NHL Rumor Mill – May 5, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – May 5, 2022

Do Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews fit into the Blackhawks’ rebuild process? What could be in store this summer for the Islanders and Kraken? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Phil Thompson reported Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson cleared up any ambiguity about a fast rebuild for his club. He didn’t put a timeline on it but suggested it could take at least three-to-five years.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews (NHL Images).

Long-time Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews recently remarked they saw no reason the club couldn’t turn things around within a year or two. With a year remaining on their respective contracts, they have no choice but to go along with Davidson’s plans unless they agree to waive their no-movement clauses and ask to be traded.

Davidson believes Kane and Toews have a place in the club’s plans and made his expectations clear to both during their exit interviews.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NBC Sports Chicago’s Charlie Roumeliotis reported Davidson also said those conversations were healthy and productive and he’s pleased with how they went. It’s believed the Blackhawks GM intends to keep his two aging stars in the loop regarding the club’s direction.

Whether that silences the trade speculation about those two (especially Kane) that surfaced in the final weeks of the regular season remains to be seen.

THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz recently examined the New York Islanders’ offseason priorities.

Finding a high-end winger for first-line center Mathew Barzal topped his list. He advocated the cap-strapped Islanders pull off some “salary-cap gymnastics” to pursue Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau, Nashville’s Filip Forsberg or Florida’s Claude Giroux if they become available in this summer’s unrestricted free agent market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Isles with $70.2 million invested in 18 active players for 2022-23 with Noah Dobson as their only notable free agent to re-sign. General manager Lou Lamoriello would have to shed considerable salary to free up space to make a serious offer for Gaudreau, Forsberg or Giroux.

Gaudreau could seek $10 million annually if he hits the open market while Forsberg could come in around $8 million. Giroux is 34 and would be more affordable but a lot could depend on how well the Panthers do in this postseason.

Kurz also suggested the Isles need to sort out their goalie tandem. Semyon Varlamov made it clear he was happy not being moved at the March trade deadline. However, it remains to be seen if he’s willing to take a back seat next season to Ilya Sorokin.

If not, perhaps the Isles should attempt to trade Varlamov and the remaining year on his contract this summer. He carries a $5 million cap hit plus a 16-team no-trade clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was talk of teams calling the Islanders about Varlamov. Given general manager Lou Lamoriello’s secretive nature, we have no idea if those calls were seriously entertained or even took place.

Moving Varlamov and his cap hit would make it easier for Lamoriello to pursue a top-six winger for Barzal’s line. Sorokin has proven himself as an NHL starter but he and Varlamov work well together as a tandem. Lamoriello could be reluctant to break that up for next season.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Geoff Baker reports Seattle Kraken general manager Ron Francis intends to see more goal-scoring for his club in the offseason via free agency. He’ll be looking for someone who can play in their top-six or top-nine. Francis also mentioned he could seek a blueline upgrade, especially for someone who is offensively inclined.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken has the cap space to invest in a scoring winger or a puck-moving defenseman this summer if they’re willing to spend toward the cap. They have $59.6 million committed to 14 players next season with no expensive core players to re-sign.

Francis was able to woo Philipp Grubauer and Jaden Schwartz to Seattle in last summer’s UFA market. I wouldn’t discount the possibility of him landing another notable free-agent player.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 29, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 29, 2022

The Panthers win the Presidents’ Trophy, Hurricanes goalie tandem Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta win the Jennings Trophy, Dustin Brown announces his retirement following the playoffs and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers won the Presidents’ Trophy for the first time in franchise history by blanking the Ottawa Senators 4-0. With 122 points, the Panthers hold the NHL’s best record this season. Spencer Knight turned in a 27-save shutout performance while Carter Verhaeghe tallied twice.

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen (NHL Images).

