NHL Rumor Mill – August 8, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – August 8, 2022

Looking ahead at the 2023 free-agent class in your NHL Rumor Mill.

SPORTSNET: Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, and Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak top Ryan Dixon’s recent listing of the top unrestricted free agents of 2023.

Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller, Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba, and St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko are next on Dixon’s list. The Pittsburgh Penguins’ Tristan Jarry is the notable goaltender in the group.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (NHL Images).

Blues center Ryan O’Reilly, New Jersey Devils blueliner Damon Severson, Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan, Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin and Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews round out Dixon’s list.

THE SCORE: Sean O’Leary also put out a listing of his notable 2023 UFAs with most of the same names as Dixon’s. This was published before Jonathan Huberdeau’s signing with the Flames, which explains why he’s on that list.

Several notables on O’Leary’s list include Canucks center Bo Horvat and forwards Joe Pavelski of the Dallas Stars, Tyler Bertuzzi of the Detroit Red Wings, James van Riemsdyk of the Philadelphia Flyers and Max Pacioretty of the Carolina Hurricanes.

O’Leary’s defensemen include the Anaheim Ducks’ John Klingberg, the Penguins’ Brian Dumoulin, the New York Islanders Scott Mayfield, Florida Panthers’ Radko Gudas, Washington Capitals Dmitry Orlov and the Flames’ MacKenzie Weegar.

The noteworthy goaltenders include the Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov, the Los Angeles Kings Jonathan Quick, the Red Wings’ Alex Nedeljkovic, the Ottawa Senators’ Cam Talbot and the Montreal Canadiens’ Jake Allen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a slow day for trade and free-agent rumors as we endure the dog days of the NHL offseason. So it’s a good time to review these lists and offer up my two cents on which players will hit the open market next summer and which ones won’t.

I don’t see MacKinnon, Pastrnak, O’Reilly, Severson, Larkin, Horvat, Pavelski, Orlov and Weegar being available by next July. They’ll likely sign contract extensions with their current teams.

Jarry, Pacioretty, Bertuzzi, Dumoulin, Mayfield, Nedeljkovic, Talbot and Allen fall into the “maybe” category for me. Much will depend on their respective performances in the coming season, what they’ll seek on their next contracts, and whether their current clubs can afford to sign them.

I anticipate the remainder will become UFAs. There will still be enticing talent available such as Kane, Miller, Dumba, Tarasenko, Klingberg, and Quick for teams to pursue. Toews could sign with another club but I wouldn’t be surprised if he retires. Monahan’s hip surgeries could bring a premature end to his playing career.

O’Leary also published a list of next summer’s notable restricted free agents. His top forwards include the Senators’ Alex DeBrincat and Tim Stutzle, the Islanders’ Mathew Barzal, the Winnipeg Jets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois, the Canadiens’ Cole Caufield, the Stars’ Roope Hintz, the Ducks’ Trevor Zegras, the New York Rangers’ Alexis Lafreniere and the San Jose Sharks’ Timo Meier.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All but DeBrincat, Dubois and Meier will be re-signed. The trio will be a year away from UFA status next summer. They could hit the trade block if they’re unwilling to make a long-term commitment with their current clubs.

Notable RFA defensemen include the Rangers’ K’Andre Miller, the Edmonton Oilers’ Evan Bouchard, the Seattle Kraken’s Vince Dunn, the Hurricanes’ Ethan Bear, and the Ducks’ Jamie Drysdale.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All but Bear seem certain to be re-signed by their current teams. He struggled last season with the Hurricanes partly because of the effects of COVID-19. However, a healthy bounce-back performance this season could ensure a longer term for him in Carolina.

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ Ilya Samsonov, the Bruins’ Jeremy Swayman and the Panthers’ Spencer Knight are the top RFA goalies.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Samsonov has to make a good impression with the Leafs this season or he could be traded or cut loose next summer. Another solid performance by Swayman this season should ensure he receives a contract extension.

