NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 2, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 2, 2022

Connor McDavid wins the Art Ross Trophy, Auston Matthews takes home the Richard Trophy, and the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs begin tonight. Check out the latest in the NHL morning coffee headlines.

SPORTSNET: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s points leader while Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews won the Maurice (Rocket) Richard Trophy as the league’s leading goal scorer in 2021-22.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

McDavid finished the season with a career-high 123 points in 80 games, marking the fourth time he’s taken home the Art Ross Trophy and the fifth time he’s netted 100-or-more points in a season.

Matthews won the Richard Trophy after scoring a career-high 60 goals. It’s the second straight year the Leafs center has led the league in goals.

NHL.COM: The 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs begin tonight with the puck dropping on four of the eight first-round, best-of-seven series. The Boston Bruins face off against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Tampa Bay Lightning travel to Toronto to meet the Maple Leafs, the St. Louis Blues square off against the Minnesota Wild, and the Los Angeles Kings are in Edmonton to face the Oilers.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: All signs point to Alex Ovechkin being in the Washington Capitals lineup for Game 1 of their opening-round series against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. The Capitals captain missed the final three regular-season games nursing a shoulder injury but took part in regular practices with his teammates over the weekend.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Panthers, sidelined defenseman Aaron Ekblad is practicing with his teammates and could be ready for Game 1 against the Capitals. Ekblad’s been out of the lineup since March 18 with a lower-body injury.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Hurricanes will be without starting goaltender Frederik Andersen for Game 1 against the Bruins tonight. He’s been sidelined since April 16 with a lower-body injury. Andersen’s taken part in off-ice workouts but has yet to take part in full on-ice drills.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Andersen was the Hurricanes MVP this season and a potential contender for the Vezina Trophy. His absence could be a critical factor in this series with the Bruins.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche got some good news as team captain Gabriel Landeskog has been medically cleared for Game 1 against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. The 29-year-old winger has been sidelined since March 10 by knee surgery.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins starting goalie Tristan Jarry (foot injury) and winger Jason Zucker (undisclosed) are listed as day-to-day and won’t be part of the lineup in their upcoming series with the New York Rangers.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers, meanwhile, will get sidelined forwards Artemi Panarin and Andrew Copp back in the lineup for Game 1 against the Penguins tomorrow night. Both of them missed the final two games of the regular season for precautionary reasons nursing minor injuries.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse was back on the ice with his teammates for practice on Sunday after missing the final four games of the regular season with a lower-body injury. His status remains unconfirmed for Game 1 tonight against the Kings but it’s assumed he could be in the lineup.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars expect to have John Klingberg and Vladislav Namestnikov in the lineup for Game 1 of their first-round series against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday. Klingberg missed the final game of the regular season with a lower-body injury while Namestnikov missed the final five games.

CBS SPORTS: Toronto Maple Leafs winger Michael Bunting (undisclosed injury) is doubtful for Game 1 tonight against the Lightning.

THE PROVINCE: Brock Boeser revealed his father’s battle with dementia during an emotional season-ending press conference yesterday. He revealed it took a toll on him throughout this season. “He’s not doing well. He has pretty bad dementia right now. It got pretty bad this year,” said a tearful Boeser. “It has really hit me hard.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser was overcome with emotion and understandably left the press conference soon after. The Province’s Ben Kuzma reported his teammates praised the winger’s perseverance as he attempted to remain a difference-maker for the Canucks.

Fans and pundits sometimes forget the players have to deal with personal issues just like everybody else. Sometimes, it can affect their performance despite their best efforts. My sympathies go out to Boeser and his family during this difficult time.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets signed general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff to a three-year contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much for the speculation suggesting Cheveldayoff was in danger of losing his job following this disappointing season. He’ll have his work cut out for him this offseason. The Jets have been declining since reaching the Western Conference Finals in 2018. One of his priorities will be determining Mark Scheifele’s future with the franchise. I’ll have more in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

NHL.COM: The Arizona Coyotes have parted ways with assistant coach Phil Housley, who was in the final season of a three-year contract.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks parted ways with associate coach Marc Crawford and assistant coach Rob Cookson. Crawford had a year remaining on his contract. Derek Kings remains the interim head coach but a decision on his future is expected soon.

