NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 20, 2020
The Rangers and Wild keep their playoff hopes alive, the Panthers move up in the Atlantic Division, David Pastrnak is tied for the goal-scoring lead and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines
NHL.COM: Mika Zibanejad had a four-point game and Chris Kreider picked up three points to lead the New York Rangers over the Chicago Blackhawks 6-3. Dominik Kubalik scored twice for the Blackhawks to lead all rookies with 25 goals. With seven wins in their last 10 games, the Rangers (66 points) are six points out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers are still assumed to be sellers by the Feb. 24 trade deadline, but that might change if they win their next two games and move closer to a playoff spot. Kreider is considered a prime trade candidate, but the Rangers are reportedly talking contract extension with his agent.
Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak’s overtime goal lifted his club to a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. It was Pastrnak’s 43rd goal of the season, tying him with Toronto’s Auston Matthews for the league lead. The Bruins (88 points) widened their lead in the Eastern Conference standings by three points over the Tampa Bay Lightning, while the Oilers (71 points) opened a one-point lead over the Vancouver Canucks for first place in the Pacific Division.
The Dallas Stars moved into a tie with the St. Louis Blues for the top spot in the Central Division by edging the Arizona Coyotes 3-2. Ben Bishop made 39 saves for Dallas, while Stars captain Jamie Benn was ejected for boarding Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson in the second period. Ekman-Larsson left the game but returned for the third period. With 68 points, the Coyotes cling to a one-point lead over the Winnipeg Jets for the final Western Conference playoff spot.
Sergei Bobrovsky kicked out 33 shots and Vincent Trocheck had a goal and an assist to give the Florida Panthers a 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. The Panthers (70 points) move into third place in the Atlantic Division, knocking the Maple Leafs into fourth and out of a playoff spot in the East.
Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar each picked up two assists as the Colorado Avalanche downed the New York Islanders 3-1, handing the latter their fourth straight defeat. The Avs sit one point behind the Blues and Stars in the Central Division while the Islanders (72 points) slipped to the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot.
The Minnesota Wild kept their playoff hopes alive by nipping the Vancouver Canucks 4-3. Alex Galchenyuk tallied the game-winner in the shootout. J.T. Miller scored twice for the Canucks. The Wild (63 points) sit five behind the Coyotes while the Canucks are one point behind the Pacific Division-leading Oilers.
IN OTHER NEWS…
The Toronto Maple Leafs announced winger Andreas Johnsson underwent season-ending knee surgery and will be sidelined for six months. They also made a couple of minor trades, shipping Mason Marchment to the Panthers for Denis Malgin, and acquired Max Verroneau from the Ottawa Senators for Aaron Luchuk. Malgin appeared in 36 games with the Panthers this season.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings forward Filip Zadina is sidelined two-to-three weeks with an injured foot.
PUCKPEDIA.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets re-signed forward Stefan Matteau to a two-year, two-way contract.