens and the agent for goaltender Carey Price could also resume next week. Like Fowler, Price is a year away from UFA eligibility. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fowler and Price cannot be re-signed until July 1 of this year. 

STLTODAY.COM: Forward Steve Ott is ending his 14-year NHL playing career to join the St. Louis Blues as an assistant coach. 

THE MERCURY NEWS: Hall of Famer Larry Robinson is leaving the San Jose Sharks to seek work with another organization closer to his home in Bradenton, Fla. For the past three seasons, he was the Sharks director of player development.

SPORTSLOGOS.NET: Over a dozen NHL teams, including the Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators and Ottawa Senators, are expected to undergo some minor uniform changes for next season.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres signed Russian defenseman Victor Antipin to a one-year, $925K contract. 

MLIVE.COM: Full season tickets are now available for the Detroit Red Wings’ inaugural season in the Little Caesars Arena.