NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 28, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 28, 2022

Brad Marchand makes a triumphant return to the Bruins lineup, the Canucks finally get their first win of the season, Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun suffers a setback in his recovery from a wrist injury, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Brad Marchand scored twice and collected an assist to lead the Boston Bruins to a 5-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. It was Marchand’s first game since undergoing double hip surgery in May. David Pastrnak had a goal and two assists while Jeremy Swayman made 28 saves for the Bruins (7-1-0). The Red Wings fall to 3-2-2.

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marchand wasn’t expected to return to action until the American Thanksgiving long weekend so he was well ahead of schedule in his recovery. Meanwhile, Bruins center David Krejci left the game with an apparent arm injury. He’s considered day-to-day and won’t be traveling to Columbus with the club for tonight’s game against the Blue Jackets.

The Vancouver Canucks picked up their first win of the season by holding off the Seattle Kraken 5-4 to give head coach Bruce Boudreau his 600th career NHL victory. Ilya Mikheyev scored twice and Conor Garland tallied what proved to be the game-winning goal as the Canucks record is now 1-5-2. Jaden Schwartz had a goal and an assist as the Kraken fall to 3-4-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of the Canucks, they acquired center Jack Studnicka in exchange for goaltender Michael DiPietro and prospect Jonathan Myrenberg. Studnicka, 23, will try to get his NHL career on track after struggling to make the cut with the Bruins. The Canucks also placed defenseman Travis Dermott (concussion) on long-term injury reserve.

An overtime breakaway goal by Erik Karlsson lifted the San Jose Sharks over the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3. Sharks captain Logan Couture scored twice, including his 300th career NHL goal. Auston Matthews scored the game-tying goal in the third period for the Maple Leafs (4-3-1)while the Sharks are 3-7-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs continue to sleepwalk through October. This is the third time this season they’ve lost to a club that, on paper, they should’ve defeated, dropping games to the Montreal Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes. The best they can say about this loss is they at least get a loser point out of it.

Leon Draisaitl scored with 38 seconds remaining in the third period to give the Edmonton Oilers a 6-5 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each had a goal and two assists while Connor McDavid had a hat trick and chipped in an assist for the Oilers as they improve their record to 5-3-0. Patrick Kane and Max Domi each had a goal and two assists for the Blackhawks (4-3-0).

The Minnesota Wild doubled up the Ottawa Senators 4-2 to snap the latter’s four-game win streak. Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves while Kirill Kaprizov, Ryan Hartman and Frederic Gaudreau each had a goal and an assist for the Wild, who improve their record to 3-3-1. Alex DeBrincat had a goal and an assist for the Senators, who are 4-3-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Senators announced the signing of rookie center Mark Kastelic to a two-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $850K.

Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger turned in a 27-save shutout to blank the Washington Capitals 2-0 to improve his club’s record to 5-2-1. Jason Robertson and Joel Kiviranta were the goalscorers. The Capitals are 4-4-0 in their first eight games.

The Winnipeg Jets got third-period goals by Axel Jonsson-Fjallby and Blake Wheeler to snap a 4-4 tie in a 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck kicked out 40 shots as the Jets improved their record to 4-3-0. Jonathan Quick made just 13 saves for the Kings as they fall to 3-4-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hellebuyck was the difference in this game. The outcome could’ve been very different without him.

Roman Josi, Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene each had three points as the Nashville Predators scored five unanswered goals to defeat the St. Louis Blues 6-2. Juuse Saros made 32 stops for the win as the Predators improve to 3-4-1 while the Blues are 3-3-1. Brayden Schenn and Robert Thomas tallied for the Blues.

The Philadelphia Flyers got a 48-save effort from netminder Carter Hart to hold off the Florida Panthers by a score of 4-3. Joel Farabee had a goal and an assist for the Flyers, who move to 5-2-0 on the season. Eric Staal was held scoreless in his debut with the Panthers, who drop to 4-3-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Flyers announced Sean Couturier had suffered a setback in his recovery from an injured back and was no longer skating. Winger Cam Atkinson remains sidelined by an upper-body injury. They also claimed forward Kieffer Bellows off waivers from the New York Islanders.

