Stanley Cup: Battle For Cup now a Best-of-Five Following Lightning’s Game 2 Victory
Alex Ovechkin is one goal shy of 700, Mark Scheifele and Jonathan Huberdeau have four-point performances, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines
NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 699th career goal, but it wasn’t enough to prevent his club from dropping a 4-3 overtime decision to the Montreal Canadiens. Ben Chiarot scored twice, including the winning goal. The Capitals moved into a first-place tie (80 points) with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Metropolitan Division, but the Pens hold a game in hand. Earlier in the day, the Canadiens made a minor trade with the Penguins, acquiring Joseph Blandisi and Jake Lucchini in exchange for Riley Barber and Phil Varone
The Toronto Maple Leafs bounced back from a 5-2 defeat against the Penguins by blanking the latter 4-0 in the second game of their home-and-home series. Frederik Andersen made 24 saves for the shutout while Jake Muzzin had a goal and two assists. With the win, the Leafs (72 points) regained possession of third place in the Atlantic Division.
Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele had a hat trick and added an assist to lead his club over the Ottawa Senators 5-1. With 69 points, the Jets vaulted over the Calgary Flames and Arizona Coyotes into the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Kevin Hayes scored in overtime as the Philadelphia Flyers rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3. Travis Konecny had a goal and two assists for the Flyers (75 points), opening a two-point lead over the Jackets for third in the Metro Division. Earlier in the day, the Flyers sent defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere to their AHL affiliate on a conditioning stint.
The Vegas Golden Knights picked up their fourth straight win by defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3. Alec Martinez had a goal and an assist in his debut with the Golden Knights. Steven Stamkos tallied twice for the Lightning as their 11-game winning streak – and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy’s 21-game points streak – came to an end. The Bolts (85 points) sit three behind the league-leading Boston Bruins, while Vegas (72 points) moved into the top spot in the Pacific Division.
Despite a four-point effort by Jonathan Huberdeau, the Florida Panthers were nipped by the Los Angeles Kings 5-4. Kings rookie Gabe Vilardi had a goal and an assist in his NHL debut. The Panthers (70 points) slipped to fourth in the Atlantic Division.
St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington turned aside 14 shots for his second straight shutout in a 1-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Ryan O’Reilly tallied the only goal as the Blues (78 points) regained sole possession of first place in the Central Division.
P.K. Subban tallied the game-winner as the New Jersey Devils edged the San Jose Sharks 2-1. Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood kicked out 36 shots to win his sixth game (6-0-1) in his last seven starts. Earlier in the day, the Devils placed Domingue on waivers and held him out of this game for precautionary reasons.