Game recaps, plus the latest on Ryan Johansen, Aleksander Barkov, Mattias Janmark, Jason Demers and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
(Note: Games involving Canadian NHL teams are recapped in “Canadian Corner.”)
CSNNE.COM/NEWSDAY: The Boston Bruins overcame a 2-1 deficit to defeat the New York Islanders 5-3. Joonas Kemppainen’s tied the game with his first NHL goal and David Pastrnak netted the eventual game winner, leaving the Bruins with a 3-0 road record. Sloppy defense, including two costly turnovers, burned the Islanders.
LOS ANGELES TIMES/THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Tyler Toffoli scored twice and goalie Jonathan Quick made 40 saves as the Los Angeles Kings blanked the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0. The Hurricanes’ last victory in Los Angeles was Dec. 8, 2005.
Notable NHL Headlines.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: The Sidney Crosby-Phil Kessel experiment is over for the time being, as the Penguins shake up their lines in hopes of improving their offense. Kessel will skate alongside Evgeni Malkin on the second line, while Patric Hornqvist moves onto Crosby’s right wing.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much for the supposedly lethal one-two scoring punch of a Crosby-Kessel line. They just didn’t mesh well together. It’ll be interesting to see if Malkin and Kessel develop better chemistry as linemates.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: New Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella raised eyebrows by reducing first-line center Ryan Johansen’s ice time and then benching him entirely for the final six minutes of their recent 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tortorella is wasting no time sending a message to the Jackets’ best player and the rest of the roster. Either Johansen raises his game, or this could become a test of wills between the two.
MIAMI HERALD: Florida Panthers first-line center Aleksander “Sasha” Barkov will miss tonight’s game against the Dallas Stars with an apparent hand injury. He’ll be re-evaluated when the club returns to Florida.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Losing Barkov for any significant period could be a serious blow to the Panthers’ offense. He and wingers Jaromir Jagr and Jonathan Huberdeau have played well together.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika chronicles the improbably whirlwind start of Stars rookie Mattias Janmark.
NHL.COM: Dallas Stars defenseman Jason Demers received a two-game suspension for elbowing Pittsburgh Penguins forward Nick Bonino. The league also fined New Jersey Devils forward Stephen Gionta over $2,200.00 for spearing Ottawa Senators’ Mark Borowiecki.
STLTODAY.COM: Jimmy Roberts, the original St. Louis Blue, died of cancer at the age of 75.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Roberts spent his 15-season NHL career split between the Blues and the Montreal Canadiens. With both clubs, he played in nine Stanley Cup Finals, winning five championships with the Canadiens. An effective checking-line forward, Roberts played in 1,006 NHL regular-season games, scoring 126 goals and 320 points. He was also an assistant coach with the Blues, Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins, and head coach for one season with the Hartford Whalers in 1991-92. Roberts also won back-to-back Calder Cup titles in 1990 and 1991 as head coach of the AHL’s Springfield Indians. My condolences to his family, friends and former teammates.