NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 27, 2023
The Lightning match a franchise home win streak, the Sabres’ Owen Power sets a franchise record for rookie defensemen, the Canucks re-sign Andrei Kuzmenko, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning matched a franchise record with their 11th straight home win by nipping the Boston Bruins 3-2, snapping the latter’s six-game win streak. Victor Hedman broke a 2-2 tie in the third period while Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point each had three points for the 31-15-1 Lightning, who hold third place in the Atlantic Division. Brad Marchand and Pavel Zacha replied for the Bruins (38-6-4), who sit atop the overall standings with 80 points.
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Owen Power scored for the third straight game in a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Jeff Skinner, Tage Thompson and Rasmus Dahlin each had two points for the 26-19-3 Sabres, who’ve won five straight contests and moved within two points of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 55 points. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 33 shots for the Jets (31-18-1), who sit in second place in the Western Conference with 63 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Power became the first Sabres rookie defenseman to record a goal streak of three games.
Speaking of the Penguins, they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Washington Capitals on shootout goals by Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom. Alex Ovechkin tallied his 32nd goal while Darcy Kuemper made 35 saves for the Capitals (26-19-6), who hold a one-point lead over the Penguins for the first Eastern wild-card spot with 58 points. Casey DeSmith stopped 43 shots for the 24-15-9 Penguins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals winger Tom Wilson missed this game with a lower-body injury.
An overtime goal by Mats Zuccarello lifted the Minnesota Wild over the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 3-2. Matt Boldy scored twice and collected an assist for the Wild (26-17-4) as they vaulted back into third place in the Central Division with 56 points. The Flyers slipped to 20-21-9 on the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers forward Wade Allison left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury while Zack MacEwen suffered an upper-body injury from his fight with Wild winger Marcus Foligno. Wild center Ryan Hartman was a healthy scratch from this game.
Anaheim Ducks winger Frank Vatrano tallied a hat trick to upset the Colorado Avalanche 5-3, ending the latter’s six-game win streak. John Gibson kicked out 41 shots for the 15-29-5 Ducks. Mikko Rantanen scored twice for the Avalanche 26-18-3 as they hold the final Western Conference wild-card spot with 55 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar collected an assist as he returned to the lineup after missing four games with an upper-body injury.
The Calgary Flames missed an opportunity to surpass the Avalanche for that wild-card berth as they were upset 5-1 by the Chicago Blackhawks. Rookie goalie Jaxon Stauber made 34 saves to win his second straight NHL start for the 15-28-4 Blackhawks. The Flames (23-17-9) have 55 points but the Avs hold two games in hand.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews missed this game with a non-COVID-related illness.
Nashville Predators forward Matt Duchene had a goal and an assist in the third period in a 6-4 win over the New Jersey Devils to end the latter’s eight-game points streak. Juuse Saros turned aside 34 shots for the Predators (24-18-6) as they moved within one point of the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 54 points. Devils center Jack Hughes collected two points as the 31-13-4 Devils remain two points behind the Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes with 66 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Predators announced that defenseman Alexandre Carrier will be sidelined for four-to-six weeks with an upper-body injury.
The Arizona Coyotes (16-28-5) got a natural hat trick from Nick Schmaltz and a 33-save shutout from Karel Vejmelka to blank the St. Louis Blues 5-0. The Blues dropped to 23-23-3 and sit six points out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blues forward Robert Thomas left this game with a lower-body injury. Coyotes forwards Matias Maccelli and Lawson Crouse returned to the lineup after being sidelined by injuries. However, the club announced before this game that defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere will miss four-to-six weeks with an upper-body injury. That could affect management’s efforts to trade the pending free agent before the March 3 trade deadline.
An overtime goal by Robby Fabbri gave the Detroit Red Wings a 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Moritz Seider had three assists for the Wings as they improved to 21-18-8 to keep their slim playoff hopes alive with 50 points. The Canadiens (20-25-4) got two goals from Rafael Harvey-Pinard but also lost defenseman Joel Edmundson to a lower-body injury.