The Montreal Canadiens nipped the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on a late goal by Josh Anderson. Samuel Montembeault stopped 43 shots while Kaiden Guhle netted his first career NHL goal as the Canadiens improved to 4-4-0. Jeff Skinner and Dylan Cozens replied for the Sabres, who fall to 4-3-0.

IN OTHER NEWS…

DAILY FACEOFF: Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun is still listed as week-to-week in his recovery from off-season wrist surgery. He’s yet to play this season but has been the topic of trade speculation for weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And that speculation will drag on despite this setback in Chychrun’s recovery. However, he’s not going anywhere until he finally returns to action and interested teams can see how well he performs before they make any firm trade offers.

CBS SPORTS: New Jersey Devils goalie MacKenzie Blackwood has been sidelined by an upper-body injury.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers winger Vitali Kravtsov has been sidelined for the second time this season with another upper-body injury. He’s listed as day-to-day.

NHL.COM: The Rangers also signed defenseman Ben Harpur to a one-year contract.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 27, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 27, 2022

The Islanders’ Ilya Sorokin shut out the Rangers, Brad Marchand could return to the Bruins sooner than expected and the Senators’ Josh Norris could be sidelined for the season. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin turned in a 41-save shutout to blank the New York Rangers 3-0. Kyle Palmieri scored two goals and Josh Bailey also tallied for the Islanders, who raise their record to 3-4-0. The Rangers (3-3-2) are winless in their last four games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before this game, the Islanders placed forward Kieffer Bellows on waivers.

Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (NHL Images).

Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tallied his 200th career goal and Stuart Skinner turned aside 37 shots in a 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Zach Hyman had a goal and an assist for the Oilers as their record improves to 4-3-0. Ryan O’Reilly netted the only goal for the Blues (3-2-0), who’ve lost two straight games.

Tampa Bay Lightning defensemen Victor Hedman and Mikhail Sergachev each had two points as their club doubled up the Anaheim Ducks 4-2. Nick Paul also had two points for the Bolts as they improve to 4-4-0. Trevor Zegras and Troy Terry replied for the Ducks, who fall to 1-5-1.

HEADLINES

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins could have Brad Marchand back in the lineup sooner than expected. Originally projected to return from double hip surgery by the American Thanksgiving weekend in late November, the 34-year-old winger has been skating regularly in practice with his teammates over the past two weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marchand requires medical clearance from team doctors before he can return to action. Given he’s already ahead of schedule in his recovery, he could be back before mid-November.

OTTAWA SUN: Bad news for Senators center Josh Norris as he’s sidelined long-term with an injured left shoulder that could require surgery. It’s possible he could miss the rest of this season but the club will learn more about his condition over the next four or five days.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Losing Norris for a significant period is a big blow for the Senators but not necessarily a fatal one for their season. With Tim Stutzle having moved up to center the first line, veterans Claude Giroux and Derrick Brassard in the lineup and rookie Shane Pinto off to a promising start, they have the depth to offset Norris’ absence.

General manager Pierre Dorion also has the cap space and young assets to draw up if necessary to acquire a center in the trade market. For now, I expect he’ll see how well his club adjusts before going that route.

THE PROVINCE: The bad news keeps coming for the struggling Vancouver Canucks as forwards Brock Boeser and Curtis Lazar head to the injured reserve list, joining Quinn Hughes and Travis Dermott. Tucker Poolman was recently placed on long-term injury reserve.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Canadiens rookie winger Juraj Slafkovsky (upper-body injury) still hasn’t been given the green light to resume play but will travel with the club for their upcoming road trip.

Speaking of the Canadiens, they acquired minor-league defenseman Nicolas Beaudin from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for minor-league forward Cam Hillis. Beaudin has 22 games of NHL experience since 2019-20.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets placed defenseman Adam Boqvist on injured reserve and called up 18-year-old David Jiricek, who was their first-round pick (sixth overall) in this year’s NHL Draft. Boqvist will be sidelined for six weeks with a broken foot.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets head coach Rick Bowness will not be accompanying the team on their three-game road trip. He suffered dizzy spells on Monday that could be related to his recent bout with COVID-19.

