NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 29, 2017
Game recaps plus a lengthy list of injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Thomas Vanek enjoyed a five-point night (two goals, three assists) while linemate Brock Boeser collected four points to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-2 thumping of the Chicago Blackhawks. Sam Gagner also scored twice for the Canucks. The Blackhawks lost center Artem Anisimov with an upper-body injury. A further update on his condition is expected today.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With each game, Boeser is shredding the notion that this season’s rookie class lacks a true franchise player. He leads the Canucks and all of this season’s NHL newcomers in goals (21) and points (38). He’s also on pace for 45 goals and 85 points, which would exceed the numbers Toronto’s Auston Matthews put up last season when he won the Calder Memorial Trophy. If Boeser reaches those marks, he’ll have scored the most goals by a rookie since Washington’s Alex Ovechkin’s 52-goal performance in 2005-06 and the most points since Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin’s 85-point debut in 2006-07.
David Perron’s overtime goal lifted the Vegas Golden Knights to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. It was the Golden Knights’ sixth straight victory, setting an NHL record for consecutive wins by an expansion team. With 52 points, Vegas remains atop the Western Conference standings and sit four points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning for top spot overall.
Alex Ovechkin tallied his 24th goal of the season plus the winner in a shootout as the Washington Capitals edged the Boston Bruins 4-3. It was the Capitals 12th consecutive victory over the Bruins, snapping the latter’s five-game winning streak.
Steven Stamkos’ two goals powered the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens, who’ve dropped seven of their last 10 games.
Toronto Maple Leafs star and Arizona native Auston Matthews scored his first goal against the Coyotes at the Gila River Arena as his club romped to a 7-4 win. Patrick Marleau scored twice and Mitch Marner collected three points for the Leafs.
Martin Jones made 32 saves and Joonas Donskoi tallied the shootout winner to give the San Jose Sharks a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames.
James Reimer made 29 saves and Jonathan Huberdeau scored for the third straight game as the Florida Panthers held off the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets center Mark Scheifele is out six-to-eight weeks with an upper-body (right shoulder) injury. Captain Blake Wheeler will move into Scheifele’s spot centering the Jets top line for the time being.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coping with Scheifele’s absence will be a stiff test for the high-flying Jets’ offense, whose 3.26 goals for per game is the fifth-highest in the league.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Injuries continue to wallop the Pittsburgh Penguins. “Defensemen Kris Letang (lower body)and Chad Ruhwedel (upper body) and forward Bryan Rust (upper body) were placed on injured reserve, which means they must miss at least a week”. Meanwhile, goaltender Matt Murray will miss tonight’s game against Carolina with an upper-body injury.
NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders’ blueline depth suffered a blow as veteran defenseman Johnny Boychuk (lower body)was placed on injured reserve and is listed as week-to-week.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Rangers winger Chris Kreider is out indefinitely after being diagnosed with a blood clot in his right arm.
TWINCITIES.COM/STARTRIBUNE.COM: The Minnesota Wild can expect goaltender Devan Dubnyk (lower body injury) to return to action this weekend, while winger Nino Niedereitter (left foot/ankle) could be back in action next week.
THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis could make his season debut next week after being sidelined by offseason knee surgery.
Ottawa’s Fredrik Claesson suspended two games for an illegal check to the head on Boston’s Noel Acciari. https://t.co/kMb4CF1cuq
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) December 28, 2017