NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 30,2012.

Flyers defeat Devils in series-opener, Coyotes take 2-0 series lead over Predators, updates on the other playoff teams, and more.

 

Briere celebrates one of his two goals against Devils in Game One.

PHILLY.COM/NJ.COM: Daniel Briere scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the New Jersey Devils 4-3 in the opening game of their Conference semi-final series. There’s concern over Devils star Ilya Kovalchuk, whose recent struggles have given rise to rumors he’s nursing a hidden injury. If so, that’ll be a serious blow to the Devils offense.

AZCENTRAL.COM/THE TENNESSEAN: The Phoenix Coyotes play arguably their best game of the post-season thus far, downing the Nashville Predators 5-3 in Game two of their Conference semi-final to open a 2-0 series lead. The Predators, meanwhile, are struggling to regain the sizzle they had in their first round series against Detroit. Predators goalie Pekka Rinne has not looked sharp so far in this series, his defense has struggled to contain the Coyotes forecheck, and forward Alexander Radulov has been MIA so far in this series, earning scorn from NBC analysts Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick during Game Two.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/WASHINGTON POST: Young Rangers Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider have ably filled the void left by the sidelining of Brandon Dubinsky and Brian Boyle, while Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin knows he has to perform better in Game Two.

LOS ANGELES TIMES/STLTODAY.COM: The Kings may be facing a short-handed Blues lineup in Game Two of their Conference semifinal, as defenseman Alex Pietrangelo is day-to-day with a concussion. Kings forward Dwight King won’t face supplemental discipline for boarding Pietrangelo during Game One.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings forward Daniel Cleary intends to undergo knee surgery this week, something he wishes he’d done earlier in the season.

BUFFALO NEWS: Former NHL star and noted player trainer Gary Roberts defended Sabres center Cody Hodgson after hearing Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis last week “essentially” say he was glad to be rid of Hodgson, who struggled earlier in his career with a misdiagnosed back injury which hampered his development.