NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 22, 2023
Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl reach point milestones while Ryan O’Reilly and Mitch Marner play big roles in Leafs win over the Sabres. Get the details on these and other stories in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid reached his 800th career point while teammate Leon Draisaitl netted his 700th in a 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. McDavid and Draisaitl each collected three points as the Oilers (31-19-8) snapped a four-game winless skid and hold the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 70 points. The Flyers slipped to 23-26-10 (56 points) and remain eight points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot. They played without Travis Konecny as he missed this game with an upper-body injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid is the league leader in goals with 44 and points with 105. He’s also the fifth-fastest player in NHL history to reach 800 career points, doing so in 545 games.
The Toronto Maple Leafs got a hat trick from Ryan O’Reilly and a five-assist performance by Mitch Marner to beat the Buffalo Sabres 6-3. O’Reilly finished with four points while John Tavares had a goal and three assists as the Leafs improved to 35-15-8 to maintain their three-point lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning for second place in the Atlantic Division with 78 points. Alex Tuch had two points as the Sabres fall to 28-23-4 (60 points) to remain four points behind the Florida Panthers for the final Eastern wild-card spot.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The line of O’Reilly, Marner and Tavares is showing impressive chemistry thus far for the Leafs.
Speaking of the Lightning, they thumped the Anaheim Ducks by a score of 6-1 to remain unbeaten in regular (14-0-1) over their last 15 games. Brayden Point tallied his 200th career goal while Nick Perbix recorded three assists. The Lightning (36-17-3) have 76 points and sit third in the Atlantic Division. The Ducks sank to 17-34-7 on the season and played without John Klingberg as he’s day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-1 thanks to three-point performances by Andrei Svechnikov and Seth Jarvis. Frederik Andersen stopped 35 shots as the Hurricanes (38-10-8) have won 13 of their last 15 games and sit in second place in the overall standings with 84 points. Justin Faulk scored for the Blues as they dropped to 26-28-3. They also lost defenseman Torey Krug as he left this game with an undisclosed injury.
Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Hartman scored twice in a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings to snap the latter’s four-game win streak. Filip Gustavsson made 33 saves as the Wild improved to 31-21-5 (67 points), opening a four-point lead over the Calgary Flames for the final Western wild-card berth. Anze Kopitar replied for the Kings (32-19-7) as they remain one point up on the Seattle Kraken for second place in the Pacific Division with 71 points.
The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Washington Capitals 3-1 to extend the latter’s losing skid to five games. Pius Suter tallied two goals and Ville Husso kicked out 26 shots for the 27-21-8 Red Wings (62 points). They moved to within two points of the final Eastern wild-card spot and sit ahead of the Capitals (28-25-6) with three games in hand.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin was ejected from this game in the second period for cross-checking Washington forward T.J. Oshie in the face. Capitals forward Anthony Mantha left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury following a hit by Wings defenseman Moritz Seider.
A shootout goal by Tyler Johnson lifted the Chicago Blackhawks over the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2, ending the latter’s five-game win streak. Johnson also scored the tying goal in the third period and finished with two points as the Blackhawks improved to 19-32-5. The Golden Knights (34-18-5) opened a two-point lead over the Kings for first place in the Pacific Division with 73 points.
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Sam Montembeault made 38 saves in a 5-2 upset of the New Jersey Devils to end the latter’s six-game home win streak. Nick Suzuki and Mike Matheson each had a goal and an assist as the Canadiens improved to 24-29-4. Jesper Bratt and Dawson Mercer replied for the 37-15-5 Devils as they sit second in the Metropolitan Division with 79 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Devils goalie Mackenzie Blackwood missed this game with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. Canadiens forward Joel Armia left this game following the first period with a non-COVID-related illness.
The Nashville Predators defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-4 on a shootout goal by Matt Duchene. The win kept the Predators’ fading playoff hopes alive as they rose to 27-22-6 and sit seven points out of the final Western wild-card spot with 60 points. Andrei Kuzmenko tallied twice for the 22-30-5 Canucks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Predators forward Ryan Johansen left this game in the second period after suffering a cut. Following the game, head coach John Hynes said he was uncertain about Johansen’s condition but felt it was possible it might be serious. Meanwhile, the Canucks are sitting defenseman Luke Schenn for trade-related reasons with the March 3 trade deadline on the horizon.
IN OTHER NEWS…
COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar is in concussion protocol and will miss at least two games. He had missed four games earlier this month with a head injury and reinjured himself on Saturday after initiating contact with Alexei Toropchenko of the St. Louis Blues.
DAILY FACEOFF: The Winnipeg Jets placed forward Cole Perfetti (upper body) on injured reserve. He last played on Feb. 19.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Plans for the Bruins to play a two-game set against the Los Angeles Kings next September in Melbourne, Australia have been put on hold due to travel concerns.