NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 30, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 30, 2022

The regular season ends for all but two teams, the opening-round playoff matchups are set, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Carey Price made 37 saves for his first win of the season as his Montreal Canadiens thumped the Florida Panthers 10-2. Montreal rookie Cole Caufield scored his first career NHL hat trick. The Canadiens finish last in the overall standings and have the best odds heading into the 2022 NHL Draft Lottery in May. The Panthers clinched the Presidents’ Trophy with the best overall record and rested several of their best players from this contest.

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

Speaking of hat tricks, Steven Stamkos picked up the 10th of his career to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning over the New York Islanders 6-4. The Lightning finished the season with 110 points and third place in the Atlantic Division. Zdeno Chara scored for the Islanders in what could be his final NHL game.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander tallied two goals in a 5-2 victory over the Boston Bruins. The Leafs have secured second place in the Atlantic Division with 115 points. Craig Smith had two assists for the Bruins (107 points) as they finish with the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3. Marcus Pettersson had a three-point game while Evgeni Malkin and Brian Boyle each had a goal and an assist. The Penguins finish the season in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 103 points.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov scored his 47th goal of the season in a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Jordan Greenway tallied twice for the Wild, who finished second in the Central Division with 113 points and hold home-ice advantage in their upcoming first-round series with the St. Louis Blues. The Avalanche, meanwhile, finish atop the Western Conference with 119 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wild head coach Dean Evason was unhappy with Avalanche defenseman Kurtis MacDermid for a knee-on-knee hit that knocked Wild winger Marcus Foligno from the game. He also chided Avs forward Logan O’Connor for cross-checking Wild defenseman Dmitry Kulikov into the boards. MacDermid received a game misconduct.

The Blues, meanwhile, dropped a 7-4 decision to the Vegas Golden Knights. Jack Eichel scored twice for the Golden Knights, who were eliminated from playoff contention earlier in the week. Ryan O’Reilly scored two goals and added an assist as the Blues finish third in the Central Division with 109 points.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves to backstop his club over the Calgary Flames 3-1. Matthew Tkachuk scored his 41st goal of the season as the Flames finished in first place in the Pacific Division with 111 points.

The New York Rangers beat the Washington Capitals 3-2 on Dryden Hunt’s game-winning goal in the third period. Kaapo Kakko and Braden Schneider each had two assists for the Rangers, who finished in second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals lost their final four games of the regular season but hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 100 points.

A shootout goal by Devin Shore gave the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. The Oilers finished in second place in the Pacific Division with 104 points and rested superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl from this contest. Conor Garland had a goal and an assist for the Canucks while teammate J.T. Miller scored to finish the season with a team-leading 99 points.

Dallas Stars sophomore winger Jason Robertson scored his 41st goal of the season as his club clinched the first Western Conference wild-card spot with 98 points in a 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks pressed emergency backup Thomas Hodges into action when goalies John Gibson and Anthony Stolarz both went down with injuries. Hodges, a 28-year-old insurance salesman by day, stopped two of the three shots he faced in the third period and received praises from his teammates and the Stars following the game.

The Nashville Predators finished the season in the final Western Conference wild-card spot with 97 points after blowing a 4-0 lead to fall 5-4 to the Arizona Coyotes. Shayne Gostisbehere scored twice and Harri Sateri got the win in relief of Coyotes starter Karel Vejmelka by stopping all 27 shots he faced in the game.

Buffalo Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt’s overtime goal lifted his club to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Following the game, the Sabres and their fans honored long-time play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret as he signed off for the final time as he retires after 51 seasons with the club.

Seattle Kraken goaltender Chris Driedger finished the season with a 24-save shutout to blank the San Jose Sharks 3-0. Yanni Gourde, Adam Larsson and Victor Rask were the goal scorers.

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Magnus Hellberg made 20 saves to win his first NHL game in five years by downing the New Jersey Devils 5-3. Michael Rasmussen had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings.

Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk scored his 30th goal of the season as his club doubled up the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2. Tkachuk’s teammate Josh Norris netted his 35th.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NHL.COM: The opening-round series of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs are now set and will begin on Monday, May 2.

In the Eastern Conference, the Florida Panthers will face off against the Washington Capitals, the Toronto Maple Leafs will meet the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Carolina Hurricanes tangle with the Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers square off against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Western Conference sees the Colorado Avalanche face the Nashville Predators, the Minnesota Wild take on the St. Louis Blues, the Calgary Flames going up against the Dallas Stars and the Edmonton Oilers battling the Los Angeles Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Follow the link above for the dates, timings and broadcast networks for each series.

NHLPA: The NHL Players’ Association executive board has voted in favor of forming a search committee to lead the search for a new executive director to eventually replace Donald Fehr. The committee will provide a progress report to the executive board during its summer meeting in Toronto in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This comes in the wake of an independent investigation that cleared Fehr and his staff of fault over their handling of Kyle Beach’s allegations that he was sexually assaulted by the former video coach of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010.

It’s uncertain at this point if those findings – and the questions and criticism that were subsequently raised – played a role in this decision by the board. There had been previous reports raising concerns over the 73-year-old Fehr’s succession plan before the next round of collective bargaining in 2026. The results of the Beach investigation may have hastened things.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 28, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 28, 2022

The Stars clinch the final Western Conference playoff berth while the Golden Knights are eliminated, results of the latest NHLPA player poll are released, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Dallas Stars clinched a Western Conference playoff berth despite a 4-3 overtime loss to the Arizona Coyotes. The Stars held a 3-0 lead heading into the third period but the Coyotes tallied four unanswered goals for the win with Travis Boyd netting the game-winner. Barrett Hayton had a goal and two assists for the Coyotes while Tyler Seguin scored and picked up an assist for the Stars. With 96 points, the Stars move one point ahead of the Nashville Predators into the first wild-card spot in the West.

Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin (NHL Images).

A 4-3 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks ensures the Vegas Golden Knights will miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in franchise history. Tyler Johnson scored the only goal in the shootout round, Taylor Raddysh scored two goals and Kevin Lankinen got the win by stopping 37 shots in regulation and overtime. Chandler Stephenson collected assists on all three Golden Knights goals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators hold two games in hand over the Golden Knights, who only have one game left. Their failure to qualify despite their star-studded roster will raise questions about their offseason plans. I’ll have more later today in the Rumors section.

The Los Angeles Kings picked up their fifth straight victory by downing the Seattle Kraken 5-3. Jonathan Quick kicked out 37 shots while Gabriel Vilardi had a goal and two assists. Jordan Eberle had a goal and an assist for the Kraken. Los Angeles will face the Edmonton Oilers in the opening round of the playoffs starting next week. The Kings also activated defenseman Mikey Anderson off injured reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Only two first-round series (Oilers vs Kings, Wild vs Blues) have been determined. The remainder will be decided by the end of Friday night’s schedule.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry scored twice, including the game-winner, as his club upset the New York Rangers 4-3. The Canadiens snapped a nine-game losing skid and are assured of finishing last in the overall standings. Rangers winger Kaapo Kakko returned to action after being sidelined by an injury since April 16.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The playoff-bound Rangers rested stars such as Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Adam Fox, Chris Kreider, Igor Shesterkin and Jacob Trouba from this contest. That last-place finish also gives the Canadiens the best odds of winning next month’s NHL Draft lottery.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Eric Comrie stopped 35 shots to shut out the Philadelphia Flyers 4-0. Jets winger Kyle Connor tallied his 46th goal of the season.

