NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 27, 2017
Game recaps, Marchand fined, Varlamov done for the season and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Andrej Sekera scored twice and Cam Talbot made 32 saves to give the Edmonton Oilers a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks. With the win, the Oilers are tied with the Sharks for first place in the Pacific Division. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each had two points for the Oilers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s still a lot of hockey left to be played in this season, but barring a significant second-half collapse, the Oilers are in position to reach the playoff for the first time in 11 years.
Evgeny Kuznetsov scored twice and Alex Ovechkin tallied his 23rd goal of the season as the Washington Capitals downed the New Jersey Devils 5-2.
Andrew Ladd scored twice as the New York Islanders extended their points streak to six games (5-0-1) by defeating the Montreal Canadiens 3-1. The Canadiens also acquired defenseman Nikita Nesterov from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for AHL defenseman Jonathan Racine and a sixth-round draft pick in 2017.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: An affordable depth move in both salary ($725K) and return by the Habs to add another puck-moving defenseman to their blueline. Nesterov is a restricted free agent this summer and the Lightning couldn’t afford to re-sign him. He was also a frequent healthy scratch and obviously didn’t have a future with the Bolts. If he plays well, the Habs could re-sign him, though he’s also eligible to be exposed in June’s expansion draft.
Brad Marchand scored twice as the Boston Bruins overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3. Earlier in the day, Marchand received a $10,000 fine for “a dangerous trip” on Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The incident wasn’t considered a slew foot as Marchand “appeared” to kick Kronwall’s skate out from under him. Still, I suspect Marchand, who’s been suspended four times totaling 12 games, didn’t receive another one because Kronwall wasn’t injured on the play.
Craig Smith scored two goals and Pekka Rinne kicked out 30 shots as the Nashville Predators nipped the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3. The Jackets were without head coach John Tortorella, who’s taken an emergency leave of absence for family reasons. Earlier in the day, Blue Jackets winger Cam Atkinson was added to the upcoming NHL All-Star Game as a replacement for sidelined PIttsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.
Patrick Sharp scored twice in Kari Lehtonen made 16 third-period saves in relief of Antti Niemi as the Dallas Stars beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3.
Nino Niederreiter scored a goal and set up two others as the Minnesota Wild thumped the St. Louis Blues 5-1.
Third-period goals by Andrew Copp, Bryan Little and Mark Scheifele in a two-minute span carried the Winnipeg Jets to a 5-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Patrick Laine had a goal and an assist for the Jets.
Johnny Gaudreau’s overtime goal lifted the Calgary Flames to a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators, snapping the Flames four-game losing skid.
Jonathan Marchessault scored in overtime as the Florida Panthers ended their four-game losing streak by edging the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1.
Wayne Simmonds netted his 21st goal of the season as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1.
Peter Budaj had a 22-save shutout performance as the Los Angeles Kings blanked the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0.
Mike Smith made 19 saves as the Arizona Coyotes shut out the Vancouver Canucks 3-0, entering the All-Star break with their first three-game winning streak of this season.
THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov underwent season-ending hip surgery on Thursday.
MIAMI HERALD: Florida Panthers right wing Jaromir Jagr wasn’t named to the All-Star Game in Los Angeles, but he will be attending as one of the final 67 players the league will unveil of their top 100 of all time.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That shouldn’t come as a surprise. Only Wayne Gretzky has more points than Jagr and only Gretzky and Gordie Howe scored more goals.