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Antti Raanta kicked out 27 shots while Jesperi Kotkaniemi had a goal and two assists in a 6-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils. The Hurricanes have won six straight. Raanta and Frederik Andersen won the William M. Jennings Memorial Trophy for allowing the fewest goals (202) this season. Earlier in the week, the Hurricanes clinched first place in the Metropolitan Division. Devils winger Andreas Johnsson missed the game with a non-COVID illness.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser scored twice, including the overtime winner, as his club overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2. Before the game, Los Angeles winger Dustin Brown announced he’ll retire following the playoffs. The Kings clinched a playoff berth several days ago, sitting third in the Pacific Division with 99 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brown captained the Kings to two Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014. A versatile and physical forward, he’s spent his entire 18-season career with the Kings, scored 325 goals and 387 assists for 712 points in a franchise-leading 1,296 regular-season games.

Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron tallied a hat trick while Linus Ullmark stopped 37 saves to shut out the Buffalo Sabres 5-0. Bergeron also became the fourth player in franchise history to score 400 career goals. The Bruins hold the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with 107 points.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov’s 46th goal of the season came in overtime to snuff out the Calgary Flames 3-2. Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau scored his 40th of the season, joining teammates Matthew Tkachuk and Elias Lindholm in the 40-goal club. The Flames clinched first place in the Pacific Division earlier this week (111 points) while the Wild sit two points ahead of the third-place St. Louis Blues with 111 points. Both clubs will face each other in the opening round of the playoffs next week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gaudreau, Tkachuk and Lindholm are the first Flames trio to reach 40 goals in a season since Theo Fleury, Robert Reichel and Gary Roberts did it in 1993-94.

A shootout goal by Matt Duchene lifted the Nashville Predators to a 5-4 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Predators defensemen Roman Josi and Mattias Ekholm each had a goal and an assist while David Rittich made 42 saves for the win. The Predators (97 points) hold a one-point lead over the Dallas Stars for the first Western wild-card berth with both clubs having one game left. The Avalanche hold first overall in the Western Conference with 119 points.

The Edmonton Oilers nipped the San Jose Sharks 5-4 on an overtime goal by Zach Hyman. Edmonton captain Connor McDavid collected an assist for his league-leading 123rd point while Noah Gregor scored two goals for the Sharks. The Oilers recently clinched a playoff spot and sit second in the Pacific Division with 102 points.

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Oliver Bjorkstrand had a goal and an assist as his club upset the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2. With the loss, the Lightning (108 points) failed to clinch third place in the Atlantic Division, sitting one point ahead of the Bruins with both clubs having a game remaining.

New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal collected three assists as his club upset the Washington Capitals 5-1. The Capitals (100 points) recently clinched the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot. Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock missed this game with a non-COVID illness.

IN OTHER NEWS…

SPORTSNET: Hundreds of hockey fans, hockey personalities and journalists paid their final respects to Hockey Hall of Famer Mike Bossy yesterday during a funeral service north of Montreal. Bossy passed away from lung cancer on April 14 at age 65.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rest in peace, Mike Bossy. He was one of the greatest goal scorers in NHL history and a key part of the New York Islanders Stanley Cup dynasty from 1980 to 1983.

WINNIPEG SUN: TSN broadcaster Dennis Beyak will retire from his role as the Jets play-by-play man. He held that job since the club relocated to Winnipeg in 2011.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks hired Jeff Greenberg as their associate general manager. Greenberg, 36, is an assistant general manager with MLB’s Chicago Cubs.










NHL Rumor Mill – April 19, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – April 19, 2022

In today’s NHL rumor mill, an update on Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau’s contract situation plus some off-season goaltender targets for the Sabres.

UPDATE ON GAUDREAU’S CONTRACT TALKS

CALGARY SUN: On Sunday, Wes Gilbertson reported Flames general manager Brad Treliving promised his club’s fans that he will “move heaven and earth and do everything we possibly can” to sign Johnny Gaudreau to a new contract. Gaudreau, 28, becomes eligible for unrestricted free agent status on July 13. He’s in the midst of a career year with 107 points and a key reason why the Flames are sitting atop the Pacific Division as the regular season draws to a close.

Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau (NHL Images).