Knight’s situation, however, could be tricky. On the one hand, I expect the Panthers want to re-sign him. On the other, they’ve got Sergei Bobrovsky eating up valuable cap space and playing time. The Panthers can afford to re-sign Knight but maybe he’ll be open to an offer sheet. His situation will be worth monitoring.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 1, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 1, 2022

The three stars and the rookie of the month for April are announced, the Red Wings fire head coach Jeff Blashill, plus the latest on Carey Price, Ryan Ellis, Patrik Laine, Mathew Barzal and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

  NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith and St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko are the NHL’s three stars for April 2022. Florida Panthers goalie Spencer Knight was named the rookie of the month.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings yesterday fired head coach Jeff Blashill. They also announced assistant coach Doug Houda and goaltending coach Jeff Salajko were relieved of their duties.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blashill spent seven seasons as the Wings’ bench boss. He wasn’t to blame for the club’s struggles as management tore down and rebuilt the roster during those years. However, the Wings’ failure to meet heightened expectations this season led to his downfall.

Detroit Hockey Now’s Kevin Allen reports Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman could seek a head coach who will demand more from his players and develop the club’s young talent. He listed former NHL coaches like John Tortorella, Paul Maurice, Claude Julien, and Jim Montgomery among the possible candidates Yzerman could consider as Blashill’s replacement. It’ll be interesting to see if the Wings GM hires one of those veterans or opts for someone else.

SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price said he didn’t believe the current state of his surgically repaired knee would be sustainable to play an entire season. He indicated he’ll be seeking a second opinion regarding ongoing swelling of the knee after games and didn’t rule out a second procedure.

Price, 34, admitted he approached Friday’s season-closing game against the Florida Panthers as if it could be his last. Nevertheless, he remains determined to resume his playing career.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price will have a longer offseason recovery period this time around compared to last year. Still, the uncertainty over his future could affect the Canadien’s offseason plans. I’ll have more in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Canadiens, general manager Kent Hughes said he’d like to sign interim head coach Martin St. Louis to a three-year contract. On Friday, St. Louis indicated he would be shedding the interim tag and returning next season behind the Canadiens’ bench.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens showed noticeable improvement once St. Louis took over in February. It bodes well for what he might be able to achieve with a better, healthier roster.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Sidelined Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis dismissed recent speculation suggesting he was unhappy with the team. He also indicated he and the club have determined the root cause of the pelvic injury that limited him to just four games this season. Ellis indicated they now have a clear rehab plan in place and he’s hoping to be healthy for training camp in September.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ellis was expected to be the core piece of the Flyers’ defense corps and an important part of what management hoped would be a bounce-back season for the club. His absence played a big part in their downfall. Getting him back healthy for 2022-23 could help the Flyers get back on track.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: On the subject of Flyers defensemen, Keith Yandle played the final game of his NHL career on Saturday as confirmed by teammate Nick Seeler. The 35-year-old reigning NHL Ironman (989 consecutive games) didn’t speak to the media yesterday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yandle’s performance has been in decline over the past three seasons. In 1,109 games with the Flyers and the Arizona Coyotes, New York Rangers and Florida Panthers, he has 103 goals and 516 assists for 619 career regular-season points.

NHL.COM: Patrik Laine doesn’t see any issues that would prevent him from signing a new contract this summer with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The 24-year-old winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. He also thanked the club for their support as he coped with injuries and the death of his father in November.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine had 56 points in as many games to finish third among Jackets scorers. He’s completing a one-year, $7.5 million contract and could seek a lucrative long-term deal.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Speaking of the Blue Jackets, goaltender Elvis Merzlikins admitted he found it difficult at times this season to maintain his focus while dealing with the grief of the sudden death last summer of his close friend Matiss Kivlenieks. He said he and goalie coach Manny Legace relied on each other to cope with the emotional trauma. Kivlenieks died during a fireworks accident at Legace’s home last July 4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Merzlikins admitted he was rattled at times earlier this season by the celebratory cannon fired at Blue Jackets home games and from fireworks displays during last New Year’s Eve celebrations. He managed to overcome those issues thanks in part to Legace’s support.

NEW YORK POST: Islanders center Mathew Barzal indicated his willingness to sign a contract extension. The 24-year-old has a year remaining on his current deal with an annual cap hit of $7 million. “This is where I want to be, this is where I want to win,” said Barzal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello would probably love to ink Barzal to a new deal this summer. His reputation as a tough negotiator, however, could make it a slow process. I’m not saying it won’t get done, but I wouldn’t be surprised if talks drag on through the summer.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets chairman Mark Chipman confirmed general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff will continue in his role into the offseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That douses the recent rumors floating around about Cheveldayoff’s future. He has a busy offseason coming up as he must find a new head coach, improve the Jets’ porous defense, and sign restricted free agent center Pierre-Luc Dubois to a new contract.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Kurtis MacDermid was fined $2,187.50 by the NHL department of player safety for kneeing Minnesota Wild winger Marcus Foligno on Friday. Avs forward Logan O’Connor was fined $1,812.50 for cross-checking Wild defenseman Dmitry Kulikov in the same game.

