NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 9, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 9, 2023

The Panthers get their first Stanley Cup Final victory, the Maple Leafs intend to add Shane Doan to their front office, more talks between the league and NHLPA over next season’s salary cap, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

PANTHERS GET THEIR FIRST STANLEY CUP FINAL WIN

NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers overcame a 2-1 deficit to defeat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2, picking up their first-ever Stanley Cup Final win while cutting Vegas’ lead in the series to two games to one.

Florida Panthers winger Carter Verhaeghe (NHL Images)

Matthew Tkachuk scored the tying goal late in the third period, setting the stage for Carter Verhaeghe’s winner in the extra frame. Tkachuk and Verhaeghe each finished the game with a goal and an assist. Brandon Montour opened the scoring for Florida. After shaky performances in the first two games, Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky returned to form with a solid 27-save performance.

The Golden Knights remained deadly on the power play as both of their goals came with the man advantage. Mark Stone and Jonathan Marchessault each finished with a goal and an assist.

Game 4 is Saturday in Florida starting at 8 pm ET.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a must-win game for the Panthers as a loss would’ve put them into an 0-3 deficit that only one team in NHL history has ever recovered from in a Stanley Cup Final. Most of their best players (Tkachuk, Bobrovsky, Verhaeghe and Montour) rose to the occasion. Tkachuk briefly left the game following a big hit from Vegas forward Keegan Kolesar in the first period but he returned in the second.

Vegas missed an opportunity to take an almost insurmountable lead in this series. While the Panthers played better in this contest, the Golden Knights still controlled much of the play. For the third straight game, they tallied twice on the power play while their penalty killers kept the Panthers from scoring with the man advantage.

This win gives the Panthers a heartbeat but they must win Game 4 to be truly alive in this series. They must also improve their special teams or this series – and the Stanley Cup – will slip out of their reach.

HEADLINES

SPORTSNET: The Toronto Maple Leafs are planning to add Shane Doan to their front office. Doan was the long-time captain of the Arizona Coyotes. His role and when he’ll join the Leafs have yet to be determined.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A report on Twitter indicated Doan would be an assistant to general manager Brad Treliving. He was the Coyotes’ development officer from 2021 until parting ways with the club last September.

THE ATHLETIC: The NHL’s salary cap for 2023-24 could still end up being higher than the $1 million recently projected by league commissioner Gary Bettman. Sources claim that the number isn’t final.

Bettman had stated the cap would remain flattened because the players hadn’t fully repaid the escrow owed to the team owners stemming from the COVID-shortened 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.

With sharp increases in the cap projected at $10 million to $12 million over the next three years, that would create an uneven playing field for players slated to become free agents in 2024 and 2025 compared to this year.

NHL Players Association executive director Marty Walsh said he wasn’t going to close the door automatically on a higher cap increase for 2023-24. The league and the PA are in negotiations to address this before the final figure is announced before the NHL Draft on June 28-29.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report also noted that the anticipated $1 million increase in the salary cap is already having an effect on this year’s free-agent market, pointing to the Los Angeles Kings’ re-signing Vladislav Gavrikov to a two-year contract.

The Kings wanted a longer-term but the Gavrikov camp insisted on the two-year deal in order to cash in on the anticipated higher cap ceiling in 2025. I daresay we’ll see more contracts like that if the cap for next season isn’t significantly higher than projected.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports that the delay in the Rangers naming a new head coach is not connected to former NHL coach Joel Quenneville, who would need to be reinstated by Gary Bettman. Quenneville will be meeting with Bettman at some point following the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Quenneville has been under indefinite suspension for his role in covering up the Kyle Beach sexual assault allegations against former video coach Bradley Alrich during his tenure with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010.

Former Nashville Predators coach John Hynes and former Washington Capitals coach Peter Laviolette are considered the front-runners for the vacant Rangers head coach position.

SPORTSNET: Calgary Flames assistant coach Ryan Huska is considered the leading candidate to be named their new head coach. He’s been in the assistant coach role with the Flames for the past five seasons.