NHL.COM: The 2022 Draft Lottery odds were released yesterday, with the Montreal Canadiens leading the 16 eligible teams with 18.5 percent, followed by the Arizona Coyotes (13.5) and the Seattle Kraken (11.5). The lottery will be held on May 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can see the complete list by clicking the link above.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Thousands of Canadiens fans lined up yesterday outside the Bell Centre to pay their respects to the late Guy Lafleur as he lies in state through today. His funeral will be held in Montreal on Tuesday. Lafleur succumbed to lung cancer on April 22 at age 70.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 21, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 21, 2022

Recaps of Sunday’s action plus a roundup of overnight moves as the 3 pm ET trade deadline approaches in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev turned in a season-high 44-save shutout performance to blank the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0. Chris Kreider scored his 41st goal of the season while Frank Vatrano tallied his first goal as a Ranger since his acquisition last week from the Florida Panthers. The Hurricanes remain in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 88 points but the second-place Rangers are just three points behind them.

Alex Ovechkin reached the 40-goal plateau for the 12th time in his career but his Washington Capitals fell 3-2 to the Dallas Stars. Roope Hintz scored two goals for the Stars (72 points) as they move within one point of the Vegas Golden Knights for the final Western Conference wild-card berth. With 80 points, the Capitals remain one point behind the Boston Bruins, who hold the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals defenseman John Carlson was injured in the final minutes of the game when he crashed into the end boards following a cross-check by Stars captain Jamie Benn. No update on his status following the game but Capitals coach Peter Laviolette considered it a dirty hit by Benn. We’ll find out soon enough if the league agrees with him.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor scored a goal and collected three assists to lead his club to a 6-4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Jansen Harkins scored twice for the Jets as they sit four points out of a Western wild-card spot with 68 points. Taylor Raddysh scored and picked up an assist for his first points with the Blackhawks since his recent acquisition from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

An overtime goal by Rasmus Dahlin lifted the Buffalo Sabres over the Vancouver Canucks 3-2, handing the latter their five loss in their last six games. J.T. Miller had a goal and an assist for the Canucks, who also sit four points out of the final Western wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks’ recent stumble could prompt management to make a more significant move before today’s trade deadline. They made a couple of minor moves yesterday by shipping Travis Hamonic to the Ottawa Senators and acquiring Travis Dermott from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Philadelphia Flyers center Kevin Hayes tallied two second-period goals in a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders, ending the latter’s points streak at six games. Islanders veterans Cal Clutterbuck and Andy Greene were held out of this game for “maintenance” reasons as both were banged up in recent games.

The San Jose Sharks tallied three unanswered third-period goals to double up the Arizona Coyotes 4-2. Noah Gregor had a goal and an assist while James Reimer made 23 saves for the win. Phil Kessel had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes.

HEADLINES

PUCKPEDIA: has the full breakdown of Hampus Lindholm’s eight-year contract extension with the Boston Bruins. He gets an average salary-cap hit of $6.5 million with a full no-movement/no-trade clause in the first five seasons followed by a 15-team no-trade list in the final three.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers placed defenseman Aaron Ekblad on long-term injury reserve. He’s expected to miss the remainder of the regular season with an apparent leg injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This will provide the Panthers with some salary-cap flexibility to add another player before today’s trade deadline if they wish. They acquired Robert Hagg yesterday from the Buffalo Sabres.

NHL.COM: The Ottawa Senators traded forward Nick Paul to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for forward Mathieu Joseph and a fourth-round pick in the 2024 NHL draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Paul had a career-high 11 goals with the low-scoring Senators. Joseph is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights but he likely would’ve become a UFA as the Lightning might not have qualified his rights. He’ll be much more affordable than Paul for the Senators to re-sign. Some observers wonder if the Lightning will put Paul with the recently acquired Brandon Hagel to form a new energy line.

The Los Angeles Kings acquired defenseman Troy Stecher from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2022 draft.

The Seattle Kraken traded defenseman Jeremy Lauzon to the Nashville Predators in exchange for a 2022 second-rounder.

The Dallas Stars acquired goaltender Scott Wedgewood from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2023.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars made this move because backup Braden Holtby remains sidelined by a lower-body injury and Anton Khudobin recently underwent season-ending hip surgery.

The Winnipeg Jets have brought back forward Mason Appleton by acquiring him from the Seattle Kraken in exchange for a 2023 fourth-round pick. The Kraken had selected Appleton during last summer’s expansion draft.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Reports indicated the Coyotes have acquired the rights to college prospect Jack McBain in exchange for a second-round pick in 2022.

