NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 31, 2018

by | Jan 31, 2018 | News, NHL

Game recaps plus latest on Nathan MacKinnon, Victor Hedman and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray returned to action with a 40-save performance in a 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks (Photo via NHL Images).

 NHL.COM: Evgeni Malkin tallied a hat trick and Matt Murray made 40 saves to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Murray was playing his first game after returning home to Ontario following the death of his father. Bryan Rust also scored two goals for the Pens.

A three-goal third-period outburst rallied the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames. With 33 victories, the Golden Knights have tied the NHL record for most wins in a debut season by an expansion club.

Daniel Sedin’s game-tying goal in the third period set the stage for Sven Baertschi’s overtime goal as the Vancouver Canucks nipped the Colorado Avalanche 4-3. It was a costly defeat for the Avs, as leading scorer Nathan MacKinnon left the game in the second period with an apparent shoulder injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word postgame on MacKinnon’s status. Losing him for a lengthy period could be a devastating blow to the Avalanche’s playoff hopes. Hopefully we’ll learn more about his status later today. 

The Boston Bruins 18-game points streak came to an end as they fell 3-1 to the Anaheim Ducks. Adam Henrique scored twice for the Ducks, who finished the game with starting goaltender John Gibson sidelined by an undisclosed injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gibson was hurt making a save on a heavy shot from Boston’s Patrice Bergeron early in the third period. No word yet as to the severity of his injury. He’ll be reassessed later today. 

Michael Hutchinson made 23 saves in his season debut as the Winnipeg Jets downed the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1. Jets captain Blake Wheeler collected two assists. Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman returned to action after missing nearly three weeks with a lower-body injury.

Zach Parise’s shootout goal lifted the Minnesota Wild to a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 41 saves.

The St. Louis Blues defeated the Montreal Canadiens for the fifth straight time, downing the Habs 3-1. Blues goaltender Carter Hutton made 33 saves, picking up his eighth win in his last 10 starts.

Darcy Kuemper turned in a 28-save shutout performance to give the Los Angeles Kings a 3-0 win over the Dallas Stars.

Anton Forsberg turned aside 42 shots while Vinnie Hinostroza scored a goal and set up another as the the Chicago Blackhawks edged the Nashville Predators 2-1.

Third-period goals by Sebastian Aho and Victor Rask gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators, handing the latter their sixth straight defeat.

Florida Panthers call-up goaltender Harri Sateri made 32 saves for his first NHL win as he backstopped his club to a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders. Forward Casey Cizikas returned to the Isles lineup after missing six games with an upper-body injury.

Kyle Palmieri had a goal and an assist to give the New Jersey Devils a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres, snapping the latter’s three-game win streak. Devils defenseman Mirco Mueller returned to the lineup after missing 31 games with a fractured clavicle.

SI.COM: Tom Dundon, the new owner of the Carolina Hurricanes, said he’s open to the idea of his club wearing throwback Hartford Whalers jerseys. 

TORONTO STAR: The evolution of hockey toward more skill and speed is significantly reducing the element of physical intimidation in the sport.