NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 2, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 2, 2022

Hat trick performances for the Oilers’ Evander Kane and the Sharks’ Erik Karlsson, a four-point night for the Bruins’ Hampus Lindholm, plus evaluations of the 32 franchises, the Senators seek new ownership, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers got a hat trick from Evander Kane as well as a five-point performance from Leon Draisaitl to defeat the Nashville Predators 7-4. Connor McDavid scored twice (including his league-leading 11th goal of the season) and added two assists as the Oilers improved their record to 7-3-0. Filip Forsberg had a goal and two assists as the Predators fall to 3-6-1.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Erik Karlsson’s first career NHL hat trick couldn’t prevent the San Jose Sharks from falling 6-5 in a shootout to the Anaheim Ducks. Karlsson’s third goal tied the game at 5 to force overtime and the shootout frame. Trevor Zegras and Troy Terry scored for the Ducks in the shootout as they raise their record to 3-6-1. Timo Meier also scored twice for the Sharks as they drop to 3-8-1.

An overtime goal by Hampus Lindholm capped a four-point night for the defenseman as the Boston Bruins overcame a 5-2 deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-5. With a 9-1-0 record, the league-leading Bruins are off to their best start in franchise history. The Penguins, meanwhile, are winless (0-4-1) in their last five games and fall to 4-4-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly victory for the Bruins as goaltender Jeremy Swayman left the game in the third period with a possible left-knee injury while defenseman Derek Forbort suffered an upper-body injury in the first period.

The Tampa Bay Lightning downed the Ottawa Senators 4-3 on a third-period goal by Nikita Kucherov, who finished the night with three points. Brayden Point and Mikhail Sergachev each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning (6-4-0). The Senators (4-5-0) got goals from Claude Giroux, Mathieu Joseph and Dylan Gambrell. The latter was ejected for high-sticking Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak but he’s not expected to face supplemental discipline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning played without top defenseman Victor Hedman as he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin made 19 saves to shut out the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0 on an overtime goal by Chris Kreider. Flyers netminder Carter Hart made 35 saves as the Flyers are 5-2-2 in their first nine games. The Rangers (6-3-2) played without Vitali Kravtsov as the 22-year-old winger will be sidelined for at least a week with an upper-body injury.

An overtime goal by Shea Theodore gave the Vegas Golden Knights a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals. Alex Pietrangelo had three assists while Jack Eichel had a goal and an assist for the Golden Knights as they sit on top of the Western Conference with a 9-2-0 record. Dylan Strome had two assists for the 5-4-2 Capitals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Capitals announced winger Connor Brown underwent successful surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee. He’s expected to be out for six-to-eight months.

Minnesota Wild winger scored twice and Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 34 shots in a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Nick Suzuki scored for the Canadiens (5-5-0) while the Wild’s record improves to 5-4-1.

The New York Islanders boosted their record to 6-4-0 by defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1. Brock Nelson had a goal and an assist while Ilya Sorokin made 21 saves for the win. Blackhawks goalie Alex Stalock left the game in the first period following a collision with Isles winger Casey Cizikas. The Hawks record sits at 4-4-2.

Dallas Stars center Roope Hintz scored twice and collected an assist in a 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Defenseman Miro Heiskanen got two assists for the Stars (6-3-1) as he returned to the lineup after being sidelined for three games with an upper-body injury. Kevin Fiala and Arthur Kaliyev replied for the Kings, who fell to 6-6-0.

Three unanswered third-period goals by Daniel Sprong, Yanni Gourde and Matty Beniers lifted the Seattle Kraken (5-4-2) to a 5-4 upset of the Calgary Flames. Joey Daccord stopped 36 shots for the win. Tyler Toffoli and Elias Lindholm each had two points for the 5-3-0 Flames.

