NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 11, 2023
The Sharks’ Erik Karlsson reaches the 100-point milestone, the Flames are eliminated from playoff contention, the Stars’ Joe Pavelski and the Senators’ Claude Giroux reach 1,000 career points, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The San Jose Sharks’ Erik Karlsson became the first defenseman in 31 years to net 100 points in a season in a 6-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. Karlsson scored twice to reach the milestone last achieved by Brian Leetch in 1991-92. Meanwhile, Jets blueliner Josh Morrisey had a goal and two assists as his club moved closer to clinching the final Western Conference wild-card spot with 93 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 32-year-old Karlsson is only the sixth NHL defenseman to reach the 100-point plateau and the oldest to do so. He’s considered the front-runner to win the Norris Trophy. Meanwhile, the Sharks revealed that Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Alexander Barabanov, Andreas Johnsson and Oskar Lindblom are out with season-ending injuries.
Shootout goals by Cody Glass and Tommy Novak lifted the Nashville Predators to a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames, officially eliminating the latter from playoff contention. Juuse Saros made 44 saves in regulation and overtime for the 41-31-8 Predators, who kept their slim playoff hopes alive with 90 points. Jacob Markstrom stopped 27 shots for the Flames (37-27-17) as they sit one point ahead of the Predators and two back of the Jets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators and Jets have two games remaining while the Flames have only one. The Jets can clinch that wild-card spot with a win tonight over the Minnesota Wild.
The New York Islanders’ chances of securing a wild-card spot got slimmer as they were upset 5-2 by the Washington Capitals. Dylan Strome tallied twice and Darcy Kuemper stopped 38 shots for the Capitals while Hudson Fasching and Casey Cizikas replied for the 41-31-9 Islanders as they held the final Eastern wild-card berth with 91 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders sit one game up on the Pittsburgh Penguins, who hold a game in hand and now control their own fate. Speaking of the Isles, center Bo Horvat said his recent comments praising the fan support his club is receiving weren’t meant as a slight against the Vancouver Canucks or their fans. Horvat was the Canucks’ captain until traded to the Islanders in January.
Meanwhile, the Capitals announced winger T.J. Oshie had been shut down for the remainder of the season with an upper-body injury.
An overtime goal by John Tavares gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers. Auston Matthews netted his 40th goal of the season for the Leafs as they sit second in the Atlantic Division with 107 points. Brandon Montour replied for the 42-31-8 Panthers (92 points) as they failed to clinch the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers have one game remaining in their schedule. They could still be overtaken by the Islanders or Penguins.
Matthews set two Leafs records with the most consecutive 40-goal seasons (four) and the most in franchise history with five. Things also got interesting for the Leafs in goal as they were forced to bring in an emergency backup on an amateur tryout contract when they were denied a goaltending salary-cap exemption. It’s believed this may have been an emergency of their own making by signing prospect forward Matthew Knies to his three-year entry-level contract over the weekend.
Speaking of the Eastern wild card race, the Buffalo Sabres kept their playoff hopes alive by nipping the New York Rangers 3-2 on a shootout goal by Casey Mittelstadt, who also tied the game in the third period. Devon Levi made 26 saves to pick up his fourth win in five games for the 40-32-7 Sabres (87 points) as they sit four points behind the Islanders with three games remaining in their schedule.
Dallas Stars winger Joe Pavelski scored to reach the 1,000-point plateau as his club dropped the Detroit Red Wings 6-1. Jason Robertson had a goal and two assists as the Stars sit in second place in the Central Divison with 104 points. David Perron replied for the Red Wings.
Ottawa Senators forward Claude Giroux also reached 1,000 career points with two goals and an assist in a 3-2 upset of the Carolina Hurricanes. Martin Necas collected two assists for the Hurricanes (109 points) as they remain one point ahead of the New Jersey Devils in first place in the Metropolitan Division.
The Los Angeles Kings blanked the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 on a 20-save shutout by Joonas Korpisalo. Arthur Kaliyev, Vladislav Gavrikov and Drew Doughty scored for the Kings, who sit third in the Pacific Division with 102 points. Collin Delia stopped 25 shots for the Canucks.
Two third-period goals by Marcus Johansson gave the Minnesota Wild a 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Filip Gustavsson kicked out 40 shots for the Wild as they’re sitting third in the Central with 102 points. Joey Anderson and Anders Bjork replied for the Blackhawks.
The Seattle Kraken picked up their fifth straight win by beating the Arizona Coyotes 4-1. Jared McCann and Justin Schultz each had a goal and an assist for the Kraken as they reached the 100-point plateau for the first time in franchise history and hold the first Western wild-card spot. Jack McBain scored for the Coyotes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of the Kraken, they signed prospect David Goyette on Monday to a three-year entry-level contract. He’s been assigned to their AHL affiliate in Coachella Valley along with center Shane Wright, whose junior season recently ended when his Windsor Spitfires were eliminated from the opening round of the 2023 OHL playoffs.
NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, Seattle Kraken winger Jordan Eberle, and Florida Panthers goaltender Alex Lyon are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending April 9.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Professional Hockey Writers Association unveiled each team’s nominees for the 2023 Bill Masterton Trophy. They included Dallas Stars winger Jamie Benn, New Jersey Devils defenseman Dougie Hamilton, New York Islanders winger Zach Parise, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, Toronto Maple Leafs blueliner Mark Giordano, Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser, Vegas Golden Knights winger Phil Kessel and Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlsson are among the notable players nominated for this award.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Click the link above for the full list, which will be whittled down to three finalists and will be handed out during the 2023 NHL Awards on June 26 in Nashville.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning winger Tanner Jeannot (injured leg) is expected to miss the early part of his club’s opening-round series against the Maple Leafs next week. However, he could return to action at some point in that series.
NHL.COM: Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Strome was fined $5,000.00 by the department of player safety for unsportsmanlike conduct during his club’s overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.
SEATTLE HOCKEY INSIDER: The Kraken signed prospect David Goyette on Monday to a three-year entry-level contract. He’s been assigned to their AHL affiliate in Coachella Valley along with center Shane Wright, whose junior season recently ended when his Windsor Spitfires were eliminated from the opening round of the 2023 OHL playoffs.