NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 20, 2022
A record-setting night for Filip Forsberg, the Bruins attempt to sign recently-acquired defenseman Hampus Lindholm, Tyler Bertuzzi speaks out about trade rumors, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg tallied his franchise-record 211th career goal (and tied his single-season personal best of 33 goals) in a 6-3 defeat of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Predators captain Roman Josi collected three assists to become the first NHL defenseman since Paul Coffey and Al MacInnis in 1990-91 to reach 75 points in 60 games. Leafs winger Mitch Marner scored twice and teammate Auston Matthews had a goal and an assist in his return from a two-game suspension. With 76 points, the Predators hold a four-point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights for the first Western Conference wild-card berth while the Leafs (83 points) remain one point behind the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs winger Ondrej Kase left the game in the second period after taking an elbow to the head by Predators forward Matt Duchene. He has a history of head injuries and there was no immediate update about his condition.
Speaking of the Lightning, they dropped a 2-1 decision to the New York Rangers when Mika Zibanejad snapped a 1-1 tie with just 16 seconds remaining in the game. Igor Shesterkin made 28 saves for the win as the Rangers completed a sweep of their season series against the Lightning. The Blueshirts sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 83 points.
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby enjoyed his 87th career multi-point game with two goals to lead his club over the Arizona Coyotes 4-1. Coyotes forward Clayton Keller scored to extend his points streak to eight games. The Penguins sit two points ahead of the Rangers for second place in the Metro Division and are three points behind the first-place Carolina Hurricanes.
The Golden Knights, meanwhile, got a 38-save performance by goaltender Logan Thompson (19 of them in the third period) in a 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Alex Pietrangelo had a goal and an assist for Vegas (72 points) as they opened a three-point lead over the Dallas Stars for the final Western wild-card berth. The Kings sit in second place in the Pacific Division with 76 points.
Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists to lead his club over the New Jersey Devils 6-3. The Oilers tallied four unanswered third-period goals to overcome a 3-2 deficit and pick up their fifth straight win, sitting two points behind the Kings in third place. Evander Kane scored twice for the Oilers while Jesper Bratt netted two goals for the Devils.
The Calgary Flames dealt a blow to the Vancouver Canucks’ playoff hopes by beating the latter 5-2. Matthew Tkachuk led the way with a goal and two assists for the Flames, who sit atop the Pacific Division with 84 points. The Canucks sit five points out of the final Western wild-card spot with 67 points.
Late goals by Ryan Hartman and Jordan Greenway lifted the Minnesota Wild to a 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Cam Talbot made 21 saves for the win as the Wild have victories in four of their last six contests. They sit one point behind the St. Louis Blues in the Central Division with 76 points.
The Columbus Blue Jackets got two-point performances from Patrik Laine, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Gustav Nyquist and Emil Bemstrom to hold off the Blues 5-4. David Perron had a hat trick for St. Louis.
New York Islanders center Brock Nelson tallied a hat trick as his club doubled up the Dallas Stars 4-2. Semyon Varlamov made 37 saves for the Isles, who’ve gone 5-0-1 in their last six games. The Stars are three points out of the final Western wild-card berth.
Montreal Canadiens goalie Jake Allen made 29 saves for his first win since Nov. 27 in a 5-1 drubbing of the Ottawa Senators. Jake Evans had a goal and an assist while Cole Caufield extended his goal streak to four games.
A four-goal outburst in the third period carried the Seattle Kraken over the Detroit Red Wings 4-2. Yanni Gourde tallied twice for the Kraken.
TSN: The Boston Bruins are reportedly attempting to sign Hampus Lindholm after acquiring him yesterday from the Anaheim Ducks. Pierre LeBrun reports it’s believed to be an eight-year contract extension that could be completed Sunday. Chris Johnston followed up indicating the annual average value is $6.5 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would be a reasonable cap hit for Lindholm. His current annual average value is over $5.2 million. He might’ve received more on the open market this summer.
The contract term was a sticking point in Lindholm’s contract talks with the Ducks and led to his trade to Boston. Signing an extension with the Bruins gives him an extra year on his contract he otherwise wouldn’t have received in this summer’s unrestricted free agent market.
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The full details of Claude Giroux’s trade to the Florida Panthers sees the Flyers receive winger Owen Tippett, a conditional 2024 first-round pick and a 2023 third-round pick. The Panthers also received minor-league forwards Connor Bunneman and German Rubtsov and a 2024 fifth-round pick. The Flyers retained 50 percent of Giroux’s $8.275 million cap hit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The details of the trade tended to dribble out during the course of the evening. You can read my reaction to the trade at this link.
MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi dismissed recent trade rumors, making it clear he’s committed to the club.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bertuzzi is replying to a recent rumor claiming he’d welcome a move to another club. General manager Steve Yzerman has made no comment about Bertuzzi or any of his other players as Monday’s trade deadline approaches.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes winger Nino Niederreiter received a one-game suspension for slashing Washington Capitals Axel Jonsson-Fjallby on Friday.