NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 19, 2023
The Oilers’ Connor McDavid reaches another scoring milestone, the Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews reportedly considering retirement, the Capitals’ John Carlson talks about his gruesome head injury and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid had his fourth straight multi-point game (1 goal, two assists) in a 6-4 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Evander Kane tallied a hat trick while Leon Draisaitl and Mattias Ekholm each collected three assists for the 39-23-8 Oilers as they hold third place in the Pacific Division with 86 points. Jamie Oleksiak collected two assists for the Kraken (38-24-7) as they hold the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference with 83 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was McDavid’s 40th multi-point game, making him the sixth player in NHL history to reach that plateau. Meanwhile, Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer left the game with a non-COVID illness.
The Boston Bruins defeated the Minnesota Wild 5-2 to snap the latter’s 14-game points streak. Brad Marchand collected three assists, David Pastrnak scored his 47th goal of the season and Linus Ullmark stopped 29 shots for the Bruins (52-11-5) as they sit atop the overall standings with 109 points. Marcus Johansson has a goal and an assist for the 39-22-8 Wild as they slipped to third place in the Central Division with 86 points.
Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and two assists and defenseman Cale Makar collected three points in a 5-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Mikko Rantanen tallied his 46th goal of the season for the Avalanche (40-22-6) as they won their fifth straight game to move ahead of the Wild into second place in the Central with 86 points. Pius Suter replied for the 30-29-9 Red Wings.
The New York Rangers got a 33-save shutout by Igor Shesterkin as they thumped the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-0. Mika Zibanejad had a goal and two assists while Artemi Panarin tallied twice for the 40-19-10 Rangers as they sit third in the Metropolitan Division with 90 points. The Penguins (34-25-10) dropped their third straight game and slipped into the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 78 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins defensemen Jeff Petry and Jan Rutta missed this game with injuries.
New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin stopped 29 shots in a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Jean-Gabriel Pageau had a goal and an assist for the 36-27-8 Islanders as they hold the first Eastern wild-card berth with 80 points. The Sharks fell to 19-37-14.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: San Jose goalie James Reimer became the latest NHL player to refuse to wear a Pride jersey during pregame warmups for his club’s Pride Night event. The Sharks also sent rookie winger William Eklund back to their AHL affiliate.
An overtime goal by Neal Pionk lifted the Winnipeg Jets over the Nashville Predators 3-2. Nikolaj Ehlers and Josh Morrissey each had two points as the Jets improved to 39-28-3 (81 points) to hold the final Western Conference wild-card spot, sitting two points behind the Kraken. Juuse Saros made 31 saves for the Predators (34-25-8) as they sit five points back of the Jets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Predators captain Roman Josi left the game in the first period with an undisclosed injury. There was no post-game update regarding his condition.
A four-goal third period rallied the Florida Panthers to a 4-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Sam Reinhart scored twice while Aleksander Barkov, Carter Verhaeghe and Brandon Montour each collected two points as the 35-27-7 Panthers (77 points) moved within one point of the Penguins. Akira Schmid made 37 saves for the Devils (44-18-7) as they sit second in the Metropolitan Division with 95 points.
Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho scored in overtime to complete his hat trick and nip the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4. Martin Necas had two points as the Hurricanes moved to 45-15-8 and widen their lead over the Devils atop the Metropolitan Division with 98 points. Noah Cates, Tyson Foerster and Brendan Lemieux each had a goal and an assist for the 25-32-12 Flyers.
The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Ottawa Senators 5-4 on a shootout goal by Alex Kerfoot. Matt Murray kicked out 48 shots, Calle Jarnkrok tallied twice while Mitch Marner and John Tavares each had two points for the 42-18-9 Maple Leafs as they sit second in the Atlantic Division with 93 points. Brady Tkachuk scored two goals for the 33-31-5 Senators as they sit seven points out of the final Eastern wild-card spot.
Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brandon Hagel had a hat trick in a 5-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Nikita Kucherov and Mikhail Sergachev each had two assists for the Lightning (42-22-6) as they remain three points back of the Leafs with 90 points. Nick Suzuki had two assists for the 27-37-6 Canadiens, who played without defenseman Kaiden Guhle (lower-body injury) for this game.
Dallas Stars forward Jason Robertson scored twice (including the winning goal) and collected an assist in a 6-5 overtime victory over the Calgary Flames. Jamie Benn had two assists for the 38-19-13 Stars as they sit in first place in the Central Division with 89 points. Rasmus Andersson had a goal and two assists for the Flames (31-24-15) as they sit four points behind the Jets for the final Western wild-card spot with 77 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames made Milan Lucic a healthy scratch for this game.
Shootout goals by Andrei Kuzmenko and J.T. Miller gave the Vancouver Canucks a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Elias Pettersson scored in the third period to tie the game for the 30-33-5 Canucks as they extend their points streak to nine games. The Kings (40-20-10) sit in second place in the Pacific Division with 90 points.
The Arizona Coyotes doubled up the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2. Clayton Keller and Juuso Valimaki each had three points for the 27-31-11 Coyotes as they extended their points streak to eight games. The Blackhawks fell to 24-39-6.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A report out of Chicago cited sources claiming Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is seriously considering retirement after dealing with long-COVID symptoms and chronic immune response syndrome. He’s been out of the lineup dealing with those ailments since Jan. 28. The club still publicly remains hopeful that he’ll return to the lineup before the end of the season.
WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sidelined Capitals defenseman John Carlson revealed that he suffered a fractured skull and a severed temporal artery when he was struck in the head by a slapshot during a Dec. 23 game against the Winnipeg Jets. The 33-year-old defenseman has only recently returned to skating with his teammates with a non-contact jersey. There is no exact date yet for his return.