NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 23, 2019
Game recaps, Connor McDavid receives a two-game suspension, Carter Hart sidelined, Ben Lovejoy traded to Dallas, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
TSN: The New Jersey Devils trade defenseman Ben Lovejoy to the Dallas Stars in exchange for defenseman Connor Carrick and a third-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars add some experienced grit and depth to the blueline in Lovejoy, who won a Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016. Carrick was acquired by the Stars earlier this season from the Leafs but was sidelined for 27 games with an injured foot and was a frequent healthy scratch following his return.
NHL.COM: Sergei Bobrovsky made 22 saves as the Columbus Blue Jackets blanked the Ottawa Senators 3-0. Jackets center Matt Duchene, acquired earlier in the day from the Senators, failed to register a point against his former team. The victory moved the Jackets (71 points) ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins for third in the Metropolitan Division because they hold two games in hand.
Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane scored a goal to extend his points streak to 20 games but it wasn’t enough to prevent his club from dropping a 5-3 decision to the Colorado Avalanche. Carl Soderberg and J.T. Compher each tallied twice for the Avalanche (63 points), who sit one point behind the Minnesota Wild for the final Western Conference wild-card berth. The Blackhawks (61 points) sit three points behind Minnesota.
Speaking of the Wild, they maintained their hold on that wild-card spot by edging the Detroit Red Wings 3-2. Devan Dubnyk made 26 saves and Luke Kunin had a goal and an assist. Ryan Donato picked up an assist, giving him three points in his first two games since the Wild acquired him earlier this week in a trade with Boston.
The Calgary Flames picked up their fourth straight win by nipping the Anaheim Ducks 2-1. Andrew Mangiapane broke a 1-1 tie late in the third period. The Flames (83 points) hold a three-point lead atop the Western Conference standings while the Ducks (57 points) sit seven points out of a playoff berth.
Patrick Laine snapped his 15-game goalless drought by scoring twice in the Winnipeg Jets 6-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Nikolaj Ehlers also scored in his return from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for 20 games. The victory vaulted the Jets (78 points) one point ahead of the Nashville Predators for first in the Central Division.
The NHL’s department of player safety suspended Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid two games for an illegal check to the head of New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy on Thursday.
SPORTSNET: Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi is seeking a second opinion on a lower-body injury. If surgery is required, the 20-year-old winger could miss the remainder of the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This news prompted some smartasses to suggest Puljujarvi was faking the injury to avoid being demoted again to Bakersfield. The reason he’s seeking a second opinion is he hopes to avoid going under the knife.
The NHL is monitoring weather conditions for tonight’s Stadium Series game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers at Lincoln Financial Field. The game is still slated for 8 pm ET.
NBC SPORTS: Philadelphia Flyers coach Scott Gordon raised some eyebrows by announcing Brian Elliott would be his starting goalie for tonight’s game instead of rookie star Carter Hart.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hart played poorly in his last two games. With the Flyers (63 points) trying to keep their playoff hopes alive, Gordon feels Elliott is the better choice right now. If they win, no one will second-guess this decision.
**UPDATE** The Flyers announced this morning Hart will be sidelined for at least 10 days with a lower-body injury.
Dorion on message to Sens fans: “All we’re asking for is our fans to be patient.”
— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) February 22, 2019