IN OTHER NEWS…
THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks re-signed winger Andrei Kuzmenko to a two-year contract worth an average annual value of $5. 5 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I predicted this in yesterday’s Rumor Mill as reports emerged Kuzmenko’s camp sought a two-year bridge deal worth between $5 million and $6 million. The 26-year-old rookie winger has 21 goals and 43 points in 47 games with the Canucks this season as he’s played well alongside center Elias Pettersson.
The signing disappoints those who believe the struggling Canucks should trade Kuzmenko for draft picks and prospects while his value was high. However, that would’ve meant rebuilding and that’s something the Canucks don’t do. This signing is also considered another indication that the club will move pending free agent center Bo Horvat before the March 3 trade deadline.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen reportedly avoided serious injury when he left Wednesday’s game against the Dallas Stars with an upper-body injury.
NEW YORK POST: The Rangers signed defenseman Ben Harpur to a two-year contract extension with an average annual value of $787, 500.
Talking yesterday about the fact 2 of Boston’s 5 losses (to that point) had come against Ottawa, I suggested it may have been a case of a good team playing down to the level of a bottom-feeding opponent. Last night there were 3 classic examples: Arizona over St, Louis; Chicago over Calgary; Anaheim over Colorado. And not just the losses – but the scores!
At another time I might have included Buffalo over Winnipeg considering the difference in records … but this Sabres team is making a believer out of me.
I agree the Sabres are hitting above their weight class. If they had a legit #1 goalie they would most likely be in a wild card spot. They are fun to watch
Someone like Linus Ullmark?
Exactly 😎. Habfan
i wonder if a change of scenery will help John Gibson turn his game around. maybe the Sabres make sense there, both ANA and BUF seem to give up a lot of chances, which he is used to
Mrbruin4, while you’re right there, they have been getting some clutch goaltending from soon-to-be 42 y/o Craig Anderson who’s registered a 2.73gaa and 0.918 save % in 17gp – both better than his career totals of 2.85gaa and 0.912 save %.
That Luukkonen kid could turn into a decent tender.
After a tough start to this season in the NHL he has started to play pretty good again. He was good last year when called up as well. Most tenders seem to take a while. But still a big question mark in net until he proves it.
I want some of whatever Anderson is drinking, pretty amazing at that age.
I like how the Sabres are built. 2 high end D, both big. Solid #3 D in shut down guy Samuelson. Big too.
1 high end C (has to be top 10 in league?), and a solid 2C in the making with Cozens. Both big. With more C depth in prospects with 1st rd picks in Savoie and Osland.
The core is there and more internal improvement can be expected. Need to play with better structure, like most young teams need to learn.
Atlantic getting tougher real soon if they learn and get some tending.
Ray, as i noted yesterday a potential Boston first round matchup, no easy task.
Buffalo with their win% actually has the second wild card spot.
based on winning % Washington would be on the outside looking in.
should be fun to watch a teams start to jockey for spots in both conferences.
Ray, Anderson is a fitness-freak and works out constantly both on and off the ice, I’ve always felt that one of Dorion’s biggest gaffes was not keeping him around. The Murray deal – and at the time they also had Gustavsson – put the screws to that.
The young Sabers and Senators are in a very similar situation with there Re-builds and fun to watch right now…..
Both have a very good young core of forwards and a very good young core of d/men
Both Teams Need a Starter in net…✔️
Both Teams need to add a Good Older d/man✔️
Both team have a good amout of Cap space
Both Teams will be active at the trade Deadline/Draft
Sen’s will change up there Coach in the Summer..
watch out for Barry Trotz as he will be back in the NHL next year after taking 2 years off….🤔
Can’t see anyone bothering bruins much in rd 1. 2rd 2 will be harder and rd 3 probably vs canes will be a back and forth series If bruins remain healthy they should run the table. Then again. Hard to stay healthy. I’m just enjoying the season they are having
Mrbruin4 there will be no push overs and this is why we play the games.
Caper. Never said pushovers. Just said if Bruins healthy they should win as they are the most complete team