NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 31, 2017
Game recaps, Flames ship Eddie Lack to the Devils plus injury updates on Filip Forsberg, Logan Couture and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Washington Capitals took over first place in the Metropolitan Division by downing the New Jersey Devils 5-2. Alex Ovechkin had three assists and Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson each scored a goal and set up two others.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin, the Capitals’ top scorer with 41 points, moved into 10th spot among the league’s scoring leaders.
Tuukka Rask made 25 saves to pick up his second shutout of the season as the Boston Bruins blanked the Ottawa Senators 5-0. Ryan Spooner scored twice and David Krejci collected two points in his first game since being sidelined on Dec. 16.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins continue to jostle with the Toronto Maple Leafs for second place in the Atlantic. They’ve won seven of their last 10 games.
The Nashville Predators moved ahead of the Winnipeg Jets for first in the Central Division by beating the Minnesota Wild 3-0. Juuse Saros kicked out 29 shots for his second shutout this season. The Predators were playing without their leading scorer, as winger Filip Forsberg (upper body) is on injured reserve.
Drew Doughty scored the game winner in the third period to lift the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Tyler Toffoli also scored and added two assists for the Kings.
Scottie Upshall’s third-period goal stood as the winner as the St. Louis Blues edged the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. Alex Pietrangelo had two helpers for the Blues, who squandered a 2-0 lead before Upshall’s winning tally. The Blues also welcomed back defenseman Jay Bouwmeester from injured reserve.
James Reimer turned in a 38-save shutout performance and Connor Brickley had two points to give the Florida Panthers a 2-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. The punchless Habs dropped their fourth straight, scoring just three goals in that stretch.
CALGARY SUN: The Flames yesterday traded goaltender Eddie Lack to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for defensman Dalton Prout, who cleared waivers earlier this week. As per Sportsnet’s John Shannon, the Devils will pick up 50 percent of Lack’s remaining salary while the Carolina Hurricanes (his former club before being dealt to the Flames) absorbs the other 50 percent.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lack’s game really declined during his tenure in Carolina and didn’t improve during his brief stay with the Flames. He and Prout will both report to their new clubs’ minor-league affiliates.
NBC SPORTS: Good news for the San Jose Sharks, as leading scorer Logan Couture (sidelined since Dec. 14 by a concussion) could be on the verge of returning to action.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: The Penguins have called up forward Daniel Sprong in hopes of bolstering their sagging offense. He has 18 goals and 28 points in 29 AHL games this season.
WINNIPEG SUN: The good news for the Winnipeg Jets is sidelined defenseman Dustin Byfuglien is expected back within the next five days. The bad news is blueliner Brandon Tanev is out two-three weeks.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning placed backup goalie Peter Budaj (left leg) on injured reserve and called up Louis Domingue.