TSN: Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill revealed defenseman Jani Hakanpaa was dealing with a back injury during the playoffs. He’ll also undergo offseason knee surgery. Nill also said winger Evgenii Dadonov suffered a Grade 2 MCL strain but probably would’ve returned to action had the Stars reached the Stanley Cup Final.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets fans shouldn’t be concerned about the club’s owners running out of money. Co-owner David Thomson has been listed as the world’s fourth-richest sports team owner by Online Betting Guide, which used Forbes and Bloomberg billionaire rankings to compile its list. Thomson is listed as having a wealth of $52 billion.

OTTAWA SUN: Speaking of team owners, Bruce Garrioch reports the sale of the Senators is entering its fourth week since final bids were submitted on May 15. The process is believed to be bogged down by back-and-forth between the four bidders, the four-person team that is handling the sale for Galatioto Sports Partners, and the estate of the late owner Eugene Melnyk.

The groups that submitted bids are being told to remain patient because the end of the process is near. However, there’s speculation that if it isn’t settled soon the process could lose another bidder.

The Remington Group, which included actor Ryan Reynolds, dropped out last month because they weren’t given exclusive rights to negotiate an arena deal with the National Capital Commission and the city of Ottawa.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bettman recently assured the media that the selection process was making progress and he anticipated the winning bid would be announced soon.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 6, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 6, 2023

The Golden Knights take a 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final, the Canadiens sign Cole Caufield to a long-term contract, the Ducks hire a new head coach, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GOLDEN KNIGHTS TAKE 2-0 LEAD IN THE STANLEY CUP FINAL

NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights thumped the Florida Panthers 7-2 to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final. Jonathan Marchessault scored twice and added an assist, Brett Howden tallied two goals, Jack Eichel had two assists and Adin Hill made 29 saves for the win.

Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky got the hook early in the second period after giving up four goals on 13 shots as the Golden Knights jumped to a 4-0 lead. Anton Lundell and Matthew Tkachuk replied for the Panthers.

Tkachuk leveled Eichel with a hard, clean open-ice hit late in the second period. Eichel briefly left the game but returned to action in the third period. Tkachuk received a 10-minute misconduct and a two-minute roughing penalty in a scrum following the hit.

The Panthers winger would receive another misconduct late in the third period. He has a combined 36 penalty minutes in this series thus far, setting an NHL record for the most through the first two games of a Stanley Cup Final.

Panthers defenseman Radko Gudas left the game early in the first period following a hit by Golden Knights forward Ivan Barbashev. Panthers forward Eetu Luostarinen remained sidelined for the second straight game due to a lower-body injury suffered in the final game of the Eastern Conference Final.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Jonathan Marchessault (NHL Images).

The series shifts to Florida for the next two games. Game 3 will be Thursday at 8 pm ET.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights dominated Game 2 from the opening faceoff, taking advantage of Florida’s porous defense and undisciplined play. Bobrovsky had a rough outing but Panthers coach Paul Maurice believed his club should’ve played better in front of their goalie. Their sloppy performance has prompted some to suggest that their 10-day layoff between series has done them more harm than good.

Tkachuk’s thunderous bodycheck on Eichel was done in part to try to light a spark under his floundering teammates. Following the game, the Golden Knights center said it was a clean hit. “Got to be aware of it,” Eichel said. “Got to keep your head up. I’ll be fine.” He shrugged off concerns about an injury, claiming that he left the game because he’d had the wind knocked out of him. He would set up Marchessault’s second goal in the third period.

Speaking of Marchessault, he is likely moving into consideration for the Conn Smythe Trophy. After managing just two assists in Vegas’ first seven games of this postseason, he’s since tallied 12 goals and 19 points, including three goals and four points against the Panthers. The Golden Knights’ Twitter handle trolled Florida during Game 2, pointing out that they chose Marchessault when the Panthers left him unprotected in the 2017 expansion draft.