HEADLINES

NHLPA.COM: The results of the NHLPA’s annual player poll were released yesterday. Among the notable results was Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid was named the one skater the players would want on their team in a must-win game while the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy was named the one goalie they’d want in a must-win contest.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane was named the best stick-handler, Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisailt the best passer, and Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby the most complete player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can see the full results of all categories by following the link above.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals coach Peter Laviolette is hoping captain Alex Ovechkin will be ready to play Game 1 of their opening-round series next week. The 36-year-old winger is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

THE TENNESSEAN: A lower-body injury will sideline Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros for at least the club’s final two regular-season games.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic, Chicago Blackhawks defensemen Seth and Caleb Jones and Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski have accepted invitations from Team USA to compete in next month’s World Championships. Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider will play for Germany and Wings forward Lucas Raymond will compete for Sweden.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We should learn more in the coming days about which NHL players from non-playoff clubs will be participating in the Worlds in Finland next month.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Speaking of the World Championships, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) officially stripped Russia of its hosting duties for the 2023 tournament. The Russian Hockey Federation is already in the midst of an indefinite ban from international play following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: David Morehouse resigned yesterday as CEO of the Pittsburgh Penguins after 16 years. President of hockey operations Brian Burke and COO Kevin Acklin will run the day-to-day operations. The club didn’t announce if the vacant CEO position will be filled.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 18, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 18, 2022

The Wild and Capitals clinch playoff berths, the Leafs and Blues set franchise records, the Panthers remain red hot and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Minnesota Wild clinched a playoff berth with a 5-4 overtime victory over the San Jose Sharks. Jared Spurgeon scored twice, including the game-winner, Kevin Fiala had a goal and three assists and Frederick Gaudreau collected three assists for the Wild, who sit in third place in the Central Division with 101 points. The Sharks have lost 10 straight games.

Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala (NHL Images).

William Nylander scored the game-winning goal as the Toronto Maple Leafs doubled up the New York Islanders 4-2. The Leafs set single-season franchise records with 50 wins and 106 points as they sit in second place in the Atlantic Division. They also officially eliminated the Islanders from playoff contention, meaning the Washington Capitals have secured a postseason berth with 94 points as they sit in the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs sat out Auston Matthews from this game as he’s nursing a minor injury. He’s listed as day-to-day but head coach Sheldon Keefe wasn’t concerned his condition might worsen.

The eight Eastern Conference playoff clubs have now been determined. What follows over the remaining games of the regular season will be jockeying for position to determine home-ice advantage in the opening round of the 2022 postseason.

The St. Louis Blues erupted for seven second-period goals to set a club record for most goals in a single period as they crushed the Nashville Predators 8-3. Brayden Schenn, Jordan Kyrou and Calle Rosen each scored twice while Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and two assists for the Blues, who sit one point ahead of the Wild in second place in the Central Division. It was also the most goals the Predators have ever given up in a single period as they drop behind the Dallas Stars into the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators (91 points) are tied with the Stars but the latter holds a game in hand. Earlier in the day, the Predators announced defenseman Jeremy Lauzon would not play as he’s week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

Blues coach Craig Berube provided an update on Nick Leddy’s condition after he had been cut under one eye during Saturday’s win over the Wild. He said the defenseman was feeling better and doesn’t think he’ll be sidelined for very long.

Florida Panthers rookie Anton Lundell scored twice and goaltender Spencer Knight made 33 saves in a 6-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Florida winger Jonathan Huberdeau’s point streak ended at 13 games. The Panthers have won 10 straight games and sit atop the Eastern Conference with 114 points, two behind the first overall Colorado Avalanche.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fun fact: the Panthers have lost only once in the 13 games they’ve played since acquiring Claude Giroux from the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Anaheim Ducks snapped a 13-game winless skid by downing the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-4. John Gibson made 31 saves for his first victory since March 1 while Troy Terry scored twice and collected an assist. Jackets winger Patrik Laine missed the game with an upper-body injury and Zach Werenski left the game early in the first period with a facial injury.

Buffalo Sabres forwards Victor Olofsson and Tage Thompson each scored twice in a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Kevin Hayes and Noah Cates each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers.

HEADLINES

TSN: Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen will undergo an MRI for a lower-body injury suffered during Saturday’s loss to the Colorado Avalanche.

CBS SPORTS: Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews is dealing with “some nagging things” and could sit for Monday’s game against the Capitals.

