NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 20, 2018
Game recaps, injury updates, Sabres to terminate Patrik Berglund’s contract, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist and goaltender Matt Murray made 31 saves as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Washington Capitals 2-1. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin saw his 15-game point streak come to an end. Washington winger Tom Wilson knocked Penguins defenseman Jamie Oleksiak out of the game with three punches during a first-period fight between the two. An update on Oleksiak’s status is expected today.
Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog gave the Colorado Avalanche a 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Habs goalie Carey Price’s ill-timed pass across his crease led to Rantanen’s game-tying goal. On a plus note for the Canadiens, they got a rare power-play goal.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres yesterday placed center Patrik Berglund on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract. He was recently suspended by the club for failing to report but there have been few details from either side regarding the situation. Berglund has three years remaining on his contract worth an annual average value of $3.85 million but that will be removed from their cap payroll once his contract is terminated.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHLPA could intervene on Berglund’s behalf, though his refusal to report gives the Sabres justification to end his contract.
NBC SPORTS: After a slow start with the San Jose Sharks, defenseman Erik Karlsson is getting his offensive groove back. With seven assists in his last six games, he now has 23 points in 35 contests.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars defenseman John Klingberg will return tonight from a six-week absence (broken hand) to face the Chicago Blackhawks.
THE SCORE: Los Angeles Kings winger Ilya Kovalchuk is expected to return from ankle surgery on Saturday to face the Sharks.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings starting goaltender Jimmy Howard will return to action tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes. Howard hurt his back during warmups prior to Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes general manager John Chayka said starting goaltender Antti Raanta (lower-body injury) could miss the remainder of the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Raanta’s been out since Nov. 27. The Coyotes are 5-6-0 in his absence.
LAS VEGAS SUN: The Vegas Golden Knights placed winger Max Pacioretty (leg injury) on injured reserved and called up Brandon Pirri.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Marcus Kruger became the third Blackhawks to be placed on IR with a concussion within the last 10 days. Artem Anisimov recently returned but goalie Corey Crawford remains sidelined.
EDMONTON SUN: Oilers forward Jujhar Khaira received a two-game suspension for a cross-check to the head of St. Louis Blues defenseman Vince Dunn on Tuesday. Dunn received a $1,942.20 fine by the league for cross-checking Khaira.
SPORTSNET: Ottawa’s National Capital Commission “is moving to terminate a development deal with Rendez-Vous LeBreton Group, which includes Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, in the wake of bitter legal infighting within the development group.” Melnyk and business partner John Ruddy have filed lawsuits against each other.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As long as Melnyk is the Senators’ owner, the club seems to have little chance of getting a new downtown arena.