NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 8, 2022
Auston Matthews reaches two goal-scoring milestones, the Hurricanes clinch a playoff berth, Roman Josi sets a Predators record, Doug Wilson steps down as Sharks GM, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Auston Matthews scored twice, including the winning goal in overtime, as the Toronto Maple Leafs downed the Dallas Stars 4-3. William Nylander had two points for the Leafs, who hold a five-point lead over the Boston Bruins for second place in the Atlantic Division with 98 points. Joe Pavelski and Jason Robertson each had two points for the Stars (82 points), who hold a two-point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights for the final Western Conference wild-card spot.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews broke the Leafs’ single-season goal-scoring record with his 55th goal while his 56th set the league record for most goals in a season by an American-born player. At this point, it’s a matter of when, not if, Matthews reaches the 60-goal plateau. He could reach 65 goals before the season ends.
The Carolina Hurricanes became the third team to clinch a playoff berth with a 5-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Jordan Staal scored twice as Carolina overcame a 3-2 deficit with three unanswered third-period goals. Sebastian Aho also tallied two goals for the Hurricanes, who hold a two-point lead over the New York Rangers for first place in the Metropolitan Division with 100 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sadly for the Sabres, they set an NHL record by missing the playoffs for the 11th straight season.
Roman Josi collected three assists to lead the Nashville Predators over the Ottawa Senators 3-2. Josi set Nashville’s single-season franchise record with 87 points. Matt Duchene scored his 37th goal of the season for the Predators as they sit two points up on the Stars in the first Western wild-card spot with 86 points. Senators forward Tim Stutzle missed this game with a lower-body injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Josi is running away with the scoring races for defensemen, sitting 12 points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche’s Cale Makar. With 12 games remaining in the season, the Predators’ captain has a legitimate shot at becoming the first blueliner to reach 100 points since Brian Leetch in 1991-92.
Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist to extend his points streak to 15 games in a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Evan Bouchard has a goal and two assists for the Oilers (89 points) as they sit six points behind the first-place Calgary Flames in the Pacific Division. Kings forward Trevor Moore had a goal and an assist as his club remains three points behind the Oilers.
The Flames meanwhile got two goals from Elias Lindholm and a three-point performance from Matthew Tkachuk to double up the San Jose Sharks 4-2. Lindholm has 38 goals on the season and Tkachuk 34 while Dan Vladar got the win with a 31-save performance. Sharks netminder James Reimer left the game with an injury in the third period.
New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin stopped 30 shots to shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0. Mika Zibanejad picked up two assists as the Rangers sit two points behind the first-place Hurricanes in the Metro Division. Sidney Crosby, John Marino and Radim Zohorna missed this game with undisclosed illnesses as the Penguins are six points behind the Rangers.
The Vancouver Canucks kept their playoff hopes alive with a 5-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Bo Horvat and Elias Pettersson each had three-point performances while Jaroslav Halak kicked out 27 shots for the Canucks (78 points), who sit six points behind the Stars for that final wild-card spot in the West.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks have no room for error now as the Stars hold two games in hand.
Seattle Kraken netminder Philipp Grubauer had a 29-save shutout to blank the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0. Alex Wennberg and Jordan Eberle were the goal scorers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: During the first TV timeout, the Blackhawks announced they will retire Marian Hossa’s No. 81 in 2022-23. Earlier in the day, Hossa signed a one-day contract to officially retire as a Blackhawk. He will become the eighth player in franchise history to have his number retired.
The Montreal Canadiens beat the New Jersey Devils 7-4 to pick up their first regulation win over the Devils since January 2017. Christian Dvorak, Chris Wideman and Kale Clague each had a goal and two assists. Jesper Bratt and Tomas Tatar both had a goal and an assist for the Devils.
Philadelphia Flyers goalie Martin Jones turned aside 26 shots and Travis Sanheim had two assists in a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Philadelphia winger Cam Atkinson was held scoreless in his first game in Columbus since being traded to the Flyers last summer.
NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Doug Wilson announced yesterday he is stepping down as general manager of the San Jose Sharks after 19 seasons. Under his management, the Sharks reached the playoffs 14 times. He is currently on medical leave but hopes to continue his NHL career in the future. Wilson was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a player in 2020.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: During Wilson’s tenure as general manager, the Sharks topped the Pacific Division five times, won the Presidents’ Trophy in 2009, reaching the Western Conference Finals four times and the Stanley Cup Final in 2016. He was responsible for drafting such notable Sharks as Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier and Marc-Edouard Vlasic and acquiring Joe Thornton and Brent Burns via trades. Best wishes to Wilson for a full recovery.
TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba will not play in tonight’s game against the St. Louis Blues with an apparent shoulder injury. However, he remains with the club on their current road trip.
TSN: Former Hockey Night in Canada play-by-play man Bob Cole will receive a lifetime achievement award from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television at the 2022 Canadian Screen Awards show. Cole joined the CBC in 1969 and called his final game in 2019. He received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award from the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Cole for this recognition of his outstanding work over his long career.