NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 3, 2019
Game recaps, three stars and the top rookie for December revealed, All-Star Game rosters released, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Vancouver Canucks rookie center Elias Pettersson scored in overtime to complete his first NHL hat-trick performance in a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators. Canucks defenseman Alex Edler collected three assists.
Earlier in the day, Pettersson was named NHL rookie of the month for December 2018. He previously received that honor for October 2018. The Canucks also shipped goaltender Anders Nilsson and forward Darren Archibald to the Senators in exchange for goalie Mike McKenna, forward Tom Pyatt, and a sixth-round pick in the 2019 NHL draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The win also pushed the Canucks to within one point of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Thanks in part to Pettersson’s efforts, they’ve overcome a lousy November performance that threatened to scuttle their playoff hopes. As for the trade between the two clubs, the Senators need an experienced NHL netminder after starter Craig Anderson was recently sidelined by a concussion.
A four-point effort (one goal, three assists) by Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau powered his club to a 5-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, who’ve dropped six straight games. Elias Lindholm had a goal and two assists for the Flames.
The surging Pittsburgh Penguins won their seventh straight contest by crushing the New York Rangers 7-2, chasing Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist from the game after he gave up six goals on 18 shots. Penguins center Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist. He also honored his hometown of Magnitogorsk, Russia, with messages of support written on his skates following an apartment explosion that killed 33 people on Dec. 31.
Two-goal efforts by Tyler Seguin and Miro Heiskanen helped the Dallas Stars edge the New Jersey Devils 5-4. It was a costly win for the Stars as captain Jamie Benn left the game with an upper-body injury in the second period following a late hit by Devils wingers Miles Wood.
Center Joe Pavelski and defenseman Brent Burns each had a goal and three assists to give the San Jose Sharks a 5-4 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Tyson Jost scored twice for the Avs, who’ve now lost six games in a row. Sharks defenseman Justin Braun left the game with an injured right leg.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avs are now clinging to a wild-card berth in the Western Conference. If they don’t reverse this slide soon they’ll tumble out of playoff contention.
Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored twice and set up another in a 3-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes, snapping his club’s six-game losing skid.
Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau, and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid are the NHL’s three stars for the month of December 2018.
Kucherov, Gaudreau, and McDavid are also among the players selected to participate in the 2019 NHL All-Star Game in San Jose on Jan. 26, 2019. San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture and defensemen Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson were also selected for the game.
WASHINGTON POST: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin said he will skip the game to take advantage of the extra time off for rest. As a result, the league will suspend him for one regular-season game.
“First of all, thanks for all the fans who voted for me,” Ovechkin said Wednesday. “I know it’s a tough decision, obviously. I like to be part of all the events, but right now I think that time of the year and my age we decide to take a one-week break. It’s hard, but it’s better for me.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some fans and pundits have no problem with Ovechkin’s decision while others feel he’s shirking his obligation to attend after being selected by the fans. After attending 10 of these meaningless pond hockey-style contests that tend to be swiftly forgotten by NHL fans, he’s more than fulfilled his duty to the league and his contract. Coming off a year in which Ovechkin led his club to their first-ever Stanley Cup championship, and facing another potentially long grind attempting to repeat as champions, he’s earned the right to take a little extra time off.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price revealed he’s been nursing a lower-body injury for several weeks. After missing the late three games, Price is expected to play in tonight’s tilt with the Vancouver Canucks.
CALGARY SUN: The Flames have recalled goaltender Jon Gillies after David Rittich was listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
TSN.CA: The Chicago Blackhawks placed recently-acquired defenseman Jason Garrison on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract after he didn’t report to the AHL affiliate in Rockford. Garrison was traded to the Blackhawks by the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday. The Blackhawks also placed blueliner Brandon Davidson on regular waivers.