NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 23, 2023
The Devils, Golden Knights and Leafs garner tough overtime victories, the Avalanche hold off the pesky Kraken, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights needed overtime for a 5-4 victory in Game 3 over the Winnipeg Jets after the latter overcame a 4-1 deficit in the third period. Michael Amadio tallied the winning goal while Jack Eichel scored twice and collected an assist for Vegas. Nino Niederreiter, Mark Scheifele and Adam Lowry scored in the third to rally the Jets while Neal Pionk collected three assists. The Golden Knights lead the best-of-seven first-round series 2-1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets also lost puck-moving defenseman Josh Morrissey for the remainder of the series after he suffered a lower-body injury in the first period. That’s a major setback to their hopes of winning this series.
An overtime goal by Morgan Rielly lifted the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 4-3 to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round series. Ryan O’Reilly had a three-point performance, scoring the tying goal late in the third period to force the extra period. Brandon Hagel had a goal and an assist for the Lightning.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game could be a preview of what the remainder of this series will look like. After each club traded lopsided wins in the first two games, Game 3 was a more closely-contested and physical match. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos goaded Auston Matthews into a fight in the third period while Nikita Kucherov jumped Rielly after he crunched Lighting forward Brayden Point into the end boards.
Leafs fans have to be feeling better about the goaltending of Ilya Samsonov. He bounced back from a brutal 7-3 loss in Game 1 with two solid victories in the next two games, including a 36-save effort in Game 3.
The New Jersey Devils defeated the New York Rangers 2-1 on an overtime goal by Dougie Hamilton. Rookie goalie Akira Schmid stopped 35 shots to win his first NHL playoff game while Jack Hughes scored the tying goal for the Devils. Chris Kreider netted his playoff-leading fifth goal for the Rangers, who still hold a 2-1 lead in this first-round series.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a big win for the Devils. Had they lost Game 3 they would’ve faced the almost impossible task of overcoming an 0-3 deficit to win the series.
Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen each scored twice as the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Seattle Kraken 6-4 to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round series. Jaden Schwartz tallied two goals while Matty Beniers scored his first NHL playoff goal for the Kraken.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken opened the scoring, fell behind 3-1 and rallied back to tie the game before MacKinnon and Rantanen put this one out of reach. MacKinnon praised the Kraken as “a really great team,” calling this series the hardest first round he’s been in thus far.
The Avalanche got the win without winger Valeri Nichushkin as he’s out for what head coach Jared Bednar called “personal reasons.” Kraken forward Morgan Geekie missed this one with an undisclosed injury.
TSN: Carolina Hurricanes winger Teuvo Teravainen underwent successful hand surgery and is sidelined indefinitely. He suffered the injury during Game 2 of the Hurricanes’ win over the New York Islanders.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery said center David Krejci is 50-50 to play in Game 4 today against the Florida Panthers. Krejci missed Game 3 with an upper-body injury.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: It’s uncertain if Minnesota Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek will be in the lineup for Game 4 today against the Dallas Stars. He’d missed the final two weeks of the regular season and the first two games of this series with a lower-body injury. He played just one shift in Game 3.
NHL.COM: Speaking of the Wild, they’ve shaken up the coaching staff of their AHL affiliate. General manager Bill Guerin yesterday announced the Wild won’t renew the contracts of Iowa Wild head coach Tim Army and assistant coaches Nate DiCasmirro and Nolan Yonkman.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: There’s concern among Edmonton followers that the Oilers could lose their first-round series against the Los Angeles Kings. The Oilers are down in the series 2-1 as they’ve struggled to hold leads and have been undisciplined at times against the Kings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings are an improved team over the one that pushed Edmonton to seven games in last year’s opening-round series. If the Oilers lose today they’ll be down 3-1 in the series and face elimination on home ice in Game 5.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers recalled defenseman Lucas Carlsson as Aaron Ekblad and Josh Mahura will be game-day decisions for today’s matchup with the Bruins.
OTTAWA SUN: The deadline for final bids for aspiring owners of the Senators is expected to be May 15.