HEADLINES

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The Canadiens signed Cole Caufield to an eight-year, $62.8 million contract worth an average annual value of $7.85 million. That makes the 22-year-old winger the second-highest-paid skater on the team next season, earning just $25,000 less than linemate and team captain Nick Suzuki.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Caufield’s contract is front-loaded as he’ll earn $9.975 million in each of the first two seasons as well as a $5 million signing bonus for each of those seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Caufield emerged as a gifted young sniper since joining the Canadiens late in the 2020-21 season, helping the Habs reach the 2021 Stanley Cup Final.

The young winger struggled through the first half of 2021-22 until Martin St. Louis took over as head coach. Under St. Louis, Caufield has tallied 48 goals in 83 games, including 26 goals in 46 games before suffering a season-ending shoulder surgery in January.

Caufield has the potential to become a consistent 40-goal scorer. If he regularly reaches that plateau, his contract will be a bargain for the Canadiens over the next eight years.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks announced yesterday that they’ve hired Greg Cronin as their new head coach. Cronin spent the past five seasons coaching the AHL’s Colorado Eagles.

Being a young team, I felt we need a teacher of the finer points of the game, and someone who has worked extensively over time with talented young players, helping them develop into successful NHL players,” said Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek. “Greg has done all that and more, and we are excited to name him head coach of the Anaheim Ducks.”

NEW YORK POST: Despite rumors linking Patrick Roy to the New York Rangers, the club does not consider him a coaching candidate and will not interview him for the position. Former Nashville Predators coach John Hynes and former Washington Capitals bench boss Peter Laviolette are considered the front-runners for the job.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Roy guided his Quebec Remparts to the QMJHL championship and the Memorial Cup this season. He was also the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche from 2013-14 to 2015-16. There’s speculation one of the prospective owners of the Ottawa Senators could be interested in hiring Roy if their efforts to purchase the club are successful.

THE ATHLETIC: Chris Chelios will not have his contract as an in-studio hockey analyst with ESPN renewed at the end of this season. The move is part of a series of budget cuts by the network.

TSN: Michael Thompson, the general manager of infrastructure services for the city of Calgary, said the $1.2 billion deal to replace the aging Saddledome comes with a 35-year lease that includes a commitment from the Flames to remain in the city.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The deal is drawing increasing criticism from those concerned with the high cost of the project and how it will be funded. One critic said the agreement would ultimately generate no operating revenue for the city.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 28, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 28, 2023

The Stars beat the Golden Knights again to stay alive in the Western Conference Final plus the latest on Matthew Tkachuk, the Leafs GM search and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

NHL.COM: The Dallas Stars avoided elimination again by doubling up the Vegas Golden Knights 4-2 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final. Ty Dellandrea scored the game-winner and the insurance goal in just over a minute and a half midway through the third period while Jake Oettinger got the win with a 27-save performance.

Dallas Stars forward Ty Dellandrea (NHL Images)

The Stars had to overcome 1-0 and 2-1 deficits as the Golden Knights got goals from Ivan Barbashev and Chandler Stephenson. Vegas winger Jonathan Marchessault extended his points streak to four games with two assists in this contest.

Game 6 is Monday night in Dallas with the Golden Knights holding a 3-2 series lead.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights still hold the advantage in this series but the momentum has shifted in the Stars’ favor. Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy attempted to downplay the pressure now placed on his team after failing to eliminate the Stars in the last two games. Nevertheless, he has to ensure that doubts aren’t starting to creep in among his players after blowing two opportunities to end this series and advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

Meanwhile, the Stars’ confidence has returned. They now believe they can win, which is a much better place to be mentally and emotionally after playing desperation hockey following their disastrous Game 3 performance.

The Stars will also benefit from team captain Jamie Benn returning to the lineup for Game 6 following his two-game suspension, provided he doesn’t let his emotions get the better of him again. They still face elimination but they have to like their chances now as they return to home ice.

