NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 22, 2019
Game recaps and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Jamie Benn scored two goals and Anton Khudobin made 43 saves as the Dallas Stars defeated the St. Louis Blues 5-2, snapping the latter’s 11-game winning streak. Earlier in the day, the Blues revealed center Brayden Schenn is sidelined with an upper-body injury with no timetable for his return. The Stars (65 points) hold the first Western Conference wild-card spot.
Brendan Gallagher tallied his first career hat trick to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 5-1 drubbing of the Philadelphia Flyers. The Canadiens (73 points) sit three up on the Hurricanes for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference while the Flyers (63 points) are seven points out of a playoff spot.
The Carolina Hurricanes (70 points) moved ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets into the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference by edging the Florida Panthers 4-3. Hurricanes captain Justin Williams scored twice, one of which deflected off his face into the net.
The Minnesota Wild snapped a five-game losing skid by downing the New York Rangers 4-1. Ryan Donato, acquired by the Wild earlier this week from the Boston Bruins, collected two assists. The Wild (62 points) hold a one-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche, Arizona Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks for the final Western Conference wild-card berth. Rangers defenseman Adam McQuaid suffered an upper-body injury in the first period and was withheld from the rest of the game for precautionary reasons.
Martin Jones had a 26-save shutout and Tomas Hertl scored twice as the San Jose Sharks blanked the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0. The Sharks have won eight of their last 10 games. Penguins Sidney Crosby, Tanner Pearson, and Marcus Pettersson and Sharks Evander Kane, Brenden Dillon, and Micheal Haley were ejected for taking part in a late-game brawl. Pens coach Mike Sullivan and Penguins center Evgeni Malkin also received game misconducts.
Alex Ovechkin tallied his 650th career NHL goal and Braden Holtby made 40 saves as the Washington Capitals held on for a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, handing the latter their third straight defeat and the fourth in their last six games.
The Arizona Coyotes (61 points) moved within a point of a Western wild-card spot by downing the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 on an overtime goal by Alex Galchenyuk.
With Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, and Ryan Dzingel scratched from the lineup, the Ottawa Senators fell to the New Jersey Devils 4-0. Cory Schneider made 30 saves for the shutout.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The trio likely played their final games with the Senators. It’s expected they’ll be withheld from the lineup until suitable trades can be found leading up to Monday’s 3 pm trade deadline. I’ll have more on their status later this morning in the Rumors section.
NHL scoring leader Nikita Kucherov netted his 100th point of the season as the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning nipped the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 on a shootout goal by Steven Stamkos. The Sabres (64 points) are six points behind the Hurricanes.
The Nashville Predators (77 points) moved into first place in the Central Division by holding off the Los Angeles Kings by a score of 2-1. Predators captain Roman Josi had a goal and an assist. The Kings have lost six straight games.
Connor McDavid’s overtime goal gave the Edmonton Oilers a 4-3 win over the New York Islanders. The Oilers (56 points) are six points out of a playoff spot.