TWINCITIES.COM: Former Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk, 36, is trying his hand at broadcasting. He’s working as an analyst with NHL Network.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 17, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 17, 2022

Brad Marchand is practicing with the Bruins, Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury acknowledges his poor start, Matt Murray’s injury could have a silver lining for the Leafs, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL didn’t schedule any games for Sunday, Oct. 17, 2022, so no game recaps this morning.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Brad Marchand returned to practice with his Bruins teammates for the first time since undergoing double hip surgery in May. The 34-year-old winger was a full participant in a light on-ice practice Sunday. “I feel really good. Today was more of a mental victory than anything, “ said Marchand. “It’s been a long four months.”

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marchand is expected to return to action around the American Thanksgiving long weekend in late November. He’ll be participating in morning skates with his teammates for the time being.

Speaking of the Bruins, they recalled defenseman Dan Renouf. That move suggests Brandon Carlo could be sidelined for a while with an upper-body injury suffered on Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes.

TWINCITIES.COM: Marc-Andre Fleury acknowledged his poor start to this season and admitted he has to improve his play. The 37-year-old goaltender gave up 11 goals on 49 shots over his first two games and was booed off the ice by Wild fans during their 7-6 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. “I don’t blame them; I’d boo myself,” said Fleury. “I was not good. I feel bad for the fans. I feel bad for my teammates.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild signed Fleury to a two-year contract and handed him the starter’s job after trading Cam Talbot to the Ottawa Senators. He’s at a point in his career where age could be catching up with him. If so, the Wild could be in serious trouble between the pipes this season.

TORONTO SUN: Michael Traikos suggests losing goalie Matt Murray for four weeks to an adductor injury could be the best thing that could’ve happened to the Maple Leafs. With Murray on long-term injured reserve, it provided them with the salary-cap wiggle room to recall Wayne Simmonds, Nick Robertson and Victor Mete.

This situation gives them an opportunity to fully evaluate Ilya Samsonov in the starter’s job. It also provides the club with a much-needed kick in the pants after they seemed to sleep-walk through their first two games of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The more important factor is Samsonov’s performance. If he proves up to the challenge as a starting goaltender, the Leafs will be fine. Their season could depend on it.

NEW YORK POST: Sammy Blais returns to the Rangers lineup tonight against the Anaheim Ducks. It’s his first NHL regular-season game since suffering a season-ending knee injury last November. An upper-body injury suffered during preseason play kept him out of the lineup through the Rangers’ first three games of this season.

NHLPA released a statement on Saturday after the NHL announced it was closing its investigation into allegations of sexual assault and grooming leveled at Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Ian Cole due to lack of evidence.

 

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Tyler Pitlick is still skating in practice with the St. Louis Blues despite being released from his professional tryout offer last week. He could earn a contract with the club with Logan Brown looking like he’ll be headed to injured reserve.

THE PROVINCE: It appears Tucker Poolman could be sidelined longer than anticipated as the Vancouver Canucks recalled Noah Juulsen. Poolman was injured during the Canucks 3-2 loss on Saturday to the Philadelphia Flyers.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks suggests the NHL and NHLPA should reach an agreement at the end of this season to spread the anticipated $9.5 million increase in the salary cap in 2024-25 and 2025-26 over the next three seasons. It would provide an annual cap increase of $3 million in each season, giving some much-needed cap relief to a number of teams next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks points to a number of teams forced to ice reduced rosters already this season due to constraints brought about by the flattened salary cap. It will rise by just $1 million for next season before jumping by a projected $4.5 million in 2024-25 and another $4 million in 2025-26.

Cap Friendly indicates 13 teams are at or above this season’s $82.5 million cap with another four clubs carrying under $250K in cap room. That makes it difficult for those clubs to ice full rosters or call up replacements from the minors if injuries strike. It could become a problem over the course of the season and perhaps prompt some team owners to call upon the league for some form of cap relief of the kind suggested by Brooks.

