Moore’s Morning Sports Briefing for Tuesday, April 16

Gooooooooodddddd Morning!

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If you had a better day than Colorado Avalanche rookie defenceman Cale Makar did on Monday — then you must have won a lottery! The 2019 Hobey Baker winner scored on the very first shot of his NHL Playoff debut, and it turned out to be the game winner as the Avalanche crushed Makar’s hometown Calgary Flames 6-2 for a 2-1 series lead. Nathan MacKinnon scored a pair of first period power play goals to give Colorado an early 2-0 lead. And lest you think Flames goalie Mike Smith had a bad night, he actually kept the score semi respectable as Calgary was outshot 56-29. Ouch.

It was also a lopsided affair in Raleigh, but for Carolina — as the Hurricanes made their first playoff home game in 10 years something special by wallpapering Washington 5-0. Petr Mrazek faced just 18 shots for the shutout, including only eight over the final 40 minutes. Warren Foegele and Dougie Hamilton each scored twice for the Hurricanes who needed to enjoy some success against the defending Stanley Cup champs according to Captain Justin Williams:

A few more games like last night’s 3-2 win over Boston and Toronto’s star centre Auston Matthews will not need to spend this summer hearing all the talk about how he had his lunch fed to him by the Bruins. Matthews managed just a goal and an assist in the Leafs seven-game loss to Boston last spring, but he equaled that output last night with the goal that put Toronto in front to stay, and a helper on the game winner by linemate Andreas Johnsson.

Here’s what Matthews had to say:

The Leafs will certainly need a bigger presence from Matthews if they intend to knock off the Bruins. NHL Player Safety has suspended Nazem Kadri for the remainder of the series because of his crosscheck to the face of Boston forward Jake Debrusk in Game 2.

Nashville edged Dallas 3-2 when Mikhail Granlund scored from just inside the blueline — almost the same way Kevin Hayes did the other night in St. Louis — with just under 8 1/2 minutes remaining. And that was the second “questionable” goal of that game allowed by Stars netminder Ben Bishop who has been so good for the Stars this season. But last night Bishop was significantly outplayed by Predators counterpart Pekka Rinne, who made 40 saves.

If the Winnipeg Jets are going to square the series with St. Louis and regain home ice advantage with a Game Four victory tonight, it will help if Patrik Laine keeps scoring, the TLC line keeps shutting down whoever they’re matched up against, and Connor Hellebuyck makes some timely saves. And centre Bryan Little says they’ll definitely need another impactful performance from Dustin Byfuglien:

Byfuglien leads the Jets in playoff scoring with a goal and four assists, but it is the physicality he has been flexing on the Blues that will have to continue.

WHL (Western Hockey League) profile photo on Kootenay Ice player Peyton Krebs, rt, chatting with his brother Calgary Hitmen player Dakota Krebs at a game in Calgary, Ab. on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Larry MacDougal

The final rankings for the June 21st NHL entry draft in Vancouver have been released, and Winnipeg Ice Captain Peyton Krebs is ranked 10th among North American skaters. Krebs is also serving as Captain of Team Canada at the World Under 18 Tourney in Sweden, and he had a pair of assists, including on the game winner with 2.5 minutes to play as Canada edged Russia 5-4 in their second and final “tuneup” game before opening the tournament against Finland on Thursday afternoon.

Hard to believe the two-time defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors would blow a 31 point lead — but they did in a 135-131 loss to the LA Clippers.

The U of M Bisons women’s basketball team have officially added Oak Park team mates Lauren Bartlett and Emily Johnson, who were key members of the Raiders’ three-consecutive provincial titles.

Milwaukee Brewers’ Christian Yelich reacts after his home run against the St. Louis Cardinals during the eighth inning of a baseball game Monday, April 15, 2019 in Milwaukee. It was Yelich’s third home run of the game. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Quite the night for 2018 National League MVP Christian Yelich of Milwaukee. He hit three homers and drove in seven runs as the Brewers outlasted St. Louis 10-7. Toronto opened a series in Minnesota with a 5-3 win as Teoscar Hernandez smacked a go-ahead three-run homer in the eighth after committing a base-running blunder in the sixth.

The Seattle Seahawks and star Quarterback Russell Wilson have agreed to a reported four-year extension for $140 million, including a $65 million signing bonus.

And the 2020 Olympic schedule has been released. Swimmers will have to dramatically alter their schedules as the event finals will take place at 10:30 a.m. in Tokyo so that they can be broadcast in prime time in the U.S.