NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 18, 2016
Game recaps, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.com: Jake Gardiner scored in overtime and Nikita Zaitsev netted his first NHL goal as the Toronto Maple Leafs edged the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1. Earlier in the game, Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury suffered a cut on his neck but returned to action after receiving five stitches and finished with 43 saves.
Earlier in the day, the Penguins placed defenseman Kris Letang (lower-body) on injured reserve and announced blueliner Trevor Daley is week-to-week with an upper-body injury.
After being pulled in a 4-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Friday, Carey Price rebounded with a 20-save performance to collect his 250th career victory as the Montreal Canadiens nipped the Washington Capitals 2-1.
Connor McDavid tallied the first shootout goal of his NHL career to lift the Edmonton Oilers to a 3-2 win over the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning, who’ve now dropped five of their last six games.
Tomas Tatar netted his first career NHL hat trick to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 6-4 win over the Anaheim Ducks, ending the Wings’ four-game losing streak.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Among the reasons for the Wings’ struggles this season is a lack of consistent production from young forwards such as Tatar. Not expecting Tatar to tally hat tricks every night, but if the Wings hope to extend their playoff appearance streak to 26 years, they need him to start producing on a consistent basis.
Patrick Kane snapped a 10-game goalless drought, Artemin Panarin had a three-point night and Vinnie Hinostraza scored the winner as the Chicago Blackhawks picked up their fourth straight win with a 6-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov left the game with an upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. Patrik Berglund scored twice for the Blues.
Jimmy Vesey and Mats Zuccarello scored in the shootout to give the New York Rangers a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators. Vesey, who was drafted by the Preds but declined to sign with them, received a heavy chorus of boos from the Nashville faithful. The Predators skated without defenseman P.K. Subban, who’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
The Philadelphia Flyers 10-game winning streak came to an end, falling 3-1 to the Dallas Stars. Antti Niemi turned in a 31-save performance for the Stars.
The Minnesota Wild picked up their seventh straight victory as Darcy Kuemper’s 27-save effort gave them a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes.
Mike Condon turned in a 29-save effort as the Ottawa Senators snapped a three-game losing skid with a 3-1 win over the New Jersey Devils.
Lee Stempniak and Sebastian Aho scored in a shootout to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
CSNNE.COM: Boston Bruins winger and leading scorer David Pastrnak will miss at least the next two games due to surgery on his right elbow.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hope he returns soon, I traded for him in my fantasy league last week!
NBC SPORTS: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson could be facing wrist surgery that might sidelined him for a lengthy period.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets placed forward Gregory Campbell on unconditional waivers yesterday. If he clears today, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk isn’t pleased with his club’s slipping attendance numbers, but he’s hopeful a winning team can bring back the fans. The Sens, who were 17th in attendance in 2015-16, have slipped to 23rd this season. Melnyk doesn’t consider ticket prices the issue, noting his club’s prices are among the league’s lowest. “Melnyk noted the troubled Phoenix pay system, which has seen many federal government employees go lengthy periods without getting paid, has had to have some sort of effect.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Missed this story yesterday. I think it’s a combination of the club’s performance, the difficulty some federal employees (Ottawa is a government town) have had with their pay system and the location of the Sens’ current arena in Kanata are to blame. Even the lower ticket costs could also be a factor. A better performance by the Sens, however, will boost their ticket sales.