NHL Morning Headlines – November 3, 2018
Game recaps, Lightning re-signed Yanni Gourde, latest demotions and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo made 32 saves in his first game since suffering a season-opening knee injury backstopping his club to a 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets in the second game of the NHL Global Series in Helsinki, Finland. Jets forward Patrik Laine scored for the Jets, marking his fourth goal in two games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers are a different team when Luongo’s between the pipes.
Derrick Pouliot’s overtime goal gave the Vancouver Canucks a 7-6 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Elias Pettersson (two goals, three assists) and Brock Boeser (two goals, two assists) led the way for the Canucks, while Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen each had three points for the Avalanche.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game may not have been a defensive masterpiece but you’ve got to admit that these high-scoring contests are fun to watch. Speaking of fun to watch, so are the leading scorers of the Avalanche and Canucks.
Antti Raanta made 48 saves and Alex Goligoski collected three assists in the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 overtime victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Michael Grabner tallied the Coyotes’ winning goal. Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho saw his twelve-game points streak come to an end.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes have won five straight games, rising from dead last in the Western Conference two weeks ago to within one point of a wild-card berth.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning yesterday signed forward Yanni Gourde to a six-year contract extension with an annual average value of $5.166 million. Gourde was slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A versatile two-way skater who can play all three forward positions, Gourde was an undrafted prospect who worked his way into the Lightning lineup. He tallied 25 goals and 64 points as a 25-year-old rookie last season and is currently tied for second among Lightning scorers with 12 points in as many games. Little wonder management opted to ink him to a long-term deal.
Gourde’s signing also means the Bolts have over $72 million invested in 14 players for 2019-20 (stick tap to Cap Friendly), with Brayden Point due for a big raise coming off his entry-level contract and pending UFA defensemen Anton Stralman, Bradon Coburn, and Dan Girardi to re-sign or replace. Unless the Bolts can shed some salary next season, Point and the Lightning could face a contract stalemate akin to that of the Toronto Maple Leafs and William Nylander.
NBC SPORTS: Anaheim Ducks winger Patrick Eaves “had a blast’ in his first game since Oct. 13, 2017, skating in the Ducks 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday. He’d been sidelined by a post-viral syndrome and shoulder surgery.
NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils have sent center Pavel Zacha to their AHL affiliate in Binghamton.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The sixth overall selection in the 2015 NHL Draft, Zacha’s been something of a disappointment thus far for the Devils. Perhaps spending some time in the minors will help the 21-year-old to elevate his game.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers have returned defenseman Evan Bouchard to the OHL’s London Knights.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A first-round pick in this year’s NHL Draft, Bouchard has considerable potential as a top-pairing mobile blueliner. He could crack the Oilers’ roster on a full-time basis next season.