Posts Tagged ‘2022 NHL Playoffs’

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl labored through a high-ankle sprain during the majority of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, general manager Ken Holland told reporters Wednesday, including The Athletic’s Daniel Nugent-Bowman.

Draisaitl suffered the ailment during a tussle with Los Angeles Kings defenseman Mikey Anderson in Game 6 of Round 1.

Draisaitl still put forth a remarkable postseason, producing seven goals and 25 assists in 16 contests.

The German superstar wasn’t Edmonton’s only injured player.

Among the most notable ailments, Darnell Nurse played with a torn hip flexor, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jesse Puljujarvi had shoulder injuries, and Kailer Yamamoto is in concussion protocol.

The Oilers were swept by the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference Final.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby recognizes the 2021-22 Stanley Cup Playoffs could be the last opportunity for his club’s longtime core to chase a championship.

Teammates Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang are set for unrestricted free agency this summer.

“As much as you don’t want to think about it, it’s something that you understand could be a possibility,” Crosby told NHL.com’s Wes Crosby. “I think you just try to enjoy it as much as you can, and try to take it all in because you know it’s something that’s not going to last forever, whether it’s this year or down the road a little bit more.

“You only get to play for so long, so I think just trying to enjoy it and be grateful for the opportunity that we have to do it again.”

Crosby (34 years old), Malkin (35), and Letang (35) have been teammates for the past 16 seasons, qualifying for the playoffs each year and winning the Stanley Cup in 2009, 2016, and 2017. The only campaign Crosby’s Penguins failed to reach the postseason was his rookie year in 2005-06, before Malkin and Letang debuted in the NHL.

Although they’re well into their 30s, the trio is still the engine that drives the Penguins.

2021-22 stats

PLAYERGPPTSATOI
Crosby688420:01
Malkin404018:25
Letang776725:48

Malkin currently carries a $9.5-million average annual value, while Letang earns $7.25 million per season. Both high-profile players could command big-ticket contracts on the open market, but the Penguins could attempt to retain the pair of superstars. Pittsburgh has more than $29 million in projected cap space this offseason, according to CapFriendly.

Crosby is signed through 2024-25 at a yearly cap hit of $8.7 million.

The Penguins currently sit third in the Metropolitan Division with 101 points and one game remaining. The Washington Capitals are hot in pursuit of their archrivals with 100 points of their own and a game in hand.

Veteran Dustin Brown will retire following the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Los Angeles Kings announced Thursday.

Brown has spent his entire 18-season NHL career with the Kings since they drafted him 13th overall in 2003, and he’s Los Angeles’ all-time leader in regular-season games played.

The 37-year-old captained the squad to Stanley Cup victories in 2012 and 2014, making him the only American player in NHL history to accomplish the feat, according to NHL Network’s Jon Morosi.

Heading into his final regular-season contest against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night, Brown has 325 goals and 387 assists in 1,295 career contests – good for the seventh-most points in franchise history.

RANKPLAYERPOINTSGAMES PLAYED
1Marcel Dionne1307921
2Luc Robitaille11541077
3Dave Taylor10691111
4Anze Kopitar10661209
5Wayne Gretzky918539
6Bernie Nicholls758602
7Dustin Brown7121295
8Butch Goring659736

This season will mark Brown’s eighth career playoff appearance. Ahead of the Kings’ first-round matchup against the Edmonton Oilers, he has 19 goals and 28 helpers in 85 career postseason contests. He put up a combined 34 points in 46 games en route to the Kings’ pair of Stanley Cup victories.

Brown served as Los Angeles’ captain from 2008-09 to 2015-16.

The New York native also made some noise on the international stage, capturing a silver medal at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

It came down to the wire, but the Dallas Stars claimed the final spot in the playoffs, while the Vegas Golden Knights were eliminated from postseason contention on a wild Wednesday night.

The Stars needed just one point to clinch their spot, and it looked like it would be smooth sailing for Dallas after the team built an early 3-0 lead against the Arizona Coyotes. However, the desert dwellers clawed back to force overtime, and Coyotes forward Travis Boyd sealed the comeback in the extra frame.

At the same time, the Golden Knights, who needed to win against the Chicago Blackhawks in any fashion and for the Stars to lose in regulation, fell 4-3 in the shootout.

Vegas will miss the postseason for the first time in franchise history, while the Stars have re-entered the fray after failing to qualify last season. Dallas made it to the Stanley Cup Final in 2019-20 but ultimately fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games.

The Stars currently hold the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference while boasting a record of 45-30-6. Dallas has one more point than the Predators, who reside in the second spot, but Nashville has played one fewer game.

Grizzled veteran Joe Pavelski has led the way for the Stars all season long, and he has 81 points with one game remaining on their regular-season schedule. Youngster Jason Robertson has also proven to be a force with 40 goals under his belt.

