The Montreal Canadiens are not only hosting the NHL draft in July, they’ll have a chance to be the headliners after winning the draft lottery on Tuesday night.
The Canadiens followed a turbulent season in which they finished last in the overall standings by retaining the right to the No. 1 pick.
The New Jersey Devils shook up the draft order by winning the second of two lottery drawings and moving from the fifth to second slot in the draft order.
The Devils’ win bumped Arizona from second to third, Seattle to fourth and Philadelphia to the fifth slot. The remaining slots from 6 to 16 remained unchanged based on where the teams finished in the standings.
Montreal finally managed to pick up a big win following a season in which the Canadiens were undone by a series of injuries and free-agent losses, which led to the team firing coach Dominique Ducharme and general manager Marc Bergevin. Kent Hughes took over as GM with Martin St. Louis still holding the title of interim coach.
The timing of the lottery win at least lines up with the Canadiens’ lengthy wait to host the draft, scheduled for July 7 and 8. Montreal was originally scheduled to host the event in 2020, but the last two drafts were held remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The lottery determined the top 16 selections, with the remaining 16 to be determined by where teams finish in the playoffs.
Avalanche advance to second round
Valeri Nichushkin scored the tiebreaking goal with 7:58 left, and the Colorado Avalanche became the first team to advance to the second round by finishing a sweep of the Nashville Predators, 5-3, Monday night.
The Avalanche now are in the Western Conference semifinals for a fourth straight season and second consecutive after sweeping their first-round opponent. They now get to wait for either St. Louis or Minnesota.
Andre Burakovsky had a goal and two assists, Cale Makar added a goal and an assist, and Devon Toews added a goal for Colorado. Nathan MacKinnon sealed the victory with an empty-net goal on the man advantage with 55.9 seconds remaining. Pavel Francouz made 28 saves.
Yakov Trenin scored twice for Nashville, which was swept for the first time in franchise history in its 15th playoff appearance.
Panthers win in overtime
Sam Reinhart tied it late in regulation, Carter Verhaeghe scored his second of the game in overtime and Presidents’ Trophy-winning Florida beat Washington, 3-2, in Game 4, tying the first-round series.
Verhaeghe scored 4:57 into overtime to keep the NHL’s best regular-season team from getting pushed to the brink of elimination. It’s a best-of-three series now with Game 5 on Wednesday night at Florida.
Flames tie series with Stars
Rasmus Andersson scored Calgary’s first power-play goal since early in the playoff opener, Jacob Markstrom had 34 saves and the Flames beat Dallas, 4-1, in Game 4 to even their first-round series.
Johnny Gaudreau converted a penalty shot with 12:13 left in the game to make it 2-0 Calgary, and later assisted on Elias Lindholm’s third goal of the series as the Pacific Division champions regained home-ice advantage over the wild-card Stars. Mikael Backlund added an empty-netter in the final minute.
Sidney Crosby gets 200th career point
Sidney Crosby had a goal and three assists to become the sixth player in NHL history to reach 200 career playoff points and Pittsburgh routed New York, 7-2, to take a 3-1 lead in the first-round series.
Jake Guentzel scored for the fourth consecutive game and Jeff Carter, Danton Heinen, Mark Friedman and Mike Matheson also beat Igor Shesterkin as the Penguins chased the Vezina Trophy favorite for the second time in three days to move within one game of advancing in the postseason for the first time since 2018. Louis Domingue made 22 saves to win his third game of the series.
Vezina finalists announced
Jacob Markstrom, Juuse Saros and Igor Shesterkin were named the finalists for the Vezina Trophy on Tuesday.
The winner of the award, which is given annually to the goalie voted the best at his position by NHL general managers, will be announced as part of the 2022 NHL Awards during the conference finals or Stanley Cup Final.
Patrick Marleau retires
For 23 seasons, Patrick Marleau woke up each day preparing to play hockey and that helped him eventually break Gordie Howe’s record for most games played in the NHL.
After a difficult year away from the game hoping another team would call and offer him a chance, Marleau announced his retirement Tuesday, ending a career that featured a record 1,779 games, 566 goals, two Olympic gold medals and nearly every significant San Jose Sharks record.
Jamie Benn fined $5,000
Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for tripping Calgary Flames forward Trevor Lewis during Game 4 of the teams’ first-round series in Dallas Monday.
The incident occurred at 0:23 of the second period. Benn was assessed a minor penalty for tripping.