NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 9, 2019
Game recaps, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines
NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy turned in a 31-save shutout performance in a 4-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Brayden Point scored twice for the Lightning. Earlier in the day, Vasilevskiy was named as the replacement for Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price in the 2019 NHL All-Star Game. Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov picked up his 70th point of the season, becoming the fastest player to reach that number since Jaromir Jagr in 1999.
Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask picked up his 250th career NHL victory by blanking the Minnesota Wid 4-0. Teammates Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron each had a goal and two assists. Earlier in the day, the Wild recalled forward Joel Eriksson Ek.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rask is now two wins away from tying Hall of Famer Tiny Thompson for the most career victories by a Bruins goaltender.
San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson extended his points streak to 14 games as his club thumped the Edmonton Oilers 7-2. Karlsson collected three assists while forwards Evander Kane and Joonas Donskoi each scored two goals.
Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler had a four-point night (one goal, three assists) to lead his club to a 7-4 victory over the Colorado Avalanche, who’ve dropped seven of their last eight games. Mark Scheifele and Jacob Trouba each had a goal and two assists for the Jets while Gabriel Landeskog scored twice for the Avalanche.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche hold the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference. If they don’t snap out of their current funk soon, they’ll tumble out of playoff contention.
T.J. Oshie scored twice, including his 200th career goal, as the Washington Capitals downed the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3. The Flyers tied an NHL single-season record by starting a seventh goalie as Mike McKenna made 21 saves in a losing cause.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers’ two-plus decades of failing to find or retain – hello there, Sergei Bobrovsky – a reliable starting goaltender has come home to roost in a big way this season. Addressing this issue must be the top priority of new general manager Chuck Fletcher.
Buffalo Sabres rookies C.J. Smith and Lawrence Pilut scored their first career NHL goals in a 5-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Sabres winger Jeff Skinner tallied his 29th goal of the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Skinner sits one goal behind Washington’s Alex Ovechkin for the league goal-scoring lead. He needs nine more goals to break his career high of 37.
The Carolina Hurricanes held off the New York Islanders 4-3 to pick up their fifth straight win while snapping the Isles’ six-game winning streak. Brock Nelson scored twice for the Islanders, who re-activated Valtteri Filppula off injured reserve and demoted winger Joshua Ho-Sang. With the loss, the Isles slipped one point out of the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ho-Sang continues to struggle to earn a full-time roster spot with the Islanders. I consider him a prime trade candidate, either at the deadline on Feb. 25 or during the offseason.
Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray made 36 saves to pick up his eighth consecutive win as his club defeated the Florida Panthers 5-1. Sidney Crosby tallied his 20th of the season and Bryan Rust scored twice, including one of two shorthanded goals for the Penguins.
Antti Niemi kicked out 30 shots as the Montreal Canadiens edged the Detroit Red Wings 3-2, handing the latter their eighth loss in their last nine games. Tomas Tatar had two assists for the Canadiens while Andreas Athanasiou tallied twice for the Wings. Earlier in the day, Canadiens defenseman David Schlemko cleared waivers and was demoted to their AHL affiliate in Laval.
Tyler Seguin scored twice and set up another as the Dallas Stars downed the St. Louis Blues 3-1. Blues forward Alex Steen is expected to be sidelined for the remainder of January with an injured left shoulder.
The Vegas Golden Knights picked up their seventh straight victory by beating the New York Rangers 4-2. Vegas forward Jonathan Marchessault snapped a seven-game goalless drought.
SPORTSNET: The Vancouver Canucks placed center Elias Pettersson (knee sprain) on injured reserve. He’s expected to return in time for the All-Star Game in San Jose later this month.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz will miss the remainder of this season with a lower-body injury.