The New Jersey Devils got two-point performances from Nico Hischier, Jack Hughes and Yegor Sharangobvich to drop the Vancouver Canucks 5-2. Jesper Bratt picked up an assist to extend his points streak to 10 games. The Canucks got two goals from Bo Horvat as they fall to 2-6-2 while the Devils are 7-3-0. Canucks defensemen Quinn Hughes and Riley Stillman were activated off injured reserve for this game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Devils announced winger Ondrej Palat would be sidelined indefinitely after undergoing groin surgery on Tuesday.

Arizona Coyotes goalie Karel Vejmelka stopped 41 shots to backstop his club over the Florida Panthers 3-1. Clayton Keller had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes (3-5-1) as they picked up their first win at Mullett Arena. Colin White replied for the Panthers, who fell to 5-4-1.

HEADLINES

SPORTICO: The average NHL franchise is valued at $1.01 billion USD.

The Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers are the NHL’s top-two clubs in franchise valuations entering 2022-23. The Leafs are valued at $2.12 billion while the Rangers come in at $2.01 billion. The Montreal Canadiens ($1.7 billion), Chicago Blackhawks ($1.44 billion) and Boston Bruins ($1.41 billion) round out the top five.

The Arizona Coyotes are the lowest-valued franchise at $465 million with the Florida Panthers the second-lowest at $595 million. The Columbus Blue Jackets ($600 million), Carolina Hurricanes ($615 million) and Buffalo Sabres ($636 million) complete the remaining bottom five clubs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise that five Original Six franchises dominate the franchise valuations given their respective markets and long histories in the league. I’m a bit surprised that the Hurricanes are among the bottom feeders given their improvement in recent years, sitting 13th overall in attendance last season. That’s likely due to their fan cost index being among the lowest in the league.

OTTAWA SUN: The Sportico report also indicated the Senators are going up for sale months after former owner Eugene Melnyk passed away. The current ownership has retained the services of a New York-based investment bank to facilitate the sale. League sources indicate the expectation is the franchise will remain in Ottawa.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The current Senators ownership has a memorandum of understanding with the city of Ottawa to build a new arena at LeBreton Flats near downtown. The Sun reports they have until next September to get a lease in place for the land. A new ownership group should help to ensure the project goes forward.

Some skeptics will suggest new ownership could still move the Senators. That’s unlikely to happen because such a move must have NHL approval. Contrary to popular belief, league commissioner Gary Bettman prefers to keep franchises in their current locations. It was his efforts that led to Melnyk buying the team nearly 20 years ago, ensuring they would remain in Ottawa.

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak and New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin are the NHL’s three stars for October 2022. Ottawa Senators center Shane Pinto was named the month’s top rookie.

TSN: John Lu reports Winnipeg Jets defenseman Logan Stanley will be sidelined for a couple of weeks with a slight fracture in his foot.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 1, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 1, 2022

The Sabres’ Tage Thompson has a six-point night, the Ducks’ Jamie Drysdale could be sidelined for the season, plus updates on Charlie McAvoy, T.J. Oshie, Jake Oettinger and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson tallied a hat trick and collected three assists to lead his club to an 8-3 drubbing of the Detroit Red Wings. Jeff Skinner collected three points, including his 300th career NHL goal, as the Sabres improved their record to 6-3-0. Dylan Larkin, David Perron and Olli Maatta replied for the Wings, whose record drops to 4-3-2.

Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE After tallying just three points in his first seven games of the season, Thompson now has nine points in his last two contests.

Shootout goals by Brent Burns and Andrei Svechnikov lifted the Carolina Hurricanes over the Washington Capitals 3-2. Svechnikov also scored the tying goal that sent the game into overtime and the shootout frame as the Hurricanes move to a 6-2-1 record while the Capitals drop to 5-4-1. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 785th career NHL goal.

