NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 15, 2023
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 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.