NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 13, 2017

by | Dec 13, 2017 | News, NHL

Game recaps plus updates on Corey Perry, Auston Matthews, Alex Pietrangelo & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid scored a goal and set up three others to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 7-2 beatdown of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Matt Benning, Mark Letestu and Jesse Puljujarvi each had a goal and an assist for the Oilers.

Andrei Vasilevskiy turned in a 32-save shutout performance backstopping the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-0 win over the St. Louis Blues. Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov picked up his 21st goal and 42nd point of the season, giving him the league lead in both categories. Earlier in the day, the Blues placed defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (lower body) on injured reserve, though he’s expected to return to action next week. 

Sean Couturier potted the game-winning goal late in the third period as the Philadelphia Flyers overcame a 2-1 deficit to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2. The Leafs were playing without center Auston Matthews (upper-body injury) for the second straight game, leaving some to wonder if he suffered a concussion during Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh.

Alex Stalock made 16 saves in relief of injured Devan Dubnyk as the Minnesota Wild edged the Calgary Flames 2-1 in a shootout. Dubnyk left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury. An update on his status is expected later today.

Taylor Hall scored twice as the New Jersey Devils defeated the Los Angeles Kings 5-1, snapping the latter’s eight-game winning streak. Hall also left the game in the third period with an undisclosed injury and will be evaluated today.

Patrick Kane scored in overtime as the Chicago Blackhawks nipped the Florida Panthers 3-2. Struggling Blackhawks forward Richard Panik was a healthy scratch from this game. After netting 22 goals last season, he went goalless in 21 straight games.

Cam Ward made 22 saves to pick up his 300th career victory as the Carolina Hurricanes ended their five-game losing skid with a 3-2 shootout win over the Vegas Golden Knights.

Evgeny Kuznetsov collected three assists to lead the Washington Capitals to a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Capitals defenseman John Carlson scored his first goal in 15 games. Avalanche rookie center Alex Kerfoot missed the game with a leg injury and is listed as day-to-day. 

The Buffalo Sabres tallied three times in the second period and held on for a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators, handing the latter their 12th loss in their last 13 games. Benoit Pouliot, Kyle Okposo and Evander Kane were the goalscorers for the Sabres.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: More bad news for the injury-ravaged Anaheim Ducks, as winger Corey Perry is listed as “week-to-week” with a lower-body injury. This comes just as linemate Ryan Getzlaf returned to action following a five-week absence. 

THE ATHLETIC: Kent Wilson rejects talk of the Calgary Flames possibly relocating to Houston if unable to reach agreement with the city of Calgary over a new arena. He points out no one is saying the Flames can’t get a new arena in Calgary, noting the current dispute between the team and city is merely over how much public funding will go into the project.  Wilson also points out the Flames, and the league, would have difficulty justifying a move out of one of the top hockey markets in North America. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t fully dismiss the notion of relocation, but I agree with Wilson that such a tactic would be a difficult move for the Flames and the league. Unless the current ownership sells the franchise to an outside interest  – and according to co-owner Murray Edwards, the Flames aren’t for sale – the club should remain in Calgary. Ultimately, I think the team and the city will eventually hammer out a deal for a new venue within the next couple of years. 

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan is in Russia meeting with KHL goalie and Caps prospect Ilya Samsonov in hopes of convincing him to play in North America next season. Samsonov is considered one of the best goalie prospects in the world and was selected by the Capitals in the 2015 NHL Draft. 

SPORTSNET: Former NHL defenseman Zarley Zalapski has died at the age of 49. His NHL career stretched from 1987 to 1999 with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Hartford Whalers, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers. He had 384 points in 637 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Zalapski’s family, friends and former teammates and associates.