Rangers rookie Kaapo Kakko enjoys his first two-goal NHL game, Sidney Crosby considers sports-hernia surgery, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: New York Rangers rookie Kaapo Kakko enjoyed his first multi-goal game in a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Kakko scored twice, including the winner in overtime. The Penguins were without Sidney Crosby, who is considering surgery for a sports hernia and could miss four-to-six weeks.
The Florida Panthers overcame a 4-0 deficit to upset the Boston Bruins 5-4 on shootout goals by Vincent Trocheck and Mike Hoffman. Jonathan Huberdeau and Keith Yandle each collected three points. Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled after giving up four goals on 23 shots.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers have put their slow start behind them and are rising in the Eastern Conference standings. Bobrovsky’s shaky performance, however, remains a nagging issue. The two-time Vezina Trophy winner has a 6-3-4 record with a bloated 3.52 goals-against average and a woeful .881 save percentage.
Colorado Avalanche rookie goaltender Adam Werner had a 40-save shutout in his NHL debut to blank the Winnipeg Jets 4-0. Werner replaced Pavel Francouz 41 seconds into the game following a collision with Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele. The extent of Francouz’s injury remains unknown. Teammate Ryan Graves said he saw the goalie walking around later and he seemed ok.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With starter Philipp Grubauer still sidelined and his return to action still uncertain, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with Francouz.
Jonathan Drouin’s shootout goal gave the Montreal Canadiens a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Carey Price made 33 saves for the Habs, who’ve won six of their last eight games to sit fourth in the Eastern Conference. Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray returned to action following a quicker-than-expected recovery from a broken thumb.
The Arizona Coyotes got shootout goals from Nick Schmaltz and Conor Garland to edge the St. Louis Blues 3-2, snapping the latter’s seven-game winning streak. Darcy Kuemper made 33 stops and Clayton Keller had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes, who sit fourth overall in the Western Conference.
Elias Pettersson and Tanner Pearson each scored twice as the Vancouver Canucks downed the Nashville Predators 5-3. Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko kicked out 34 shots. The Canucks are fifth in the Western Conference.
The San Jose Sharks picked up their fourth straight win by thumping the Edmonton Oilers 6-3. Erik Karlsson picked up three assists for the Sharks. Leon Draisaitl had a goal and an assist for the Oilers.
The Detroit Red Wings picked up their season-hight third straight win by nipping the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 on an overtime goal by Dennis Cholowski. Wings center Dylan Larkin scored late in the game to force the extra frame. After a strong start to this season, the Ducks have slid out of a wild-card position in the West.
Jonathan Quick turned aside 27 shots as the Los Angeles Kings ended a three-game winless skid by dropping the Minnesota Wild 3-1. Anze Kopitar and Sean Walker each had a goal and an assist.