NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 15, 2023

by | Jan 15, 2023 | News, NHL | 19 comments

The Kraken set a league record for consecutive road wins, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin ties another scoring record, the Blue Jackets’ Patrik Laine nets a notable hat trick, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Seattle Kraken became the first team in NHL history to sweep a seven-game road trip by downing the Chicago Blackhawks 8-5. Jared McCann scored three times while Matty Beniers had a goal and an assist as the Kraken (26-12-4) moved into second place in the Pacific Division with 56 points. Seth Jones had three assists and Taylor Raddysh had a goal and two assists for the 11-26-4 Blackhawks as they sink to the bottom of the overall standings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken are riding an eight-game win streak. Seattle winger Jordan Eberle collected an assist in what was his 900th career NHL game. Teammate Jaden Schwartz missed this game and is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tied an NHL record for the most 30-goal seasons but his club dropped a 3-1 decision to the Philadelphia Flyers. Ovechkin and Mike Gartner each have 17 30-goal seasons. Carter Hart made 39 saves and Scott Laughton had a goal and an assist for the Flyers as they improved to 18-18-7. The Capitals (23-16-6) hold the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 52 points.

The Columbus Blue Jackets snapped a 10-game road losing skid by holding off the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 4-3. Patrik Laine netted the 10th hat trick of his career while Johnny Gaudreau collected two assists for the 13-27-3 Blue Jackets. Olli Maatta, Jake Walman and Lucas Raymond scored third-period goals for the Red Wings as they slipped to 18-16-7.

A late goal by Matt Grzelcyk lifted the Boston Bruins to a 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. David Pastrnak scored his 33rd goal of the season as the league-league Bruins (33-5-4) maintained a nine-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes with 70 points. Mitch Marner and Michael Bunting each had two points for the 26-11-7 Maple Leafs, who sit in second place in the Atlantic Division with 59 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Following the game, the Bruins announced they reached an agreement with winger Pavel Zacha on a four-year contract worth an average annual value of $4.75 million. Zacha, 25, was acquired from the New Jersey Devils last summer and has five goals and 25 points in 42 games this season as the Bruins’ third-line left winger. He’s completing a one-year, $3.5 million deal.

As for the Hurricanes, they got a 34-save performance from Frederik Andersen to nip the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1. Brady Skjei and Jalen Chatfield scored for the Hurricanes as they improved to 27-9-7 and sit atop the Metropolitan Division with 61 points. Rickard Rakell replied for the Penguins (21-15-6) as they’ve dropped eight of their last 10 contests. With 48 points, they’ve fallen one point of the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hurricanes winger Max Pacioretty missed this game with a lower-body injury and will likely miss Sunday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. He could return for Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Wild. Meanwhile, Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson remains sidelined by illness.

Speaking of road records, the New Jersey Devils became the first team in league history to win 17 of their first 20 road games in a season with a 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Jack Hughes, Ryan Graves and Yegor Sherangovich each had two points while MacKenzie Blackwood stopped 35 shots as the Devils (28-12-3) sit two points back of the Hurricanes in the Metro Division. Kevin Fiala and Anze Kopitar replied for the Kings (25-15-6) as they slipped to third place in the Pacific Division with 56 points.

The New York Islanders, meanwhile, vaulted one point ahead of the Penguins into that wild-card spot by holding off the Montreal Canadiens by a 2-1 score. Casey Cizikas and Anthony Beauvillier scored first-period goals for the 23-18-3 Islanders. Sam Montembeault turned aside 36 shots while Nick Suzuki scored for the 17-23-3 Canadiens, who also lost forward Jake Evans in the first period to an apparent knee injury.

Colorado Avalanche goalie Pavel Francouz turned in a 29-save shutout in a 7-0 drubbing of the Ottawa Senators. Mikko Rantanen, Artturi Lehkonen and Alex Newhook each had two goals as the Avalanche improved to 21-17-3. With 45 points, they’re six back of the Edmonton Oilers for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The Senators slide to 19-20-3 and also lost defenseman Artum Zub in the second period to a lower-body injury.

The Edmonton Oilers picked up their third straight win by dropping the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3. Leon Draisaitl scored twice while Zach Hyman collected two assists and Mattias Janmark had a goal and an assist. The Oilers (24-18-3) are tied in points with the Calgary Flames but the latter has a game in hand. Logan Thompson made 33 saves for the Golden Knights (28-14-2), who lead the Western Conference with 58 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other Golden Knights news, Robin Lehner filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy due to his ownership of an exotic snake farm in Missouri. The 31-year-old goaltender underwent hip surgery in August and is sidelined for the season.

Speaking of the Flames, they took a 6-1 lead over the Dallas Stars and held on for a 6-5 victory. Jonathan Huberdeau, Nazem Kadri, and MacKenzie Weegar were among five Flames to collect two points in this contest. The Flames maintained their hold on the first Western Conference wild-card spot with a record of 21-14-9. Joe Pavelski scored two third-period goals for the Stars (25-12-7) as they slipped to second place in the Central Division with 57 points.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point scored twice and collected an assist in a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. Lightning defenseman Nick Perbix left the game in the second period with an undisclosed injury. The Bolts (27-13-1) sit third in the Atlantic Division with 55 points while the Blues (21-20-3) slipped to 45 points and six points out of a Western wild-card spot.