We’re going to do everything we humanly possibly can to have him be back here and be a Flame for a long, long time,” said Treliving. The Flames GM praised Gaudreau for how well he’s performed under head coach Darryl Sutter.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun said Treliving had better move heaven and earth because that’s what it’s going to take to sign Gaudreau. He indicated there’s nothing new regarding his contract talks, pointing out the two sides agreed to pick up those conversations following this season.

LeBrun said there’s been “really good dialogue” all season long and there’s still time to sign him after this season. He also praised both sides for the lack of drama regarding this situation. It hasn’t proved to be a distraction.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s going to cost the Flames a lot of money to keep Gaudreau in Calgary. His performance this season (sitting third overall in league scoring) has pushed his value much higher than it would’ve been last summer. At that point, I think the Gaudreau camp would’ve sought between $8 and $9 million annually. Now, it could be closer to $10 million annually on a long-term deal. Maybe the Flames can get it close to $9 million by selling Gaudreau on an eight-year contract, something he can’t get on the open market where the limit is seven years.

Complicating things is the Flames’ cap space for next season. Cap Friendly shows them with $55.4 million invested in 12 active players. That gives them plenty of space to re-sign Gaudreau, but they’ve got Matthew Tkachuk, Andrew Mangiapane and Oliver Kylington due for new deals this summer as restricted free agents with arbitration rights.

That’s why there’s speculation the Flames could attempt to trade Sean Monahan, who has a year remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $6.375 million and a 10-team no-trade clause. Muddling things further, however, is Monahan’s declining performance over the past two years and his recent season-ending hip surgery.

Trading Monahan to shed salary could prove very difficult. Buying him out this summer won’t be an option if he hasn’t fully recovered from his surgery during that period and he doesn’t agree to go along with it.

SUGGESTED SABRES GOALTENDER TARGETS

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Lance Lysowski examined some potential off-season goalie targets for the Sabres if 40-year-old Craig Anderson decides not to return next season.

The Sabres have the cap space to overpay for an experienced netminder on a short-term deal. However, there are few options in this summer’s UFA market. That list includes Darcy Kuemper, Mikko Koskinen, Jaroslav Halak, Braden Holtby, Ville Husso, Joonas Korpisalo, Casey DeSmith, Tomas Greiss and David Rittich. Most have endured recent struggles while the others might not want to sign with the Sabres.

Lysowski believes they might have better luck in this summer’s trade market. Options could include the Los Angeles Kings’ Jonathan Quick, New York Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov, Anaheim Ducks’ John Gibson or the New York Rangers’ Alexandar Georgiev.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, the Sabres have a projected $40 million in cap space for 2022-23. They’ll have to spend to reach a cap floor that could be close to $61 million. Their ongoing struggles and perpetual rebuild could make them a difficult sell to potential free agents or as preferred trade destinations for the others.

Quick lacks no-trade protection but he only has a year remaining on his contract and it wouldn’t surprise me if Kings management lets him finish it in Los Angeles. Varlamov has a 16-team no-trade list and Gibson a 10-team no-trade list. Lysowski suggested Georgiev’s inconsistent play this season might not make him enticing for the Sabres.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 19, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 19, 2022

The Canucks keep their slim playoff hopes alive, Cale Makar sets a franchise record, Johnny Gaudreau reaches two scoring milestones, the stars of the week are revealed and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Vancouver Canucks remained in the chase for the final Western Conference playoff berth with a 6-2 win over the Dallas Stars. Elias Pettersson scored twice and added an assist, Brock Boeser and Jason Dickson each had three points and Thatcher Demko made 28 saves. Roope Hintz tallied twice for the Stars while Jake Oettinger got the hook after giving up four goals on 19 shots. The Stars hold the final Western wild-card spot with 91 points. Winners of six straight games, the Canucks sit five points back.

Meanwhile, the Vegas Golden Knights’ efforts to gain ground on the Stars and widen their lead over the Canucks took a hit with a 3-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils. Andrew Hammond kicked out 42 shots while Nathan Bastian had a goal and an assist for the Devils. The Golden Knights remain four points behind the Stars and are now just one point ahead of the Canucks.