NHL.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins signed defenseman Mark Friedman to a two-year, one-way contract extension with an annual average value of $775K.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs placed goaltender Petr Mrazek on waivers and signed Finnish goalie Harri Sateri to a prorated $750K contract for the remainder of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I guess that means the Leafs won’t be acquiring a goalie in the trade market.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 19, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 19, 2022

Recaps of Friday’s action, the Blackhawks trade Brandon Hagel to the Lightning, the Predators are still talking contract extension with Filip Forsberg, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar and Valeri Nichushkin each collected three points as the Colorado Avalanche held off the San Jose Sharks 5-3. The Sharks rallied from a 4-0 deficit to cut the lead to one goal before Nichushkin scored his second of the game late in the third period to seal the win. With 93 points, the Avalanche holds a three-point lead over the Florida Panthers for first place in the overall standings.

Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau (NHL Images).

Speaking of the Panthers, Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice, Joe Thornton tallied his 430th career goal and Spencer Knight made 17 saves to blank the Anaheim Ducks 3-0, handing the latter their sixth straight loss. The Panthers (90 points) hold a two-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the Eastern Conference while the fading Ducks (65 points) are five points behind the Vegas Golden Knight for the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Panthers as defenseman Aaron Ekblad left the game with an apparent injury to his right leg. Head coach Andrew Brunette said there was no structural damage and it doesn’t appear Ekblad will be sidelined long-term.

The Hurricanes, meanwhile, dropped a 4-3 decision to the Washington Capitals on a shootout goal by Alex Ovechkin, who also scored his 39th of the season in the third period to tie the game. Seth Jarvis scored twice for the Hurricanes while Antti Raanta made 37 saves in a losing cause. With 88 points, the Hurricanes are five points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins atop the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals (80 points) sit one behind the Boston Bruins, who hold the first wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals saw two players sidelined by injuries as Nic Dowd and Trevor van Riemsdyk both left the game. It’s unclear how long they will be sidelined.

As for the Bruins, Taylor Hall snapped a 2-2 tie and Charlie McAvoy netted the insurance goal as they doubled up the Winnipeg Jets 4-2. Bruins forward Charlie Coyle collected three assists while Brad Marchand tallied his 25th goal to tie Rick Middleton for the second-most 25-goal seasons (nine) in franchise history. Connor Hellebuyck made 41 saves in a losing cause as the Jets (66 points) are four points out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

The Buffalo Sabres upset the Calgary Flames 1-0. Dustin Tokarski turned in a 24-save shutout while Tage Thompson netted the winning goal in overtime. The Flames remain on top of the Pacific Division with 82 points.

Third-period goals by Josh Norris and Alex Formenton lifted the Ottawa Senators to a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, handing the latter their 12th straight road loss. Norris is the Senators’ leading goal scorer with 25 goals in 45 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators held Nick Paul out of this game after he reportedly rejected a four-year, $10 million contract extension. Barring a last-minute breakthrough, Paul could be on the move before Monday’s trade deadline. It’s believed the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers are interested in the versatile forward.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: The Chicago Blackhawks trade winger Brandon Hagel, a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft and a fourth-rounder in 2024 to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for forwards Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh, a first-round pick in 2023 and a first-round pick in 2024. Both first-round picks are top-10 protected.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I confess I was surprised the Blackhawks moved the 23-year-old Hagel, who’s emerged as a hardworking two-way forward with an affordable $1.5 million cap hit through 2023-24. He seemed the type of player they needed as part of their roster rebuild.

The word among Chicago pundits prior to this trade was Hagel wasn’t going anywhere unless the Blackhawks got a significant offer. They certainly got it from the Lightning. Katchouk and Raddysh are young players who had difficulty cracking the Lightning’s deep forward lines. They’ll get plenty of opportunities to develop in Chicago. Those two first-rounders will help Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson restock his club’s depleted prospect pipeline.

Hagel will be a solid addition to the Lightning as they attempt to become the first team to three-peat as Stanley Cup champions since the New York Islanders in 1982. He’s comparable to forwards Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow, who helped the Bolts win their last two championships before salary-cap limitations forced their departures last summer.

THE ATHLETIC: Hagel’s trade has left Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews mulling his future. He’s a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. Toews confessed to being shocked that Hagel got traded, suggesting it left the impression no one on the club was safe from being moved.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The futures of Toews and Patrick Kane have become the topic of speculation this season after Stan Bowman stepped down as GM earlier this season. I suspect they’ll start turning up in trade rumors during the offseason.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Meanwhile, the Blackhawks placed Connor Murphy on long-term injury reserve and Tyler Johnson on injured reserve.