The Golden Knights made the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural 2017-18 season, but they’ve yet to advance that far again. Despite making a splash by winning the Jack Eichel sweepstakes, a litany of injuries hampered Vegas’ playoff hopes.

Dallas will complete its regular season against the Anaheim Ducks, while Vegas will cap things off with a battle against the St. Louis Blues on Friday.

The Western Conference playoff picture has come down to one last spot.

The Nashville Predators and Los Angeles Kings punched their postseason tickets Tuesday with the Dallas Stars‘ shootout victory over the Vegas Golden KnightsMiro Heiskanen netted the only goal of the shootout in the seventh round.

The Stars would’ve locked up the final spot had they defeated the Knights in regulation. Dallas is now four points ahead of Vegas with just two games remaining, but the Golden Knights hold the tiebreaker. The Stars can clinch Wednesday if they pick up a point against the Arizona Coyotes or if Vegas loses to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Kings secured third place in the Pacific Division and will play the Edmonton Oilers in Round 1. It’s the first time since 2017-18 that L.A. has made the playoffs, and six players remain from that squad: Anze KopitarDustin BrownDrew DoughtyJonathan QuickAdrian Kempe, and Alex Iafallo.

The Predators have now made the postseason in eight consecutive campaigns. They’ll either play the Colorado Avalanche or Calgary Flames in the opening round.

Additionally, the Vancouver Canucks were officially eliminated from playoff contention.

Evander Kane netted a hat trick as the Edmonton Oilers punched their postseason ticket for the third consecutive season with a 6-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday.

The Oilers can finish no higher than second in the Pacific Division because their provincial rivals, the Calgary Flames, clinched first place Thursday. The Flames lead the second-place Oilers by eight points with four games to go, and Calgary holds the tiebreaker with six more regulation wins.

Edmonton improved to 46-26-6 on the season.

The Winnipeg Jets swept the Oilers out of the first round in the 2021 campaign, and the Chicago Blackhawks upset Edmonton in four games of a best-of-five series in the 2020 qualifying round.

The Oilers haven’t advanced past the first round since bowing out in the next stage in 2016-17, and they haven’t gotten past the second round since losing the Stanley Cup Final in 2005-06.

J.T. Compher and Nathan MacKinnon each scored twice, Ben Meyers added a goal in his NHL debut and the Colorado Avalanche clinched the top seed in the Western Conference with a 7-4 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.

Alex Newhook and Mikko Rantanen also scored, while Darcy Kuemper stopped 29 shots to help Colorado run its winning streak to nine straight.

The Avalanche have amassed an NHL-best 116 points this season. They’re two away from tying the 2000-01 Stanley Cup squad for most points during a season in club history.

Jordan Staal scored twice, and Andrei Svechnikov and Sebastian Aho each added goals. Carolina trailed 4-0 early in the second period before cutting it to 5-3 heading into the third period.

The Hurricanes remain in a tight race with the New York Rangers for the Metropolitan Division title. The Rangers beat Detroit earlier in the day. Both the Rangers and Hurricanes now have 104 points with six games remaining, including a matchup against each other at New York on April 26.

It’s been a whirlwind several days for Meyers, who captained the University of Minnesota to the Frozen Four, before signing a two-year deal with Colorado on Wednesday.

“It’s fun out there,” Meyers said in an interview during the first-period intermission.

The “fun” only increased 2:21 into the second period when Meyers knocked in a goal. He became the eighth Avalanche player to score in their NHL debut since the team relocated to Denver.

Frederik Andersen stopped 26 shots before giving way to Antti Raanta late in the third. Staal left in the third period.

Compher got Colorado on the board first on a power play 6:58 into the game. MacKinnon later added his 30th goal of the season. He now has nine goals over his last six games.

The crowd let out a collective gasp in the first period when MacKinnon collided with Rantanen in the offensive zone. That was followed by a sigh of relief when both got up.

TWO HELPERS

Andre Burakovsky, Valeri Nichushkin, Rantanen and Devon Toews each had two assists.

THIS & THAT

The Hurricanes made their first trip to Denver since Dec. 19, 2019. … Staal has 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in 21 career games against Colorado. … Carolina scored on the power play for the first time since March 31. … The Avalanche improved to a league-best 42-2-4 when scoring first.

INJURY UPDATES

Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri (upper body) joined the team at Saturday’s morning skate wearing a red, non-contact jersey. … Captain Gabriel Landeskog (knee surgery on March 14) is scheduled to soon be back on the ice. “How involved that is just depends on how he’s feeling,” coach Jared Bednar said.

UP NEXT

Hurricanes: At Arizona on Monday.

