NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 17, 2017

by | Dec 17, 2017 | News, NHL

Game recaps, latest on the Senators, Lemieux’s five-goal game voted greatest NHL moment & more in your morning coffee headlines.

 NHL.COM: Craig Anderson had a 28-save shutout performance as the Ottawa Senators blanked the Montreal Canadiens 3-0 in frigid conditions before over 33,000 fans at Ottawa’s Lansdowne Park in the 2017 Scotiabank NHL100 Classic.

The game was overshadowed by comments made the day prior by Senators owner Eugene Melnyk complaining about declining ticket sales for the Senators at Canadian Tire Centre and hinting the club could relocate if things didn’t improve.

League commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly did damage control on Saturday, stressing that Melnyk said he isn’t selling the Senators and insisting the club isn’t going anywhere. Bettman called the reaction to Melnyk’s comments “much ado about nothing”, pointing out a franchise cannot be moved without first going through the league process and receiving approval from the league board of governors.

Meanwhile, Ottawa city councillors were caught off guard by Melnyk’s remarks. Deputy mayor Bob Monette said he wasn’t aware of any difficulties with ongoing negotiations regarding a proposed development of LeBreton Flats to include a new arena for the Senators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Melnyk’s reputation for shooting from the lip cast an unnecessary pall over what was supposed to be his team’s highlight game of the season. While he has every right to be concerned over the declining attendance, his comments were ill-timed and poorly received by Ottawa fans. Rather than scolding his fan base and hinting at relocation, perhaps Melnyk and his staff should actually listen to the fans’ complaints about attending Senators games and their suggestions for improving the experience.

Anton Stralman and Yanni Gourde each had three-point performances as the Tampa Bay Lightning held off the Colorado Avalanche 6-5. Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog scored three goals and set up two others while teammate Nathan MacKinnon scored twice.

Carter Hutton set a franchise record with 48 saves to give the St. Louis Blues a 2-0 shutout victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Vladimir Tarasenko collected a goal and an assist in this game. Blues center Kyle Brodziak missed the game with an undisclosed injury.

Jordan Eberle’s overtime goal gave the New York Islanders a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Isles captain John Tavares scored a goal and set up two others whiles Kings forward Tyler Toffoli had a two-point game. Speaking of the Islanders, sources tell Newsday the state of New York could soon reach a decision on their arena proposal for Belmont Park, perhaps before the end of the month.

Cam Talbot made 29 saves in his first game since Nov.28 backstopping the Edmonton Oilers to a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild. Talbot missed seven games with an upper-body injury. Teammate Milan Lucic had a goal and an assist. Wild captain Mikko Koivu’s scoring woes continued in this game. His last goal came on Oct. 28 and his last point on Nov. 24. 

The Philadelphia Flyers extended their win streak to a season-high six games on two goals by Shayne Gostisbehere in a 2-1 overtime victory over the Dallas Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After a 10-game losing skid threatened to derail the Flyers’ season, their current winning streak puts them within four points of a wild-card berth. 

Pekka Rinne had a 32-save shutout performance as the Nashville Predators beat the Calgary Flames 2-0, stretching their record in December to 6-0-1.

Alex Ovechkin’s overtime tally completed a three-goal comeback for the Washington Capitals as they rallied to down the Anaheim Ducks 3-2.

Mats Zuccarello scored in overtime and Henrik Lundqvist made 33 saves as the New York Rangers edged the Boston Bruins 3-2.

Olli Maatta’s goal in the dying seconds of the third period was the game winner as the Pittsburgh Penguins snapped a three-game losing streak by doubling up the Arizona Coyotes 4-2. Penguins center Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist in this one.

Scott Darling made 35 saves while Noah Hanifin’s second-period goal stood up as the winner as the Carolina Hurricanes squeaked past the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 for their third consecutive win.

SPORTNET: Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux’s five-goal game on Dec. 31, 1988 was voted the greatest moment in NHL history by the fans. He became the first, and only, player to score five goals in five different ways. “Lemieux scored one goal at even strength, one while shorthanded, one on the power play, one on a penalty shot and even buried an empty netter to secure an 8-6 victory over the New Jersey Devils that night.”

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Vegas Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant faces his former team when the Knights square off tonight against the Florida Panthers. 

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Al the Octopus sold for $7,700 Saturday in an online auction of memorabilia from Joe Louis Arena.