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Nashville Predators have re-engaged in contract discussions with Filip Forsberg’s agent but progress has been marginal thus far.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be surprised if Forsberg gets shipped out on Monday with the Predators jockeying for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. We’ll see how things unfold.

YAHOO SPORTS: Vegas Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer expressed concern over the status of Jack Eichel after the center departed Thursday’s game against the Florida Panthers with an upper-body injury (arm) after blocking a shot. They’re awaiting more conclusive results as to his condition.










NHL ProteauType: Like Them Or Not, Shootouts Are Key To Success

NHL ProteauType: Like Them Or Not, Shootouts Are Key To Success

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 30, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 30, 2021

Patrick Marleau reaches a significant milestone, the Panthers suffer a serious blow with Aaron Ekblad sidelined, the Senators and Kings make a minor deal, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Erik Karlsson scored twice in regulation and the winning goal in a shootout as the San Jose Sharks nipped the Minnesota 4-3. Kevin Fiala and Marcus Johansson each had two points for the Wild (44 points), who sit in third place in the West. Sharks winger Patrick Marleau played his 1,757th NHL game to move past Mark Messier into second place on the all-time games list. Marleau is just 10 games behind leader Gordie Howe with 22 games to play.

San Jose Sharks winger Patrick Marleau (NHL.com).

The Vegas Golden Knights maintained their grip on first place in the Honda West Division with a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Robin Lehner made 24 saves for the win and Jonathan Marchessault collected two assists as Vegas (49 points) have won eight of their last 10 games. They hold a one-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche.

Speaking of the Avalanche, Cale Makar had three assists as they downed the Anaheim Ducks 5-2. Colorado winger Mikko Rantanen tallied his 20th goal of the season. The Avalanche are 9-0-2 in their last 11 contests.

The Philadelphia Flyers overcame a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 on an overtime goal by Ivan Provorov. Sean Couturier, Claude Giroux and Provorov each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers (38 points), who move within one point of the fourth-place Boston Bruins in the MassMutual East Division. Buffalo’s winless skid is now at 18 games. Sabres forward Dylan Cozens left the game with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of those 18 defeats, this one is the cruelest for the Sabres, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

A 19-save performance by Casey DeSmith in relief of Tristan Jarry enabled the Pittsburgh Penguins to hold off the New York Islanders 2-1. DeSmith replaced Jarry after the latter left the game in the first period with an undisclosed injury. Jared McCann scored what proved to be the winning goal for Pittsburgh (48 points), who moved into a tie with the New York Islanders. The Isles, however, holds second place in the East Division on the basis of regulation wins. Penguins winger Jason Zucker returned to the lineup after missing 18 games with a lower-body injury.

An overtime goal by Darnell Nurse gave the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Oilers captain Connor McDavid set up Nurse to extend his points streak to 11 games. Toronto center Auston Matthews tallied his league-leading 23rd goal while Mitch Marner had a goal and an assist. With 47 points, the Leafs remain atop the Scotia North Division while the Oilers sit two back in third place.

Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers each collected three points as the Winnipeg Jets snuffed out the Calgary Flames 5-1. Scheifele scored twice and Ehlers had three assists. The Jets sit one point behind the Leafs and one ahead of the Oilers in the North Division. The Flames (35 points) remain two points back of the fourth-place Montreal Canadiens

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dropping five of their last six games, the Flames have missed a golden opportunity to overtake the idle Canadiens. They sit only two points behind the Habs but the latter have six games in hand after having four games postponed last week by COVID-19 protocols.

HEADLINES

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad will be sidelined for 12 weeks following surgery to repair a fractured lower left leg.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Losing their top defenseman is crushing news for the Panthers, who are jockeying with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the Discover Central Division. It could force general manager Bill Zito into the trade market for help.

CBS BOSTON: Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask could be sidelined most of this week with an upper-body injury.

TSN.CA: Montreal Canadiens center Jesperi Kotkaniemi came off the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list. Teammate Joel Armia remains on the list while new Hab Eric Staal is on the list as part of a seven-day quarantine before joining the club later this week.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators traded defenseman Christian Wolanin to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for minor-league forward Mike Amadio. Wolanin cleared waivers last week and was demoted to the Senators AHL affiliate in Belleville.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sun reporter Bruce Garrioch explains the reason the Kings didn’t claim Wolanin off waivers was that they wanted the ability to get a contract off their books. They were interested in Wolanin but wanted to be sure the Senators would take Amadio’s contract.

