NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 7, 2018
Game recaps, injury updates and Jonathan Cheechoo retires in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: A five-point performance by Brad Marchand powered the Boston Bruins to 6-5 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Marchand tallied a hat trick, including the game winner in overtime. Bruins defenseman Torey Krug had four points, including two goals, as did Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha. Earlier in the day, the Bruins learned defenseman Charlie McAvoy will be sidelined at least four weeks with a sprained left knee.
Taylor Hall extended his points streak to 26 games with two assists as the New Jersey Devils downed the Montreal Canadiens 6-4. Travis Zajac scored twice for the Devils, while Jacob de la Rose had two goals for the Canadiens.
Winnipeg Jets goaltender Steve Mason turned in a 31-save shutout in his first game since Jan. 9 as the Winnipeg Jets blanked the New York Rangers 3-0. Winger Patrik Laine had the natural hat trick, but center Mark Scheifele left the game in the second period with a possible collarbone injury.
The Vegas Golden Knights suffered their fourth defeat in five games, falling 4-1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Golden Knights also lost winger Reilly Smith to a possible upper-body injury. Artemi Panarin scored a goal and set up two others for the Jackets (73 points), who hold a two-point lead over the Florida Panthers for the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Updates on Scheifele and Smith could come later today.
Brayden Point’s overtime goal lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-4 victory over the Florida Panthers. Nick Bjugstad had a hat trick for the Panthers, while the Lightning’s Yanni Gourde tallied twice.
The Nashville Predators set a franchise record with their ninth consecutive victory as they blanked the Dallas Stars 2-0. Pekka Rinne made 26 saves for the shutout while Ryan Hartman and Nick Bonino scored the only goals.
Four goals within 3:28 in the second period gave the Minnesota Wild a 6-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. The flurry set a franchise record for the fastest four goals.
Jonathan Toews scored in overtime as the Chicago Blackhawks edged the Colorado Avalanche 2-1. The Avalanche collected a point to remain tied with the Los Angeles Kings (77 points) in the Western Conference wild-card race. The Kings hold the edge with one additional victory. Earlier in the day, the Blackhawks announced the signing of defenseman Erik Gustafsson to a two-year, $2.4-million contract extension.
Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson had a 36-save shutout effort in a 4-0 win over the Washington Capitals. Rickard Rakell and Adam Henrique each had a goal and an assist.
VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks rookie star Brock Boeser will miss the remainder of the regular season with a small fracture to his lower back. He’s expected to make a full recovery but it will take four-to-six weeks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thankfully the injury wasn’t more serious. Boeser is a shoo-in as a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year. He has a bright future ahead of him.
THE ATHLETIC: Don’t expect the St. Louis Blues to buy out the final season of defenseman Jay Bouwmeester’s contract. The blueliner will soon undergo season-ending hip surgery, sidelining him for up to six months. The buyout period is June 15-30.
TORONTO STAR: NHL general managers are expected to discuss the league’s goaltender interference rule during their meetings later this month in Florida. Inconsistency over how the rule is interpreted and enforced has generated growing complaints among the players and coaches.
NBC SPORTS: Former San Jose Sharks winger Jonathan Cheechoo has announced his retirement as a professional player after 17 seasons in the NHL, AHL and KHL. Cheechoo’s best season came in 2005-06, becoming the first (and only) Sharks player to tally 50 goals (56) and winning the Maurice Richard Trophy as the league’s leading goal scorer. In 501 NHL games (440 with the Sharks), he had 170 goals and 305 points, along with 16 goals and 35 points in 59 playoff contests.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cheechoo had four straight seasons with 23-or-more goals between 2003-04 and 2007-08, but he was never the same following double sports-hernia surgery. Best wishes to Cheechoo in his future endeavors.