NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 29, 2023
The Hurricanes and Stars advance to the second round, the Panthers and Avalanche avoid elimination to force Game 7 in their respective series, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Paul Stastny lifted the Carolina Hurricanes to a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers to win their best-of-seven first-round series four games to two. Sebastian Aho scored the tying goal for the Hurricanes while Frederik Andersen made 33 saves in his 2023 playoff debut. Ilya Sorokin stopped 39 shots and Cal Clutterbuck scored for the Islanders.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders made this game a tight-checking low-scoring contest but they were undone by a lack of scoring punch that dogged them throughout this series and during the regular season. Addressing that issue should be their offseason priority.
Andersen played well after an illness sidelined him from most of this series. He and his teammates await the winner of the New Jersey Devils-New York Rangers series.
The Dallas Stars defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-1 to take their first-round series four games to two. Jake Oettinger turned aside 23 shots, Roope Hintz scored his playoff-leading 12th point while Mason Marchment and Max Domi each had a goal and an assist for the Stars. Frederick Gaudreau replied for the Wild.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dallas dominated most of this series led by a new generation of Stars like Hintz, Oettinger, Jason Robertson and Miro Heiskanen along with a resurgent Tyler Seguin.
This was a disappointing series for the Wild. Leading goal-scorers Kirill Kaprizov and Matt Boldy had just one goal between them while their defense at times struggled to contain the Stars’ scorers. With a salary-cap crunch coming for next season, management will find it difficult to improve their roster.
There will be a seventh and deciding game between the Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers as the latter tied the series with a 7-5 victory in Game 6. Eetu Luostarinen broke a 5-5 tie with 5:38 remaining in the third period. Matthew Tkachuk led the way for the Panthers with two goals and an assist. David Pastrnak scored twice for the Bruins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The series returns to Boston for Game 7 on Sunday as the Panthers battled back from being down three games to one to force this winner-take-all situation. They also had to do with winger Ryan Lomberg sidelined for this game with an upper-body injury.
Game 6 was an entertaining throwback to 1980s high-scoring hockey with the two clubs combining for seven goals in the third period. One team would score and the other would quickly reply to tie the game. It was punch and counterpunch that was only really settled by Sam Bennett’s empty-netter in the dying seconds of the third.
Boston fans and pundits are calling for Bruins coach Jim Montgomery to replace starting goalie Linus Ullmark with Jeremy Swayman for Game 7 as the former has struggled over the last two games. Ullmark hasn’t been helped by his teammates as the vaunted Bruins defense has grown porous of late. If they don’t regain their form in Game 7 it might not matter if Swayman is the starter for that contest.
The Colorado Avalanche forced a Game 7 with a series-tying 4-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Artturi Lehkonen tallied twice, Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist and Alexandar Georgiev made 22 saves for the Avalanche. Vince Dunn replied for the Kraken. Game 7 goes Sunday in Colorado.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche got the win with defenseman Josh Manson sidelined from this game with a lower-body injury. It’s not known yet if he’ll return to the lineup for Game 7.
Few observers expected this series to go the distance, let alone that the Avalanche would be the club facing a do-or-die situation in Game 6 to force a seventh-and-deciding contest. No matter the outcome of Game 7, the Kraken should be commended for how they’ve held their own in this series against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
NEW YORK POST: Vladimir Tarasenko ranks seventh among Rangers forwards in overall ice time and power-play ice time. Larry Brooks believes it’s imperative for head coach Gerard Gallant to give the sniper more playing time if the Rangers hope to avoid elimination by the New Jersey Devils in Game 6 of their first-round series tonight.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak will be sidelined for Game 6 tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Cernak hasn’t played since being hit in the head in Game 1 by Leafs winger Michael Bunting, who received a three-game suspension. Toronto leads the series three games to two.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Mattias Ekholm is enjoying the role of mentoring young Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bouchard’s performance has improved since being paired with Ekholm after the latter was acquired from the Nashville Predators before the trade deadline.
SPORTSNET: Actor Ryan Reynolds and the Remington Group led by real-estate mogul Christopher Bratty are said to be preparing to bid more than $1 billion for the Ottawa Senators. The deadline for the second and final round of bids is May 15.
For those of you who wish for such things, your Summer of 2023 offer-sheet compensation figures: pic.twitter.com/dFy8v8T1MN
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 27, 2023