NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 26, 2020

by | Feb 26, 2020 | News, NHL | 25 comments

Alex Ovechkin continues his march up the goal-scoring leaderboard, the Leafs rebound from an embarrassing defeat on Saturday, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 43rd goal of the season and the game-winner in a 4-3 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets. Ovechkin now has 701 career goals, sitting seven behind Mark Gartner for seventh place among the all-time goal-scoring leaders. The Capitals (84 points) opened a two-point lead over the Penguins for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division. The Jets (70 points) are tied with the Nashville Predators, but the Preds hold the final Western Conference wild-card spot with three games in hand.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 43rd goal of the season in a 4-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets (Photo via NHL Images).

The Predators, meanwhile got third-period goals by Ryan Ellis and Viktor Arvidsson to down the Ottawa Senators 3-2.

After an embarrassing loss to an emergency backup goalie on Saturday, the Toronto Maple Leafs rebounded with a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Leafs captain John Tavares scored twice while Lightning captain Steven Stamkos left the game in the second period with an undisclosed injury. The Lightning (85 points) failed to gain ground on the Bruins, while the Leafs (74 points) hold third place in the Atlantic Division.

Mike Hoffman’s third-period goal proved the game-winner as the Florida Panthers squeaked past the Arizona Coyotes 2-1. The Panthers sit two points behind the Leafs in the Atlantic, while the Coyotes (70 points) sit just outside the Western playoff picture.

Sean Monahan and Mikael Backlund each scored two goals to lead the Calgary Flames over the Boston Bruins 5-2. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask saw his personal points streak end at 20 games. The Bruins remain atop the league’s overall standings with 90 points, while the Flames (72 points) hold the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

The Vancouver Canucks edged the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 on an overtime goal by Tyler Toffoli. With 74 points, the Canucks move into second place in the Pacific Division, two points behind the Vegas Golden Knights.

An overtime goal by Mika Zibanejad lifted the New York Rangers over the New York Islanders 4-3. The Isles hold the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 77 points. The surging Rangers (72 points) have won four straight and eight of their last 10 games, sitting four behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final Eastern wild-card berth.

Speaking of the Blue Jackets, they dropped a 5-4 decision to the Minnesota Wild. Mikko Koivu tallied twice for the Wild, who sit three points out of a Western Conference wild-card berth. The slumping Jackets have just one victory in their last 10 contests.

The Philadephia Flyers picked up their fourth straight victory and their seventh in his last 10, doubling up the San Jose Sharks 4-2. Kevin Hayes had a three-point performance, including two goals. The Flyers (79 points) hold third place in the Metropolitan Division, one point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The St. Louis Blues picked up their fifth straight victory with a four-goal third period to nip the Chicago Blackhawks 6-5. Zach Sanford tallied twice for the Blues (84 points), who sit atop the Central Division and Western Conference standings.

Dallas Stars winger Roope Hintz had a goal and two assists in a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. With the win, the Stars (80 points) move one ahead of the Colorado Avalanche for second place in the Central Division. The Hurricanes (74 points) sit two points out of the final Eastern wild-card spot.

Sonny Milano scored twice (including the game-winner) in his debut with the Anaheim Ducks in a 4-3 overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers. New Oilers Andreas Athanasiou and Tyler Ennis each had a goal and an assist. The Oilers (74 points) sit third in the Pacific Division. Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm left the game in the second period after suffering an upper-body injury crashing into the corner boards. Before the game, the Oilers announced winger Kailer Yamamoto would miss two-to-three weeks with a sprained ankle.

Cory Schneider made 27 saves for his first win of the season as the New Jersey Devils defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-1. Devils center Pavel Zacha collected two assists.


  1. Will the real Toronto Maple Leafs please stand up! That was a solid response to last Saturday’s embarrassment.

    • Yeah, frustrating being a Leafs fan, they can turn it on for the good teams and can’t beat a zamboni driver another night, been like that as long as I remember

    • Actually, the embarrassment would have been on the NHL if they had won.
      Now if the Leafs make the playoffs and Carolina doesn’t it won’t be because of a Zamboni driver .
      The hockey game went the right way. Anyone who is a hockey fan knows it would have been wrong to end any other way

      • I get what you’re saying Vinnie, but I just didn’t see any way the Leafs could have won in that situation.

        Tough spot for sure.
        I couldn’t believe what I was watching.

      • How would that have been an embarrassment for the NHL?
        Both goalies got hurt, the emergency rule kicked in, he played.
        I don’t get the uproar over this, I wish somebody could explain it to me.