TSN: Montreal Canadiens forward Michael Pezzetta will have a hearing with the NHL’s department of player safety regarding an illegal check to the head of Capitals winger T.J. Oshie on Saturday.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Canadiens, they’ve set an NHL record for the most man-games lost to injury with 700.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports Donald Fehr’s tenure as executive director of the NHL Players Association could come to an end before next season.

A report released Friday by the law firm Cozen O’Connor cleared Fehr and the PA of any individual or systemic wrongdoing over their handling of the Kyle Beach investigation. That report, however, has come under criticism, raising speculation about concerns among the PA membership.

LeBrun reports Fehr, 74, was facing pressure to come up with a succession plan prior to the report’s release. That process could be accelerated, especially with another round of collective bargaining with the NHL coming in five years’ time.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 16, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 16, 2022

Remembering the late Mike Bossy, Carey Price returns to action with the Canadiens, an independent report clears NHLPA of wrongdoing in Kyle Beach investigation, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL COMMUNITY HONORS MIKE BOSSY

NHL.com: Hall-of-Fame scorer Mike Bossy passed away yesterday at age 65 of lung cancer. He spent his entire 10-season NHL career with the New York Islanders, helping them win four straight Stanley Cups from 1980 to 1983. Bossy also won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1982 and was a three-time winner of the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.

New York Islanders hall-of-famer Mike Bossy (NHL.com).

Retiring in 1987, Bossy scored 573 goals and 553 assists for 1,126 points in 752 games, along with 85 goals and 160 points in 129 playoff games. He became the second player in NHL history to score 50 goals in the first 50 games of a season. Bossy is tied with Wayne Gretzky as the only players to score 50 goals nine times but is the only one to do it in nine consecutive seasons.

Gretzky, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (who has eight 50-goal seasons) and former teammates Denis Potvin, Glenn “Chico” Resch and Bryan Trottier were among those in the NHL community paying tribute to Bossy as a player and a person.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bossy was the purest goal scorer I ever saw. Others may have tallied more career goals but only because a back injury cut short his career. His streak of nine consecutive 50-goal seasons are testament to his greatness.

Along with Potvin, Trottier, Billy Smith, Butch Goring and the late Clark Gillies, Bossy was instrumental in turning the Islanders into the last true Stanley Cup dynasty. My sincere condolences to his family, friends, former teammates, the Islanders organization and his broadcasting colleagues at TVA Sports.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Carey Price returned to action for the first time since the 2021 Stanley Cup Final but he couldn’t prevent his Montreal Canadiens from being blanked 3-0 by the New York Islanders. Price stopped 17 of 19 shots but Isles goaltender Ilya Sorokin stole the show with a 44-save performance. Zach Parise and Noah Dobson beat Price with Brock Nelson getting an empty-net goal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Canadiens honored Mike Bossy with a video tribute and a moment of silence.

Price didn’t look too bad considering he’d been sidelined for nearly the entire season. He couldn’t be faulted for Parise’s 3-on-0 goal or Dobson’s screened wrister that beat him on the stick side. His teammates dominated much of the play through the first two periods. However, Sorokin was on top of his game in this contest, picking up his seventh shutout to tie a franchise single-season record.

The Florida Panthers picked up their ninth straight win by thumping the Winnipeg Jets 6-1. Jonathan Huberdeau extended his points streak to 13 games with two goals and an assist. Claude Giroux collected three assists and Gustav Forsling scored twice as the Panthers (112 points) moved within two points of the first-overall Colorado Avalanche. Jets captain Blake Wheeler returned to the lineup after missing three games with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Huberdeau now has 108 points and sits two behind the Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid in this season’s scoring race.

This loss could be the dagger in the heart of the Jets’ playoff hopes. They have 81 points with seven games remaining in their schedule, sitting eight points behind the Dallas Stars for the final Western Conference wild-card berth with the Stars holding a game in hand.

