Game recaps, Alex Ovechkin and Ryan Miller each reach notable milestones and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Alex Ovechkin reached the 40-goal plateau for the 10th time in his career but his Washington Capitals were beaten by the Anaheim Ducks 5-2. Ovechkin ties Marcel Dionne and Mario Lemieux for second on the all-time list (Wayne Gretzky leads with 12 seasons) and also tied Lemieux for the most 40-goal seasons with one team. Anaheim’s Ryan Miller picked up his 374th career victory, setting the record for American-born NHL goalies.
Vladimir Tarasenko extended his points streak to 12 games with a goal and two assists while Jordan Binnington turned in a 31-save shutout as the St. Louis Blues downed the Minnesota Wild 4-0. For the surging Blues, it was their 10th straight win.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild (60 points) remain one point up on the Vancouver Canucks for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. However, they’ve won just three of their last 10 games and seem on the verge of tumbling out of postseason contention.
General manager Paul Fenton has reportedly been given permission by ownership to shake things up for long-term gains even at the risk of hurting their playoff hopes this season. Fenton could become a seller leading up to next Monday’s trade deadline.
Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang each scored two goals and Sidney Crosby collected three assists as the Pittsburgh Penguins held on for a 6-5 win over the New York Rangers. Mats Zuccarello also scored twice for the Rangers while defenseman Neal Pionk was kept out of the third period as a precautionary measure after taking a stick to the eye. With the win, the Penguins (69 points) hold the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Aleksander Barkov’s hat trick powered the Florida Panthers to a 6-3 thrashing of the Montreal Canadiens. Antti Niemi gave up three goals on nine shots before being pulled in favor of Carey Price. The Canadiens (69 points) are winless in their last four contests (0-3-1) and cling to the final wild-card spot in the East, one point up on the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Buffalo Sabres failed to gain ground in the Eastern Conference playoff race, falling 4-1 to the New Jersey Devils. Kyle Palmieri had a goal and two assists while goaltender Cory Schneider picked up his second straight win. The Sabres (63 points) are six points out of a wild-card spot in the East. Earlier in the day, the Sabres revealed defenseman Marco Scandella would miss the game with an undisclosed injury but he is expected to rejoin the roster later in the week.
Oscar Lindblom tallied twice and Carter Hart made 37 saves for the Philadelphia Flyers to complete a home-and-home sweep of the Detroit Red Wings with a 3-1 victory. Wings goalie Jonathan Bernier left the game after the first period with an upper-body injury and didn’t return. Like the Sabres, the Flyers are six points out of a playoff spot.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers have recalled defenseman Andrej Sekera from their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield. Sekera has missed the entire NHL season thus far with an injured Achilles tendon.
ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes have assigned center Christian Dvorak to their AHL affiliate for a two-week conditioning stint. He’s recovering from a torn pectoral muscle.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: After Don Cherry called the Carolina Hurricanes a “bunch of jerks” for their elaborate post-game victory celebrations, the club had “Bunch of Jerks” t-shirts made up and ready for sale.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hurricanes FTW
We’re a bunch of jerks and we have the shirts to prove it.
Available later this week at The Eye. pic.twitter.com/TEefqETEau
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) February 17, 2019