NHL Stanley Cup Playoff podcast with Matt Harrington: Pens to face Rangers in first round; Sabers overtime win against Blackhawks 3-2; plus more

Pittsburgh Penguins’ Evan Rodrigues (9) scores on Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender J-F Berube (30) in first period action at PPG Paints in Pittsburgh on Fri Apr 29, 2022 (AP News photo)

NHL podcast with Matt:

#1 The Pittsburgh Penguins (46-25-11) advanced to the playoffs with a win over the Columbus Blue Jackets (37-38-7) 5-3 on Friday night at PPG Paints Arena. The Penguins will face the Rangers for the Eastern Conference first round in game 1.

#2 Both the Buffalo Sabers (32-39-11) and the Chicago Blackhawks (28-42-12) concluded their regular season with the Sabers getting an overtime win over the Blackhawks 3-2 at KeyBank Center in Buffalo Friday. The Blackhawks started out with a 2-0 lead but the Sabers came back and tied it up in the second period 2-2. The Sabers Casey Mittelstadt got the overtime game winning goal at 2:53.

#3 The Boston Bruins lost their last game of the season to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night 5-2 and will face off with the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Leafs will play the Tampa Bay Lightning.

#4 It was the first win for Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price since game 4 of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs Finals. It was a landslide of goals scored by the Canadiens 10-2 over the Florida Panthers on Friday night at the Belle Centre. Price stopped 37 shots and it was his 700th start and 712th game with the Canadiens for his 361st career win.

#5 In his first game in five seasons for the Detroit Red Wings goaltender Magnus Hellberg it was like riding a bike you just don’t forget. Hellburg stopped 20 shots by the New Jersey Devils to help in a 5-3 win at the Prudential Center on Friday night. Hellberg played five years in the Kontinental Hockey League before signing an Apr 13th free agent contract with the Red Wings.

Join Matt throughout the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs for the NHL podcast at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Sharks Beat Blackhawks 4-1, Ten Sharks Earn Points

San Jose Sharks center Nick Bonino, center left, is congratulated by defenseman Brent Burns (88), center Thomas Bordeleau, center right, and center Scott Reedy (54) at the SAP Center in San Jose on Sat Apr 24, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 on Saturday. The Sharks showed some good depth in scoring, with ten Sharks in all earning points in the game. Jasper Weatherby, Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier and Nick Bonino scored for the Sharks. Kaapo Kahkonen made 27 saves for the win. Tyler Johnson scored for Chicago and Kevin Lankinen made 15 saves in the loss.

The Sharks announced the Bay Area media’s selections for end-of-year award winners after the game. Timo Meier was named player of the year, Jonathan Dahlen was named rookie of the year. Brandon Coe was named prospect of the year and James Reimer won for Media Good Guy.

On Saturday, the Sharks got goals from both Meier and Hertl, something that has not happened for a while. It is likely that the return of linemate Alexander Barabanov had something to do with that. After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said that he would like to see Barabanov, a free agent this summer, return next season: “I think that that line works together, I think that he’s a guy that provides offense and, you know, this is a team that could use that. Now, I’m not on the business side, the numbers side, so that’s a different story but yeah, I like him as a player.”

The first goal of the game came from Jasper Weatherby and the Sharks’ all-rookie fourth line at 6:03. Sasha Chmelevski carried the puck in and around a defender before taking a shot. Scott Reedy picked up the rebound and sent it back at the net for Weatherby to redirect in.

The Blackhawks out-shot the Sharks 9-4 in the first period. They also beat them in the face-off circle, winning 56% of the draws.

Tomas Hertl made it 2-0 at 1:08 of the second period. Timo Meier carried the puck into the zone two-on-one with Hertl and made the pass just above the circle. Goalie Kevin Lankinen could not get across in time to stop Hertl’s shot. Assists went to Meier and Jaycob Megna.

Timo Meier added a third for the Sharks at 10:34. Meier and Alexander Barabanov entered the zone only to be blocked by Blackhawks. Meier pushed the puck through Alex Vlasic to Barabanov, who had to battle Seth Jones for control of the puck. Barabanov managed to move the puck to the net and Meier caught up to it at the corner of the net where he tapped it in with an outstretched stick.

Tyler Johnson broke the shut-out at 15:38. Jonathan Toews got away from Megna behind the net and made a backhand pass from just below the goal line. The pass got to Johnson up the slot for a clear shot. Assists went to Toews and Seth Jones.

