NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 26, 2022
Keith Yandle sets Ironman record but Flyers woes continue, the Panthers regain first place in the overall standings, injury updates for Erik Karlsson and Jason Zucker, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle set the NHL Ironman record by appearing in his 965th consecutive game but his club endured a franchise-record 13th straight loss by falling 4-3 to the New York Islanders. Zach Parise snapped a 3-3 tie in the third period for the Islanders.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Yandle on his record-setting achievement. It’s among the few bright spots in a miserable season for the Flyers. Their ongoing tumble in the standings won’t result in another coaching change. They’re sticking with interim bench boss Mike Yeo and hired John Torchetti as an assistant coach. The club is expected to evaluate its coaching staff at season’s end. Tochetti could be Yeo’s successor as he replaced him as Wild head coach in 2016.
The Florida Panthers opened a two-point lead (63 points) over the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning atop the overall standings with a 5-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Mason Marchment scored twice and chipped in an assist for the Panthers. The Jets (41 points) are five points out of the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference.
A four-point performance by Joe Pavelski (two goals, two assists) powered the Dallas Stars over the New Jersey Devils 5-1. Roope Hintz scored for the fourth straight game while Braden Holtby picked up the win with a 38-save performance. They played without defenseman John Klingberg, who’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury. With 46 points, the Stars vault into the final Western Conference wild-card spot.
The Pittsburgh Penguins tallied four straight third-period goals in a 6-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Sidney Crosby and Bryan Rust each had a goal and two assists while Kris Letang tallied twice. Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz scored twice and collected an assist. With 59 points, the Penguins sit one point behind the first-place New York Rangers in the Metropolitan Division.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins played without winger Jason Zucker as he underwent core-muscle surgery and will be sidelined indefinitely. He’s earning an annual average value of $5.5 million. The Penguins could use that as cap relief if he ends up on long-term injury reserve for the rest of the season, potentially allowing them space to become buyers at the March 21 trade deadline.
Sebastian Aho scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Carolina Hurricanes nipped the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3. Nolan Patrick had a goal and an assist for Vegas as they overcame a 3-1 deficit to force the extra frame. The Hurricanes sit one point back of the Penguins while the Golden Knights remain in first place in the Pacific Division with 53 points.
The Nashville Predators regained second place in the Central Division (57 points) by doubling up the Seattle Kraken 4-2. Filip Forsberg had a goal and an assist, Matt Duchene tallied his 20th goal of the season and Juuse Saros kicked out 33 shots for the Predators.
An overtime goal by Connor McDavid lifted the Edmonton Oilers to a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. The Oilers (42 points) move to within four points of the final Western wild-card spot. Spencer Martin made 47 saves in a losing cause for the Canucks, who sit one point behind the Oilers.
The Ottawa Senators got a hat trick from Tyler Ennis and a 32-save shutout from Matt Murray to blank the Buffalo Sabres 5-0. It was a costly win for the Senators as leading scorer Drake Batherson (34 points) left the game with an ankle injury after a questionable hit by Sabres goaltender Aaron Dell sent him crashing awkwardly into the boards. Dylan Gambrell also left the game in the first with an upper-body injury.
IN OTHER NEWS…
NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson has surgery to repair a small muscle tear in his left forearm. He’s expected to be sidelined until at least mid-March.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks are battling for a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Losing Karlsson will be a big blow to their blueline. He has 26 points in 33 games this season.
TSN: The Vancouver Canucks are reportedly close to naming Pittsburgh Penguins assistant general manager Patrik Allvin as their new GM. Allvin’s spent 16 seasons with the Penguins and worked for Canucks president Jim Rutherford during the latter’s tenure as Penguins GM.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk isn’t pleased with the Ontario government’s COVID limitations on arena capacity. “They’re misinformed and they’re miscalculated. They should be challenged and they will be challenged.” The club was allowed to have 500 fans in attendance starting Monday, but they will play 11 games at home before restrictions are lifted to 50 percent capacity by Feb. 21.