The argument can be made that it’s the fault of those teams for overspending on talent. However, some of those big contracts were signed several years ago before the COVID-19 pandemic flattened hockey-related revenues in 2019-20 and 2020-21, freezing the cap over the past two seasons and leading to marginal increases for this season and the next.

Those contracts were signed with the understanding that the cap would continue rising based on the annual projections from league headquarters. No one expected a global pandemic that led to shortened schedules and significantly reduced revenue nor can they be faulted for that lack of foresight.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 16, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 16, 2022

Nathan MacKinnon could be getting close to a new contract with the Avalanche, an update on Brad Marchand’s recovery from hip surgery, Canadiens top prospect Juraj Slafkovsky plays well in debut game during Prospects Challenge and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

SPORTSNET: Nathan MacKinnon is hoping to soon have a contract extension with the Colorado Avalanche. Speaking with Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman on their “32 Thoughts” podcast, the 27-year-old center said he assumed the deal would be in place on July 13, the first day when he was eligible to re-sign.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (NHL Images).

While admitting it’s taken a little longer than he anticipated, MacKinnon believes the extension is “totally” on its way to completion. “It should be done shortly, I’m hoping,” he said. The long-time Avalanche superstar is earning a team-friendly average annual value of $6.3 million entering this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report suggests MacKinnon could become not just the highest-paid player in Avalanche history but also the highest-paid in the NHL. That honor is currently held by Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, whose AAV is $12.5 million through 2025-26.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Brad Marchand is hoping to return to action with the Bruins by late November, perhaps by the American Thanksgiving weekend. The 34-year-old winger underwent double hip surgery during the offseason. He’s set to begin skating on Friday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins will also be without defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk to start the season. McAvoy underwent shoulder surgery and is expected to return to the lineup by early December. Grzelcyk also had shoulder surgery and could be back by early November.

NHL.COM: Montreal Canadiens prospect Juraj Slafkovsky collected an assist and was named the second star in a 4-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres in the Prospects Challenge tournament on Thursday. The 18-year-old winger was the first-overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. He saw playing time at even strength and in special-team situations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Slafkovsky’s progress will be closely monitored by Montreal fans and pundits. The Canadiens are rebuilding and the young Slovakian winger is expected to be a key part of the process. Whether he starts this season with the Canadiens or their AHL affiliate in Laval depends on his performance during training camp, which opens next week.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said league revenue exceeded $5 billion for the first time despite disruptions earlier in the 2021-22 season due to COVID-19. With the NHL returning to a normal schedule for 2022-23, Daly is optimistic that continued revenue growth will lead to a significant increase in the salary cap sooner instead of later.

The salary cap increased by $1 million to $82.5 million for 2022-23. Daly expects it will rise again by $1 million for 2023-24 but suggested it could increase further if revenues grow enough.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The cap is growing slowly because the players’ share of revenue exceeded the owners’ during the COVID-shortened 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. As a result, the players have to make whole the owners’ share through escrow, which affects the salary cap’s rate of increase.

It’ll be interesting to see how much the cap could rise for next season if revenue increases exceed expectations. Earlier this year, Daly suggested it would take until 2024-25 before we’d see a significant rise in the cap.

TORONTO SUN: Michael Traikos reports Daly also indicated the NHL and NHL Players Association are committed to an international tournament calendar that would see the league participate in the next three Winter Olympics and an additional three World Cup of Hockey tournaments.

The deputy commissioner admitted there are challenges associated with that calendar and no guarantees given Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. However, it’s not necessarily dependent on Russian participation.

TSN: The Los Angeles Kings signed defenseman Sean Durzi to a two-year contract with an AAV of $1.7 million. Durzi, 23, had 27 points in 64 games as a rookie last season. Earlier this week, the Kings also re-signed blueliner Mikey Anderson to a one-year deal.