Alex Ovechkin scored his 48th goal of the season and Marcus Johansson netted the game-winner as the Washington Capitals defeated the Colorado Avalanche 3-2, snapping the latter’s nine-game winning streak. Ovechkin tied Teemu Selanne for the most goals in a season by a player aged 36-or-older. The Avalanche’s Cale Makar picked up an assist to set a franchise record of 83 points by a defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avs remain atop the overall standings with 116 points, two points up on the Florida Panthers. Earlier in the day, they announced defenseman Devon Toews will take the next four games off to recover from a couple of minor injuries before the playoffs. Having clinched a playoff berth over the weekend, the Capitals (96 points) are one point behind the third-place Pittsburgh Penguins in the Metropolitan Division.

Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau (NHL Images).

Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau scored two goals in a 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Gaudreau passed the 600-point milestone and became the first player since Jaromir Jagr in 1995-96 to reach 85 even-strength points in a season. Matthew Tkachuk collected two assists as the Flames (103 points) hold a nine-point lead over the Edmonton Oilers for first place in the Pacific Division.

The Carolina Hurricanes downed the Arizona Coyotes 5-3 to take over sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division with 106 points. Max Domi and Nino Niederreiter each had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes while Coyotes goalie Karel Vejmelka made 46 saves.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Hurricanes announced forwards Jordan Staal and Jesperi Kotkaniemi are day-to-day with injuries. Goaltender Frederik Andersen underwent an MRI yesterday for a lower-body injury and will be re-evaluated in a week’s time.

Seattle Kraken rookie Matty Beniers scored to collect his third point in his first three NHL games in a 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn collected three assists. Senators captain Brady Tkachuk scored his 28th goal of the season.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko, Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith are the league’s three stars for the week ending April 17.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: David Pastrnak, Hampus Lindholm and Linus Ullmark remained sidelined and won’t be traveling with the Bruins on their two-game road trip to St. Louis and Pittsburgh.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins have clinched a playoff berth so there’s no need to rush those players back into action. They’ll want them healthy for the upcoming playoffs.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin will miss his club’s final six games of this season after undergoing core muscle surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A disappointing end to Larkin’s season. He’s their leading scorer with 31 goals and 69 points, marking his best performance since his career-high 32-goal, 73-point effort in 2018-19.

NEW YORK POST: Islanders center Mathew Barzal was fined $2,500.00 by the department of player safety for making contact with Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner from the bench on Sunday. Barzal grabbed Marner’s jersey and held on to him for a couple of seconds.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild winger Marcus Foligno was placed in COVID protocol ahead of tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

NEW YORK POST‘s Mollie Walker yesterday tweeted that Rangers winger Kaapo Kakko (lower body) is listed as week-to-week.

NHL.COM: Canadiens forward Michael Pezzetta received a two-game suspension for an illegal check on Capitals winger T.J. Oshie on Saturday.

TSN: Former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch and recording artist Macklemore are joining the Seattle Kraken’s minority investor group.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: The Capitals will be bringing back their “screaming eagle” logo for 2022-23.

THE ATHLETIC: Long-time Flyers trainers Jim McCrossin and Sal Raffa are suing the club’s ownership claiming they were unknowingly exposed to cancer-causing chemicals used in Zambonis at the club’s training facility.










NHL Rumor Mill – April 15, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – April 15, 2022

Vladimir Tarasenko reportedly wants to remain with the Blues plus the potential cost of Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau’s new contract in today’s NHL rumor mill.

REPORT: TARASENKO WANTS TO REMAIN WITH THE BLUES

BALLY SPORTS MIDWEST’s Andy Strickland recently tweeted that Vladimir Tarasenko has “made it clear to teammates and coaches” that he wants to stay with the St. Louis Blues.