ARIZONA HOCKEY NOW: The Coyotes played their final game at Gila River Arena on Friday. After 19 seasons, they’ll be moving next season to Arizona State’s new hockey arena while awaiting word on a proposed new NHL arena in Tempe.

THE ATHLETIC: Malcolm Subban earned praise from his Buffalo Sabres teammates after singing the National Anthem during the club’s final game of the season on Friday night.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban sounded pretty good. Maybe there’s a future for him as a singer following his playing career.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 7, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 7, 2022

Will Marc-Andre Fleury accept a trade? Should the Wild acquire Shea Weber’s contract? What’s the latest on the Penguins? Could the Bruins pursue Jakob Chychrun? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

WILL FLEURY ACCEPT A TRADE?

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons reports a source claims Marc-Andre Fleury has told the Chicago Blackhawks he doesn’t want to be moved at the trade deadline. “That basically removes Fleury from the trade deadline, unless of course he changes his mind,” writes Simmons.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES Ben Pope took to Twitter to counter Simmons’ report, saying his understanding is the Fleury situation remains “up in the air.” He doesn’t think the goalie has ruled it out.

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pope added it’s believed Fleury wants to stay in Chicago and could even re-sign with the Blackhawks if he doesn’t retire. Still, he believes a Fleury trade remains possible. Stay tuned…

SHOULD THE WILD ACQUIRE WEBER’S CONTRACT?

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo suggested the Minnesota Wild consider acquiring the contract of sidelined Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber after noting Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported the Canadiens are willing to trade that contract.

Assuming Weber’s playing career is over, his $7.857 million annual salary cap hit through 2025-26 could provide the Wild a way out of salary-cap hell for the next three seasons after they bought out Zach Parise and Ryan Suter last year. It could free up room to sign Kevin Fiala to a contract extension or delve into this summer’s free-agent market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An interesting suggestion. It remains to be seen if Wild general manager Bill Guerin will act on that or if he has other plans to find some much-needed salary-cap space beyond this season.

LATEST PENGUINS SPECULATION

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski noted the Penguins have scouted the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks over the past week. He believes Penguins GM Ron Hextall won’t “go big” at the March 21 trade deadline but instead seek affordable options for a middle-six winger or blueline depth.

Kingerski wondered if the Penguins could give up a left-hand defenseman (and retain salary) because they’re deep on that side. He noted Toronto winger Nick Robertson has struggled to crack the Maple Leafs lineup.

He also downplayed the “Brock Boeser for Kasperi Kapanen” speculation regarding the Canucks and doesn’t see them parting with J.T. Miller. He wondered instead if Hextall could interest Vancouver hockey ops president (and former Penguins GM) Jim Rutherford in a prospect such as Pierre-Olivier Joseph, Nathan Legare or Samuel Poulin, suggesting Canucks winger Conor Garland or defenseman Travis Hamonic as trade options.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hextall surprised everyone at last year’s trade deadline by acquiring Jeff Carter from the Los Angeles Kings. It was a move that worked out well for the Penguins.

I anticipate Hextall will try to boost his roster at the trade deadline, though it might not be a splash as big as the Carter acquisition. The Penguins have no games scheduled against the Leafs or Canucks so perhaps there’s a deal to be made with one of those clubs.

TIDBITS FROM DAILY FACEOFF’S RECENT “ICEBREAKERS”.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli recently reported the Florida Panthers have no interest in trading goaltender Spencer Knight. It’s believed the Panthers and Arizona Coyotes engaged in discussions regarding Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun around the holidays. The Coyotes wanted Knight as part of the package but that obviously didn’t happen.

Speaking of Chychrun, Seravalli noted the Boston Bruins were also interested in the Coyotes blueliner. He wondered if Bruin goalie Jeremy Swayman could be part of the proposed transaction. The Bruins would then need a backup for Linus Ullmark, prompting Seravalli to suggest perhaps someone like Philadelphia’s Martin Jones might work.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch speculated about the Bruins perhaps packaging winger Jake DeBrusk as part of a deal for Chychrun. However, I think the Coyotes will stay patient on offers for him. With Chychrun signed beyond this season, they can wait until this summer to move him if they don’t get any offers to their liking by March 21. I think the Bruins prefer keeping their goalie tandem intact for the remainder of the season to see how things shake out.