The Los Angeles Kings improved to 6-5-0 by dropping the St. Louis Blues 5-1. Carl Grundstrom scored twice, Kevin Fiala had three assists and Jonathan Quick made 27 saves for the win. The Blues have lost five straight and fall to 3-5-0.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, New Jersey Devils winger Jesper Bratt and Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury are the league’s three stars for the week ending Oct. 30, 2022.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Bad news for the Anaheim Ducks as they announced Jamie Drysdale will require surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. The 20-year-old defenseman could miss the remainder of the season as his recovery period is four-to-six months.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A tough break for Drysdale as he was hoping to build upon his 32-point rookie performance last season. It’s also a big loss to the blueline of the rebuilding Ducks, who’ve stumbled from the gate this season with a 2-6-1 record.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Some good news for Charlie McAvoy as he’s resumed practice with his Bruins teammates. The 24-year-old defenseman is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and wasn’t expected to return to action until December 1. He’s ahead of schedule but isn’t going to play during their upcoming three-game road trip.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McAvoy could return by mid-November at the latest if he performs well in practice over the next week or two. He will provide a significant boost to their blueline, which has performed well in his absence. It will also force management to find a way to shed salary to make room within their salary cap payroll for his arrival.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals winger T.J. Oshie is out indefinitely while defenseman John Carlson is day-to-day as both players are sidelined by lower-body injuries.

SPORTSNET: Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger will have his lower-body injury re-evaluated in a week’s time. The club cannot recall Anton Khudobin due to salary-cap issues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars addressed this by signing Matt Murray to a one-year entry-level contract. Murray, 24, played 11 games with their AHL affiliate, five of those this season. He is not to be confused with sidelined Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Matt Murray.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars rookie center Wyatt Johnston will be staying with the club for the season. The 19-year-old played his ninth game of the season on Saturday, raising questions as to whether the Stars would return him to his junior club before his 10th game for contract reasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the first season of Johnston’s entry-level contract goes into effect when he plays his 10th game. Had the Stars returned him to the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires, his ELC would’ve slid to next season.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins center Jeff Carter has been sidelined by a lower-body injury.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild forwards Marcus Foligno and Ryan Hartman suffered upper-body injuries during Sunday’s win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Golden Knights netminder Laurent Brossoit has been sent to their AHL affiliate for a conditioning stint. This is the next step in his return to the Golden Knights lineup as he recovers from offseason hip surgery.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 7, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 7, 2022

The favorites to win the Hart Trophy for 2022-23, the league revamps a rule to permit disallowed penalties, and the Senators are enjoying a surge in season-ticket sales. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

DAILY FACEOFF: Matt Larkin has the PointsBet odds for the top favorites and sleeper candidates for the 2022-23 Hart Memorial Trophy.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

Edmonton Oilers forwards Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl and Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews sit atop the 10 favorites for the Hart. Columbus Blue Jackets winger Johnny Gaudreau leads the sleeper candidates.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Follow the link provided above for Larkin’s full list. Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar could challenge McDavid, Draisaitl and Matthews if he builds upon last season’s stellar performance.

SCOUTING THE REFS: The NHL has revamped its review rule to permit disallowed penalties. Referees will now be able to nullify a major penalty after video review or downgrade it to a minor infraction. The change doesn’t apply to match penalty reviews.

SPORTSNET: The Ottawa Senators are seeing a significant surge in season-ticket sales following a busy offseason that saw them add Claude Giroux, Alex DeBrincat and Cam Talbot to their roster. It’s also fueled by growing excitement over the development of their young core led by Brady Tkachuk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators could also see improvement at the gate throughout the coming season if the club becomes a playoff contender.

Speaking of the Senators, The Associated Press’ Stephen Whyno reports rookie defenseman Jake Sanderson has fully recovered from a lingering hand injury. He expects to be 100 percent when training camp opens later this month.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The fifth-overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, Sanderson is expected to become a blueline regular this season for the Senators.

TSN: Former NHL forward Brett Connolly signed a one-year contract with Lugano HC of Switzerland’s National League on Monday. The 30-year-old winger played in just nine games last season with the Chicago Blackhawks, who bought out the final season of his contract earlier this summer.

Connolly played 11 seasons in the NHL with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals, Florida Panthers and the Blackhawks from 2011-12 to 2021-22. He won a Stanley Cup with the Capitals in 2018 and tallied a career-best 22-goal, 46-point performance in 2018-19.

