NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 20, 2021
Patrick Marleau sets the league record for most games played, Kirill Kaprizov sets a franchise record, the stars of the week are revealed, Alex Edler is suspended and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines
NHL.COM: Patrick Marleau played his 1,768th career game to pass Gordie Howe for the most in NHL history as his San Jose Sharks dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the Vegas Golden Knights. Mark Stone scored twice as Vegas overcame a 2-0 deficit to force overtime and the shootout. Alex Tuch scored the game-winner. With 66 points, the Golden Knights move two points up on the Colorado Avalanche into first place in the Honda West Division.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Marleau on his remarkable achievement. His record won’t be broken anytime soon. The closest active players are aging stars Joe Thornton (1,669) and Zdeno Chara (1,598).
Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov scored to set the single-season franchise record for points (37) by a rookie in a 5-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist for the Wild, who sit third in the West Division with 59 points. The Coyotes (45 points) hold a one-point lead over the St. Louis Blues for the fourth-and-final playoff spot.
Four unanswered third-period goals powered the Edmonton Oilers over the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. Connor McDavid led the way with a goal and two assists. Canadiens goaltender Carey Price left the game after the first period with an upper-body injury suffered following a collision with Oilers forward Alex Chiasson. Edmonton forward Jujhar Khaira also departed in the first following a hit by Montreal defenseman Alexander Romanov. The Oilers (56 points) moved within a point of the second-place Winnipeg Jets in the Scotia North Division while the Canadiens are fourth with 47 points.
The Calgary Flames missed an opportunity to gain ground on the floundering Canadiens as they were upset 4-2 by the Ottawa Senators. Connor Brown scored twice and Matt Murray made 26 saves for the Senators. The Flames remain six points back of the Habs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators did the Canadiens a favor by beating the Flames. The Habs have won just three of their last 10 games and would be out of a playoff spot if the Flames weren’t having their own difficulties. Barring a dramatic turnaround in their fortunes, the Canadiens will likely back into the postseason and become first-round roadkill.
An overtime goal by Yanni Gourde lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. Tampa Bay blew a 2-0 lead as the Hurricanes rallied back to force the extra frame. The Hurricanes remain in first place in the Discover Central Division with 63 points, holding two games in hand over the Florida Panthers. The Bolts, meanwhile, remain a point behind both clubs.
Speaking of the Panthers, they got two goals from Frank Vatrano to double up the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2. Sam Bennett tallied his first goal with the Panthers since being acquired from Calgary at the trade deadline. Jackets forward Max Domi was a healthy scratch.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The race for first place in the Central could be closely contested for the remainder of the regular season.
The Nashville Predators got a big two points in a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Calle Jarnkrok and Luke Kunin each had a goal and an assist for the Predators, who hold fourth place in the Central with 51 points while the Blackhawks sit four points back.
A shootout goal by Denis Gurianov gave the Dallas Stars a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. With 48 points, the Stars moved past the Blackhawks into fifth place.
Buffalo Sabres goaltender Dustin Tokarski, New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin, and Vegas Golden Knights winger Mark Stone are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending April 18.
THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alex Edler received a two-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for kneeing Toronto Maple Leafs winger Zach Hyman on Sunday.
TORONTO STAR: Hyman will be sidelined for at least two weeks with a sprained knee.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs are likely breathing a sigh of relief that Hyman’s injury wasn’t more serious than it is. He should be recovered in time for the playoffs in a month’s time.
NJ.COM: The Devils signed 2020 first-round pick Alexander Holtz to a three-year entry-level contract.