NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 24, 2017
Game recaps, latest suspensions, Olympic updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: T.J. Oshie’s shootout goal gave the Washington Capitals a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Capitals (104) opened a three-point lead over the Jackets for top spot in both the Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference standings.
The Toronto Maple Leafs (85 points) opened a three-point lead over the Boston Bruins for third in the Atlantic Division by doubling up the New Jersey Devils 4-2. William Nylander set a Leafs rookie record by stretching his consecutive points streak to 10 games while Mitch Marner tied a club record for most assists by a rookie (40). The Leafs played without defenseman Roman Polak, who received a two-game suspension for boarding Columbus forward Oliver Bjorkstrand.
Nikita Kucherov tallied a hat trick to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 6-3 win over the Boston Bruins, handing the latter their fourth straight loss. The Lightning (79 points) move to within three points of the slumping Bruins for the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.
Shootout goals by Kyle Turris and Bobby Ryan gave the Ottawa Senators a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Sens (90 points) moved within one of the Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens. It was a costly win for the Senators, as defenseman Marc Methot will miss weeks to a gruesome finger injury after being slashed on his right hand by Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. The Pens (102 points) moved ahead of the Blue Jackets into second in the Metropolitan Division.
Magnus Paajarvi netted two goals as the St. Louis Blues downed the Vancouver Canucks 4-1. The Blues (85 points) remain tied with the Nashville Predators for third in the Central Division. The Canucks, meanwhile, lead the NHL in man-games lost to injury (357 games), costing them 12 points this season.
Pekka Rinne made 24 saves and Colin Wilson collected two assists as the Predators defeated the Calgary Flames 3-1. The Predators hold the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Five third-period goals lifted the Edmonton Oilers to a 7-4 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Jordan Eberle scored twice and set up another while defensman Andrej Sekera also had a three-point game for the Oilers (89 points), who moved into a tie for second place with the Anaheim Ducks for second place in the Pacific Division, two points back of the San Jose Sharks.
Artemi Panarin’s shootout goal gave the Chicago Blackhawks a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars. With 102 points, the Hawks widened their lead over the Wild by eight points. Earlier in the day, the Blackhawks announced the re-signing of forward Tanner Kero to a two-year contract extension.
The Minnesota Wild missed an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth, falling 3-1 to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Wild (94 points) remains second in the Central Division and the Western Conference standings.
Anze Kopitar, Jake Muzzin and Drew Doughty each tallied a goal and an assist as the Los Angeles Kings kept their playoff hopes alive with a 5-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. The Kings (77 points) are eight back of the Predators for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
The Carolina Hurricanes (77 points) also kept their playoff hopes alive by upsetting the Canadiens 4-1. Lee Stempniak scored twice for the Hurricanes, who moved to within five points of the Bruins.
Jonathan Marchessault scored two goals to give the Florida Panthers a 3-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes.
NEWSDAY: New York Islanders forward Ryan Strome suffered a broken right wrist in his club’s win over the New York Rangers on Wednesday and could be done for the season. The Isles also recalled goaltender Jaroslav Halak.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen received a three-game suspension for for his hit on on Pittsburgh forward Jake Guentzel.
TSN: The International Ice Hockey Federation needs to know by the end of April if the NHL intends to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. NHL Players Association director Donald Fehr said we shouldn’t expect the players to give something up in collective bargaining in return for Olympic participation. Meanwhile, the league is expected to make a special announcement in China next week regarding the staging of some preseason and possibly some regular season games in that country.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers forward Anton Lander, currently playing for their AHL affiliate, intends to play in the KHL next season.