HEADLINES

TSN: An independent report into the NHLPA’s handling of the Kyle Beach investigation did not find any “individual wrongdoing or institutional failures of policy or procedure”. The Toronto law firm Cozen O’Connor was hired to investigate PA executive director Donald Fehr’s response to concerns raised by two player agents about former Chicago Blackhawks winger Kyle Beach’s allegations he was sexually assaulted by the club’s former video coach Brad Aldrich.

Fehr denied any recollection he’s received a call from one of those agents. However, he didn’t deny the call may have happened.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman was critical of the report’s findings. He pointed out Dr. Brian Shaw, a program administrator for the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program, found Beach’s account to be a credible report of sexual assault. “After reading this passage, I don’t understand how anyone can claim there wasn’t any ‘systemic failure’ here,” writes Friedman.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche can clinch first place in the Western Conference with a win tonight over the Carolina Hurricanes.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames get another chance to secure a playoff berth when they face the Arizona Coyotes. They sit atop the Pacific Division with 99 points.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat has been sidelined for the remainder of the regular season after taking a shot off his left leg on Thursday against the Coyotes. He’ll be re-evaluated in two weeks when the schedule has ended.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sitting five points out of a wild-card berth, the Canucks already face an uphill climb to reach the playoffs. Losing Horvat makes that pursuit more difficult.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (upper-body injury) will be sidelined for today’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Brandon Carlo could be in the lineup after the defenseman returned to practice on Friday after missing Thursday’s game.

POST-GAZETTE.COM: Penguins starting goaltender Tristan Jarry is being evaluated for a lower-body injury and didn’t travel with his teammates to Boston.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin will miss this weekend’s games against the Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders due to an undisclosed injury.

CBS SPORTS: Chicago Blackhawks center Kirby Dach suffered a sprained right shoulder on Thursday. There’s no timetable yet for his return.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning signed goaltender Brian Elliott to a one-year contract extension worth $900K.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 15, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 15, 2022

The Penguins and Lightning clinch postseason berths, Auston Matthews hits the 100-point plateau, NHLPA votes to release findings of Kyle Beach investigation, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Jake Guentzel scored twice and set up two others and Sidney Crosby had a three-point game as they led the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 6-3 victory over the New York Islanders. With the win, the Penguins sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 97 points, securing a playoff spot for the 16th consecutive season. Zdeno Chara scored his first goal of the season for the Islanders while teammate Brock Nelson collected two assists.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel (NHL Images).

The Tampa Bay Lightning clinched a postseason berth by nipping the Anaheim Ducks 4-3. Anthony Cirelli scored in overtime after Nikita Kucherov tied the game for Tampa Bay in the final seconds of regulation. Cirelli, Steven Stamkos and Alex Killorn finished the night with two points for the Lightning as they sit in third place in the Atlantic Division with 98 points. Adam Henrique scored twice for the Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy was pulled in the second period after giving up three goals on 13 shots, marking the first time he’s gotten the hook since March 2018. He’s 0-3-1 in his last five starts.

John Tavares collected three assists while William Nylander, Michael Bunting and Ilya Mikheyev each scored two goals as the Toronto Maple Leafs thumped the Washington Capitals 7-3. Auston Matthews picked up two assists to reach 101 points, becoming the third player in Leafs history to reach the 100-point plateau. The Leafs sit in second place in the Atlantic Division with 102 points. John Carlson had a goal and an assist for the Capitals, who hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 92 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews sits fourth among this season’s points leaders and remains in first place in the goal-scoring race with 58. He joins Darryl Sittler and Doug Gilmour as the only Leafs with 100-point seasons.

St. Louis Blues forwards Vladimir Tarasenko and Robert Thomas each collected five points in a 6-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Tarasenko tallied a hat trick and two assists while Thomas had five helpers. Pavel Buchnevich had a goal and two assists while Jordan Binnington got the win with a 35-save effort. With seven straight wins, the Blues sit in third place in the Central Division with 98 points.

Leon Draisaitl scored a hat trick and Mike Smith kicked out 30 shots as the Edmonton Oilers shut out the Nashville Predators 4-0. Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each had two assists for the Oilers as they sit in second place in the Pacific Division with 92 points. The Predators, meanwhile, cling to the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 89 points.

