NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 13, 2018

by | Mar 13, 2018 | News, NHL

NHL recaps, including milestones for Alex Ovechkin, Patrik Laine and Marc-Andre Fleury, in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin reached the 600 career goal mark during a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets (Photo via NHL Images).

  NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored twice, including his 600th career NHL goal, as his club edged the Winnipeg Jets 3-2. He’s the 20th player to reach the 600-goal mark and the fourth to do so in under 1,000 career games.  Evgeny Kuznetsov potted the winner in overtime. Ovechkin retook the league goal-scoring lead (42) as the Capitals regained first place in the Metropolitan Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin is among the very best in NHL history He’s this generation’s dominant scorer, on pace for his eighth 50-goal season. Only Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy (nine each) have more. 

Jets winger Patrik Laine also reached a milestone, tallying his 77th career goal to sit third for the most goals scored by an NHL teenager behind Jimmy Carson (92) and Dale Hawerchuk (85). Laine (41 goals) is also second to Ovechkin in this season’s goal-scoring race.Earlier in the day, the Jets revealed hard-luck goaltender Steve Mason will be sidelined at least two weeks following arthroscopic knee surgery.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 38 saves for his 400th career win as he backstopped his club to a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Fleury is the 13th goalie in NHL history to reach the 400-win plateau and sits third among active netminders behind Florida’s Roberto Luongo (467) and the New York Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist (430).

The Columbus Blue Jackets picked up their fifth straight win by downing the Montreal Canadiens 5-2. With 79 points, they move one point ahead of the New Jersey Devils for the first wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. Alexander Wennberg had a goal and four assists for the Jackets, who lost defenseman Seth Jones to an upper-body injury in the second period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets will be hoping Jones won’t be sidelined for long. He’s their top defenseman and second-leading scorer with 48 points. 

Jonathan Quick’s 35-save shutout performance carried the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks. The Kings (81 points) moved into third place in the Pacific Division.

Matt Duchene scored twice and Craig Anderson made 38 saves to give the Ottawa Senators a 5-3 win over the Florida Panthers, snapping the latter’s home winning streak at eight games. The Panthers (75 points) are three back of the Devils for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

A hat trick by Jimmy Vesey powered the New York Rangers to a 6-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Mats Zuccarello also scored twice for the Rangers. The Hurricanes (71 points) have dropped seven of their last 10 games and sit seven points out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

The St. Louis Blues (79 points) stayed with a point of a Western Conference wild-card berth by doubling up the Anaheim Ducks 4-2. Ivan Barbashev and Alex Pietrangelo each had two points for the Blues.

The San Jose Sharks (83 points) defeated the Detroit Red Wings 5-3 to maintain a two-point lead over the Kings for second place in the Pacific Division. The Red Wings’ losing skid has reached seven games.

Jets winger Patrik Laine, Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand and Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending March 11.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet has been granted a leave of absence to deal with a family illness.

SPORTSNET: Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (shoulder) could be sidelined until next week at the earliest.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the playoffs looming and the Leafs all but assured of clinching a postseason berth, it’s wise not to rush back their best player until he’s fully healed. 

THE MERCURY NEWS: After tumultuous tenures in Winnipeg and Buffalo, Evander Kane could find San Jose a better fit on and off the ice, where he’s unlikely to feel any backlash over his “NBA attitude”.

YAHOO SPORTS: Calgary Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan lit into his players again with another mid-practice rant following their 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders.