NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 15, 2019

by | Dec 15, 2019 | News, NHL | 10 comments

Anthony Duclair tallies his first hat trick with the Senators, Jack Eichel’s point streak reaches 16 games, David Pastrnak widens his goal-scoring lead, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Anthony Duclair tallied his first hat trick with the Senators, including the game-winner, leading the Ottawa Senators over the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in overtime. Senators goaltender Anders Nilsson made 38 saves for the win. Alexandre Texier scored twice for the Jackets, who lost Sonny Milano, Josh Anderson, and Ryan Murray to injuries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The rebuilding Senators still face long odds reaching the playoffs this season, but they’re very entertaining to watch. Duclair, meanwhile, continues his career resurrection in Ottawa. With 18 goals and 25 points in 33 games, he’s on pace for a career-high 45 goals and 65 points.

An overtime goal by Anthony Beauvillier lifted the New York Islanders over the Buffalo Sabres 3-2. Beauvillier also collected two assists. Sabres captain Jack Eichel scored and set up another, extending his points streak to 16 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders carried the bulk of the play but the Sabres remain lethal on the power play, scoring both goals with the man advantage.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak leads the NHL with 28 goals (Photo via NHL Images).

David Pastrnak scored twice as the Boston Bruins doubled up the Florida Panthers 4-2, snapping a five-game losing skid. Pastrnak leads the NHL with 28 goals. Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov left the game in the third period with an injured leg, but Florida coach Joel Qunneville expects he’ll be fine.

The Dallas Stars netted four unanswered second-period goals on route to a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators. These two clubs next face each other on New Year’s Day in the 2020 Winter Classic at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators continue to stumble along, sitting outside the Western Conference playoff picture with 33 points in 31 games. This isn’t where many observers expected them to be at this point in the season.

A four-goal third period carried the Washington Capitals to a 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Niklas Backstrom and TJ Oshie each had a goal and an assist. Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov left the game after blocking a shot by Capitals defenseman John Carlson. In other Lightning news, former coach Steve Ludzik is fighting for his life as he desperately awaits a liver donor. Ludzik has battled Crohn’s disease and Parkinson’s disease and was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 liver disease.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping a donor is found soon for Ludzik’s liver transplant.

After falling behind 3-0, the St. Louis Blues roared back with four straight third-period goals to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3. Tyler Bozak scored two goals for the Blues, while Blackhawks winger Brandon Saad tallied twice. Blues forward Alex Steen returned to action after missing 16 games with a high-ankle sprain.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If this keeps up, there will be calls for the Blackhawks to engage in a full-fledged roster rebuild. Hard to do with several aging veterans carrying expensive contracts.

The San Jose Sharks picked up their first win under interim coach Bob Boughner by downing the Vancouver Canucks 4-2. Aaron Dell made 33 saves as the Sharks snapped a season-high six-game winless streak. It was Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s 1,000th career NHL game. Earlier in the day, the Canucks placed winger Micheal Ferland on long-term injured reserve with concussion symptoms.

The Anaheim Ducks overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to edge the New York Rangers 4-3 in a shootout. Ondrej Kase and Jakob Silfverberg tallied twice in the shootout frame. Mika Zibanejad scored twice for the Rangers.

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender James Reimer made 32 saves to blank the Calgary Flames 4-0. Warren Foegele tallied two shorthanded goals for the Hurricanes, ending the Flames’ winning streak at seven games.

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen made 36 stops for his 200th career NHL victory in a 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers, handing the latter their fourth straight loss. The Leafs held Connor McDavid off the score sheet while limited Leon Draisaitl to one assist. It was a costly win for the Leafs, as defenseman Tyson Barrie left the game with an ankle injury.

Eric Staal scored twice to lead the Minnesota Wild over the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1. Staal also collected his 999th career point. The Wild are 9-0-3 in their last 12 home games. The injury-riddled Flyers saw Scott Laughton and Tyler Pitlick leave the game with undisclosed injuries.

The Detroit Red Wings picked up their second straight victory following a 12-game winless skid by nipping the Montreal Canadiens 2-1. Jonathan Bernier kicked out 42 shots for the Wings while teammate Mike Green scored a goal and picked up an assist. Detroit winger Anthony Mantha returned to the lineup after being sidelined by a knee injury since Nov. 23.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Brian Rust scored twice and potted the winner in a shootout in a 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Jake Guentzel and Kris Letang each picked up three assists. Penguins center Evgeni Malkin missed his second straight game to illness.