The first penalty of the game came in the second period, and it went to the Blackhawks. The Sharks power play got one shot and gave up one short-handed shot. Chicago again out-shot the Sharks, 10-7, and beat them on the draw, winning 57% of the face-offs.

Nick Bonino scored on the power play to make it 4-1 at 6:19 of the third. With Scott Reedy screening the goaltender, Bonino had some time to pick his spot through traffic. Assists went to Brent Burns and Logan Couture.

The third period saw more penalties, with two for each team. The Sharks power play got the goal and three shots. Their penalty kill gave up three shots and had one short-handed shot. The final shot count was 28-19 Blackhawks and the final face-off tally was 28-18 Blackhawks.

The Sharks next play on Sunday in Las Vegas against the Golden Knights at 7:00 PM PT.

NHL podcast with Matt Harrington: Montreal Legend Lafleur passes at 70; Wild’s Kaprizov passes 100 points for the season; plus more

Former Montreal Canadien Guy LaFleur was a staple in Montreal sports, LaFleur was a five time Stanley Cup Champion and scored 50 or more points for six consecutive seasons (file photo from nhl.com)

On the NHL podcast with Matt:

#1 He was called the cornerstone of the Montreal Canadiens dynasty, scoring at least 50 goals for six straight seasons for the Habs superstar Guy Lafleur died at age 70 after a three year battle with cancer. LaFleur played from 1971 to 1985 and returned to playing from 1988-91 and was a five time Stanley Cup Champion.

#2 The Minnesota Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov scored his 100th point and then eclipsed it on Friday against the Seattle Kraken at the Xcel Energy Center in St Paul in a 6-3 win. Kevin Fiala set a Wild record with five assists for points in nine consecutive games.

#3 The Ottawa Senators goaltender Filip Gustavsson stopped 33 shots enough to hold back the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Friday night in Columbus. The Senators won in a shootout 2-1. The Sens Tim Stutzle scored the only goal in the shootout enough for Ottawa to get by Columbus.

#4 The Toronto Maple Leafs Wayne Simmonds was fined $2250 for charging the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev at 15:21 of the third period of Thursday’s game in Tampa Bay. The money goes to the Players Emergency Assistance Fund.

#5 The Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks are at SAP Center in San Jose. The Blackhawks have won two of their last 11 games, more recently winning two of their last five games. The Sharks come into tonight’s game winning one of their last 11 games.

Matt does the Sharks podcasts each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Sharks Fall to Blackhawks 5-4 in Shootout

Chicago Blackhawks center Dylan Strome (17) scores against San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer, left, at the United Center in Chicago on Thu Apr 14, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks fell 5-4 in a shootout to the Blackhawks in Chicago on Thursday. Patrick Kane, Taylor Raddish, Calvin DeHaan, and Dylan Strome scored for Chicago. Kevin Lankinen made 33 saves for the win. Timo Meier, Scott Reedy, Rudolfs Balcers, and Jaycob Megna scored for San Jose.

James Reimer made 28 saves in the loss. Going into the game, the Sharks had lost seven in a row and the Blackhawks had lost eight in a row. The win was fortuitous, as the game was the last for long-time (39 years) Chicago broadcaster Pat Foley.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about missed opportunities in this game and other recent losses. He said he would like to know “how many breakaways we’ve had probably in the last ten games, either five-on-five, short-handed. Shoot-outs, all those situations, you know, two nights ago in Nashville, Tommy Hertl. We missed a few breakaways in Vancouver. So those are golden opportunities to shift the momentum and we haven’t been able to take advantage of that.”

Patrick Kane gave the Blackhawks a lead at 2:03 in a three-on-one attack. Kane, arriving at the side of the net received, the pass from Dylan Strome and tapped the puck over the line. Assists went to Strome and Alex Debrincat.

Timo Meier tied it up at 4:45. Brent Burns took a shot from the point. Tomas Hertl redirected it and it went off of a Chicago defender, bouncing right to Meier, who shot it in off of the far post. Assists went to Hertl and Burns.

Taylor Raddish scored for Chicago on the power play at 13:35 of the second period. Assists went to Seth Jones and Patrick Kane.

