NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 19, 2017
Blue Jackets avoid playoff elimination, expansion draft updates & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Boone Jenner, William Karlsson and rookie blueliner Markus Nutivaara each tallied a goal and an assist as the Columbus Blue Jackets staved off elimination with a 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins lead the best-of-seven opening-round series 3-1 with a chance to wrap it up on home ice on Thursday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A big win for the Jackets, but they nearly blew it as the Penguins rallied back from 3-0 and 4-2 deficits to come within a goal of tying the game. The Jackets must improve defensively if they hope to win Game Five and bring the series back to Columbus for a sixth game.
Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture each scored twice and Martin Jones kicked out 23 shots as the San Jose Sharks crushed the Edmonton Oilers 7-0. The series is now tied at two games apiece. It was the worst playoff loss in Oilers history. Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for spearing Sharks forward Chris Tierney in the groin.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks reminded the Oilers (and everyone one) this game why they were Stanley Cup finalists last year. They still have plenty of bite left and it would be foolish to write them off. Draisaitl likely faces a suspension. Because it’s the playoffs and given his value to the Oilers, it’ll likely be one game.
Rick Nash scored the winning goal and Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves as the New York Rangers edged the Montreal Canadiens 2-1, tying their series at two games apiece. Canadiens goalie Carey Price made 30 saves in a losing cause. The lack of production from Habs captain Max Pacioretty is becoming a concern in this series.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Solid bounce-back effort by the Rangers, who were dominated in Game 3. The win snaps a six-game home losing skid in the playoffs for the Blueshirts. Pacioretty has five 30-plus goal seasons over the last six years, but he does struggle at times in the playoffs.
CSN MID-ATLANTIC: Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner will miss Game 4 against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight. The Leafs lead the Capitals two games to one.
STLTODAY.COM: Sidelined by a broken foot since March 21, St. Louis Blues center Paul Stastny (day-to-day) is inching closer to returning to action. The Blues lead the Minnesota Wild three games to none and can close out their series tonight.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The NHL Awards show and the expansion draft will be held at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. “Both events will be televised live at 5 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network and in Canada on Sportsnet.”
SPORTSNET: The Vancouver Canucks are reportedly interested in former Edmonton Oilers coach Ralph Krueger. Earlier this month, the Canucks fired head coach Willie Desjardins.