Capitals defeat the Blackhawks in the 2015 Winter Classic, plus the latest on Nick Bjugstad, Devan Dubnyk, Michael Del Zotto, Darren Helm and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

Troy Brouwer (left) celebrates his game-winning goal in the 2015 Winter Classic.

Washington Capitals forward Troy Brouwer (left) celebrates his game-winning goal in the 2015 Winter Classic.

THE WASHINGTON POST/CHICAGO TRIBUNE: A questionable penalty call on Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews late in the third period led to Troy Brouwer’s game-winning power-play goal as the Washington Capitals downed the Blackhawks 3-2 in the 2015 Winter Classic at Nationals Park. Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin collected a goal and an assist.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That questionable call aside, this year’s Winter Classic was probably the best in terms of playing conditions and the quality of play. It was a very entertaining game. 

NOTE: Game involving Canadian NHL teams are recapped in “Canadian Corner”.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Improved defense is a key reason behind the New York Rangers improved performance over the past month.

MIAMI HERALD: After signing a lucrative six-year contract extension with the Florida Panthers, young center Nick Bjugstad is bullish about his future.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the Panthers crop of promising young forwards, Bjugstad is the first to fully blossom into a reliable offensive threat.

THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Goaltender Devan Dubnyk has resurrected his career with the Arizona Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubnyk’s an unrestricted free agent this summer and could attract interest from clubs seeking an experienced backup.

CBS SPORTS: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Michael Del Zotto required a number of stitches to repair an ugly laceration to his neck during the Flyers game against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday. Del Zotto is reportedly in good spirits and isn’t expected to miss playing time.

THE DETROIT NEWS: After two frustrating seasons sidelined by injuries, Red Wings forward Darren Helm is playing a stronger and smarter game.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: New Jersey Devils forward Steve Bernier avoided a serious hip injury in his previous game and is expected in the lineup tonight against the Montreal Canadiens.

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders rookie Anders Lee has the highest Fenwick and Corsi numbers among Isles forwards this season.