St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tarasenko became a fixture in the NHL rumor mill after requesting a trade last summer amid reports of his unhappiness over the treatment he received by the team’s medical staff for his shoulder surgeries. The Blues were believed to have had trade discussions last summer with several clubs but couldn’t find a suitable offer.

After two injury-shortened seasons, Taranseko is enjoying a bounce-back performance with 31 goals and 72 points in 67 games. The 30-year-old winger is signed through next season with an annual cap hit of $7.5 million and a full no-trade clause.

GAUDREAU HEADED FOR BIG PAY RAISE ON HIS NEXT CONTRACT

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen looked at what Johnny Gaudreau’s next contract will look like. The 28-year-old Calgary Flames left winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 13. He’s earning $6.75 million annually on his current contract.

With Gaudreau enjoying a career-best 101-point (and counting) season and the Flames poised to clinch a playoff berth, he’s going to receive a significant raise on his next deal. Boylen speculates he could earn $8.5 to $9 million on a multi-year deal but wonders how his playoff performance might affect that number or if the Flames are willing to invest that much to sign him.

Further complicating things for the Flames is winger Matthew Tkachuk becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer. It will cost the Flames $9 million to qualify his rights.

Flames management could be forced to choose between Gaudreau or Tkachuk. However, Boylen suggests they could garner cap relief to sign both by buying out the remaining year of center Sean Monahan’s contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Gaudreau camp could price him out of the Flames’ market if they push for well over $9 million annually by pointing to his performance this season. Tkachuk’s representatives could also do the same for their client.

Shedding Monahan’s $6.375 million cap hit for 2022-23 would go a long way to clearing space to re-sign Gaudreau and Tkachuk. Trading him would be preferable but the recent decline in his performance brought on by hip injuries would make it difficult to swing a cost-cutting deal.

That could leave buying out Monahan as the only reasonable option but that effort could be hampered by his recent season-ending hip surgery. They could place him on long-term injury reserve if he remains sidelined to start next season but would have to free up cap room at some point when he’s ready to return to the roster.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 13, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 13, 2022

Chris Kreider reaches 50 goals, Johnny Gaudreau hits 100 points, the Western Conference wild-card race intensifies and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider tallied his 50th goal of the season in a 4-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Sebastian Aho had a goal and two assists and Frederik Andersen made 28 saves for the Hurricanes, who sit four points ahead of the second-place Rangers atop the Metropolitan Division with 104 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kreider is the third NHL player to reach the 50-goal plateau this season and the fourth player in Rangers history to do so, joining Jaromir Jagr, Adam Graves and Vic Hadfield. He needs just five more goals to break Jagr’s franchise record of 54.

Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau (NHL Images).

Johnny Gaudreau collected two assists to reach the 100-point mark as the Calgary Flames defeated the Seattle Kraken 5-3. Matthew Tkachuk tallied a hat trick for the Flames, who sit in first place in the Pacific Division with 99 points. Kraken center Matty Beniers picked up an assist for his first point in his first NHL game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the first time Gaudreau’s reached 100 points in his career. He’s the first Flame to do so since Theo Fleury in 1992-93.

The Dallas Stars blanked the Tampa Bay Lightning 1-0 with Scott Wedgewood making 24 saves for his fifth career shutout. Roope Hintz broke a scoreless tie in the third period to give the Stars (88 points) a three-point cushion over the Vegas Golden Knights for the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

Speaking of the Golden Knights, they dropped a 5-4 decision to the Vancouver Canucks on an overtime goal by Quinn Hughes. Elias Pettersson had a goal and two assists while Thatcher Demko made 41 stops for the win. Shea Theodore tallied twice for Vegas while Golden Knights captain Mark Stone was held pointless after being out of the lineup since Feb. 8 with a back injury. The Canucks (82 points) moved to within six points of the Stars and within three of the Golden Knights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights moved William Carrier, Nolan Patrick and Laurent Brossoit to long-term injured reserve yesterday to clear sufficient cap space for Stone’s return.

