NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 19, 2018
Game recaps, injury updates, Senators owner sued, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NOTE: The NHL holiday “trade freeze” period begins at 11:59 PM ET on Dec. 19 and expires at 11:59 PM ET on Dec. 27.
NHL.COM: Philadelphia Flyers rookie goaltender Carter Hart got the win in his first career NHL game and was named the game star as he backstopped his club to a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. The Wings played without starting goalie Jimmy Howard as he hurt his back during the pre-game warm-up. No word as to how long he could be sidelined.
Meanwhile, Flyers center Jori Lehtera will reportedly face criminal prosecution in his native Finland regarding his alleged connection to a cocaine ring. Lehtera’s summer cottage was raided during the summer while he was away and seven people arrested. He has denied any involvement with the ring and isn’t considered among the main suspects in the case.
Center Nazem Kadri collected three assists while teammates Auston Matthews and John Tavares each had a goal and an assist as the Toronto Maple Leafs crushed the New Jersey Devils 7-2. Tyler Ennis also tallied twice for the Leafs.
The Tampa Bay Lightning extended their points streak to 10 games with a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside 36 shots. The Canucks also announced prospect defenseman Olli Juolevi will miss the remainder of the season following knee surgery.
The Chicago Blackhawks picked up their second win in 12 games by edging the Nashville Predators 2-1. Gustav Forsling and Erik Gustafsson scored while goaltender Cam Ward made 30 saves. Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger suffered a concussion following an inadvertent elbow to the head from Predators forward Ryan Hartman and is expected to miss their next two games. The Hawks also loaned defenseman Henri Jokiharju to Finland for the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championships.
The Florida Panthers scored four unanswered third-period goals to defeat the Buffalo Sabres 5-2. Panthers winger Evgenii Dadonov scored twice and set up another.
Three unanswered third-period goals powered the New York Rangers to a 3-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Kevin Hayes picked up the game-winner with a shorthanded breakaway.
Goaltender Martin Jones made 26 saves as the San Jose Sharks blanked the Minnesota Wild 4-0. Logan Couture scored twice as the Sharks picked up their fifth consecutive victory.
Dallas Stars netminders Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin combined for a 24-save 2-0 shutout over the Calgary Flames. Bishop briefly left the game in the second period following a collision with Flames forward Garnet Hathaway but returned for the third period. Flames winger James Neal missed the game with an upper-body injury.
Jaden Schwartz scored and set up another as the St. Louis Blues tallied three unanswered third-period goals to down the Edmonton Oilers 4-1. Oilers captain Connor McDavid had his points streak end at nine games. Oilers forward Jujhar Khaira received a match penalty for hitting Blues defenseman Vince Dunn in the head midway through the third period.
New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss kicked out 36 shots in a 3-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Isles winger Joshua Ho-Sang netted his first goal of the season.
The Los Angeles Kings snapped a four-game losing skid by beating the Winnipeg Jets 4-1, ending the latter’s five-game win streak. Austin Wagner scored twice for the Kings.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has been hit with a $1 billion countersuit from business partner John Ruddy regarding a failed bid to construct a new downtown arena. Melnyk has already filed a $700 million suit against Ruddy.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Melnyk fiddles, the Senators burn. Attendance is reportedly down by 1,000 fans compared to this time a year ago, averaging 14, 335 fans through 18 home games this season.
Hanley clears. Last day of waivers before freeze…is Smith (BOS) and Wilson (PIT)
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 18, 2018