An overtime goal by Frederick Gaudreau lifted the Minnesota Wild to a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars. Kevin Fiala scored twice for the Wild while Jason Robertson netted both goals for the Stars. The Wild are tied with the Blues with 98 points but hold second place in the Central Division with a game in hand. The Stars, meanwhile, are tied with Nashville but hold the final Western wild-card spot because the Predators have more regulation wins.

The Vegas Golden Knights remain two points back of the Stars after snuffing out the Calgary Flames 6-1. Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson each had a goal and two assists while Logan Thompson made 35 saves for the win. The loss prevented the Flames from clinching a playoff spot. They remain in first place in the Pacific with 99 points, sitting seven up on the second-place Oilers.

Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller picked up five assists in a 7-1 drubbing of the Arizona Coyotes. Quinn Hughes picked up three assists while Vasily Podkolzin and Alex Chiasson each tallied two goals. The Canucks remain in the Western playoff chase with 84 points, five behind the Predators and Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canucks captain Bo Horvat left the game in the second period after taking an Anton Stralman slapshot off his right ankle. He was seen following the game wearing a walking boot. No word yet on his status but his potential absence from the Canucks’ remaining games could be a big blow for their postseason hopes. Head coach Bruce Boudreau remains optimistic over his captain’s condition.

The Ottawa Senators netted three unanswered second-period goals to defeat the Boston Bruins 3-2. Tim Stutzle led the way for the Senators with a goal and two assists while Anton Forsberg made 40 saves. Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark left the game with an injury following the first period after taking a shot to the mask. No further word on his condition following the game. With 95 points, the Bruins remain three points ahead of the Capitals for the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic turned in a 46-save shutout to upset the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0. Moritz Seider, Adam Erne and Filip Zadina were the goal scorers. The loss leaves the Metropolitan Division-leading Hurricanes just two points up on the second-place New York Rangers with 104 points.

The league-leading Colorado Avalanche picked up their eighth straight win by beating the New Jersey Devils 3-1. Pavel Francouz made 26 saves and Artturi Lehkonen had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, who hold a four-point lead over the Florida Panthers in the overall standings with 114 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche need just two more wins to tie their single-season franchise record of 118 points.

Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists and Alex DeBrincat collected three helpers as the Chicago Blackhawks snapped an eight-game losing skid with a 5-4 victory over the San Jose Sharks to officially eliminate the latter from playoff contention. DeBrincat tallied the winning goal in the shootout as the Blackhawks handed the Sharks their eighth straight loss.

HEADLINES

SPORTSNET: The NHL Players’ Association executive board voted yesterday to release the findings of an independent investigation into the association’s handling of former Chicago Blackhawks winger Kyle Beach’s sexual assault allegations against the club’s video coach Brad Aldrich in 2010. PA executive director Donald Fehr was contacted twice about Beach’s allegations against Aldrich. Fehr said he couldn’t recall the conversations but didn’t deny that they had taken place.

THE ATHLETIC: Anaheim Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek defended Ducks center Trevor Zegras’ lacrosse-style goals he’s scored this season, which drew criticism from some circles amid the widespread attention and praise those goals have garnered.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some “old school” critics can’t handle the fact that the game, like everything in life, is evolving and changing. Zegras’ goals aren’t against the rules and require a certain amount of skill to pull off. His critics accuse him of disrespecting the game or “hotdogging” but what he’s really doing is using creativity to score goals, which is what the game is about. Those supposed gatekeepers of hockey should be appreciative of Zegras’ skill and the positive attention it’s bringing to the NHL in its efforts to grow the game while entertaining the current fans.

ESPN.COM: Minnesota Wild center Ryan Hartman is flattered by the outpouring of donations to help him pay his $4,500.00 fine for recently flipping off Edmonton Oilers winger Evander Kane in a recent game. He indicated he can afford to pay off the fine and will donate the money sent by the fans to a pediatric hospital located two blocks from the Wild’s home arena.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Former Minnesota North Stars forward Tom McCarthy passed away yesterday at age 61. McCarthy spent nine seasons in the NHL from 1979-80 to 1987-88, spending seven seasons with the North Stars and two with the Boston Bruins. He tallied 179 goals and 399 points in 460 games before injuries cut short his career, including a career-best 39 goals and 70 points in 66 games in 1983-84.