An overtime goal by Ryan Johansen gave the Nashville Predators a 1-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Juuse Saros kicked out 25 shots for his fourth shutout of the season as the Predators (89 points) sit one point ahead of the Stars in the first Western wild-card spot. The Sharks have dropped seven straight games.

The Los Angeles Kings snapped a three-game losing skid to down the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2. Blake Lizotte scored twice and Phillip Danault had a goal and an assist for Los Angeles (88 points) to open a three-point lead over the Golden Knights for third place in the Pacific Division. Kings winger Dustin Brown collected two assists in his first game since being sidelined in March 12 by an upper-body injury.

Minnesota Wild forwards Kevin Fiala and Ryan Hartman each scored twice in a 5-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Cam Talbot stopped 27 shots for the Wild, who sit in second place in the Central Division with 96 points. Leon Draisaitl tallied his 51st goal of the season for the Oilers, who sit two points up on the Kings with 90 points in the Pacific Division.

Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice as the St. Louis Blues doubled up the Boston Bruins 4-2. Ville Husso made 39 saves while Torey Krug collected two points in his first games since March 22. The Blues are tied with the Wild but sit in third place in the Central Division as the Wild holds a game in hand. The Bruins remain in the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 95 points, one back of the third-place Lightning in the Atlantic Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo left the game in the first period with an undisclosed injury.

Alex Ovechkin tallied his 46th goal of the season as the Washington Capitals crushed the Philadelphia Flyers 9-2. Lars Eller tallied two goals and Justin Schultz collected three assists as the Capitals sit three points behind the Bruins in the second wild-card berth. Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov missed the game with a lower-body injury while Flyers winger Cam Atkinson left the game after suffering a lower-body injury following a first-period collision with Capitals winger Tom Wilson.

The Florida Panthers picked up their eighth straight win as an overtime goal by Jonathan Huberdeau gave them a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Anthony Duclair scored twice for the Panthers, who sit in first place in the Eastern Conference with 110 points. They’re tied with the Colorado Avalanche but the latter holds first overall with a game in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Ducks confirmed they’ve picked up the option year in head coach Dallas Eakins’ contract.

New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin made 43 saves and Kyle Palmieri scored in the shootout to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-4. Zach Parise and Josh Bailey each tallied twice for the Islanders. Jake Guentzel scored two goals and added an assist for the illness-ravaged Penguins, who activated Brock McGinn into the lineup after missing 15 games with an upper-body injury. The Penguins hold third place in the Metropolitan Division with 95 points but have just one victory in their last six contests.

The Buffalo Sabres got 24 saves from Craig Anderson to upset the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2. Victor Olofsson, Rasmus Dahlin, Alex Tuch and Rasmus Asplund each had two-point performance. 2021 first-overall pick Owen Power looked sharp in his NHL debut, seeing over 19 minutes of ice time and finishing with a plus-minus of plus-two.

Ottawa Senators forward Tim Stutzle scored twice and added an assist in a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Auston Watson collected two points for the Senators while Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi netted his 27th goal of the season.

The New Jersey Devils defeated the Arizona Coyotes 6-2. Yegor Sharangovich scored two goals and set up another while Nico Hischier collected three assists.

IN OTHER NEWS…

TSN: NHL team player representatives are voting on whether to publicly disclose the results of an investigation into NHL Players Association executive director Donald Fehr’s response to concerns raised by two player agents about former Chicago Blackhawks’ Kyle Beach’s alleged sexual assault.

It will take 18 reps to vote in favor of a public release to make it happen. One source told TSN’s Rick Westhead some of those reps have already voted to make the report public.

CBS SPORTS/TSN: The Montreal Canadiens placed winger Jonathan Drouin on long-term injury reserve after undergoing season-ending surgery. The move will free up salary-cap space for a possible return to action of goaltender Carey Price. The Canadiens also announced injuries have sidelined goalie Jake Allen and defenseman Justin Barron for the remainder of the season.

NHL.COM: Wednesday’s game between the Seattle Kraken and Winnipeg Jets has been postponed to May 1 due to a major winter storm in Winnipeg.