SIN BIN VEGAS: Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy recently provided an update on Laurent Brossoit. He said the 29-year-old goaltender is healing well from his (hip) surgery and is motivated to play this season.

However, Cassidy was vague over when Brossoit will return to the lineup. “Whether he joins us at the end of the year or two or three weeks in, we’ll see him.”

WINNIPEG SUN: Former Jets defenseman and captain Scott Campbell, 65, passed away on Saturday following a battle with cancer. Drafted first overall in the 1977 WHA draft by the Houston Aeros and ninth overall by the St. Louis Blues in the NHL Draft, Campbell opted for the WHA. His contract was purchased by the Jets after the Aeros folded and he won the Avco Cup with the Jets in 1978-79.

Campbell was part of the Jets after their move to the NHL in 1979. He was named team captain in the 1980-81 season and was traded to the Blues in 1981. His career was ended prematurely the following year by chronic asthma. He had 55 points in 149 WHA games and 25 points in 80 NHL contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Campbell’s family, friends and former teammates.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 4, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 4, 2022

The Rangers go up 2-0 over the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals, Carey Price wins the Masterton Trophy, Charlie McAvoy is among three Bruins defensemen to undergo surgery, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Igor Shesterkin made 29 saves as his New York Rangers held off the Tampa Bay Lightning for a 3-2 victory in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Mika Zibanejad’s goal early in the third period proved to be the game winner though the Lightning cut the lead to 3-2 late in the period on a goal by Nicholas Paul. Adam Fox and Chris Kreider each had two assists for the Blueshirts while Nikita Kucherov had a goal and an assist for the Lightning.

With the win, the Rangers take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, which moves to Tampa Bay for the next two games. Game 3 goes Sunday afternoon at 3 pm ET.

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game was closer than Game 1’s 6-2 blowout. Nevertheless, the Rangers still controlled the play for most of this game, out-hustling and out-chancing the Lightning while thwarting the latter’s scoring opportunities.

Shesterkin is winning the goaltending duel with the Bolts’ Andrei Vasilevskiy, who looks vulnerable high to the blocker side and is having difficulty at times controlling the puck. Shesterkin also acts as a third defenseman with his skillful stickhandling and accurate outlet passes to his teammates.

This is the first time since 2019 that the Lightning has lost consecutive postseason games. They face a big challenge bouncing back on home ice against the hungry Rangers. The ongoing absence of sidelined center Brayden Point is also becoming a factor in this series. The Bolts are missing his clutch scoring and reliable two-way presence.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is the 2022 winner of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. He underwent knee surgery last summer and voluntarily entered the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program in October to deal with substance-abuse issues. Price missed most of this season recovering from his knee surgery before returning for five games late in the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price worked hard to recover from complications arising from his surgery while also seeking treatment for substance abuse. His future as an NHL player remains uncertain as he continues to encounter post-game swelling in his knee. Nevertheless, there’s no question he’s show perseverance in attempting to overcome the obstacles he’s faced this season.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins announced top defenseman Charlie McAvoy underwent surgery on his left shoulder with a recovery time of six months. Blueliner Matt Grzelcyk had a procedure on his right shoulder and is expected to require five months to recover. Rearguard Mike Reilly underwent right ankle tendon repair and removal of bone fragments and will require three months to recover.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins will have a depleted roster to start next season. Reilly could be back in the Bruins’ lineup in October. McAvoy, however, won’t be back until January given his recovery timeline while Grzelcyk could be out until December, which is also when winger Brad Marchand is expected back from his recent hip surgeries. Factor in the possible retirement of captain Patrice Bergeron, and 2022-23 could be a grim season for the Bruins.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers captain Connor McDavid must find a way to break through against the Colorado Avalanche’s defense with his club down 2-0 in the Western Conference Finals. Game 3 is tonight in Edmonton.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid had three points in Edmonton’s 8-6 loss in Game 1 but was shut down by the Avs in Game 2. The Oilers need more from all their scorers but McDavid remains their offensive linchpin. They’ll need him to find a way to break through if they’re to have a chance to come back in this series.