NHL.COM: Former NHL forward Bobby Schmautz passed away at his home in Arizona on Sunday at age 76. He spent 13 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks, Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Rockies. He tallied 20-or-more goals nine times, including two 30-plus goal campaigns. Schmautz spent over six seasons with the Bruins. In 764 games, he scored 271 goals and 557 points, along with 61 points in 84 postseason contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Schmautz’s family, friends and former teammates.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 29, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 29, 2021

Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad could be sidelined for an extensive period, the Predators surge into a playoff spot, the regular-season schedule is extended to May 11, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: A serious leg injury suffered by Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad overshadowed his club’s 4-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. Ekblad fell awkwardly following a routine play along the corner boards with Stars blueliner Esa Lindell and was carried off the ice on a stretcher. Florida coach Joel Quenneville indicates Ekblad could be sidelined for an “extensive time.” Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice for the Panthers (48 points) as they sit two points behind the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Discover Central Division.

Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ekblad was clutching his lower-left leg after crumpling to the ice. His absence will leave a big gap on the Panthers’ blueline at a time when they’re jockeying with the Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes for the top spot in their division. He’s their top defenseman, sitting fifth among their scoring leaders with 11 goals and 22 points.

Roman Josi’s third-period goal lifted the Nashville Predators over the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2. Alex DeBrincat scored both of Chicago’s goals. The Predators have won five straight and moved past the Blackhawks into fourth place in the Central Division. Both clubs have 37 points but the Preds hold a game in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The higher Nashville rises in their division the more reluctant general manager David Poile could be to become a seller at the April 12 trade deadline. Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm is considered the top trade candidate but he could be unavailable if his club stays in playoff contention leading up to deadline day.

The Washington Capitals withstood a four-goal third period by the New York Rangers for a 5-4 victory. Tom Wilson scored twice, T.J. Oshie had a goal and two assists and Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 724th career goal. Rangers forward Colin Blackwell scored two of his club’s third-period goals. The Capitals sit atop the MassMutual East Division with 50 points, two up on the second-place New York Islanders. The Rangers (34 points) remain five points behind the fourth-place Boston Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin now has 18 goals on the season and sits three behind Toronto’s Auston Matthews and his league-leading 22 tallies. The Capitals captain is now seven goals behind Marcel Dionne, who sits fifth on the all-time goal-scoring list.

An overtime goal by Josh Manson enabled the Anaheim Ducks to upset the St. Louis Blues 3-2. Anthony Stolarz made 38 saves for the Ducks, who lost winger Rickard Rakell to an upper-body injury during a collision with Blues forward Kyle Clifford in the second period. Blues winger Mike Hoffman was a healthy scratch after scoring just two goals in his last 17 games. The Blues sit fourth in the West Division with 38 points, just one ahead of the Arizona Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues have dropped nine of their last 11 games. They scored three-or-more goals only three times during that stretch. GM Doug Armstrong is rumored to be in the market for a scorer but finding one who fits within his limited cap space won’t be easy. Hoffman’s struggles are part of the problem and damaging to his value as a free agent this summer.

Three third-period goals carried the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-1 upset of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Wings goalie Calvin Pickard made 16 saves for his second win in as many days. The loss leaves the Jackets with 34 points, three back of the Predators and Blackhawks in the Central.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jackets’ winger Patrik Laine has really struggled to score over the past month. In 16 games since Feb. 25, he’s tallied just one goal and three assists.

A 40-save shutout by Mackenzie Blackwood gave the New Jersey Devils a 1-0 win over the Boston Bruins. Kyle Palmieri tallied the only goal. The loss leaves the Bruins (39 points) seven points behind the third-place Pittsburgh Penguins and three up on the fifth-place Philadelphia Flyers in the East Division.

The NHL announced the extension of the regular season to May 11 to accommodate the rescheduling of postponed games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: John Shannon reports the league intends to start the playoffs as soon as possible, perhaps as early as May 12. Teams playing on the 10th and 11th would start the playoffs later in the week.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins forwards Mark Jankowski and Brandon Tanev came off the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list one day after being placed on the list.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Bo Byram is in concussion protocol since becoming injured during Thursday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights. He remains day-to-day but head coach Jared Bednar didn’t rule out moving him to week-to-week.