With the Stars forcing Game 6 on Monday, the 2023 Stanley Cup Final will officially begin on Saturday, June 3 in either Dallas or Las Vegas.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers star Matthew Tkachuk joined Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Ernie Johnson and Kenny Anderson on the NBA on TNT pregame show on Saturday night ahead of Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Final between the host Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tkachuk bantered for several minutes with the hosts over his performance in the Eastern Conference Final and the postseason thus far. He and his teammates are awaiting the winner of the Western Conference Final.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting the Toronto Maple Leafs have held preliminary discussions with Doug Wilson regarding their vacant general manager position.

Wilson was GM of the San Jose Sharks from 2003 until stepping down in 2022 for medical reasons. With his health improving, he is reportedly interested in returning to the NHL in some capacity.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wilson is just one of several former NHL general managers being interviewed by the Maple Leafs. Others reportedly include Brad Treliving, Marc Bergevin, Peter Chiarelli and Jason Botterill.

TORONTO SUN: The Leafs ongoing search for a new general manager has left their unrestricted free agents such as Luke Schenn in limbo. They’re forced to wait until the dust settles before they can find out if the Leafs intend to bring them back on new contracts.

OTTAWA SUN: The four potential buyers of the Senators met last week with Anna and Olivia Melnyk, daughters of the club’s late owner Eugene Melnyk. They’re among several groups that must sign off on the sale of the franchise. Anna and Olivia wish to maintain a 10 percent stake in the Senators.

A preferred bidder could be selected by the end of this week.

THE SCORE: Germany pulled off a major upset in the IIHF World Championship by defeating Team USA 4-3 in overtime of their semifinal game. They advance to face Canada in the gold-medal game on Sunday.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 25, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 25, 2023

The Panthers advance to the Stanley Cup Final, Stars captain Jamie Benn is suspended for two games, the finalists for general manager of the year are revealed, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers are going to the Stanley Cup Final after defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final. Matthew Tkachuk scored twice, including the winning goal with 4.3 seconds remaining in regulation. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 36 shots as the Panthers win the Prince of Wales Trophy for the first time since 1996.

Florida Panthers pose with Prince of Wales Trophy (NHL.com).

Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin left the game early in the first period with an apparent concussion after a hard hit by Panthers forward Sam Bennett behind the Hurricanes net. He was sidelined for the remainder of the game with a suspected concussion. Following the game, Slavin said the hit was clean.

Slavin’s teammate Stefan Noesen suffered an upper-body injury in the first period. He returned in the second period but was not on the bench for the third.

The Panthers await the winner of the Western Conference Final. The Vegas Golden Knights hold a 3-0 series lead over the Dallas Stars and can close out the series with a win tonight in Game 4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A well-earned win by the Panthers in both this game and in a series where each game was closely contested and decided by one goal. Bobrovsky and Tkachuk were their dominant players but this sweep of such a strong opponent was definitely a team effort. Captain Aleksander Barkov tied with Tkachuk for the club lead in points (five) in this series while forwards Anthony Duclair, Carter Verhaeghe, Sam Reinhart and Bennett each had three points.

This was the third time dating back to 2009 that the Hurricanes were swept in the Conference Final. However, this one probably hurts the most. Head coach Rod Brind’Amour believes they deserved better and he has a point. The Hurricanes controlled the play but were stymied offensively by Bobrovsky’s goaltending. Losing Slavin in Game 4 was a big blow to their blueline.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars captain Jamie Benn received a two-game suspension for cross-checking Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone in Game 3 of their Western Conference Final series.

Benn’s teammate Max Domi was fined $5,000.00 for slashing Stone in the third period of that game.

Evgeni Dadonov is doubtful for Game 4. The Stars winger suffered a lower-body injury in Game 3 and didn’t return.

SPORTSNET: Stars president and CEO Brad Alberts issued an apology to the Golden Knights after fans littered the ice with debris late in the second period of Game 3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The fallout from the Stars’ horrible performance in Game 3 will have consequences for tonight’s game against the Golden Knights. They must now try to avoid elimination without their captain, whose undisciplined antics have taken him out of this series at a crucial time when they need his leadership and experience the most.

