Game recaps, Coyotes introduce their new majority owner, plus updates on Claude Giroux, Derek Stepan, Adam McQuaid and Erik Cole in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Sidney Crosby collected four assists leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 6-3 victory over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning. Winger David Perron, acquired earlier in the day from the Edmonton Oilers, was not in the lineup but is expected to be for the next Penguins game.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Matt Beleskey’s 16th goal of the season proved the game winner as the Anaheim Ducks edged the St. Louis Blues 4-3. It was the Ducks 19th win by one goal this season. The Ducks also learned they won’t be punished by the league for a practice led by team captain Ryan Getzlaf during the Christmas break.
MIAMI HERALD: Roberto Luongo shut out the Buffalo Sabres for the second time this season, backstopping the Florida Panthers to a 2-0 victory.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Eric and Jordan Staal combined for the game-winning goal as the Carolina Hurricanes edged the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1. Thanks to a Kevlar-reinforced sock, Flyers captain Claude Giroux escaped serious injury after being accidentally cut on his left leg. Giroux required stitches but is expected to play in Saturday’s contest against the New Jersey Devils.
NOTE: Games involving Canadian NHL teams are recapped in “Canadian Corner”.
CBS SPORTS: The 2.3 TV rating for the 2015 NHL Winter Classic between the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals was the lowest in the history of the event.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was a distinct lack of buzz over this year’s tournament compared to previous years. Rather than constantly showcasing the same teams (this was the second Winter Classic involving the Blackhawks and Capitals), the league should start staging this event in Western locations, like Minnesota and Colorado.
NBC SPORTS: Ryan Getzlaf, Patrick Kane and Sergei Bobrovsky are your NHL three stars for December 2014.
THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The Arizona Coyotes yesterday formally introduced hedge-fund investor Andrew Barroway as their new majority owner. Barroway denied rumors he might flip the club for a quick profit or relocate it. His takeover, however, doesn’t affect the “opt-out” clause the ownership group has in its arena lease agreement with the city of Glendale, which goes into effect if the franchise loses $50 million over the first five years.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the Coyotes ownership saga isn’t over yet. Because of that clause, the club’s future in Arizona remains in doubt.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Since Derek Stepan returned from injury, the New York Rangers have gone 14-7-2.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid (broken right thumb) could return to the lineup this weekend.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars winger Erik Cole has changed his style to play a more physical game, leading the Stars in hits this season.