Scott Reedy tied it 2-2 at 15:53. Matt Nieto passed the puck to a trailing Reedy who took the shot up the slot through traffic. The puck went in off of the crossbar. Assists went to.

The NHL reviewed a play at 17:14 after the Blackhawks celebrated, thinking they had a goal. But Reimer twisted around to reach for the puck and sweep it out while it was still on the red line. Before play resumed, Nicolas Meloche and Jake McCabe seemed ready to fight but the officials intervened and gave them each four minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The Blackhawks scored during the ensuing four-on-four at 18:42. Patrick Kane sent the puck at the net just as Calvin DeHaan was passing in front of the blue paint for a neat redirection. Assists went to Kane and Debrincat.

Dylan Strome made it 4-2 Chicago at 4:45 of the third. Four Blackhawks entered the zone, and four passed the puck across the ice before Strome took the shot from just below the circle. Assists went to Seth Jones and Alex Debrincat.

Rudolfs Balcers cut the lead back down to one with a goal at 5:40. With a scramble going on in front of the Chicago net, Balcers found the puck out front. He took his time to set up and shoot the puck up over the prone goaltender. Assists went to Logan Couture and Erik Karlsson.

Jaycob Megna tied the game at 16:35, after a flurry of shots from the Sharks late in the third. Megna caught a rebound at the bottom of the circle and shot the puck into the far side. Assists went to Meier and Hertl.

After a scoreless overtime, James Reimer saved shots from Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, but gave up a goal to Alex Debrincat. Kevin Lankinen stopped shots from Tomas Hertl, Logan Couture and Erik Karlsson.

Alexander Barabanov did not skate after he took a body check early in the first period, but he returned for the second period. Radim Simek also left early the first period, returned for two shifts before the end of the period and then did not return for the second. Matt Nieto sustained an upper-body injury at the end of the second period but returned for the third.

The shot count was close in the first and second periods, 22-20 Sharks. In the third, the Sharks stepped on the gas and out-shot the Blackhawks 13-6. In OT, the Blackhawks had four shots to the Sharks’ one. In the face-off circle, the Sharks took a beating, winning only 36% of the draws.

The Sharks next play on Saturday in Dallas against the Stars at 5:00 PM PT.

San Jose Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa Walsh: Preds Johansen shows that he can do it by himself gets gamer in overtime for 1-0 win

The Nashville Predators and left winger Filip Forsberg (9) kept San Jose Sharks goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (34) off balance night in a goaltending duel that went into overtime at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville (photo from San Jose Sharks)

On the Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa:

#1 Mary Lisa it was a battle that felt like it took all night both goaltenders for the San Jose Sharks (29-33-10) Kaapo Kahkonen and for the Nashville Predators (42-26-5) Juuse Saros. Saros got the perfect game stopping all 25 Sharks shots for the 1-0 overtime shutout. Kahkonen stopped 41 Predator shots.

#2 Mary Lisa there’s a lot that goes into throwing a shutout Saros had to defend against some of the Sharks top shooters Matt Nieto led with four shots, Sasha Chemlevski, Rudolfs Balcers, and Tim Meier had three each to no avail.

#3 Mary, talk about the goal by Ryan Johansen in the overtime stanza at 3:18 it was the game’s only goal and with Kahkonen defending the net as well as he was and the goal coming in the late part of the overtime it gave the Predators a great chance to wrap up the game.

#4 One other note the Predators defenseman Mark Borowiecki was crosschecked in the face and slashed on the hip on Sun Apr 10th by the Pittsburgh Penguins Evgeni Malkin. Malkin received a double minor and was suspended for the next four games. The league ruled the hit was intentional and not some defensive inadvertent move.

#5 It’s off to Chicago and the United Center and the Blackhawks who have lost eight straight games. The Hawks have not won a game since Mar 24 in a shootout over the Los Angeles Kings 4-3. Tell us how you see the Sharks and Blackhawks matching up Thursday night.

Join Mary Lisa for the SJ Sharks podcasts each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NHL podcast with Matt Harrington: Colton scores twice for Bolts in win over Hawks 5-2; Ducks end 11 game loss streak with a shutout

Tampa Bay Lightning center Ross Colton (79) puts one on net against the Chicago Blackhawks center Tyler Johnson (90), and defenseman Calvin de Haan (44) at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay on Fri Apr 1, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the NHL podcast with Matt:

#1 The Tampa Bay Lightning’s (43-18-6) Ross Colton found the back of the net twice on Friday night in helping the Bolts defeat the Chicago Blackhawks (24-35-10) 5-2 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay. The Lightning’s Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point both scored a goal each.