Ottawa Senators forward Nick Paul would draw considerable interest from playoff contenders seeking affordable forward depth. Sources say there’s been little contract between the Senators and Paul on a contract extension.

The Carolina Hurricanes have started contract extension talks with Jesperi Kotkaniemi. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’s on a one-year. $6.1 million contract. Seravalli wonders if a six- or seven-year deal at a lower annual average value between $4 million and $4.5 million might work for both sides.

The Vancouver Canucks must also soon reach a decision on trading or retaining forward Tyler Motte. He’s slated to become a UFA this summer. Sources said there haven’t yet been substantive contract discussions.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2022

The Rangers retire Henrik Lundqvist’s No. 30, the Stars retire Sergei Zubov’s No. 56, plus the latest on Evander Kane, Jonathan Toews, Nathan MacKinnon, Tuukka Rask and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The New York Rangers retired Henrik Lundqvist’s No. 30 in a pregame ceremony before dropping a 3-2 decision to the Minnesota Wild. Frederick Gaudreau tallied the game-winner as the Wild overcame a 2-0 deficit. Kevin Fiala and Mats Zuccarello each had a goal and an assist for the Wild (55 points), sitting nine points ahead of the Calgary Flames in the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference. The Rangers were without defenseman Adam Fox, who’s been placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury and could miss next weekend’s NHL All-Star Game.

Henrik Lundqvist and his family watch his No. 30 being raised to the rafters at Madison Square Garden (NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lundqvist becomes the 11th player in Rangers history to have his number retired. He’s their all-time leader among Blueshirts netminders in games-played (887), wins (459), shutouts (64), and save percentage (.918), and is just the fourth Rangers to win the Vezina Trophy (2012). He’s a lock for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Hall-of-Fame defenseman Sergei Zubov had his No. 56 retired by the Dallas Stars in a pregame ceremony but they went to fall 5-0 to the Washington Capitals. Vitek Vanecek had a 29-save shutout while Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and two assists as the Capitals chased former teammate Braden Holtby from the Stars net after two periods. Washington (57 points) sits four points up on the Boston Bruins in the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot while the Stars (46 points) remain behind the Flames in the Western wild-card race.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zubov spent his first four NHL seasons with the Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins before going on to spend the remaining 12 years of his career with the Stars. He played a key role in their rise as a Stanley Cup contender in the late-1990s and early-2000s, helping them win the Cup in 1999. He’s their all-time leader in goals (111), assists (438) and points (549) among defensemen.

The Colorado Avalanche picked up their ninth straight win by hanging on to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 6-4. Gabriel Landeskog scored twice and collected an assist while Nazem Kadri had a goal and two assists for the Avs (65 points), who are 14-0-1 through January as they take over first place in the overall standings. Patrick Kane and Brandon Hagel each tallied twice for the Blackhawks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Each team was without a key player in this contest. Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon suffered a facial fracture and a concussion following a hit by Boston Bruins winger Taylor Hall on Wednesday and will be sidelined for the next three games before next week’s All-Star break. Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews entered concussion protocol as the result of a hit from Detroit Red Wings forward Joe Veleno on Wednesday.

Speaking of the Bruins, they held on to defeat the Arizona Coyotes 2-1. David Pastrnak collected two assists, Linus Ullmark kicked out 30 shots and Charlie McAvoy scored what proved to be the winning goal in the second period. The Bruins played without goalie Tuukka Rask as he’s sidelined with a lower-body injury. With 53 points, they hold a nine-point lead over the Detroit Red Wings for the final Eastern wild-card berth.

As for the Red Wings, they got a 36-save effort from Calvin Pickard and a shootout goal by rookie Lucas Raymond to nip the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2. Jake Guentzel tallied both goals for the Penguins, who move atop the Metropolitan Division with 61 points.

IN OTHER NEWS…

DAILY FACEOFF: Former NHL executive Chris Gear analyzed how the results of the NHL’s investigation into Evander Kane could affect his grievance with the San Jose Sharks over their termination of his contract. The investigation didn’t find sufficient evidence that Kane violated COVID protocols for traveling to Canada while he was supposed to be isolating following a positive COVID test.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I recommend reading the entire piece. In a nutshell, Gear expects an arbitrator could rule in Kane’s favor where he received the full remaining entitlement from his terminated contract. The Sharks could face some sort of salary-cap charge but could also get some measure of cap relief as a consequence of his signing with the Oilers. It’ll be interesting to see how this situation plays out.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres hope Craig Anderson or Dustin Tokarski will be ready to play tonight after goaltender Michael Houser entered COVID protocols on Friday.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers sent goaltender Spencer Knight to their AHL affiliate after Jonas Johansson cleared COVID protocols. It’s not a demotion but a move to activate some players.

