Josh Morrissey picked up a one-game suspension for his cross-check on Eric Staal in Game 4 Tuesday. There was no penalty called but it was a bad hit and although Staal did not miss any action, there should have been at least a penalty.
This means that the Jets will be missing four defensemen Friday as Toby Enstrom, Tyler Myers and Dmitry Kulikov are out and Sami Niku who was the top defenseman in the AHL during the season, will enter the game as the Jets sixth rearguard.
It was quite a night in the NHL as the best team in each series won on Wednesday including Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Nashville. All three teams are up 3-1 and headed home for Game 5 which should end each series.
PITTSBURGH 5 PHILADELPHIA 0
There were a couple of records set for the Penguins on Wednesday as they shutout the Flyers 5-0.
Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist to give him 173 playoff points as he became the Penguins all-time leading point-getter, surpassing the great Mario Lemieux by one point. To show Lemieux’s greatness, he had the 172 points in only 107 games while it took Crosby 45 more games to break his record. Now, what Crosby did was amazing but Lemieux’s totals in only 107 games was truly stupendous.
Crosby’s record breaking point was a thing of beauty as he scored by coming around the net and tucking it in as Flyers’ netminder Michal Neuvirth was unaware as to where Crosby was on the ice. Watch the goal here.
Matt Murray broke the NHL record for the fastest netminder to 25 wins in the playoffs. Murray picked up his second shutout of the series as he stopped all 26 shots, including a breakaway effort from Claude Giroux.
Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel each had a goal and an assist to tie Crosby on the night, while Kris Letang and Riley Sheahan also scored for the Penguins.
Brian Elliott got the start for Philadelphia and he gave up three goals on 17 shots before he was pulled after the Letang goal. Neuvirth replaced him to see his first action since a lower body injury put him out of action two months ago. Neuvirth gave up two goals on 13 shots Wednesday.
Nolan Patrick replaced the injured Sean Couturier on the top line between Giroux and Jakub Voracek and was a minus-three, along with Giroux. Every Flyers defenseman was a minus-player.
Jake Guentzel had two assists for the winners. Tom Kuhnhackl had seven of the Penguin’s forwards 16 hits.
TAMPA BAY 3 NEW JERSEY 1
Like the Penguins, Tampa Bay will take a 3-1 lead back to Florida as they beat the Devils 3-1.
The Lightning were led by their top line who combined for seven points, as well as goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, one of the three Vezina Trophy finalists, as he stopped 27-of-28 shots for his third win of the 2018 playoffs.
Nikita Kucherov had a couple of goals and an assist to give him nine points in four playoff games thus far. J.T. Miller had a goal and two assists while Steven Stamkos had one helper.
The Devils actually held the lead when Kyle Palmieri opened the scoring with his first of the post-season on the power play. Rookie Will Butcher and Taylor Hall drew the assists. For Hall it was his sixth point in four contests.
Cory Schneider was stellar in the New Jersey cage as he turned aside 34-of-36 shots. Look for Schneider to be back between the pipes Saturday for Game 5.
The Kucherov line were all plus-three in the game while Nico Hischier was a minus-three.
Straight from an episode of Seinfeld, David Puddy led the Devils cheer during the game. It was great to see.
Sami Vatanen suffered an upper body injury in the first period on a hit by Kucherov and did not return.
NASHVILLE 3 COLORADO 2
The Nashville Predators are up three games to one with the series heading back to Music City but it wasn’t easy as they held on to beat the Avalanche 3-2.
The Predators raced off to a 3-0 lead after two periods as Filip Forsberg (on an absolutely beautiful goal), Colton Sissons and Craig Smith all beat Jonathan Bernier.
When the third period opened, Andrew Hammond was between the pipes as Bernier suffered a lower body injury in the second period. Bernier stopped 23-of-26 shots while Hammond was perfect in the third as he stopped all eight shots directed his way.
The Avs got their comeback started when Gabriel Landeskog scored on the power play and then cut the lead to only one as Alex Kerfoot knocked the puck into the net with 8:59 left in the third. The goal was challenged by the Predators but it was ruled that Blake Comeau did not interfere with Pekka Rinne.
Rinne sparkled in the Nashville net as he made 31 saves for the win. He has also been named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy and deservedly so as he was sensational in the regular season and returned to form Wednesday after a couple of four-goal games.
Mattias Ekholm had a pair of assists for the Predators. Game 5 will be back in Nashville Friday as the Predators will try and close it out.
SAN JOSE 2 ANAHEIM 1
The San Jose Sharks eliminated the Anaheim Ducks by sweeping them in the best-of-seven series 4-0 with a 2-1 win Wednesday.
Both Los Angeles based teams are out of the playoffs without winning a game as the Kings lost in four straight to the Vegas Golden Knights who will face the Sharks in the second round starting next week.
Martin Jones was spectacular once again as he made 30 saves for the win. John Gibson made 22 saves as the Ducks will be heading to the golf course in a couple of days.
Marcus Sorensen opened the scoring in the first period as he scored for the third time in four games. It really helps in the playoffs when your bottom-six forwards are scoring.
After a scoreless second (the Ducks scored a split second after the period ended) the Ducks came out for the third on the power play and scored 27 seconds into the period only to have that one called back as well as it was deemed the play was offside.
The Ducks finally scored one that counted when Andrew Cogliano scored his first of the playoffs. But the tie only lasted 76 seconds as Tomas Hertl beat Gibson at the 9:09 mark of the third for the winner.
Justin Braun had five hits to lead both teams while his four blocked shots were equalled by Hampus Lindholm of the Ducks.