#2 The Anaheim Ducks (28-30-12) Trevor Zegras helped end the Ducks 11 game loss streak with a sound 5-0 shutout over the Arizona Coyotes (21-42-5) at Gila River Arena in Glendale on Friday night. Zegras scored his 17th goal of the season at 9:42 in the first period. Ducks goalie Anthony Stolarz a shutout saving 22 shots.

#3 The Vegas Golden Knights (38-28-4) Jack Eichel scored twice to help the Knights pick up a three goal win over the Seattle Kraken (21-41-6) 5-2 at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle.

#4 New York Islander (31-27-9) goaltender Semyon Varlamov stopped 27 shots in a 3-0 shutout over the New York Rangers (44-20-9) at Madison Square Garden in New York. It was Varlamov’s second shutout this season and his fourth straight over the Rangers at MSG.

#5 The Buffalo Sabres (25-33-11) Tage Thompson scored two times and was good enough as the Sabers edged the Nashville Predators (39-25-4) at KeyBank Center in Buffalo. The Sabers Peyton Krebs and Victor Olofsson scored a goal each in the Sabers 4-3 win.

Join Matt for the NHL podcast each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NHL podcast with Matt Harrington: Caps Ovechkin scores tying and winning goals; Kreider scores twice for Rangers in 5-1 win over Pens; plus more

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, left, gets congratulated by teammates right wing Tom Wilson (43), defenseman Martin Fehervary (42) and left wing Axel Jonsson-Fjallby (45) after scoring the game winner in the overtime shootout at Key Bank Arena in Buffalo on Fri Mar 25, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the NHL podcast with Matt:

#1 The Washington Capitals (36-20-10) Alex Ovechkin can do it all he scored his 41st goal of the season a real bullet no time for the Buffalo Sabers goalie Dustin Tokarski to get a glove on the top shelf goal and later Ovechkin scored the winning goal in the shootout against the Sabers (23-33-9) for the 4-3 win at Key Bank Arena in Buffalo on Friday night.

#2 The New York Rangers (41-19-5) Chris Kreider took it to the Pittsburgh Penguins (39-17-10) with two goals in a four goal win 5-1 for the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Mika Zibanejad picked up his 500th career point and Andrew Copp scored his first goal with the Rangers.

#3 Another disappointing finish for the Montreal Canadiens (17-37-10) who were eliminated on Friday night when the Capitals defeated the Sabers. The Canadiens who sit in 16th and last place in the Eastern Conference will have to go home after the regular season and figure it out for next season.

#4 Patrik Laine made his Winnipeg (31-25-10) return in the Columbus Blue Jackets (32-29-4) uniform for the first time since being traded to the Jackets back on Jan 23, 2021. Laine had four shots on goal and three shots blocked by the Jets on Friday night. The Jets edged the Jackets in overtime 4-3.

#5 The Chicago Blackhawks (24-32-9) Jonathan Toews will play in his 1000th game against the Florida Panthers (43-14-6) next week Thursday and it did not come easy as Toews missed all of last season because of chronic immune response syndrome and this year had to deal with concussion issues missing 11 games. Is Toews facing the end of his career he says he’s not sure what he will do after this season.

Matt Harrington does the NHL podcasts each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NHL podcast with Matt Harrington: NHL Trade deadline some big names up for grabs; plus NHL action from Friday

Brandon Hagel was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh from the Chicago Blackhawks on Fri Mar 18, 2022 (photo from nhl.com)

On the NHL podcast with Matt:

#1 Matt how important is it that the Tampa Bay Lightning picked up Brandon Hagel in exchange for forwards Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh from the Chicago Blackhawks?

#2 Matt, talk about the key winning goal by the Buffalo Sabers Tage Thompson that helped get the win over the Calgary Flames in overtime at 3:07 for a narrow 1-0 win. Also big hand for the Sabers goaltender Dustin Tokarski who stopped 24 shots for the shutout.

#3 The Ottawa Senators Josh Norris help end the Senators three game losing streak with a go ahead goal in the third period that handed the Senators a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night. The Sens Aaron Forsberg stopped 28 out 29 shots.