The Minnesota Wild got a 27-save effort from Marc-Andre Fleury to defeat the Arizona Coyotes 2-1. Mats Zuccarello and Frederick Gaudreau scored for the Wild (24-14-4) as they sit in third place in the Central Division with 52 points. Lawson Crouse replied for the Coyotes as they dropped their eighth straight and fell to 13-24-5 on the season.

Florida Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 35 saves (including 14 in the third period) in a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Aleksander Barkov scored what proved to be the game-winner while Aaron Ekblad had a goal and an assist for the 20-20-4 Panthers. Bo Horvat tallied his 30th goal of the season as his Canucks fell to 17-22-3.

Third-period goals by Kyle Okposo and Jack Quinn lifted the Buffalo Sabres over the Nashville Predators by a score of 5-3. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen kicked out 38 shots as the Sabres improved to 21-18-2. Ryan Johansen had a goal and an assist as the Predators slipped to 19-17-6.


  1. Never a dull moment with Robin Lehrer, is there?

  2. The Senators just gave a whole new meaning to the term “s*&t-kicking.” Pathetic effort top to bottom. If Dorion needed some final prodding to make a coaching change it’s the sloppy, gutless play in their past 4 games – and that includes the recent 5-3 win over Arizona.

    Forget trading … no one they could possibly bring in now is going to make a difference, Nor would a top coach like Trotz for that matter, so they may as well hang onto their 1st pick and at least get a half-ass crack at Bedard. In fact do a proper tank job from here to the end with some interim coach.

    • I’m with you on that one, George. It’s high time for Smith to move on.

    • Who would trade for half an ass crack?

      • LOL. You’d be surprised, Rock.

  3. Funny Elliott Freidman was saying the negotiation with Pastrnak were progressing.

    I think he heard negotiation with a czech player were progressing.

    Term is fine, dollars are to high.

    Can he be second line center? He will get a shot.

    • Careful George

      Ron Moore will be labelling you with a RWM brain .

      U might be fine , as you are not insulting his beloved Maple Leafs

      Ron Moore is a guy that walks around in a Leaf jersey 24/7 !
      Kinda like Linus and his blanket!

      Speaking of , a strong effort – last night against the Bruins – demoralized by pathetic performance of Reilly and Timmins

      What really boggles me is Rutherford and Armstrong – procrastinating and not being pro active .
      2 Teams with no light at the end of the tunnel , and a high opportunity to draft Bedard !

      • That’s constructive and hockey related comment. Grow up bud.

      • Comment *Heh. Ken, I certainly wasn’t EXPECTING the Senators to defeat Colorado last night, despite their own recent funk. Indeed, I thought the Avs would get the 2 points. But what I DID expect to see was a total effort – they are, after all, defending Cup champions so what more do they need to “get up” for the game? Instead they roll-over and quit. Top to bottom.

        It’s becoming clear now that dealing away last year’s 1st (15th overall) to Chicago for DeBrincat was seen as, perhaps, the final ingredient to at least be a serious contender for a playoff niche. That, and the seemingly endless search for a Top 4 RD.

        Then came the losses of Norris, Motte, Joseph and Zub for long stretches and, despite that, they did begin to put together some decent streaks in December. Then, at home, they roll over and play dead for Seattle – not the loss but the pathetic 4-8 effort, followed by an equally dismal effort in a 3-0 loss to Nashville, a half-assed 5-3 win in Arizona and now this.

        Whatever “system” Smith is trying to make them follow – from a defensive aspect – clearly isn’t working.

        Is the pending sale of the team a distraction? I don’t see why it should be.

        I also don’t see any point in re-upping RFAs DeBrincat and Brannstrom. If TD day deals can be worked out with someone that brings in the Top 4 RD they seek, go for it. Other than that, just continue going through the motions with an “interim” coach (maybe Mann behind the bench for the rest of the season) – play Bernard-Docker and Thompson the rest of the way, along with Zaitsev and get as good a % chance at the # 1 pick as possible.

  4. Nice game by Bruins last night and also a good sign with Zacha

  5. @George

    No lack of effort as per Dorion seeking a preferable top “2” D

    Armstrong is impossible ???

    Talks of Dumba, as per Minnesota might be close – as per Chychrun .

    Karlson ? Columbus – a partner
    Not sure what it would take to get Karlson back – what percentage is swallowed , as per his cap hit .

    The coach – Dorion seems to loyal to …
    Boudreau will definitely be available soon – I know U have always spoken highly on him !

    • Ken, even if it were possible to deal for Karlsson, at his age he’s not the answer to a long-term solution. Besides, he’s burned his bridges to Ottawa.

      Dumba being a UFA at season’s end tells me he wouldn’t be keen on re-upping with a team headed for its 6th straight year without a playoff birth. Besides, he wouldn’t be enough to salvage this lost season. With those awful recent efforts – and I stress NOT the losses but the WAY they went about them – the rot runs deep. Brannstrom, Hamonic, Holden, Zaitsev, Gambrell, Brassard, Watson all need to be jettisoned – absolutely NO point in giving DeBrincat a long-term deal.

