NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 12, 2018

by | Dec 12, 2018 | News, NHL

Game recaps, speculation over the Coyotes relocating to Houston, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Brad Marchand scored twice in a four-goal second period for the Boston Bruins as they edged the Arizona Coyotes 4-3. Bruins forward David Backes needed several stitches after being accidentally clipped on the nose by the skate of Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson but returned to the game in the second period.

Speaking of the Coyotes, a Fox 26 Sports (Arizona) report cites NHL sources claiming “Houston Rockets owner Tillman Fertitta has met with National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman and had preliminary talks about buying and relocating the Arizona Coyotes to Houston.” At this point, it appears nothing further has come from those conversations. Fertitta and Rockets chief executive officer Tad Brown declined to comment.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For weeks, there have been rumblings among the NHL punditry linking the Coyotes to Houston. That speculation increased during the league’s process of awarding an expansion franchise to Seattle. It’s believed the Coyotes are currently seeking new owners but no indication they or the league are considering relocation. It’ll be interesting to see what reaction this report generates from the Coyotes’ current ownership or league headquarters. 

Jeff Skinner’s overtime goal capped a three-goal rally for the Buffalo Sabres as they squeaked past the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 to snap a five-game losing skid.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander collected his first two points (both assists) of the season as his club downed the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That should soothe the jangled nerves of Leafs superfan Steve Dangle, who had an entertaining meltdown following his club’s recent 6-3 loss to the Boston Bruins.

Washington Capitals’ captain Alex Ovechkin’s hat trick powered his club to a 6-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings (Photo via NHL Images)

A three-goal third period powered the Vancouver Canucks to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Canucks rookie sensation Elias Pettersson had a goal and an assist.

Alex Ovechkin’s hat trick gave the Washington Capitals a 6-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Ovechkin has a league-leading 25 goals and extended his personal points streak to 12 games. Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom collected four assists and T.J. Oshie returned to the lineup after missing 11 games with a concussion.

A four-goal third period enabled the St. Louis Blues to edge the Florida Panthers 4-3. David Perron tallied twice for the Blues, who played without defenseman Joel Edmundson, who injured his hand in the Blues’ previous game.

Pekka Rinne’s 25-save performance gave the Nashville Predators a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.

The Minnesota Wild went four-for-four on the power play in a 7-1 thrashing of the Montreal Canadiens. Matt Dumba scored twice while Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund each collected three points. Canadiens goalie Antti Niemi was in net for all seven Wild goals.

Kyle Connor scored twice and Dustin Byfuglien collected three assists as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 6-3, handing the latter their eighth straight loss. Blackhawks defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook became the seventh set of teammates in NHL history to play 1,000 games together.

The Edmonton Oilers picked up their fourth straight win by beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-4. Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each had three points for the Oilers, who also lost defenseman Oscar Klefbom for what could be weeks with a hand injury. Avalanche wingers Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen each had four points.

LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: Anaheim Ducks backup goaltender Ryan Miller will be sidelined up to six weeks with a sprained knee ligament. In response, the Ducks claimed goalie Chad Johnson off waivers from the St. Louis Blues. 

SPORTSNET: Broadcasting legend Bob Cole’s final NHL game will be the regular season finale on Hockey Night in Canada. between the Leafs and Canadiens on April 6. He will be retiring at the end of this season after 50 years in the CBC broadcast booth. 

COURIER-POST: The Philadelphia Flyers have hired former Minnesota Wild executive Brent Flahr as assistant general manager. Flahr worked for years with Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher during their years with the Wild.