NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 21, 2023
The Bruins’ David Pastrnak tallies his 40th goal of the season, the Jets’ Connor Hellebucyk stops 50 shots to beat the Rangers, the three stars of the week are announced, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak scored his 40th and 41st goals of the season in a 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Jake DeBrusk also scored and Linus Ullmark made 30 saves for the Bruins (43-8-5) as they opened a nine-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the overall standings with 91 points. Claude Giroux replied for the Senators as they dropped to 27-25-4 (58 points) and sit six points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pastrnak is gaining ground on Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid in the race for the Richard Trophy. The Bruins star sits one goal back of McDavid. This is also the third time in the past four seasons that Pastrnak has reached the 40-goal plateau.
The Winnipeg Jets got a 50-save performance by Connor Hellebuyck to defeat the New York Rangers 4-1. Mark Scheifele scored twice while Kyle Connor had a goal and two assists as the Jets improved to 35-21-1 to sit one point out of first place in the Western Conference standings with 71 points. Vincent Trocheck scored for the Rangers (33-15-9) as they sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 75 points.
An overtime goal by Carter Verhaeghe lifted the Florida Panthers over the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 despite a 51-save effort by Ducks goalie John Gibson. Matthew Tkachuk collected two assists for the Panthers (29-25-6) as they vaulted over the Pittsburgh Penguins into the final Eastern wild-card spot with 64 points. The Ducks are 17-33-7 on the season.
Three unanswered third-period goals by Bo Horvat, Anders Lee and Brock Nelson gave the New York Islanders a 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Nelson finished with two goals while Ilya Sorokin kicked out 44 shots for the Islanders as they improved to 29-24-7 and hold the first Eastern wild-card berth with 65 points. Jake Guentzel and Jason Zucker replied for the 27-20-9 Penguins while Tristan Jarry made 28 saves in his first game since Jan. 22.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Islanders announced that center Mathew Barzal is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body (knee) injury. He’s expected to return before the end of the regular season.
San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer stopped 26 shots to shut out the Seattle Kraken 4-0 in his first start since Jan. 27. Erik Karlsson and Logan Couture each collected two points for the 18-29-11 Sharks. The loss leaves the Kraken (32-19-6) sitting in third place in the Pacific Division with 70 points, one behind the second-place Los Angeles Kings and two back of the first-place Vegas Golden Knights.
The Philadelphia Flyers upset the Calgary Flames 4-3. Wade Allison snapped a 3-3 tie in the third period while Samuel Ersson picked up the win with 32 saves as the 23-25-10 Flyers (56 points) sit eight points out of the final Eastern wild-card berth. Andrew Mangiapane and Mikael Backlund each had a goal and an assist as the Flames sank to 26-20-11 (63 points) to sit two points out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers leading scorer Travis Konecny left this game in the second period with an upper-body injury. There was no update regarding his condition following the game. Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim was a healthy scratch from this contest.
NHL.COM: Ottawa Senators forward Tim Stutzle, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon and Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin as the three stars for the week ending Feb. 19.
VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Golden Knights reportedly placed captain Mark Stone (back) on long-term injury reserve. The move gives the Golden Knights a projected $8.7 million in trade deadline cap space.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move suggests Stone is likely out for the remainder of the regular season but could return for the playoffs. It’s also an indication that the Golden Knights are preparing to bring in his replacement before the March 3 trade deadline.
WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette is hoping that Alex Ovechkin returns to the lineup later this week. Ovechkin is away from the roster indefinitely dealing with the recent death of his father. The Capitals have lost four straight games, three of those without their captain.
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: The Blues have activated defenseman Marco Scandella off injured reserve for Tuesday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes. They also activated defenseman Scott Perunovich off LTIR and sent him to their AHL affiliate in Springfield for conditioning.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Defenseman Chris Wideman is the latest Canadien to be sidelined after suffering an upper-body injury during the club’s recent skills competition.