NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 31, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 31, 2018

Game recaps, including the latest on Steven Stamkos, T.J. Oshie, David Perron and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos picked up 17 minutes in penalties for instigating a fight with New York Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich. (Photo via NHL Images)

 NHL.COM: Brayden Point and Cedric Paquette each scored twice as the Tampa Bay Lightning thumped the New York Rangers 7-3. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos received 17 minutes in penalties for instigating a fight with Rangers winger Pavel Buchnevich after he clipped Stamkos’ teammate Nikita Kucherov in the first period. Former Rangers J.T. Miller and Dan Girardi scored in their first game back at Madison Square Garden. The Lightning (108 points) regained first place in the Eastern Conference. Before the game started, the Rangers honored Miller, Girardi and Ryan McDonagh with a video tribute. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stamkos’ teammates credited their captain for sticking up for Kucherov, saying the scrap fired them up and changed the course of the game. 

Auston Matthews late third-period goal gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 5-4 victory over the New York Islanders. Mitch Marner also had a goal and an assist to extend his points streak to 11 games. The Leafs (101 points) have won eight of their last 10 games and exceeded 100 points for the second time in franchise history, 

The Colorado Avalanche kept pace in the race for a wild-card spot in the Western Conference by blanking the Chicago Blackhawks 5-0. Sven Andrighetto scored twice for the Avs, who also saw starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov leave the game in the third period following a collision with Blackhawks forward Tomas Jurco. With 92 points, the Avs are tied with the St. Louis Blues but the latter holds the final wild-card berth as they hold one more victory plus a game in hand. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet regarding Varlamov’s condition. Losing him at this juncture with a playoff spot on the line could be devastating for the Avalanche. 

Jonathan Marchessault scored two goals, including the winner in overtime, as the Vegas Golden Knights edged the St. Louis Blues 4-3. William Karlsson also had a goal and two assists for the Golden Knights, who played their second straight game without forward David Perron.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: According to Vegas coach Gerard Gallant, Perron was given the night off for “maintenance purposes”. Sounds like they want to make certain he’s fully healthy for the upcoming playoffs. 

Rickard Rakell’s overtime goal gave the Anaheim Ducks a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. The Ducks (93 points) hold the first Western Conference wild-card berth and sit one point behind the Kings for third in the Pacific Division. 

The Carolina Hurricanes (81 points) staved off elimination from the playoff race by downing the Washington Capitals 4-1. Derek Ryan had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes. Capitals winger T.J. Oshie left the game in the third period with a lower-body injury. “He’ll be reevaluated,” Coach Barry Trotz said. “As we say, we’re a little ultra-cautious right now. We’re getting close [to the playoffs] here.”

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders coach Doug Weight expressed his disappointment yesterday with forward Joshua Ho-Sang for venting his frustration to the media over his ongoing demotion to the Isles farm team this season. While Weight said he wished Ho-Sang had spoken to the team directly, he added that he wouldn’t hold it against the youngster. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ho-Sang said he wasn’t seeking a trade, but his recent remarks could stoke offseason speculation that he’s a trade candidate.

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators promising forward Eeli Tolvanen is expected to make his NHL debut this weekend. 

USA TODAY: Less than 24 hours after his brief appearance in goal for the Chicago Blackhawks as an emergency backup, accountant Scott Fisher has been asked by the USHL’s Chicago Steel if he can give the club some help preparing their taxes. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 30, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 30, 2018

Game recaps, playoff standings updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak had a Gordie Howe hat trick in a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning (Photo via NHL Images)

  NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins doubled up the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 to take over first place in the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference standings. Patrice Bergeron had three points and David Pastrnak a Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist, fight) for the Bruins (107 points), who sit one point up on the slumping Lightning, who’ve lost three in a row.

Sidney Crosby’s highlight-reel overtime goal gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. Crosby rang a shot off the post and swatted in the midair rebound. The victory leaves the Penguins with 94 points, one up on the Columbus Blue Jackets for second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Devils (89 points) remain three up on the Florida Panthers for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Speaking of the Panthers, they failed to gain ground on the Devils after dropping a 3-2 decision to the Ottawa Senators. Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored twice for the Senators, including the winner in overtime. Earlier in the day, the Senators recalled forward Colin White and  announced Chris Wideman suffered a season-ending hamstring injury.

Pierre-Luc Dubois tallied a hat trick and Sergei Bobrovsky kicked out 37 shots to give the Blue Jackets a 5-1 victory over the Calgary Flames. The Jackets (93 points) move to third place in the Metro Division, one up on the Philadelphia Flyers. Earlier in the day, the Blue Jackets announced the re-signing of defenseman Markus Nutivaara to a four-year, $10.8-million contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  A reasonable signing by the Blue Jackets. Nutivaara’s blossomed in his sophomore season, with 23 points in 60 games. He’s a very good puck-moving defenseman who’s provided an extra measure of mobility to the Jackets’ blueline, forming a solid third defense pairing with Ryan Murray. 

Jeff Carter’s hat trick powered the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. With 93 points, the Kings moved two points up on the Anaheim Ducks for third in the Pacific Division.

Zach Parise scored twice and Matt Dumba had four points to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 5-2 victory over the Dallas Stars. The Wild (96 points) hold a five-point lead over the St. Louis Blues for third in the Central Division.

The San Jose Sharks failed to clinch a playoff berth after falling 5-3 to the Nashville Predators. Filip Forsberg collected three assists and goaltender Juuse Saros made 39 saves for the Predators.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid netted his 41st goal of the season in a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. With 103 points, McDavid sits six points up on Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov in the NHL scoring race. Kucherov has a game in hand.

The Detroit Red Wings snapped an 11-game road-losing skid by beat the Buffalo Sabres 6-3. Anthony Mantha and Dylan Larkin each had a goal and an assist for the Wings.

Emergency backup goaltender Scott Foster made seven saves to preserve a 6-2 win for the Chicago Blackhawks over the Winnipeg Jets. Fisher, an 36-year-old accountant who played four seasons with Western Michigan University, came into the game when Collin Delia (making his own NHL debut) left the game with cramps in the third period. Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook also played his 1,000th career NHL game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is now one of my favorite stories of this season. Foster won’t play another game in the NHL, but for one night and for several minutes, he got to live the dream. His post-game interview was fantastic.


MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price and winger Brendan Gallagher have declined invitations to join Team Canada at the upcoming World Championships. Price wants to spend time with his family while Gallagher wants to rest his banged-up body.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt Canadiens management are upset over Price and Gallagher skipping the Worlds this season. Price also had his own health issues to deal with this season, including a recent concussion that sidelined him for 13 games. Price played for Canada in the 2014 Olympics and 2016 World Cup of Hockey, while Gallagher skated for Canada at the Worlds in 2016.


SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery for Odelein.