Avalanche: Finish a four-game homestand Monday against Washington.

An NHL playoff berth secured in the hours before Saturday’s puck drop, the Calgary Flames turned a quiet start to a game into a goal-fest in a 9-1 thumping of the visiting Arizona Coyotes.

Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk each scored twice and had two assists for the Flames, while Elias Lindholm also posted a four-point night with a goal and three assists.

Calgary missed the single point needed to secure a trip to the post-season Thursday in a 6-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.

It was their archrival Edmonton Oilers helping lock Calgary into the post-season Saturday by beating the Knights 4-0 in regulation before the puck dropped at Calgary’s Saddledome.

The Flames, 46-20-9 atop the Pacific Division, became the third Western Conference club to nail down a playoff spot following the Colorado Avalanche on April 6 and the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

“It’s really difficult to make the playoffs,” said Flames head coach Darryl Sutter. “Only half the teams in the league do it. We made the playoffs with two weeks left in the season.”

The Avalanche secured first in the Western Conference on Saturday with a 7-4 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Calgary has seven games remaining in their regular season, including two at home.

“We still have a lot to play for,” Tkachuk said.  “We know we’re in a position now where we’re going to play a team that’s going to have been playing well going into the playoffs to make it. Home ice is huge. We’re playing for that and trying to play good hockey going into it.”

Arizona scored in the first minute of the game to lead 1-0 after a period, but the Flames exploded for four goals in a span of two minutes 33 seconds starting 38 seconds into the second period.

Four goals in three minutes 11 seconds was the third-fastest four goals to start a period in NHL history and the quickest in 45 years, according to the league.

“It was exciting not only for us. Think the fans are fired up. We were fired up,” Gaudreau said. “At that point, it’s only a three-goal game and we needed to keep pushing.”

As the Flames kept filling Arizona’s net, the Saddledome chanted “we want 10.”

Gaudreau’s four-point night increased his total to 105 this season. Tkachuk and Lindholm collected their 39th goals and Gaudreau his 36th in front of 16,823. The last Flame to crack the 40-goal mark in a season was Jarome Iginla in 2010-11.

Dillon Dube also scored twice with Andrew Mangiapane and Blake Coleman Calgary’s other goal scorers. Flames starter Jacob Markstrom stopped 25 of 26 shots for the win after he was pulled in two straight games for Dan Vladar.

“I wanted Markstrom to get sharp, first and foremost, right, get a whole game under his belt,” Sutter said. “I don’t put a whole lot into the first period or any of the rest of it, to be quite honest. It was about winning a game.”

Nick Ritchie replied for Arizona (22-48-5), playing out the string in the NHL’s basement.

Coyotes starter Harri Sateri was pulled for Karel Vejmelka after giving up four goals on four shots to start the second period, but returned to the game and stopped 24 of 31 shots overall in the loss.

Vejmelka turned away eight of 10 shots in 16:49 minutes of work.

“Obviously goaltending’s an issue for them,” Sutter said. “They used one guy twice.”

Since losing the Stanley Cup final in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004 — with Sutter also behind Calgary’s bench then — the Flames have exited the playoffs in the first round seven times and were ousted in the second round in 2015.

Calgary missed the playoffs in 2021.

“It’s a huge accomplishment for our team from where we were at least year to this year,” Gaudreau said. “Proud of the guys in the locker room, but work starts now.

“We’ve got to try and put ourselves in a good spot for the rest of the year. Maybe try to get home ice for most of the playoffs if we can and get ready for round one.”

The Coyotes scored 30 seconds after the opening faceoff on their first shot of the game, which was their first goal in the first minute of a game this season.

NOTES: The Flames’ record for the fastest four goals scored is one minute 21 seconds set by Theo Fleury, Gary Suter, Chris Lindberg and Ron Stern in a 1993 game against the San Jose Sharks … Flames defenceman Nikita Zadorov reached a career 100 points with the first of his two assists … Mangiapane’s two points gave him 51 this season, which is a career high.

Brayden Schenn scored 56 seconds into overtime and the St. Louis Blues wrapped up a playoff spot, beating the Minnesota Wild 6-5 on Saturday for their season-high eighth straight victory.

Vladimir Tarasenko, Ivan Barbashev, David Perron, Brandon Saad and Pavel Buchnevich scored in regulation and Ville Husso made 31 saves.

Schenn ended it after Minnesota rallied with a four-goal third period. The Blues swept the season series against Minnesota, their likely first-round opponent, and reached the 100-point mark for the ninth time.

Ryan Hartman scored twice for Minnesota and Frederick Gaudreau, Marcus Foligno and Kirill Kaprizov added goal. Cam Talbot made 24 saves, pushing his career-high points streak to 12 games.

