NHL favourites went 7-1 on Monday night. The lone upset was a big one.
Connor Brown scored twice, Matt Murray made 26 saves and the Ottawa Senators (+180) beat the Calgary Flames 4-2.
It was the 16th win of the season for the Senators.
Six of those 16 wins have come in their eight meetings with the Flames.
Here is the Morning Coffee for Tuesday April 20, 2021.
Senators play spoiler versus Flames… again
Auston Matthews leads the NHL with 12 goals over the past 30 days.
Brad Marchand is right behind him with 11 over that span.
There are two skaters tied for the third-most goals over that span – Alex Ovechkin and Connor Brown.
Brown scored twice for Ottawa in Monday night’s 4-2 win, including a shorthanded goal with a minute left in the second period and the game tied 1-1.
With at least a goal in nine of his past 11 games, Brown has been a shockingly consistent source of offence for both the Senators and for fantasy managers who took a chance on him when he started to heat up in late March.
Meanwhile, Murray made 26 saves for his second consecutive win. He’s stopped 49 of 51 shots in back-to-back victories over the Flames and Montreal Canadiens.
With Montreal losing to the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night, Calgary remains six points back of the Habs for the final playoff spot in the North Division with two more games played.
As of this morning, the Flames are +500 to make the playoffs.
While that’s down from +1200 odds to get into the postseason just a week ago, their struggles versus Ottawa are the biggest reason they are still on the outside looking in.
Calgary has picked up just five of a possible 16 points in its head-to-head meetings with the Senators this season.
Price injured in loss to Oilers
The Flames’ outlook would have been worse if the Habs had picked up two points in Edmonton.
However, the Oilers (-135) exploded for four goals in the third period to come from behind and beat the Canadiens 4-1.
As if blowing a late lead wasn’t bad enough, Carey Price was replaced by Jake Allen to start the second period due to an injury sustained in the first.
Price, who was making just his second appearance after missing the previous six due to a lower-body injury, turned away all seven shots he faced before Allen took over between the pipes.
While the Habs kept the Oilers’ attack at bay for the second period, the floodgates opened in the final frame.
Connor McDavid led the charge with a goal and two assists.
McDavid, who had yet to score in five previous meetings against Montreal this season, was even money to get his first of the year against the Habs on Tuesday night.
His goal turned out to be the game winner.
With a three-point night, McDavid increased his league-leading point total to 74 – nine clear of teammate Leon Draisaitl.
Edmonton is now nine points up on the Habs for third place in the North Division and five points back of the Toronto Maple Leafs for top spot.
The Oilers are +800 to win the division.
Meanwhile, Montreal is -750 to make the playoffs. The Habs are +600 to miss the postseason.
Patrick Marleau suited up for his 1768th career NHL game on Monday night, surpassing Gordie Howe as the all-time leader in games played.
It took him only 21,694 days to set that record.
The 23-year NHL veteran started his storied career in 1997 as the youngest player in the league.
Now 41, he’s the third oldest in the league – just a few months younger than his former teammate Joe Thornton and Zdeno Chara.
Unfortunately for Marleau and the Sharks, the Golden Knights (-235) spoiled the party last night by coming back from two goals down to beat San Jose 3-2 in a shootout.
Mark Stone scored twice and Alex Tuch beat Martin Jones for the shootout winner as Vegas recorded its seventh consecutive win.
Marleau will reach another milestone when the Sharks and Golden Knights meet again on Wednesday night, as he’ll play in his 900th straight game, which is the second-longest run in the NHL among active players behind only Keith Yandle.
Curry’s hot streak continues
Stephen Curry’s incredible run continued with 49 points in a 107-96 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.
The Warriors, which were a +160 underdog, pulled off the most impressive of four upsets in the NBA.
While Joel Embiid currently has the second shortest odds to win MVP at +350, it was Curry who had fans chanting MVP for him by the end of the game.
Curry, who is +2000 to win MVP, helped Golden State end Philadelphia’s four-game win streak with his 11th straight game scoring at least 30 points, knocking down 10 threes in a game for the sixth time this season, a stat that is truly as ridiculous as it sounds.
With the 49-point performance, the two-time MVP now leads the association with 31.4 points per game, moving past Bradley Beal (31.1) at the top of that list.
Curry and Beal are set to face one another Wednesday night in Washington.
Alex Smith calls it quits
Following a season in which he defied the odds, Alex Smith has officially announced his retirement.
After 17 surgeries to recover from a gruesome, potentially life-threatening injury in 2018, Smith returned to the field this season leading the Washington Football Team its first NFC East Championship since 2015.
The 16-year veteran started six games for Washington in 2020, going 5-1 on route to AP comeback player of the year honours.
While Washington is the reigning NFC East champ, they are currently the second choice to win their division at +300, behind the Dallas Cowboys (+100).