NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 3, 2022

by | Jan 3, 2022 | News, NHL | 4 comments

It was a day of hat tricks for the Penguins and Rangers, Nathan MacKinnon extends his points streak, the three stars and rookie of the month for December are revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins picked up their eighth straight win by holding off the San Jose Sharks 8-5. Penguins forwards Evan Rodrigues and Bryan Rust led the way with three goals each as the club played its first game in 13 days due to COVID postponements. Rust also collected two assists to finish the game with five points. Sharks forward Timo Meier picked up three assists while James Reimer got the hook after giving up six goals on 17 shots.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Bryan Rust (NHL Images).

Speaking of hat tricks, Mika Zibanejad tallied three times as the New York Rangers blanked the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0. Igor Shesterkin made 38 saves for the shutout while Lightning goalie Andre Vasilevskiy gave up four goals on 21 shots in his first game since returning from COVID protocol.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon extended his points streak to 10 games with three assists in a 4-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Linemate Mikko Rantanen also had three points with a goal and two assists as the Avs played their first game in 16 days. Ducks forward Max Comtois and defenseman Cam Fowler returned to the lineup from recent injuries.

A three-point performance by Johnny Gaudreau (one goal, two assists) powered the Calgary Flames to a 5-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Jacob Markstrom turned aside 30 shots for the Flames.

The Boston Bruins scored five straight goals to beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-1. Charlie McAvoy and Tomas Nosek each had a goal and an assist as the Bruins (34 points) vaulted over the Wings into the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Kyle Connor’s overtime goal lifted the Winnipeg Jets over the Vegas Golden Knights 5-4. Playing their first game in 13 days, the Jets blew a 4-2 lead as Mattias Janmark scored two unanswered third-period goals to force the extra frame.

The New Jersey Devils blew a 3-1 lead but still managed to upset the Washington Capitals 4-3 on an overtime goal by Nico Hischier. It was Hischier’s second goal of the game as his Devils picked up their third straight victory. The Capitals, however, moved past the Lightning into first place in the Eastern Conference.


SPORTSNET: Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf and Rangers winger Artemi Panarin were among the latest players to enter the NHL’s COVID protocol list.

NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, Vegas Golden Knights winger Max Pacioretty and Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko were the NHL’s three stars for December 2021. Ducks forward Trevor Zegras was named the rookie of the month.

The NHL department of player safety suspended Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett for three games for an illegal hit to the head of Montreal Canadiens forward Cedric Paquette during Saturday’s game between the two clubs.

TSN: Speaking of the Canadiens, their search for a new general manager is reportedly underway. Pierre LeBrun reports they’ve been reaching out to NHL clubs to seek permission to speak with potential candidates. Roberto Luongo, Mathieu Darche and Daniel Briere are believed among the Habs targets.


  1. Re Pens v Sharks…. Love high scoring games…. Great first hatty for E-Rod. Great 5 pointer (including a hatty ) for Rusty….👍👍👍👍👍 But up 6-1 and then battling for the win @ 6-5 later in the third …. Was tense …. Mental lapses and DeSmith did not play well 👎

    It will certainly be tough for keeping streak alive to get to 9 (Blues)…. Hopefully Jarry out of protocol by then

    Gino won’t play v Blues but he’ll be back soon

    Re Bruins…. I have seen a few Bruins fans “worried” on here….. I think it may be a stretch to get to top 3 in Atl, but they have played fewer games than almost every team…. WC spot is very much likely…. Once in playoffs …. And with their star goalie back…. Anything can happen

    Can Bruins upset Bolts, or Panthers, or Canes or Caps or Rangers…. Yes

    Do they need at least a tweak at TDL… yes

    But they are certainly not in a desperate situation

    • @Pengy..Lets just hope when Mr. I’ll play my way Malkin comes back he doesnt ruin team structure and overall discipline play.

      Which he ofren dies and pulls Letang with him..

  2. James Neal was put on waivers; in other news Milan Lucic has 8 goals in 30 games and a productive player for the Calgary flames.

  3. His college linemate was Jack who? Boston University knows for sure. As it’s turned out, one member of that line is the costliest per point in the NHL, and the other, Rodriges, may represent the best spent million dollars in the NHL.