The New Jersey Devils edged the Arizona Coyotes 2-1. They snapped a seven-game winless skid, giving interim coach Alain Nasreddine his first NHL win. Earlier in the day, the Devils placed goaltender Louis Domingue (lower body) on injured reserve and placed defenseman Joe Morrow on unconditional waivers.



  1. If any are looking at the Oiler’s recent poor play as sudden after their hot start, the stats show a startling similarity to last season after 35 games

    2018-19 – 18 15 2 38 pts 99 107
    2019-20 – 18 13 4 40 pts 106 109

  2. Another team rapidly going nowhere are the Blue Jackets. You have to wonder at what point Kekälälainen has to start worrying about his job (or Tortorella given that the coach is usually the first victim) when you consider their lack of goal production (they currently sit at 79 – barely ahead of NJ’s 77 and Detroit’s 74).

    Four F from the Blue Jackets last season now playing elsewhere – Panarin (19g 23a 42 pts). Duclair (18g 7a 25 pts), Duchene (8g 13a 21 pts, and Dzingel (6g 12a 18 pts) – all have more points than the current top 4 in Columbus – Nyquist (7g 13a 20 pts), Dubois (10g 10s 20 pts), Atkinson (8g 11a 19 pts) and Bjorkstrand (7g 9a 16 pts). I realize he was never going to get Panarin to agree to stay there, but what kind of effort was made to keep the other three? (Tortorella took an instant dislike to Duclair and declared he wondered if he “knew how to play this game?”)

    Way back in 2012 Traikos wrote this article in the National Post charging that the team was in a constant state of re-building – and what is happening there now certainly seems to support that theory.


  3. Toronto`s the only team in the NHL where losing Barrie actually gives them a better chance of winning. In his 2:42 of ice time, he was out of position at least 4 times and gave away the puck twice. Matthews and Nylander took another night off and it appeared that they were benched in the 3rd. The more things change in Toronto the more they stay the same. Wish Dumbas would look in the mirror and realize he`s looking at the real problem in Toronto

    • I was at that game last night Bob and concur with what your saying.
      To quote Craig Button, perhaps Barrie is a good, bad team player.
      First time I have seen Holl play live, he played really well. Not sure if it a nightly thing with him but the guy was a committed and excellent defender. Looked like a keeper to me.

      • While it may not be hard , Imo Justin Holl has been the Leafs best defenseman this year.
        He can skate , make a pass and will use his body to slow down the opposition.
        He seems to be a late bloomer.
        He has quickly became my favorite. If he makes a mistake he tries to correct it. He doesn’t quit.

      • Holl has quietly improved a lot the past 18 months, personally, I think scoring goals in his first 2 games didn`t do him any favors. What was the deal with Matthews and Nylander sitting on the bench most of the 3rd?

      • Holl is a marquee player for the adage that most NHL D-men should go through some solid AHL seasoning (in his case almost 200 games). After a solid career at U of Minn and taken in the 2nd round by Chicago (54th overall) in 2010, the Leafs jumped on him when, after choosing not to sign an entry-level contract with the Hawks, he became a free agent. He made the AHL all-star team in his first season with the Marlies, I believe, and is turning out to be a solid two-way presence on the ice for the Leafs.

    • Hi Bob

      From your quote:

      “Toronto`s the only team in the NHL where losing Barrie actually gives them a better chance of winning”

      I know you mean top four D as “Barrie”… as he is on Leafs and therefore can only be lost by them

      Changing your statement to

      “Toronto`s the only team in the NHL where losing [a top 4 D] actually gives them a better chance of winning”…. would be false

      JJ …. the worst D-Man in the entire NHL (and I say this after he scored in last night’s game) ; if lost due to illness or injury for the season would basically guarantee Pens in playoffs and at least through round 1

      He’s out of place a minimum of 8-10 times EVERY game including last night when he scored (4 on 4 ) where he jumped up to in front of Quick …. leaving 2 Kings behind him on his side …. if the puck had been turned over …. 2 on Oh going the other way

      Both of my fav teams have “out of place” D-Men 😢

      • ??????? What are you?

      • Hi Bob

        My two fav teams are Leafs (50 + years) and Pens (3 1/2 decades …. Since Mario came on board) …..

        I was agreeing with you re Barrie ; but adding to your stance on a D-Man (I use that handle very loosely) that is out of position far far more than Barrie ….. The horrific JJ (Jack Johnson)