NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 4, 2017

by | Jan 4, 2017 | News, NHL

The Columbus Blue Jackets are one win away from tying the NHL record of 17 consecutive victories.

Game recaps, December’s top rookie and star and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets collected their 16th consecutive victory by downing the Edmonton Oilers 3-1, moving to within one game of tying the league record of 17. Cam Atkinson, William Karlsson, and Nick Foligno scored for the Jackets. 

Alex Ovechkin’s overtime goal capped the Washington Capitals’ rally from a 4-2 deficit as they defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-5, snapping the Leafs five-game win streak.

Ovechkin’s OT goal was his 19th, tying him with Florida Panthers winger Jaromir Jagr for the most in NHL history. Evgeny Kuznetsov had a four-point performance (one goal, three assists) and Justin Williams collected three points for the Capitals. Leafs rookies Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner each had two points. 

Shea Weber scored in his return to Nashville since being dealt last summer to the Montreal Canadiens, helping his new club defeat the Predators 2-1 in overtime. Former Predators winger Alexander Radulov set up Weber’s goal and Max Pacioretty’s winner. 

Nikolaj Ehlers scored twice and set up another while Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves to give the Winnipeg Jets a 6-4 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Jets rookie Patrik Laine also scored and set up two others, while Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov scored two goals and picked up an assist. 

Tanner Pearson scored in overtime, Jeff Carter had a goal and an assist and Peter Budaj made 26 saves to give the Los Angeles Kings a 2-1 win over the San Jose Sharks. 

Justin Bailey scored his first NHL goal and Anders Nilsson made 24 saves as the Buffalo Sabres upended the New York Rangers 4-1. Earlier in the day, the Rangers revealed forward Matt Puempel is sidelined indefinitely by a concussion. 

The New Jersey Devils got back-to-back wins for the first time since December 8, as Corey Schneider made 29 saves in a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Earlier in the day, the Devils placed forward Reid Boucher on waivers only a day after claiming him from the Nashville Predators in hopes of giving him playing time with their AHL affiliate. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes remain without the services of backup goalie Eddie Lack, who’s once again sidelined by a concussion

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin and Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk were named the NHL’s three stars for December 2016

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This marks the first time a Blue Jackets player was named player of the month. 

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews was named NHL rookie of the month for December 2016

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After being somewhat overshadowed by Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine, Columbus’s Zach Werenski and Leafs teammates William Nylander and Mitch Marner earlier in the season, Matthews rose to the fore in December. He’s now tied with Laine for the rookie scoring lead and the Leafs top scorer. 

ESPN.COM: Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, Montreal’s Carey Price and Nashville’s P.K. Subban were named divisional captains for the 3-on-3 tournament in the upcoming NHL All-Star Game. 

PHILLY.COM:  The Philadelphia Flyers activated goaltender Michal Neuvirth off injured reserve. 

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues placed forward Ty Rattie on waivers. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks sent rookie Tyler Motte to their AHL affiliate in Rockford. 

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic is glad he rescinded last season’s trade request. Hamonic asked to be dealt to a Western Conference club to be close to an ailing relative in Manitoba but changed his mind after the relative’s health improved. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So no, the Islanders’ struggles this season hasn’t made Hamonic regret his decision to pull his trade request.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Former Blackhawks Nick Boynton, Ben Eager, and Dan Carcillo admit they experienced difficulty adjusting to life after their NHL careers ended. “I had a difficult period,” Carcillo said. “Every year you’re familiar with a routine and structure and you have a purpose, and now you’re kind of searching for what to do next and what will motivate you.” The trio credit their families with helping in their transition. 

STLTODAY.COM:  St. Louis city leaders and Blues executive seek taxpayer help in making $138 million in renovations to Scottrade Center.