April 5, 2019 9:37 am
Updated: April 8, 2019 11:12 am

Moore’s Morning Sports Briefing for Friday, April 5

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov (16) hugs defenseman Erik Johnson as center Nathan MacKinnon (29) joins the celebration after Johnson scored in overtime against the Winnipeg Jets during an NHL hockey game in Denver, Thursday, April 4, 2019. Colorado won 3-2. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)


Gooooooooodddddd morning!

A 3-2 overtime loss in Colorado last night — coupled with Nashville’s and St. Louis’ 3-2 and 7-3 victories over Vancouver and Philadelphia, respectively — has left the Winnipeg Jets with any one of the following scenarios for the start of the playoffs next week with one game remaining in the regular season.

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The Jets could still finish first with a win in Arizona tomorrow night and a Predators loss of any kind at home to Chicago. The same result could come from a Jets OT or shootout loss to the Coyotes and a Preds outright loss and a Blues loss of any kind to Vancouver. The potential first-round matchups in the event of that scenario would be Dallas or Colorado because the Avalanche could still potentially finish ahead of the Stars unless Dallas picks up a point in either of their two remaining games. So let’s put that under the category of “highly unlikely.”

Winnipeg could finish second and host Nashville if the Jets picked up a point in Arizona, the Preds lost outright to the Hawks and the Blues beat Vancouver. Again, not likely but possible.

If all three teams win tomorrow night, the Jets finish second and host St. Louis. Somewhat likely. If the Jets lose and the other two teams win, it’s off to St. Louis. Or if the Jets lose, Nashville loses in regulation or extra time and St. Louis wins, it’ll be Winnipeg at Nashville. Let’s just call either of those scenarios scary.

Mark Scheifele with his 37th and Nikolaj Ehlers with his 20th gave the Jets a 2-0 lead after the first period. Ehlers felt he and his teammates deserved a better fate.

The single point by the Avalanche officially eliminated Arizona so you’d think that might benefit the Jets tomorrow night in Glendale. Montreal’s post-season hopes are now hanging by a thread — as are the Rangers’ — after a 2-1 loss in Washington. The Canadiens will be booted off the playoff island if Columbus picks up two points in their remaining games at MSG and Ottawa.

Maybe it’s not such a bad thing to have an owner making hockey decisions. Carolina is in the playoffs for the first time in a decade after beating New Jersey 3-1. Remember the trepidation the hockey world had going into this season when Hurricanes new owner Tom Dundon said he was going to be “involved?”

And Pittsburgh is also going to the post-season for a 13th straight year after they beat Detroit 4-1.

Arizona Coyotes center Nick Cousins, right, celebrates after right wing Conor Garland, left, scored against the Vegas Golden Knights during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Other results from last night saw Arizona win 4-1 in Vegas. San Jose was a 3-2 winner in Edmonton, Tampa Bay topped Toronto 3-1, Boston shut out Minnesota 3-0, the Islanders were 2-1 shootout winners over Florida and Buffalo beat Ottawa 5-2.

An 8-6 loss to Scotland last night has left Kevin Koe and his Team Canada rink at 7-3 and in a fourth-place tie with the U.S. and Italy going into the final three draws of the round-robin portion of the World Men’s Curling Championship in Lethbridge. Canada plays second-place Switzerland this morning at 10 a.m. and then finishes up against the Netherlands at 8 p.m.

The Toronto Blue Jays did not muster a hit from any of the 117 pitches Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer threw for the first seven innings. They did manage three hits off the Indians’ bullpen but still lost 4-1. But as non-productive as the Jays have been at the plate with a .190 team batting average during a 3-5 start to the season, there are four teams behind them in that category. Dead last is Cincinnati with a 1.64 average. The Reds were shutout 2-0 by Pittsburgh to extend their scoreless streak to 19 innings and losing skid to five games. Boston is off to the worst start by a defending World Series champion in 20 years. The Red Sox are now 2-6 after losing 7-3 in Oakland.

Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid, center, cannot get a shot past Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, right, and Brook Lopez during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Philadelphia. Milwaukee won 128-122. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

And Milwaukee sewed up the NBA regular season title with a 128-122 win over Philadelphia to improve to 59-20 on the year. It’s the first NBA regular-season title for the Bucks franchise since 1973-74 and only the third overall.

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