TSN: Tonight’s game between the Seattle Kraken and New York Islanders has been postponed due to a snowstorm in the New York area.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 25, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 25, 2021

The Jets sweep the Oilers with a triple-overtime victory, the Islanders put the Penguins on the brink in double overtime, the Panthers and Wild stave off elimination and the Leafs take a 2-1 series lead over the Canadiens. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets got a triple-overtime goal by Kyle Connor to defeat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 and sweep their opening-round series in four games. Mark Scheifele scored twice and Connor Hellebuyck made 37 saves for the win. Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Alex Chiasson tallied for the Oilers while defensemen Darnell Nurse logged over 62 minutes of ice time. Oilers forward Josh Archibald missed this game serving a one-game suspension. The Jets await the winner of the Toronto Maple Leafs-Montreal Canadiens series.

Kyle Connor was the triple-overtime hero for the Winnipeg Jets as they swept the Edmonton Oilers (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers dominated the Jets during the regular season but they struggled in the heavier going of postseason play. Their lack of secondary punch also didn’t help matters.

Remember that late-season speculation suggesting Jets coach Paul Maurice could lose his job? We can put that to rest now. The Jets’ previous postseason experience also made a difference here. Their offense got a boost from Nikolaj Ehlers return from injury midway through this series. This was the first-ever NHL playoff sweep in Jets history and the first time they’ve eliminated the Oilers.

A double-overtime goal by Josh Bailey gave the New York Islanders a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Ilya Sorokin kicked out 48 shots for the Isles, who hold a 3-2 lead in this first-round series heading back to Long Island on Wednesday. Bryan Rust and Kris Letang each had two points for the Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bailey’s goal came off a horrible turnover by Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry. Sorokin, meanwhile, has backstopped the Isles to consecutive wins since returning to the net in Game 4.

The Florida Panthers staved off elimination by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 in Game 5 of their first-round series. Panthers rookie goaltender Spencer Knight made 36 saves in his NHL playoff debut while Patric Hornqvist and MacKenzie Weegar each had a goal and an assist while Mason Marchment netted the game-winner. The Lightning holds a 3-2 series lead as the series returns to Tampa Bay for Game 6 on Wednesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Knight gave up the early goal but was unbeatable after that. He’s earned the start for Game 6.

Minnesota Wild goaltender Cam Talbot made 38 saves as his club avoided elimination by doubling up the Vegas Golden Knights 4-2. First-period goals by Kirill Kaprizov, Zach Parise and Jordan Greenway paved the way for Minnesota’s victory as they had just 14 shots on goal in this game. Wild defenseman Carson Soucy missed this game with an undisclosed injury. The series returns to Minnesota on Wednesday for Game 6.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights dominated most of this game. Talbot came through for his teammates, especially in a second period where they were outshot 22-1.

The Toronto Maple Leafs held off the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round series. All the scoring took place in the second period with William Nylander and Morgan Rielly tallying for the Leafs and Nick Suzuki replying for the Canadiens. Leafs center Nick Foligno sat out this game with a lower-body injury while Canadiens center Eric Staal was sidelined by an undisclosed injury. Habs winger Artturi Lehkonen left the game following a first-period collision with Leafs defenseman Rasmus Sandin. Game 4 goes tonight in Montreal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game saw an evenly-matched first period, the Leafs dominating the second and the Canadiens controlling the third. The goaltending was outstanding for both clubs, with Montreal’s Carey Price and Toronto’s Jack Campbell making some big saves.

William Nylander has scored in each game and leads the Leafs with four points. Habs rookie Cole Caufield made his playoff debut, generating a couple of quality scoring chances and earning more playing time as the game went on.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov is struggling to score in his club’s series with the Nashville Predators. He has just one goal on 21 shots and that was an empty-netter in Game 1.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins winger Ondrej Kase (upper-body injury) and defenseman Steve Kampfer (hand surgery) are sidelined for the rest of the playoffs.

LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: The Anaheim Ducks hired former Los Angeles Kings executive Jeff Solomon as their new senior vice president of hockey operations.