NHL.COM: Jim Nill of the Stars, Don Sweeney of the Boston Bruins and Bill Zito of the Florida Panthers are this season’s finalists for the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This award, like all NHL individual awards except for the Conn Smythe Trophy, is based on regular-season performance. Thus, I think Sweeney will win it because of his club’s record-setting performance with 65 wins and 135 points.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres announced that Kyle Okposo has agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract. Okposo, 34, served as the Sabres captain last season. In 75 games, he had 11 goals and 27 points.

Okposo also earned the Rick Martin Memorial Award, “presented to the player who fans believe best embodies what it means to be a Sabre through on-ice excellence, resilience, and dedication to the community.”

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals defenseman Rasmus Sandin is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Playing for Sweden at the IIHF World Championship, Sandin was injured following a knee-on-knee hit by Team USA’s Michael Eyssimont, who was ejected from the game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals are probably breathing a sigh of relief that it was much worse. Sandin is expected to play a big role among their top-four defensemen next season.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 21, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 21, 2023

The Panthers down the Hurricanes in overtime for the second straight game, NHL and NHLPA to discuss the salary cap, the Penguins to seek permission to speak with Kyle Dubas, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAP

NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers took a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Final with a 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Winger Matthew Tkachuk scored in overtime for the second straight game, Aleksander Barkov scored a highlight-reel game-tying goal and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 37 shots for the win. Jalen Chatfield opened the scoring for the Hurricanes while Antti Raanta made 24 saves.

The series shifts to Florida for the next two games with Game 3 on Monday at 8 pm ET.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour decided to start Raanta to give starter Frederik Andersen some rest following Game 1. Raanta was steady in Game 2 but I expect Brind’Amour will return with Andersen for Game 3.

This game wasn’t the four overtime marathon like Game 1 but it was still an absorbing, fast-paced matchup between these two clubs. The Hurricanes could’ve just as easily won the first two games of this series if they were able to get more than one goal at even strength.

Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (NHL Images).

There can now be no doubt that Tkachuk has established his reputation as a clutch playoff performer. One pundit nicknamed him “Playoff Chucky” and he’s earned it. He has to be considered in the running for the Conn Smythe Trophy if the Panthers advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

However, my early Smythe Trophy leader is Bobrovsky. The 34-year-old goaltender had just two series victories on his resume entering the 2023 playoffs. He wasn’t even the Panthers’ starter in the first three games of their opening-round series against the heavily-favored Boston Bruins following yet another inconsistent regular season. His rock-steady performance since then has carried the Panthers to this point.

HEADLINES

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the NHL and NHL Players Association will meet this week to open discussions on several issues, including raising the salary cap for 2023-24 beyond the projected $1 million to $83.5 million.

The PA is on record as rejecting the notion of raising the escrow rate of six percent per season for the next three seasons as a trade-off for raising the cap ceiling. However, they are said to be willing to accept a shorter training-camp period to increase the regular-season schedule to 84 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks sees that as a bargaining chip if NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is willing to move off his usual “take-it-or-leave-it” stance. Those extra games would bring in additional hockey-related revenue to 2023-24.

If the PA is indeed willing to agree to expanding the schedule it could garner support from the league Board of Governors, especially with 15 clubs carrying less than $10 million in cap space for next season with another seven carrying less than $15 million.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Pittsburgh Penguins are expected to seek permission from the Toronto Maple Leafs to speak with former general manager Kyle Dubas, who was fired on Friday by Leafs president Brendan Shanahan. The Penguins are in search of a new GM after firing Ron Hextall last month.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s unknown if Dubas would be interested after stating last Monday that he’d step away from management for a while if he didn’t return with the Leafs. Nevertheless, the Penguins are conducting their due diligence by trying to contact him to find out.

DAILY FACEOFF: Speaking of former general managers, the Calgary Flames are now allowing other clubs to speak with former GM Brad Treliving after reportedly refusing to do so before his contract expires on June 30. Treliving stepped down from his job with the Flames last month.