TSN: Speaking of the Oilers, winger Zack Kassian was fined $2,500.00 for unsportsmanlike conduct in Game 2 for ripping Bowen Byram’s helmet off his head after the Avalanche defenseman was checked over the boards.

THE DENVER POST: The Avalanche hope to extend their perfect road record in this postseason. They are 5-0 heading into Game 3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avs have given the Oilers fits with their speed, depth and puck possession. Should that trend continue, their road record could reach 7-0 and they’ll be heading to the Stanley Cup Final.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 29, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 29, 2022

The Rangers defeated the Hurricanes to force Game 7 of their second-round series, plus the latest on the Oilers, Avalanche, Lightning and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

NHL.COM: There will be a seventh and deciding game between the Carolina Hurricane and New York Rangers.

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (NHL Images).

Igor Shesterkin made 37 saves and collected two assists to backstop New York to a 5-2 victory over Carolina in Game 6 on Saturday night. Filip Chytil tallied twice and Adam Fox picked up two assists for the Rangers. Hurricanes goaltender Antti Raanta got the hook after giving up three goals on 13 shots. With the series tied at three games apiece, Game 7 goes Monday, May 30 at 8 pm ET.

The Rangers also got an unexpected boost as versatile checking-line forward Barclay Goodrow returned to the lineup. He’s missed the last 11 games with a suspected ankle fracture.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shesterkin also received a minor penalty for interference. With the win and the assists, he had what one pundit called a “Tom Barrasso hat trick.” He’s been outstanding for the Rangers in this series, frustrating the Hurricanes’ leading scorers.

The Hurricanes’ road woes in this postseason continued in Game 6. While they’ve been unbeaten on home ice in these playoffs, there’s a good chance that streak could end on Monday if Raanta has another shaky performance and Shesterkin remains on top of his game.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: As Connor McDavid prepares for his first-ever Conference Finals, the Oilers’ captain acknowledged the need for everyone on his club to step up. “It takes everybody. Everybody up and down the lineup and all the people behind the scenes. The staff and everybody. It takes an absolute army. That’s the mentality we have,” said McDavid.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche’s roster depth was crucial to the club’s second-round victory over the St. Louis Blues. It could take a bigger role as they face off against the Oilers in the Western Conference Finals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This series is being hyped as a showdown between McDavid and Avalanche superstar Nathan MacKinnon. Roster depth, however, will make the difference here. The Avs certainly made the most of theirs to overcome the Blues. The Oilers also got contributions throughout their lineup thus far though they were overshadowed by the offensive exploits of McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Evander Kane.

Goaltending could determine the outcome of this series. The Oilers’ Mike Smith and the Avs’ Darcy Kuemper have given up questionable goals but also rose to the occasion with crucial saves. It’ll be interesting to see whether that trend carries over in this upcoming series.

NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point is said to be progressing in his recovery from a leg injury suffered in the opening round that sidelined him for the entire second-round series with the Florida Panthers. Head coach Jon Cooper believes Point is closer to playing in round three than he was in the previous round. However, Cooper could offer no timetable for his return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Point’s absence didn’t adversely affect the Lightning in their second-round sweep of the Panthers. However, they could use the proven postseason performer as they face what could be tougher competition in the Hurricanes or Rangers in the next round.

THE SCORE: Calgary Flames defenseman Chris Tanev said he played Games 5 and 6 against the Oilers with a dislocated shoulder. He suffered the injury in Game 6 of their first-round series with the Dallas Stars. Tanev will undergo surgery this week and will require four-to-six months of recovery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, what NHL players are prepared to physically endure to skate in the Stanley Cup playoffs boggles the mind.