#4 The injuries are piling up for the Vegas Golden Knights the latest have center Jack Eichel doubtful for against the Los Angeles Kings for Saturday. Eichel blocked a shot with his hand and could sit out. His teammates goaltender Robin Lehner, two defencemen Brayden McNabb and Alec Martinez and three forwards Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, and Reilly Smith are all on the injured list. Inspite of that the Knights snapped a five game losing streak with a win over the Florida Panthers 5-3 on Thursday night.

#5 Matt, just to name a few of the players who are trade deadline as of this morning maybe you could update us, the Vancouver Canucks Brock Boeser, New York Islanders Cal Clutterbuck, Andrew Copp Winnipeg Jets, Jake DeBrusk Boston Bruins, and Marc Andre Fleury Chicago Blackhawks. I’ll let you also add more to whose on the trade block for tonight.

Matt does the NHL podcasts each Saturday night at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NHL podcast with Matt Harrington: Stars pull off win after going 0-0 in regulation; Bettman upholds Marchand suspension; plus more

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, left, can’t stop the Dallas Stars center Jacob Peterson who scores the game winning shootout goal at the United Center in Chicago on Fri Feb 18, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the NHL podcast with Matt Harrington:

#1 Matt, as you know there are no ties in hockey and the Dallas Stars (27-19-2) and Chicago Blackhawks (18-25-8) played to a 0-0 in regulation and then a shootout which the Stars pulled it off with the score tied 1-1 and the Stars Jacob Peterson scoring the game winner.

#2 NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman upheld the six game suspension of the Boston Bruins Brad Marchand in which he hit Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry in the jaw while Jarry was down on his knees freezing a puck and later after an official was escorting Marchand off the ice Marchand took his stick and hit Jarry in the chin with it in the Feb 8th game.

#3 Matt, talk about the Edmonton Oilers Jesse Puljujarvi who is out with an lower body injury. Puljujarvi was injured Thursday in Anaheim at Rogers Place. Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said Puljujarvi got tangled up and it wasn’t a dirty play and not an impact injury.

#4 Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fluery says there is a lot of time between now and the March 21st trade deadline. Fluery wants to play one more year and hopes to finish up in Chicago. Matt do you see Fluery able to get his wish and finish up with the Blackhawks.

#5 The Philadelphia Flyers Claude Giroux is considering a trade and is discussing it with team general manager Chuck Fletcher. Giroux has a no trade clause in his contract. Fletcher said it’s Giroux’s decision and with the trade deadline coming Fletcher will waiting to hear from Giroux.

Join Matt Harrington for the NHL podcasts each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Jose Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa Walsh: Sharks make first visit to Seattle to face off with Kraken on Thursday night

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, right, makes a save as Seattle Kraken center Yanni Gourde (37) and Blackhawks defenseman Jake McCabe, second from left, battle at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle on Mon Jan 17, 2022. The San Jose Sharks battle the Kraken on Thu Jan 20, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa:

#1 The San Jose Sharks (21-17-2) Timo Meier has had a great season with 25 goals and 24 assists but he had the game of his career on Monday afternoon against the Los Angeles Kings (20-14-5) at SAP Center in San Jose scoring five goals in one game he was just simply unstoppable.

#2 Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick who played for the whole game allowed six goals and faced 17 shots just didn’t either have the defense in front, had himself a poorly defensive game or Meier played like Bobby Orr and Alex Ovechkin rolled into one.

#3 On the defensive end the Sharks just allowed two goals for the Kings one scored in the first period and another in the third period and the Kings had won four straight games previous to Monday’s game with the Sharks.

#4 Sharks goaltender James Reimer was on top of things between the pipes Monday against the Kings with 39 saves against two goals allowed. Talk how big Reimer has been for the Sharks this season.

#5 The Sharks continue the fight as they drop he puck Thursday night against the Seattle Kraken (11-23-4) at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle it will be the Sharks first visit to Seattle since the Kraken opened up this season’s inaugural year. The Kraken recently snapped a ten game losing streak with a 3-2 shootout win over the Chicago Blackhawks (15-18-6) on Monday night in Seattle. Puck drops at 7:00 pm Thursday night between the Sharks and Kraken how do you see these two clubs facing off?

Join Mary Lisa for complete Sharks coverage on the Sharks podcasts each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com