TSN: Maple Leafs winger William Nylander has changed his mind about joining Sweden in the IIHF World Championship currently ongoing in Finland and Latvia. He was reportedly reticent about arriving late to this tournament and taking a roster spot away from someone in the current lineup, especially as it may have belonged to his brother Alex.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think that’s a classy move by Nylander. His brother and the other players have been with that team for a while now.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars defenseman Jani Hakanpaa is questionable for Game 2 of the Western Conference Final against the Vegas Golden Knights. He was medically unfit for Game 1 and was replaced by Colin Miller.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said his club’s search for a new head coach will stretch into this week. He now doesn’t expect to reach a decision on his new bench boss until after he returns on May 29 from scouting the World Championship.

OTTAWA SUN/CTV NEWS OTTAWA: Canadian Olympic great Donovan Bailey and stand-up comedian Russell Peters are the latest notables to join Los Angeles-based producer Neko Sparks’ bid to purchase the Senators. Rapper Snoop Dogg is also part of Sparks’ group.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers have parted ways with head trainer Jim Ramsay. He’d been in the role since 1994-95.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 19, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 19, 2023

The Panthers require quadruple overtime to beat the Hurricanes in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final, the latest on the Coyotes’ arena saga, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Matthew Tkachuk scored in the dying seconds of quadruple overtime as the Florida Panthers nipped the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final. Tkachuk’s goal came with 13 seconds remaining in the fourth overtime period.

Florida Panthers winger Matthew Tkachuk (NHL Images)

Aleksander Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe each had a goal and an assist while Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 63 saves for the win. Seth Jarvis had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes while teammate Frederik Andersen stopped 57 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the sixth-longest game in NHL history. The two clubs won’t have much time to recover from their Game 1 marathon. Game 2 goes Saturday in Carolina starting at 8 pm ET.

The Panthers held a 2-1 lead after two periods but the Hurricanes stormed back to tie it in the third. They dominated the period in shots on goal (14-2), shot attempts (22-5) and 14-0 in scoring chances. If not for Bobrovsky, the outcome of this game might’ve been different and wouldn’t have required overtime to settle it.

It appeared the Panthers had won this game in the first overtime on a goal by Ryan Lomberg. However, it was overturned for goaltender interference following a coach’s challenge by the Hurricanes.

The Panthers extended their road win streak to seven games stretching back to their first-round series with the Boston Bruins. Hurricanes forward Teuvo Teravainen returned to action after being sidelined by an injured hand since Game 2 of their first-round series with the New York Islanders.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Days after the Coyotes’ arena proposal by rejected by Tempe voters, the club reached out to the city of Mesa regarding the site of a former mall. As with their Tempe bid, a proposal would be subject to a public vote of approval.

AZCENTRAL.COM: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes created a stir on Twitter by suggesting Kansas City would be a good destination for the Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes and the NHL will exhaust every possible option to find a suitable location for a new arena to keep the club in Arizona. Whether they’ll be successful remains to be seen. Houston and Salt Lake City have been mentioned as viable relocation destinations if the Coyotes are forced to move.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon could offer no timetable for Robin Lehner’s return from hip surgery. The 31-year-old goaltender missed the entire season rehabbing from the surgeries. He made headlines in December when he declare bankruptcy. Lehner has two more seasons remaining on his contract.

SPORTSNET: The New York Rangers received permission from the Toronto Maple Leafs to interview assistant coach Spencer Carbery. He’s also believed to have spoken with the Anaheim Ducks and Washington Capitals.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Capitals, they’ve extended their ECHL affiliation with the South Carolina Stingrays.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Sidney Crosby recently bought lunch for a family of Penguins fans in the Bahamas. Crosby was dining with his girlfriend and another couple when the family’s 10-year-old daughter approached the Penguins captain to ask for a picture. He not only obliged but came to the family’s table and spent several minutes chatting with them. When they went to pay for their meals, they discovered that Crosby picked up the tab.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Slow news day? Sure, but it’s also a nice story worth sharing.