SPORTSNET’s Eric Francis reported Flames winger Milan Lucic played with a sprained ACL. Nikita Zadorov had two broken ribs, Andrew Mangiapane had a bad wrist and Matthew Tkachuk had an injured hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Another reminder that if an NHL player seems to be “underperforming”, it’s sometimes because they’re trying to play through a serious injury that’s hampering their efforts.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson suffered a fractured foot playing for Sweden on May 15 at the IIHF World Championships in Finland. He will require four-to-six weeks of recovery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ekman-Larsson missed two games but returned to play against Canada in the quarterfinals. The Canadians eliminated the Swedes in that game.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 27, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 27, 2022

The Oilers eliminate the Flames, the Hurricanes push the Rangers to the brink of elimination, updates on the Avalanche and Blues and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers are heading to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 16 years. Connor McDavid’s overtime goal gave the Oilers a 5-4 victory over the Calgary Flames in Game 5 to take their best-of-seven second-round series four games to one.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

Edmonton overcame a 2-0 deficit and held a 3-2 lead before Calgary battled back to regain the lead 4-3. Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard tied the game 4-4 late in the second period. Flames forward Blake Coleman appeared to score the go-ahead goal late in the third but it was overruled on a controversial video review claiming he kicked the puck into the net.

Leon Drasaitl collected four assists while Zach Hyman had a goal and two assists for the Oilers. Coleman had two assists, Mikael Backlund had a goal and an assist and Johnny Gaudreau scored for the Flames.

The Oilers await the winner of the Colorado Avalanche-St. Louis Blues series. Game 6 of that series is tonight with the Avalanche up three games to two.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t have a dog in this fight but that didn’t look like a kicking motion on Coleman’s part. His skate made contact with the pick but there was incidental contact by an Oilers defenseman as Coleman was heading toward the net. Just my two cents. The league’s video review folks believed differently.

While that disallowed goal cost the Flames this game, their sloppy defensive play and uncharacteristic shaky goaltending from Jacob Markstrom throughout this series led to their postseason demise. They struggled to contain Edmonton’s offense, especially McDavid and Draisaitl. Had they won this game, I doubt they would’ve gone on to take the series.

The Carolina Hurricanes have the New York Rangers on the brink of elimination following a 3-1 victory in Game 5 of their second-round series. Teuvo Teravainen snapped a 1-1 tie in the second period while Andrei Svechnikov’s third-period goal put the game out of reach. The Hurricanes can advance to the Eastern Conference Finals with a win in Game 6 on Saturday in New York.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes have yet to win a road game in this postseason but they’ve been dominating on home ice. They outshot the Rangers 34-17, controlled this game at even strength, scored on the power play and shorthanded, and apart from Mika Zibanejad’s goal overwhelmed the Rangers’ top line. If they can carry over that effort into Game 6, they’ll have a date with the Tampa Bay Lightning starting next week.

HEADLINE

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche hope to avoid a Game 7 when they face off against the St. Louis Blues in Game 6 of their second-round series tonight. Head coach Jared Bednar believes his club will put their blown lead in Game 5 behind them and play with confidence in tonight’s contest.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche dominated the first 40 minutes of Game 5 but took their foot off the gas and tried to protect their lead in the third period. That enabled the Blues to rally back twice, setting the stage for their dramatic overtime victory.

TSN: Don’t expect St. Louis Blues defenseman Torey Krug to return to action in tonight’s game. He’s been sidelined by a lower-body injury since Game 3 of their first-round series with the Minnesota Wild. Blues coach Craig Berube indicated Krug would also be out for Game 7 if this series goes that far.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin has changed agents, hiring Pat Brisson to negotiate his next contract. Larkin is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in 2023. The Wings can sign him to a contract extension on July 13.

SPORTSNET: Los Angeles Kings defenseman Sean Durzi underwent successful shoulder surgery. He’s expected to be ready for the start of the 2022-23 season.

The Geneve-Servette Hockey Club signed former NHL defenseman Sami Vatanen to a two-year contract and former NHL forward Valtteri Filppula to a one-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, don’t expect either guy to be signing with NHL teams this summer as free agents.