Author: Mike Halford

Vancouver Canucks v Calgary Flames - Game Three

Night of firsts: Johnny Hockey nets first-ever playoff marker (Video)


Couple of significant goals scored this evening.

After Antoine Vermette snapped a 20-game goalless drought to get his first as a Blackhawk, Flames rookie Johnny Gaudreau netted his first-ever playoff goal to give Calgary a 1-0 lead over Vancouver in Game 4 of its first-round series:

Gaudreau, a likely Calder finalist after scoring 24 goals and 64 points in 80 games this season, has performed well in his playoff debut. He’s now up to four points through four games and is averaging close to 19 minutes a night — key contributions for a guy that doesn’t turn 22 until August.

As for tonight’s game, the goals are coming fast and furious. After Henrik Sedin scored to even things at 1-1, Gaudreau assisted on Dennis Wideman’s power-play marker to give Calgary a 2-1 lead.

Video: Finally! Slumping Vermette scores his first as a Blackhawk

Minnesota Wild v Chicago Blackhawks

It took a while, but Antoine Vermette has finally scored for Chicago.

After 19 regular-season games and a pair of healthy scratches, Vermette found the back of the net in his second playoff game with the ‘Hawks, scoring at the 13:05 mark of the first period of Game 4, knotting the score at 1-1 on assists from Michal Rozsival and Patrick Sharp:

Needless to say, it’s been a trying stint in Chicago. Vermette had just three assists prior to the goal and struggled to find chemistry with a variety of linemates, which eventually banished him to the press box.

As for tonight’s game, the Preds opened the scoring when Colin Wilson scored his fourth of the series at 11:38 of the first.

Hobey Baker finalist Hyman won’t sign with Florida

University of Michigan v Minnesota

University of Michigan senior Zach Hyman — taken by Florida in the fifth round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft — has informed the Panthers he won’t be signing an entry-level deal with the club.

The move will allow Hyman to become an unrestricted free agent on Aug. 16, though the Panthers may trade his rights before then. Regardless, the Sunrise-based team will be losing out on a fairly promising prospect; Hyman led the Wolverines in scoring this year, with 54 points in 37 games, and finished as a Hobey Baker finalist.

This move is not unlike what Kevin Hayes and Justin Schultz did with their drafting teams (Chicago and Anaheim, respectively.) Both waited for the mid-August deadline to pass, then became UFAs and signed elsewhere (with the Rangers and Oilers, respectively.)

It’s a scenario that could play out again this summer with Columubus draftee Mike Reilly, a University of Minnesota junior who’s announced his intention to turn pro next year, but has yet to sign his ELC with the Blue Jackets.