NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 9, 2022
The Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin tied for third on the all-time scoring list, the Leafs’ Auston Matthews widens his lead in the Richard Trophy race, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored twice to tie Jaromir Jagr for third place on the all-time goal list (766) as his club held off the Calgary Flames 5-4. With 36 goals, Ovechkin sits fourth in this season’s goal-scoring race. The Capitals hold the second wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference with 71 points, sitting two behind the Boston Bruins. Flames forward Elias Lindholm also scored two goals as his club remains atop the Pacific Division with 75 points.
A hat trick by Auston Matthews powered the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 6-4 win over the Seattle Kraken. The Leafs blew a 3-1 lead and fell behind 4-3 before getting two goals from Matthews and one from Mitch Marner for the win. With 43 goals, Matthews holds a five-goal lead over the Edmonton Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl and the New York Rangers Chris Kreider. the Leafs (78 points) are two back of the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews is just seven goals from becoming the first Leaf to reach the 50-goal plateau since Dave Andreychuk in 1993-94. With 74 points, he’s just five points behind Edmonton’s Connor McDavid in the race for the Art Ross Trophy.
Patrick Kane netted a career-high six points (one goal and five assists) as his Chicago Blackhawks thumped the Anaheim Ducks 8-3. Dylan Strome had a hat trick plus an assist while Alex DeBrincat had a goal and three assists. Anaheim goalie John Gibson got the hook after giving up five goals in 13 shots in the first period. With 63 points, the Ducks remain four points behind the Dallas Stars for the final Western Conference wild-card spot.
The Arizona Coyotes tallied seven or more goals for the second straight game in a 9-2 dubbing of the Detroit Red Wings. Fresh off a seven-point performance in his previous game, Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz tallied two goals and added two assists in this contest while teammates Jakob Chychrun, Clayton Keller and Nick Ritchie each had three-point nights. The Coyotes have won three straight games for the first time this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes winger Phil Kessel skated in the opening shift to keep his NHL Ironman streak alive at 956 games, then flew back to Arizona on a flight chartered by team owner Alex Meruelo to attend the birth of his child. Meanwhile, Red Wings forward Jakub Vrana scored in his season debut following a long recovery from shoulder surgery.
Florida Panthers winger Anthony Duclair tied his career-high of 23 goals to help his club down the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3. Aleksander Barkov collected two assists as the Panthers move into a tie with the Carolina Hurricanes with 83 points, though the Hurricanes sit atop the Eastern Conference with a game in hand. Sidney Crosby and Bryan Rust each had a goal and an assist as the Penguins sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 77 points.
The Colorado Avalanche (87 points) failed to widen their lead over the Hurricanes and Panthers in the overall standings after falling 5-3 to the New Jersey Devils, who overcame a 3-0 deficit for the win. Jesper Bratt collected three assists for the Devils. Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar extended his points streak to 13 games with a goal and an assist. Devils head coach Lindy Ruff moved into sixth place on the all-time wins list among NHL bench bosses with 776. He’s 12 wins behind Hall-of-Famer Al Arbour.
Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele scored and set up three others to lead his club to a 7-4 upset of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Paul Stastny scored twice for the Jets, who had lost six of their last eight games. With 60 points, they’re seven points out of the final Western wild-card berth. The Lightning (80 points) remain three behind the Hurricanes and Panthers in the Eastern Conference.
The Minnesota Wild got two goals by Kevin Fiala and a three-point performance by Marcus Foligno to down the New York Rangers 5-2. Cam Talbot made 23 saves for the win as the Wild (69 points) moved within two points of the second-place St. Louis Blues in the Central Division. The Rangers (77 points) hold second place in the Metropolitan Division with a game in hand over the Penguins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wild winger Jordan Greenway collected an assist as he returned to the lineup after missing six games with an upper-body injury.
Speaking of the Blues, they suffered their fourth straight loss by falling 4-1 to the Ottawa Senators, who snapped a five-game losing skid. Tim Stutzle and Josh Norris led the way with a goal and two assists each while Brady Tkachuk scored his 19th goal of the season.
Two goals by Ryan Johansen and Roman Josi lifted the Nashville Predators over the Dallas Stars 2-1. John Klingberg tallied for the Stars to snap his 25-game goal-scoring drought. The Predators (68 points) moved one ahead of the Stars into the first Western wild-card spot.
Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart made a career-high 47 saves to backstop his club to a 2-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. Justin Braun and Oskar Lindblom were the goal scorers for the Flyers while Evgenii Dadonov replied for the Golden Knights, who sit in third place in the Pacific Division with 68 points.
IN OTHER NEWS…
THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken signed forward Jared McCann to a five-year, $25 million contract extension. McCann, 25, is their leading scorer with 21 goals and 33 points and is the first player in franchise history to re-sign with the club.
SPORTSNET: Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin returned to the ice yesterday by taking part in an optional skate. He’s been sidelined by a concussion and there’s still no timetable for his return to action.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes forward Antoine Roussel has been sidelined for six weeks with a lower-body injury.
TSN: The Columbus Blue Jackets signed forward Justin Danforth to a two-year, $1.95 million contract extension. Meanwhile, the Anaheim Ducks claimed defenseman Andrej Sustr off waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning.