NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 25, 2019
Game recaps, Red Wings trade Gustav Nyquist to the Sharks, Mats Zuccarello injured in his first game with the Stars, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Evgeny Kuznetsov scored in overtime as the Washington Capitals edged the New York Rangers 6-5 in a wild and physical contest. Nicklas Backstrom tallied twice for the Capitals while Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei also netted two goals. Following the game, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist cut short his interview after becoming emotional responding to a question about the trade of Mats Zuccarello, his friend and long-time teammate, to the Dallas Stars on Saturday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yes, NHL hockey is a business and yes, players know getting trading is always a possibility. Nevertheless, they’re still human like the rest of us and it can be difficult to part ways with a good friend.
Speaking of Zuccarello, he was having a strong debut with the Stars (one goal, one assist) during their 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks but suffered an arm injury that likely requires surgery after blocking a shot and is expected to be sidelined for four weeks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zuccarello could return to the Stars before the end of the season, but his absence still leaves them in need of scoring depth if they’re to avoid slipping out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Stars captain Jamie Benn also left the game with an upper-body injury and is expected to be re-evaluated today.
San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski tallied a natural hat trick to lead his club to a 5-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Following the game, the Red Wings traded winger Gustav Nyquist to the Sharks for a second-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft and a conditional third in 2020.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Red Wings also retained $1.425 million of Nyquist’s $4.7-million salary-cap hit. A versatile forward who can skate at center or on the wing, he’s tallied 49 points in 62 games and is on pace to exceed 60 points this season. He could slot in as a second- or third-line winger, providing even more bite to an already potent Sharks offense.
An overtime goal by Ryan Donato enabled the Minnesota Wild to beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1. Donato now has four points in three games with the Wild since being traded to Minnesota from Boston. The Wild (66 points) have now won three straight and still cling to the final Western Conference wild-card spot.
Ottawa Senators forward Brady Tkachuk scored a goal but brother Matthew Tkachuk’s Calgary Flames won their first-ever face-to-face matchup 2-1 on a late goal by Austin Czarnik. The Flames (85 points) opened a three-point lead over the Sharks for top spot in the Pacific Division and the Western Conference. Following the game, the Senators shipped minor-league defenseman Patrick Sieloff to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for left wing Brian Gibbons.
The Arizona Coyotes (63 points) moved to within three points of a playoff spot by downing the Winnipeg Jets 4-1. Before the game, the Coyotes honored former long-time captain Shane Doan by retiring his No. 19 jersey. Doan began his career with the original Jets and moved with that club when it relocated to Arizona.
TSN: The Boston Bruins signed forward Lee Stempniak to a one-year contract and placed him on waivers for the purpose of assigning him to their AHL affiliate in Providence.
D-man Dennis Seidenberg no longer on a PTO with #Isles. He has signed a contract for rest of season. @renlavoietva had that news and it is confirmed. Seidenberg has practiced with the team at home since start of season.
— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) February 24, 2019