NHL Gold & Mold: Ovechkin passes Lemieux, Manning suspended for racial slur
Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville returns to Chicago, Artemi Panarin to miss the upcoming NHL All-Star Game, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville made a triumphant return to Chicago as his club edged the Blackhawks 4-3. Quenneville, who coached the Hawks from 2008-09 to 2018-19, was honored by the club during the game. The Panthers’ victory was powered by Frank Vatrano’s hat trick, giving them six straight wins. Before the game, the Blackhawks honored Patrick Kane for reaching 1,000 career points. Earlier in the day, eyebrows were raised when Blackhawks’ stars Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith had a physical altercation during practice. Toews downplayed the incident as “just some friendly wrestling.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers (61 points) maintain their hold on third place in the Atlantic Division, while the Blackhawks (54 points) remain three points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Justin Williams scored two goals to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Teuvo Teravainen collected three points while Andrei Svechnikov had two assists. The slumping Jets have dropped three in a row.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Williams doesn’t look rusty after taking over half the season off. His return seems to have provided an extra spark for the Hurricanes. The Jets, meanwhile, are three points out of a Western Conference wild-card spot.
The New York Islanders doubled up the New York Rangers 4-2. Thomas Greiss made 40 saves and Josh Bailey had a goal and two assists. Isles center Mathew Barzal was benched during the third period by coach Barry Trotz for not playing within the team framework. Rangers all-star winger Artemi Panarin missed this game with an upper-body injury. He’ll be replaced at the upcoming 2020 NHL All-Star game by teammate Chris Kreider.
Third-period goals by Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci lifted the Boston Bruins to a 3-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights.
Brian Elliott had a 19-save shutout as the Philadelphia Flyers blanked the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0. The Flyers have won four of their last five contests.
SUN-SENTINEL: The 2021 NHL All-Star Game will reportedly be hosted by the Florida Panthers.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha could miss the remainder of the season with an injured rib cage and shoulder. His last game was Dec. 21 against Toronto.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 24 points in 29 games, Mantha was on his way to eclipsing last season’s 25-goal, 48-point performance in 67 games. His absence is among the reasons behind the Wings’ struggles this season.
CBS SPORTS: Nashville Predators forward Colton Sissons was assigned to their AHL affiliate in Milwaukee on a conditioning stint.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Brandon Manning received a five-game suspension by the AHL for uttering a racial slur during a recent game.
Sonny Milano missed #CBJ practice because of a court appearance in NYC for assault charges stemming from last summer.
After showing proof of community service plus paying the victim’s medical bills, the case against Milano & #Avs F A.J. Greer has been dismissed.
— Brian Hedger (@BrianHedger) January 21, 2020
Game recaps, three stars of the week, plus the latest on Connor McDavid, Jacob Markstrom, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Nazem Kadri scored twice and set up another as the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Detroit Red Wings 6-3. Nathan MacKinnon also tallied twice for the Avs while Dylan Larkin had a three-point outing for Detroit. Wings goalie Jimmy Howard is winless in his last 15 games (0-13-2).
A late goal by Noel Acciari lifted the Florida Panthers to a 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Wild. Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle collected four points. Luke Kunin scored two goals for the Wild.
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins, and Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Jan. 19.
THE SCORE: In an upcoming Sportsnet documentary, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid reveals the knee injury he suffered at the end of last season was more serious than originally reported.
Doctors told McDavid he was facing surgery and a 10-month recovery period to repair a torn PCL ligament, a torn lining at the back of his knee, and a crack at the front of his tibia. He instead opted for a rigorous rehabilitation schedule.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The rehab obviously worked for McDavid. He hasn’t missed a game this season and is the NHL’s leading scorer, on pace for a career-high 127 points.
NHL.COM: Vancouver Canucks assistant general manager John Weisbrod said his club has started contract extension talks with goaltender Jacob Markstrom.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Markstrom is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. He’s won 18 of 34 starts with a 2.71 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage while facing the sixth-most shots.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins forward Dominik Kahun was diagnosed with a concussion during Sunday’s game against Boston.
TSN: Winnipeg Jets forward Adam Lowry will be sidelined at least a month with an upper-body injury.
Patrick Kane reaches 1,000 points, Justin Williams tallies the game-winner in his return to the Hurricanes, the latest on Gerard Gallant, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane collected an assist for his 1,000th career point in a 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Alex Nylander, Erik Gustafsson, and Connor Murphy led the way with two points apiece while Robin Lehner made 36 saves. Jets forward Adam Lowry left the game in the first period with an injured arm. The surging Blackhawks are tied with the Jets (54), sitting just three points out of a Western Conference wild-card berth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks and Jets are moving in opposite directions approaching the All-Star break. The Hawks have won five in a row and seven of their last 10, while the slumping Jets dropped two in a row and six of their last 10.
Justin Williams scored the deciding goal during a shootout in his first game of the season as the Carolina Hurricanes edged the New York Islanders 2-1. Andrei Svechnikov also scored for the Canes while Anders Lee countered for the Isles. The Hurricanes snap a three-game losing skid and hold a one-point lead (59) over the Philadelphia Flyers for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot.
The Pittsburgh Penguins rallied from a 3-0 deficit to nip the Boston Bruins 4-3. Sidney Crosby picked up two assists while Bryan Rust tallied the winning goal.
Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Matiss Kivlenieks picked up a win in his NHL debut backstopping his club to a 2-1 over the New York Rangers. Oliver Bjorkstrand tallied both Jackets goals.
JOURNAL-PIONEER: Former Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant said he was surprised and disappointed by his firing last week. Gallant has returned to his hometown of Summerside, PEI, and is hoping to quickly return to coaching. He said if the right opportunity came up for himself and long-time assistant coach Mike Kelly, he’d definitely consider it. Kelly was also relieved of his duties by the Golden Knights.
Gallant was slated to coach the Pacific Division in the upcoming NHL All-Star Game. “I talked to the NHL about it and they sort of left it up to me, but I didn’t really feel comfortable (going),” said Gallant. “I just said I’d sooner pass.” Arizona Coyotes bench boss Rick Tocchet will replace Gallant.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given his credentials, the 2018 Jack Adams Award winner won’t be unemployed for long. I expect he’ll be back behind an NHL bench before the end of 2020.
NJ.COM: Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood suffered a concussion and lost four teeth when struck in the mask by a shot during Tuesday’s game against the New York Rangers. He was symptom-free by Friday and briefly played in Saturday’s loss to Columbus.
TSN: The Edmonton Oilers assigned defenseman Matt Benning to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield on a conditioning stint.