Capitals’ Carlson Makes Norris Case With White-Hot Start
The Bruins and Leafs plus the Golden Knights and Sharks are headed to Game 7, Norris Trophy finalists revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: A double-overtime, shorthanded goal by Tomas Hertl gave the San Jose Sharks a 2-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights, forcing a seventh and deciding game in their opening-round series on Tuesday in San Jose. Hertl became the first player in NHL history to score a shorthanded goal in a game that required multiple overtimes. Sharks goaltender Martin Jone made 58 saves while Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 27 shots.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After struggling through Games 2 through 4, Jones was solid in the last two games, backstopping his club from a 3-1 series deficit to a chance to win tomorrow night in Game 7 and advance to the second round. Hertl was clutch for the Sharks over those two games, scoring twice in Game 5 as well as the game-winner in Game 6.
For the third straight time since 2013, the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs will need a seventh game to decide their opening-round playoff series. Brad Marchand scored twice and set up another as the Bruins doubled up the Leafs 4-2 in Game 6 to tie their best-of-seven series at three games apiece. Morgan Rielly and Auston Matthews tallied for the Leafs. Game 7 goes tomorrow night in Boston.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toronto goaltender Frederik Andersen did all he could to give his club a chance to win, kicking out 37 shots. Tomorrow’s game will be a big test of character for the Leafs, who blew a 4-3 lead to fall 7-4 in last year’s Game 7 matchup.
San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns, Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano, and Tampa Bay Lightning blueliner Victor Hedman are this year’s finalist for the James Norris Memorial Trophy. Burns won the award in 2017 while Hedman was last year’s winner.
NBC SPORTS: Washington Capitals winger T.J. Oshie underwent surgery yesterday to repair a broken right clavicle (collarbone) and is sidelined indefinitely. Oshie suffered the injury during Game 4 of the Capitals’ opening-round series against the Carolina Hurricanes.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov is doubtful for Game 6 tonight against the Capitals.
Playoff game recaps, injury updates, Norris Trophy nominees revealed and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins pushed the Toronto Maple Leafs closer to the brink of elimination with a 3-1 victory in Game 4 of their opening-round series. The Bruins hold a 3-1 lead in the series and can wrap things up on Saturday in Boston. Tuukka Rask made 31 saves, Brad Marchand scored the winning goal and David Pastrnak collected two assists for the Bruins, who were playing without top center Patrice Bergeron (lower-body injury, day-to-day).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs dominated this game but a couple of defensive breakdowns led to consecutive two-on-one goals by Marchand and Jake DeBrusk, giving the Bruins an insurmountable two-goal lead.
Evgeny Kuznetsov had a goal and two assists as the Washington Capitals downed the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 to tie their best-of-seven series at two games apiece. Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson each had a goal and an assist and Braden Holtby made 23 saves for the win. The series returns to Washington for Game 5 on Saturday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blue Jackets looked surprising flat in this game, showing little of the spark from the first three games of the series. Secondary scoring has become a problem for the Jackets, as they’re not getting much production beyond leading scorers Artemin Panarin and Cam Atkinson.
Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings, Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning and P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators are this season’s three finalists for the Norris Trophy.
Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier (lower-body injury) hopes to return for Game 5 against the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight. Couturier missed Game 4 after suffering his injury in practice the day before.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist (upper-body injury) will miss Game 5 tonight against the Flyers.
Andrew Hammond will replace sidelined Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jonathan Bernier tonight in Game 5 of their series against the Nashville Predators.
The Predators will be without forward Ryan Hartman, who received a one-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of Avalanche forward Carl Soderberg in Game 4.
New Jersey Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury suffered in Game 4 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He hasn’t been ruled out for Game 5 on Saturday.
The Lightning signed forward Michael Bournival to a one-year, two-way contract. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks forward Anthony Duclair has reached out to a young Nova Scotia goaltender who was the victim of a racial slur. “I just told him that he does belong,” Duclair said.“He can do whatever he wants in this world.”
BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres owner Terry Pegula said his club will not raise season-ticket prices for 2018-19.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering how poorly the Sabres played this season they would’ve had a difficult time justifying a price hike.
Bruins avoid elimination against Senators, Norris Trophy finalists revealed & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Sean Kuraly scored his first two NHL playoff goals, including the winner in double overtime, as the Boston Bruins staved off elimination in their opening-round series by edging the Ottawa Senators 3-2. The Bruins overcame a 2-0 deficit to force overtime, but lost center David Krejci to a lower-body injury. The Senators hold a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series, with Game 6 in Boston on Sunday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Give the Bruins credit, they never gave up after falling behind by two goals. The Sens blew a great chance to end the series in five games. No word yet on how long Krejci could be sidelined.
Justin Williams scored just over a minute into overtime to give the Washington Capitals a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 5 of their opening-round series. The Capitals hold a 3-2 series lead and could close it out on Sunday in Toronto. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin briefly left the game in the first period with a left leg injury following a low hit from Leafs forward Nazem Kadri but returned and finished the game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As this series progresses both teams are ramping up the physical play. Ovechkin was fortunate to avoid serious injury. Some accused Kadri of clipping but that looked like a hip check to me. Game 6 will likely be another heavy-hitting contest between two clubs who are more closely matched than many of us expected.
STLTODAY.COM: Blues center Paul Stastny (broken foot) could return to action in this afternoon’s game against the Minnesota Wild. The Blues hold a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven series.
TWINCITIES.COM: Wild center Erik Haula (undisclosed injury) is also expected to return to action today.
TSN: Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators, Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks and Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning are the 2017 finalists for the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tough to pick a winner in this one. All three are deserving nominees. Karlsson is a two-time winner and could have a slight edge here.
CALGARY SUN: Flames center Sean Monahan will undergo wrist surgery soon.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was surprising news. Monahan was the Flames’ best forward in their opening-round series against the Anaheim Ducks, scoring four goals and adding an assist in four games.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes re-signed Klas Dahlbeck to a one-year contract worth $850K.
NEWSDAY: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman revealed the New York Islanders intend to submit a bid to construct an arena at Belmont Park.
Playoff game recaps, Leafs win 2016 draft lottery, Lady Byng Trophy nominees revealed & more in today’s collection of notable NHL morning headlines. (more…)