NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 16, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 16, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel celebrates his goal against the Ottawa Senators with teammates Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz in Game 2 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Final.

Penguins tie conference final with Senators plus updates on the Ducks, Predators and Capitals in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Phil Kessel scored the only goal and Marc-Andre Fleury turned in a 23-save shutout performance as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Ottawa Senators 1-0 in Game 2 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Final. The series is tied at one game apiece.

Earlier in the game, Kessel raise eyebrows by arguing on the Penguins’ bench with Evgeni Malkin, though Pens coach Mike Sullivan had no problem with the duo airing their differences. Malkin later picked up an assist on Kessel’s goal.

It was a costly victory for the Penguins. Forward Patric Hornqvist was scratched before the game. Winger Bryan Rust left in the first period after he was on the receiving end of a big open-ice hit by Senators defenseman Dion Phaneuf. Defenseman Justin Schultz also left with an apparent right-shoulder injury after being knocked into the boards. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The first period was another dull, plodding affair but the pace picked up at times in the second and third periods. Despite the injuries the Penguins improved as the game went on. While Kessel’s on-bench squabble with Malkin attracted lots of attention, the bigger news could be the potential long-term loss of Rust and Schultz. The Penguins were a banged-up bunch before Game 2. Losing two more experienced players could prove costly as this series progresses. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks rookie forward Ondrej Kase is showing growth as a player in this postseason. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Section 303 of Bridgestone Arena, aka Cellblock 303, contains some of the Nashville Predators’ loudest and proudest fans. 

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan has delayed his annual season-ending press conference while he conducts a thorough evaluation of the club, including the coaching staff. 

CSN MID-ATLANTIC: Capitals assistant coach Todd Reirden will reportedly be interviewed for the head-coaching job with the Florida Panthers.