      Dorion calculated, gambled … and blew it. I cannot see any new owner forking over $900 million content with keeping him around, or his choice of coaches.

      Again, I stress – losses I can accept in a re-build as long as the effort is there – they are well paid to expect at least that … but tossing in the towel with a whimper has me questioning their character – not all of them, but enough of them to produce results like their past 4 games.

      • Yup, I agree. The players you mentioned should all be gone. Bring on Greig, Sokolov, Crookshank, Bernard-Docker and Thompson. A re-build is never over until the team begins to win consistently and puts out the required effort in most games. While I have liked DeBrincat’s game for the most part, he also hasn’t been consistent and he should garner the defenceman they need at the TDL.

  6. The Sen’s need 4 or 5 players to turn it around for next season opener…. this year looks like its done.
    only 4 of the current top 7 ottawa defence core will be back, Chabot & Zub & Sanderson & Bernard-Docker
    the UFA d/men are gone & Talbot👍

    in order of importance.
    1- A #1 Staring Goaltender this is A Key Move*****

    2- 2nd paring Right d/man with offence capabillities

    3- A Big Tough 3rd line Winger

    4- Shut Big down 3rd pairing D/man

    5- Dump RD man $4.5M for 1 more year Nikita Zaitsev, with young d/man like Erik Brännström & a 2nd rd pick in 2024🤔

    This would give them $21.5M in Cap Space July 1st✔️

    Trade Chips
    1- Alex de Brincat for d/man like Matt Dumba,then agrees to sign an extension with Sens

    2- Shane Pinto, young 22yr old Centre 6.ft3 & 200lb
    for a Goaltender

    3-4-5 Go the UFA route🤔

    5- Then bring up a few good prospects
    like LW Ridly Greig, or RW Tyler Boucher,👌 and

    Remenber the Sen’s will pick somewhere in the
    Top 10 and its a Great Draft……❗️

    • I can’t disagree with your take at this juncture willie w. If they do things “right” (meaning “wrong”) the rest of the way in the honored tradition of Edmonton, Montreal, Pittsburgh they’ll do all they can to drop like the proverbial rock and so pick a lot closer to – if not actually – # 1. And it’s not as if it hasn’t happened before with other teams as I’ve pointed out and as Chicago and Anaheim are doing now (Arizona just can’t help it).

      • Hey George,
        I dont see the Sens finishing bottom 5 in teams,
        picking 1 to 5, i think its
        28th spot for 5th pick is a 3 way tie❗️
        at the end of the year with SJ, Habs, Canucks, Sens will pick anywhere from 8th 9th 10th
        I think the Cat gets traded for the RD or Goaltender…

        From a Re build team who knows what happing in Vancouver and or Philly ….❓
        2023, UFA Goaltender 27 yr old Tristan Jarry from the Pens, they are old, with a Poor Defence and very old top 6 forwards….30 to 38 yr old’s
        This could be a last kick at the can for these guys it could be a Penguin Re-build coming soon,
        I just had a look at the Pens Prospect pool its Very Very Shallow…🥶🤔

      • willie w, right now Ottawa is only 7 pts up on 28th place Sharks (5th pick slot) and 4 on 27th place Montreal, and even with 1 and 2 games in hand, with the way they’re imploding those games won’t mean squat. 1 to 4, as you note, are probably in the bag for Chicago, Anaheim, Arizona and Columbus, but 5th last would give them a decent % chance to move up (or down depending upon how you look at it 😉 )

        In fact, Dorion should be pulling a Lamoriello and to Hell with waiting for TD D or the few days leading up to it. Deal now when and where possible. There are still a few teams pushing for a WC spot (Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Florida, Detroit, Colorado, St. Louis, Nashville) and a couple currently holding one of the spots who might be open to moves to strengthen their positions (NYI, Calgary, Edmonton).

        Where Pittsburgh is concerned, I agree with what you observe re their prospect pool and where The Hockey Writers have them slotted – 32nd. Definitely on the downward side of the curve.

  7. Leafs and Pens lose 😭🤬😡💩

    Leafs drop to 5th in East (by winning percentage). Bruins just more determined

    Pens…. Now below the cut line…. But the good news…. Just 3 points up on Blues…. Who as at now, at least have a shot (albeit only 3%) @ Bedard


    Tanger, Pettersson, Petry out is certainly not helping

    No changes and say lose 4 of next 5…. End of an era is a fair possibility

    BTW …. Tre for McC (1 of 5 former Pens on Krakken) last night…. On 82 G pace of 46 goals….. but Pens got Hallander in return!!!! 3 NHL games… no points; listed as a B prospect; possibility of being s career AHLer (or going back overseas)…. Hmmmm, not sure if Pens won that deal;

    Caught (via PVR) Knights/Oil game…. Long stretches of action with fewer whistles…. Nice to watch…. McD …. A measly 1 point —-LOL…. Points in 24 of last 25 (New Year’s eve v jets only point shutout game in that stretch)…..82 G pace of 67-84-161…. Meh