NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 16, 2018
Game recaps, a couple of minor trades plus the latest on Alex Ovechkin, Taylor Hall and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Nico Hischier collected three points, Stefan Noesen scored twice and Taylor Hall extended his points streak to a franchise-record 16 games as the New Jersey Devils defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2. With the win, the Devils opened a three-point lead over the Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference standings, with the Devils holding the first wild-card berth.
A 50-save performance by Jaroslav Halak carried the New York Islanders to their first shutout win of the season, downing the New York Rangers 3-0. Isles rookie Mathew Barzal set up all three goals. Earlier in the day, Islanders forward Anders Lee politely rejected a donation to his cancer fund from a group raising money for a billboard demanding the replacement of general manager Garth Snow.
The Pittsburgh Penguins picked up their 10th consecutive home win by beating the Los Angeles Kings 3-1. Defenseman Dion Phaneuf scored his first goal as a King. Earlier in the week, he was dealt to Los Angeles in a multi-player trade.
Marian Gaborik scored a goal and added an assist in his first game with the Ottawa Senators to help his new team defeat the Buffalo Sabres 3-2. Gaborik was part of the return Ottawa received from Los Angeles earlier this week in the Dion Phaneuf trade. Sens center Matt Duchene assisted on all three Ottawa goals. Earlier in the day, the Senators made their second trade of the week, shipping centre Chris DiDomenico to the Chicago Blackhawks for defenceman Ville Pokka.
The Tampa Bay Lightning snapped a two-game losing skid with a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov had a four-point night (one goal, three assists) and Steven Stamkos potted two goals.
Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne saw his 11-game unbeaten streak end with a 4-3 loss to the Calgary Flames. Matthew Tkachuk and Dougie Hamilton each had a goal and an assist for the Flames.
Alex Ovechkin also had a goal and three assists as he led his Washington Capitals to a 5-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild. Ovechkin reached another milestone as he collected his 1,100th career NHL point. Tom Wilson also scored two goals for the Capitals.
The Chicago Blackhawks suffered their eighth straight loss, falling 3-2 to the Anaheim Ducks. Goaltender John Gibson made 42 saves as his club overcame a 2-0 deficit with three unanswered goals.
Arizona Coyotes rookie Clayton Keller had a goal and three assists as the Arizona Coyotes dropped the Montreal Canadiens 5-2. Keller’s teammate Brendan Perlini scored two goals.
The Edmonton Oilers suffered their fifth consecutive defeat in a 4-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights (80 points), who extended their Western Conference lead over the Nashville Predators by three points.
Goaltender Martin Jones made 43 saves while Brent Burns scored and set up another to give the San Jose Sharks a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.
SPORTSNET: The Toronto Maple Leafs traded forward Nikita Soshnikov to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2019.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Leafs fans were disappointed with the return for Soshnikov. Goes to show that a player’s actual value in the trade market usually isn’t as high as fans believe.
TSN: Florida Panthers winger Radim Vrbata last month submitted a 10-team list of acceptable trade destinations as requested by management.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun expects a limited market for the 36-year-old Vrbata, who has just 13 points in 36 games with the Panthers this season.
STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues activated forward Zach Sanford (shoulder surgery) off injured reserve and sent him to their AHL affiliate for conditioning.