THE ATHLETIC: Speaking of the Kings, Alex Turcotte won’t participate in the club’s rookie camp and could miss the start of their main training camp next week due to concussion-related symptoms suffered during the 2022 AHL Calder Cup playoffs. The 21-year-old center’s bid to become a full-time NHL player has been hampered by injuries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Turcotte was the fifth-overall pick in the 2019 Draft and is considered among the Kings’ top prospects. He played eight games last season with the Kings and 27 with the AHL’s Ontario Reign.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators have invited forwards Derick Brassard and Michael Dal Cole to training camp on professional tryout offers.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Edmonton Oilers signed defenseman Jason Demers to a professional tryout offer.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: With goaltender Andrew Hammond deciding not to report to training camp on a PTO, the Panthers have brought in J-F Berube on a professional tryout offer.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets will unveil a statue of the late Dale Hawerchuk on Oct. 1 at True North Square. Hawerchuk was selected first overall by the Jets in the 1981 draft and spent nine of his 16 NHL seasons in Winnipeg. He won the Calder Trophy in 1982 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001. He passed away at age 57 from stomach cancer in 2020.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 28, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 28, 2022

The Avalanche advance over the Blues to the Western Conference Finals, the latest on the Hurricanes and Rangers, Brad Marchand is sidelined by hip surgery and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 20 years with a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 6 of their second-round series. J.T. Compher scored twice and Darren Helm snapped a 2-2 tie with 5.6 seconds remaining in regulation time. Justin Faulk and Jordan Kyrou scored for the Blues.

Colorado Avalanche forward J.T. Compher (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a nail-biting, tight-checking contest that seemed headed to overtime until Helm’s goal in the dying seconds of the third period. The Avalanche are 5-0 on the road in this postseason and will face the Edmonton Oilers in the Conference Finals.

This was a disappointing end to a better-than-anticipated season for the Blues. They finished third overall in the Central Division with 109 points and defeated the Minnesota Wild in the opening round. Their potential offseason moves will be examined in today’s Rumor Mill update.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant expressed confidence in his struggling stars Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider heading into Game 6 tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes. “They’re character players, they’ll do it for us. They’ve done it for us all year,” said Gallant.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Speaking of the Hurricanes, they’ll need more from sniper Andrei Svechnikov. He was scoreless in six games until tallying a crucial goal during Game 5 against the Rangers on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers need Panarin and Kreider at their best to avoid elimination on home ice tonight in Game 6. Meanwhile, Svechnikov’s goal-scoring skills will be vital for the Hurricanes to pick up their first road win of the postseason and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

NHL.COM: The Western Conference Finals between the Avalanche and Oilers begin Tuesday, May 31 at 8 pm ET. The Eastern Conference Finals start on Wednesday, June 1 at 8 pm ET between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the winner of the Hurricanes-Rangers series.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins winger Brad Marchand underwent surgery to repair labral tears in both hips and will require six months to recover.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That means the Bruins will be without Marchand for the first two months of 2022-23. They’ll also be without defenseman Matt Grzelcyk to start the season as he recently underwent shoulder surgery.

THE PROVINCE: Duke Boeser, father of Vancouver Canucks star Brock Boeser, passed away Friday at age 61 following a long battle with cancer and dementia.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Boeser and his family.

CHEK-TV’s Rick Dhaliwal reports Calgary Flames defenseman Chris Tanev played with a torn labrum, a separated shoulder and a sprained neck in the final two games of his club’s playoff series with the Oilers. He’s slated to undergo surgery next week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The lengths NHL players will go to play through pain in the postseason never ceases to amaze me. Here’s hoping Tanev makes a full recovery.

MLIVE.COM: Check out the trailer for ESPN’s upcoming documentary on the Avalanche-Red Wings rivalry from 1996 to 2002.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That was one of the greatest rivalries in NHL history and certainly among the best I’ve witnessed. The intensity of the games and the hatred between the two teams were off the charts.

SPORTSNET: A change to a Michigan insurance law means Vladimir Konstantinov and thousand of others who suffered serious traffic-related injuries could lose their round-the-clock medical care.