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










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 7, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 7, 2022

Alex Ovechkin reaches another scoring milestone during Wednesday’s games plus updates on Carey Price, Jason Zucker and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: John Carlson scored twice and set up two others as the Washington Capitals held off the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3. Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin had a goal and an assist as he became the 21st player in NHL history to reach 1,400 career points. He has 43 goals this season. The Capitals have a firm hold on the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 86 points. The Lightning, meanwhile, sit seven points ahead of the Capitals in the first wild-card spot as they’ve won just four of their last 10 games.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway missed this game with a non-COVID-related illness.

Calgary Flames defenseman Michael Stone had a goal and an assist in his 500th career NHL game as his club doubled up the Anaheim Ducks 4-2, handing the latter their 13th loss in their last 14 games. Johnny Gaudreau and Andrew Mangiapane each collected two assists while Elias Lindholm scored his 36th goal of the season. The Flames (93 points) opened a seven-point lead over the Edmonton Oilers atop the Pacific Division standings.

Third-period goals by Jordan Kyrou and Ryan O’Reilly gave the St. Louis Blues a 4-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Ville Husso got the win by stopping 28 shots as the Blues sit one point behind the second-place Minnesota Wild in the Central Division with 90 points.

The Vancouver Canucks kept their slim playoff hopes alive by dropping the Vegas Golden Knights 5-1, snapping the latter’s five-game win streak. Elias Pettersson scored twice and set up two others, J.T. Miller and Oliver Ekman-Larsson each collected two points and Thatcher Demko kicked out 33 shots. With 76 points, the Canucks sit six points back of the Golden Knights, who are one point behind the Dallas Stars for the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

Detroit Red Wings forward Sam Gagner scored twice (including his 500th career point) as his club upset the Winnipeg Jets 3-1. Thomas Greiss got his first win since Feb. 17 with 32 saves. The Jets are tied with the Canucks but have lost three straight.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks and Jets have little room for error in their quest to secure a playoff berth. Both clubs have 11 games remaining and must win almost all of them while the clubs ahead of them (Golden Knights, Stars and Nashville Predators) will have to lose most of their remaining contests.

HEADLINES

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Carey Price is traveling with the Canadiens during their current two-day road trip to New Jersey and Toronto. However, he will not be playing in those games. Rookie defenseman Justin Barron remained in Montreal as he’s nursing a leg injury suffered during Tuesday’s game against the Ottawa Senators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price seems to be getting closer to returning to action for some of the Canadiens’ remaining games in the schedule. He’s expected to continue practicing with his teammates during this road trip.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jason Zucker returned to full practice yesterday with his teammates. He’s listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury but was skating on the second line with Evgeni Malkin. The oft-injured Zucker was hurt during a game last week and had to be helped from the ice.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the NHL Players Association held its first meeting with player agents in three years.

PA executive director Donald Fehr remains confident the players will be protected against potential revenue losses from the Arizona Coyotes temporarily moving to a 5,000-seats venue starting next season. He also agreed with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s prediction that the players could fully repay their escrow debt to the owners by 2024-25.

The PA and the league will also continue conversations about filing no-trade lists with NHL Central Registry.

OTTAWA SUN: It’s believed Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, who passed away on March 28, signed off on entering a bid to build a major events center at LeBreton Flats before his untimely death. The area is located 10 minutes from downtown Ottawa. The deadline to submit bids to the National Capital Commission was Feb. 28. An update is expected today.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks are unveiling a new season-ticket membership program reducing the cost for 84 percent of seats under that plan after conducting surveys and receiving feedback from fans. The Blackhawks’ average attendance (18,418) is the NHL’s fifth-highest but the club’s long sellout streak ended earlier this season.