      • I’m glad they won, not that it puts them in perspective for a lot of people, there were 2 guys on here the other day, Cal El and someone else talking about how they were literally scared to watch the game alst night, wait and see what tampa does to toronto, etc. I think this team has growing up to do but they are a very young core for the most part and there will be ups and downs. they are still in a playoff spot and everyone is acting like the sky is falling in Toronto, as usual. One of the posts a couple days ago was about the 18 wheeler being in 4th gear…for a team in a playoff spot. Even the toronto star’s headline today was something about toronto putting off the end of the world for another day….it’s ridiculous.

      • I thought it was fantastic. I was so happy to be able to watch it live.

        I saw it as a no win situation for Leaf fans.
        They were gonna eat it no matter what the outcome was.
        If Matthews pumped in 7 in the 3rd and ended up winning the Rocket, we’d call it tainted.

        Personally, I’m very happy with the outcome.

      • Yes it is FCL. They are also playing without their top D man and youngsters as replacements for Reilly and Ceci on the blue line.
        There is a learning curve for those kids. Too talented not to make it, unless the injury bug hits again.

      • Well Ray, hopefully Muzzin is ok, been a lot of injuries this year through the entire league, Toronto does seem particularly hard hit though.

      • Apparently it’s a broken hand. Heard something interesting on Team 1200 – the last team to win a cup that was bottom 5 in goals against was Pittsburgh with Mario and company many years ago.

        Right now, the Leafs are bottom 5 and, since Rielly went down, they’d led the league in goals against – even more than Detroit has allowed! Now they face the prospect of long-term without Muzzin.

    • Hey why are you the first to post and make that’s post about a team you follow but dislike? Everyone talks how it’s leafs fans always bring up the leafs but here we are, someone who’s either in the closet regarding their fandom or a Sens fan, aka former (barf) Habs fan or Leafs fan commenting on the Leafs… I just find it weird to see it daily. What gives?

      • Do YOU read the opening blurbs by Lyle Ron? He writes “After an embarrassing loss to an emergency backup goalie on Saturday, the Toronto Maple Leafs rebounded with a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.”

        So I posted on that basis. Is that now to be seen as “weird”? Let’s ask Lyle if he wants to change the parameters for commenting so that only die-hard Leafs fans can post comments on them regardless of whether they are part of the opening subject matter or not. Would having a mutual-admiration society make you happy?

      • @Ron actually the vast majority of people commenting on the Leafs here aren’t Leaf fans. Most of the Leaf fans have been chased out of here over the years. So you shouldn’t be surprised George makes a comment about the Leafs

      • And geez, Bob, it was even a complementary comment that he’s objecting to. They responded well against a top team that was back home after suffering a 7-3 pasting in Phoenix. And I said as much.

        It then generated some feedback. Isn’t that what Lyle wants? If not, for Ron’s sake, I’ll just confine my posts to whatever I find interesting in the opening blurbs about some other team.

        I’m a hockey fan first and foremost and an Ottawa “fan” by circumstance. And I’ve been just as critical of them – and their owner – if not more so, than I have been of the Leafs.

      • Leafs fans chased out? Oh bob. The persecution complex of many leafs fans is quite the head scratcher for most other fans. But if you want…

        Hey bob! I’m comin for ya!

        Gonna gitcha!

        Gonna gitcha!

      • I hear ya George, been a Leafs fan for almost 60 years. I stopped commenting on other teams long time ago especially on this site

      • @Chrisms on your way here can you stop at timmies and get me a large black I could use a coffee but hurry haven’t got all day

      • Gotcha!

        Now I get the leaves concerns! We are out to getcha!


  2. Nice win for Flames last night.

    • They needed that one.
      They’re scoring tons lately.

  3. Ray Bark, I missed your comments on what Boston did and didn’t do at the deadline.

    Like, didn’t like, indifferent?

    • Hey Caper, just been busy. Slow down in the action today.
      OK I guess?
      Good with Kase as we should get some term, plus moving $4.5 in cap space was big and will help moving forward.
      Heinen for Ritchie? Meh. Heinen would have been bumped down further or to the press box, so adding some size and aggressiveness makes more sense in the bottom 6.
      When you look at what options were out there within there cap structure, with Kreider not actually available, they did OK. Pageau was a steep ticket plus the $ to resign him didn’t make much sense for the B’s as his value is as a C.
      Should make them a little better. Grade is a B- IMO.
      keys to the playoffs will be health and Rask, just like it was before the TDL. Need both, but I suppose that is true for most teams.
      I like what EDM and CAR did.

      • Thanks Ray, I concur also thought they might move a dman like Moore but they might need all the D, if they make a deep run.

      • I should add I wanted AA and only cost 2 2and round picks. Size and speed would’ve been nice.

      • True that Caper. Plus they have some control. I would be shocked if Sweeney didn’t kick the tires on an AA deal. Likely Heinen offered. I thing DET is in full tank, prospect and picks mode.
        Tear down comes first.
        AA and Ennis both looked good with McDavid last night.