Konstantinov suffered career-ending and life-changing brain injuries from a limousine crash in 1997 and requires constant care at home. The change to the law and the high costs of his home care could force him to be put into an institution where restraints or medication would be required to keep him safe.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Red Wings and the NHLPA are reportedly looking into ways to maintain Konstantinov’s home care. Here’s hoping they can work something out for him. At least he has a wealthy hockey club and a players’ union to help him. The other Michigan residents facing the same predicament won’t have that option.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 9, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 9, 2022

The Lightning, Bruins, Kings and Blues tie their best-of-seven first-round series at two games apiece. Check out the details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning took a 5-0 lead after two periods over the Toronto Maple Leafs on route to a 7-3 victory, tying their best-of-seven opening-round playoff series at two games apiece. Ross Colton scored twice while Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman and Brandon Hagel each collected two assists. William Nylander tallied two goals for the Leafs while teammate Jack Campbell was pulled after giving up five goals on 16 shots. The series returns to Toronto for Game 5 on Tuesday night.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs are learning the hard way that the defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning rises to the occasion when their backs are to the wall. At least the Lightning hasn’t held a lead in this series but that could change if the Leafs come out with another flat effort in Game 5.

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand (NHL Images).

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand scored twice and set up three others to lead his club over the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 to square their first-round series at two games each. Patrice Bergeron had a goal and two assists and David Pastrnak scored and picked up a helper. Jeremy Swayman got the win with a 24-save performance while Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy missed this game due to COVID protocol. Game 5 is in Carolina on Tuesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ill-disciplined play proved costly for the Hurricanes as the Bruins went two-for-nine on the power play. Marchand was also his usual pesky self, getting into the head of Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo by appearing to call him a racist during a heated exchange. Meanwhile, Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour was frustrated when his challenge of Jake DeBrusk’s tying goal in the second period for goalie interference was ruled as incidental contact while attempting to make a play with the puck loose in the crease.

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick made 31 saves to shut out the Edmonton Oilers 4-0 to tie their series at 2-2. He set the playoff shutout record (10) for American-born NHL netminders. Carl Grundstrom scored two goals and collected an assist while Trevor Moore and Troy Stecher each had a goal and an assist. The series shifts back to Edmonton on Tuesday night for Game 5.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings looked done like dinner following lopsided losses in the previous two games. Quick’s superb goaltending and the Kings’ veteran leadership were crucial in this series-tying win. The Oilers played as though they were expecting another easy victory. This game should be a wake-up call that they’re facing an opponent they cannot take lightly.

The St. Louis Blues got a 28-save effort from Jordan Binnington in his 2022 postseason debut to tame the Minnesota Wild 5-2 and even their series at two games apiece. Jordan Kyrou scored two goals while Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron each picked up three points. Kirill Kaprizov and Matt Boldy replied for the Wild. The two sides face off in Minnesota for Game 5 on Tuesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues’ revolving door blueline continued in this game as Scott Perunovich returned to action for the first time since January while Marco Scandella left this game with a lower-body injury. It’s possible Nick Leddy, Robert Bortuzzo or both could return for Game 5.

HEADLINES

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper escaped a serious eye injury on Saturday but swelling could keep him out of Game 4 against the Nashville Predators on Monday. The injury occurred in Game 3 when the blade of Predators center Ryan Johansen’s stick accidentally poked through the cage of Kuemper’s mask. Johansen was remorseful over the incident and was glad to hear the Avs goalie wasn’t seriously hurt.

ASSOCIATED PRESS: Teresa Walker reports Predators coach John Hynes said starting goalie Juuse Saros will not be playing in Game 4 against the Avs. He’s been sidelined since April 26 by a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Predators down 3-0 in this series it would be folly to put Saros in net if he’s not fully recovered.

NHL.COM: Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn was fined $5,000.00 by the NHL department of player safety for high-sticking Calgary Flames winger Andrew Mangiapane during Game 3 of their first-round series on Saturday.

Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov received the same fine for a similar infraction against Florida Panthers forward Noel Acciari in Game 3 of their series on Saturday.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Capitals, winger Tom Wilson remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury. An update on his status is expected later today before Game 4 against the Panthers.