NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 16, 2020
The Kings upset the Avalanche in their Stadium Series matchup, Evander Kane blasts the NHL department of player safety, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Tyler Toffoli’s hat trick power the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche as part of the 2020 NHL Stadium Series before a sellout crowd of 43,574 at Falcon Stadium at the United States Air Force Academy. Toffoli becomes the first player in league history to tally three goals in an NHL outdoor game. Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer left the game in the third period with a lower-body injury. With the loss, the Avalanche (72 points) slipped to third place in the Central Division.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Long rumored on the trade block, Toffoli’s hat trick performance could boster his value leading up to the Feb. 24 trade deadline.
The Boston Bruins picked up their eighth win in their last nine games by beating the Detroit Red Wings 4-1. David Pastrnak tallied his 42nd goal of the season while Brad Marchand collected two assists for the Bruins (84 points). They remain one point ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning for first place in the overall standings.
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy extended his franchise-record points streak to 21 games in a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Victor Hedman each collected two points as the Lightning stretched their winning streak to 10 games. The Flyers hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 71 points.
Auston Matthews tallied his 42nd of the season as the Toronto Maple Leafs doubled up the Ottawa Senators 4-2. The Leafs (70 points) hold a four-point lead over the Florida Panthers for third in the Atlantic Division. Matthews and Pastrnak are tied for first place in the NHL goal-scoring race.
Mikael Granlund’s third-period goal held up as the game-winner as the Nashville Predators edged the St. Louis Blues 4-3. Kyle Turris had a goal and two assists as the Predators (63 points) remain three points out of a Western Conference wild-card spot. The Blues (74 points) have dropped four straight and hold a one-point lead over the surging Dallas Stars for the top spot in the Conference.
Tyler Seguin scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Dallas Stars overcame a 3-0 deficit to nip the Montreal Canadiens 4-3. Habs head coach Claude Julien voiced his displeasure over the poor officiating during a post-game interview, which could earn him disciplinary action from the league. The Canadiens (62 points) have dropped four straight and sit eight points behind the Leafs in the Atlantic Division.
Edmonton Oilers winger Kailer Yamamoto scored and set up two others in a 4-1 win over the slumping Florida Panthers. Leon Drasaitl (92 points) picked up two points to extend his lead in the scoring race by 10 over the Bruins’ David Pastrnak. The Oilers (68 points) are one point behind the Pacific Division-leading Vancouver Canucks.
Mark Andre Fleury posted a 19-save shutout as the Vegas Golden Knights blanked the New York Islanders 1-0. Reilly Smith was the goal-scorer as the Golden Knights (68 points) hold third place in the Pacific Division. With 72 points, the Isles cling to third place in the Metropolitan Division.
Third-period goals by Phil Kessel and Lawson Crouse gave the Arizona Coyotes a 3-1 win over the Washington Capitals. Antti Raanta picked up the victory with 36 saves for the Coyotes (66 points), who hold the final Western Conference wild-card spot. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin failed to score for the fourth straight game, leaving him two goals shy of 700 for his career.
The Chicago Blackhawks thumped the Calgary Flames 8-4. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews lead the way with each collecting a goal and two assists. Elias Lindholm and Sam Bennett each scored twice for the Flames (66 points), who hold the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference. The Blackhawks (60 points) picked up their first win in six games, but remain six points behind the Flames and Coyotes.
San Jose Sharks netminder Martin Jones kicked out 39 shots to shut out the Minnesota Wild 2-0. Dylan Gambrell and Melker Karlsson were the goal scorers. It was the Wild’s first game under interim coach Dean Evason. With 61 points, they’re five behind the Coyotes.
ESPN.COM: Thousands of fans missed a portion of the Kings-Avalanche Stadium Series game owing to a major traffic jam. Many left before the game’s conclusion. It took some fans over four hours to reach the stadium.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes will host a 2021 NHL Stadium Series game at N.C. State’s Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021. Their opponent has yet to be determined.
NBC SPORTS: San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane blasted the NHL’s department of player safety over its inconsistencies in handing down supplemental discipline after receiving a three-game suspension for elbowing. Kane released a public statement singling out player safety head George Parros. He also cited examples where similar infractions by others went unpunished or received lighter penalties.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s critics will accuse him of whining, but he’s making a fair point. The department of player safety’s sometimes erratic decisions has left more than a few fans and pundits puzzled and sometimes outraged. It’s also believed many players share Kane’s views, though he’s the first to publicly criticize the department in this manner.
SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Sharks, their crappy season got worse as defenseman Erik Karlsson is out for the season with a broken thumb.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets center Brian Little is also finished for the season because of a damaged eardrum he suffered in November. He’ll undergo surgery with an expected three-month recovery period.
WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian was assigned to his club’s AHL affiliate in Rochester after clearing waivers yesterday.
SPORTSNET: The Anaheim Ducks re-sign forward Nicolas Deslauriers to a two-year, $2-million contract extension.