Hartman banked a shot off Blues defenseman Marco Scandella’s stick for his second of the game early in the third period, and Gaudreau scored at 4:41 to cut the deficit to one.

Buchnevich scored at 9:15 to extend his points streak to a career-high nine games, with six goals and 10 assists.

Minnesota tied it with two goals 58 seconds apart. Foligno had a power-play goal and Kaprizov scored on a one-timer with 5:02 left. Kaprizov has 43 goals, the most in a season in franchise history.

St. Louis has scored four or more goals in a franchise-high 11 straight games.

MR. NICE GUY

Minnesota fans, after the league fined Hartman $4,250 following an altercation Wednesday night with Edmonton’s Evander Kane, flooded Hartman’s Venmo account with over $20,000 to pay for the fine. Hartman announced Friday that he’s paying the fine himself and that he’ll also add the amount of the fine to the amount collected, a total of just under $25,000, and donate it to Children’s Minnesota hospital.

UP NEXT

Wild: Host San Jose on Sunday night.

Blues: At Nashville on Sunday night.

Jeremy Swayman rebounded from a rough stretch with 23 saves and the Boston Bruins clinched a playoff spot by holding off the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 on Saturday to halt a season-high three-game losing streak.

Trent Frederic and Erik Haula each scored a first-period goal for Boston, which went on the skid after winning 17 of 21.

“It’s really an important win for us, especially as of late,” Swayman said. “Just the fashion that we did it, making the small plays, simple plays, everything was crisp and on point for us. Just super excited, clinching the playoffs, and to do it at home is a cherry on top.”

Former Bruin Danton Heinen scored for the Penguins, who fell to 2-5-1 in their past eight. Casey DeSmith stopped 27 shots.

The Bruins went 0 for 2 on the power play, extending their scoreless stretch to 25 straight.

The 23-year-old Swayman, who seemed to be a lock to be the No. 1 goalie for the playoffs about a month ago, lost his previous three decisions when he allowed a few soft goals. He made a handful of solid stops when the Penguins had two power plays in the second period was steady with nine stops in the third.

“I thought he looked composed, he was confident playing the puck,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I think he needed this as much as we did to be honest with you. He’s a young guy … sometimes older guys can play through things not going their way. Young guys, you’re never too sure, especially in that position.”

Swayman looked relaxed and was smiling talking about his own play afterward.

“I felt good, he said. ”It was one of those games that I wanted to make sure I was square to the puck, seeing it well and get a feel for it. Definitely took a lot of positives from today, excited to move forward with it.”

Looking eager to erase their recent sporadic play, the Bruins grabbed a 2-0 edge just over two minutes into the game.

“I thought the final 58 (minutes) we were competitive and played a solid game,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. “The first two we weren’t ready to play.”

Frederic backhanded in a rebound from the edge of the crease in the opening minute. Haula then fired a shot from the right circle that ricocheted into the net off Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson at 2:01.

Heinen fired a rising wrister over Swayman’s left shoulder 5:38 into the second.

Having clinched a playoff spot in their previous game on Thursday night with a victory over the Islanders, the Penguins had a slow start. They steadied their play after being outshot 11-6 in the first.

“That’s a tough spot to put ourselves in,” Penguins center Teddy Blueger said. “They’re a good defensive team, very structured. It’s tough to score on them and when you’re chasing the game they’re more diligent and it makes it tough.”

The Penguins clinched a postseason berth for the 16th straight season, the longest active streak of North American pro sports teams.

CHASING A MILESTONE

Sidney Crosby’s next goal will give him 30 for the 10th time, matching Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr as the only ones in franchise history to post 30 or more in 10 seasons.

PRODUCTIVE DAY SHIFTS

The Bruins improved to 10-2 in afternoon games.

WINTER CLASSIC FOES

The NHL announced earlier this week that the teams would meet in the Winter Classic on January 2, 2023, at Fenway Park, which is the home of the Boston Red Sox and owned by John Henry, who also owns the Penguins.

NOTES: Bruins leading goal scorer David Pastrnak missed his sixth consecutive game with an undisclosed injury and defenseman Hampus Lindholm was out for his fifth straight because of an upper-body injury, but defenseman Brandon Carlo returned after being sidelined one game with an unspecified injury. … With Boston goalie Linus Ullmark out with an undisclosed injury, Troy Grosenick dressed as the backup. … Pittsburgh won the first meeting between the teams, 4-2 in Boston on Feb. 8 when Heinen scored twice. … Bruins defenseman Derek Forbort played his 400th game. … Crosby has 65 goals against Boston, the most of any active player. … Boston forward Taylor Hall hasn’t scored a goal in the eight April games.

UP NEXT

Penguins: Off until Thursday when they host the Bruins.

Bruins: At St. Louis on Tuesday.