NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 20, 2023

by | Mar 20, 2023 | News, NHL | 13 comments

Hat tricks for the Golden Knights’ Jack Eichel, the Devils’ Jesper Bratt and the Wild’s Matt Boldy plus a franchise record performance by the Rangers’ K’Andre Miller in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel tallied a hat trick in a 7-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Alex Pietrangelo collected four assists and Jiri Patera stopped 35 shots for the Golden Knights (43-21-6) as they sit on top of the Western Conference with 92 points. Patrik Laine and Kirill Marchenko each had two points for the 21-41-7 Blue Jackets.

Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen missed this game as he’s temporarily taken some time away from the team due to a death in the family. My condolences to Larsen and his family during this difficult time.

The New Jersey Devils overcame a 2-0 deficit to down the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2. Jesper Bratt scored his first career hat trick and his 100th career goal for the Devils (97 points), who improved to 45-18-7 and sit one point behind the first-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division. Nikita Kucherov scored to reach 100 points for the third time in his career as the Lightning (42-23-6) sit third in the Atlantic Division with 90 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Devils forward Curtis Lazar missed this game with an undisclosed injury suffered during Saturday’s game against the Florida Panthers.

Speaking of hat tricks, Matt Boldy netted the second one of his young career in a 5-3 win over the Washington Capitals. Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 33 shots for the 40-22-8 Wild as they regained second place in the Central Division with 88 points. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored two goals and collected an assist but his club sank to 33-31-7. With 73 points, they’re five points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Washington center Evgeny Kuznetsov left this game with an apparent shoulder injury following a high hit from Wild defenseman Matt Dumba. There was no penalty on the play. The Capitals were also playing without starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper as he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin returned to action after missing 12 games with a lower-body injury.

The New York Rangers’ K’Andre Miller set a franchise record for most points by a defenseman in one period (four) with two goals and two assists as his club scored six first-period goals to thump the Nashville Predators 7-0. Artemi Panarin had three points and Jaroslav Halak made 22 saves for his first shutout of the season for the 41-19-10 Rangers, who sit third in the Metropolitan Division with 92 points. The Predators fell to 34-26-8 and remain five points out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot with 76 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those six first-period goals were also a Rangers record for most goals in one period. Meanwhile, the Predators played without captain Roman Josi as he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman kicked out 26 shots for his second straight shutout in a 7-0 romp over the Buffalo Sabres. Jake DeBrusk had a goal and three assists, Patrice Bergeron had three points and David Pastrnak netted his 48th goal of the season for the league-leading Bruins as they improved to 53-11-5 and 111 points. The Sabres fell to 33-30-6 and sit six points away from the final Eastern wild-card berth with 72 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pastrnak is just two goals away from becoming the first Bruin to reach 50 in a season since Cam Neely in 1993-94. As for the Sabres, WGR 550’s Paul Hamilton indicates that they have the league’s second-worst record over their last 11 games, sitting 28th in goal scoring during that stretch while allowing a league-high 53 goals.

St. Louis Blues rookie goalie Joel Hofer made 33 saves to shut out the Winnipeg Jets 3-0. Kasperi Kapanen, Nathan Walker and Jakub Vrana scored for the 31-33-5 Blues. The Jets fell to 39-29-3 and cling to the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 81 points.

The Anaheim Ducks were officially eliminated from playoff contention as they fell 2-1 to the Vancouver Canucks. J.T. Miller and Elias Pettersson scored for the 31-33-5 Canucks while Ryan Strome replied for the 23-37-10 Ducks.


  1. Jakob Zboril played his first game since Feb 23rd and had an assist in Boston 7-0 win. Zboril -1 on the season. I was saying good another player out of the – as Zboril and Stralman -3 are the only two Bruins with a – on the season.

    Zboril also started the rush on the first goal, i thought “now he be a +1 on the season.

    Surprised i looked at the stat and although he had an assist in the 7-0 game his +/- was 0!

    In both plays Zboril made the transition pass and immediately left the ice and replaced by Hampus Lindholm who was credited with a + on both goals.

    It’s just one of those trivial things with the +/- but for some reason i like to pay attention to it and do find value in it, although it has some variables.

  2. Checking the standings an looking at the regulation wins (RW) the top 5 are

    Boston 46
    Edmonton 37
    Toronto 35
    Tampa Bay 34
    Carolina 33

    I did not expect to see Edmonton with the second most regulation wins. 37 of their 39 wins came in regulation, they are 0-4 in the shootout.

    • Not sure who these puckpedia guys are or how their algorithms are written but they have Canes v Oil as highest odds for SCF


      To me…. Bruins v pick ‘em from West

      • Avalanche, if healthy!. GO AVS!!!!

      • It’s rather complicated, but here is the link to how Money Puck does their predictions.
        I love Money Puck. They give you so much info.
        When you click on a game preview they show the importance of that game for each team.
        ie Oilers vs Sharks.
        For the Sharks – This Is A Completely Meaningless Game For The Sharks
        For the Oilers – This Is A Fairly Big Game For The Oilers
        And the table that follows shows the change in the team’s playoff percentages if they win or lose in regulation and over time.

    • Thanks Kevjam

      I certainly can accept a complicated yet scientific set of algorithms (as they have used) to predict the outcome of an upcoming single game. Their model will change each day with more data (previous night’s results)

      That said…. Using similar algorithms and applying them not only to playoffs but to EACH game in a series; then calculating winner; then setting up next series; re-applying etc etc; to have Bruins with less probability for a cup than Oil ???

      Also, even knowing that Bolts v Leafs is basically the most certain first round match-up…. Their model had (just two weeks ago) Leafs with 99 % probability of making 2nd round; Bolts at 98%….. They play each other … so those probabilities quite literally were impossible

      Add to that…. Their “up-to-date”
      Model has Pens with 20% chance of making 2nd round…. Which means 1) Pens have to make the playoffs (that is most certainly in jeopardy) ; and more importantly; (2) would have to beat EITHER Bruins or Canes…. Just not buying it

      Anything can happen… and McD already has 4 trophies this year…. so 4 more possibly??? (Campbell; Stanley; Smythe; Messier)???

      • Peggy I usually dismiss some of your things as wow . But McD could honestly win all of those . Won’t but wow

      • Pengy,
        The Oilers have a better chance than the Bruins just simply by an easier path to the finals than the Bruins. The Oilers percentage would be against the Western teams and not the Eastern teams.
        As for the Leafs and Lightening, there is also a column for percentage of finishing in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the division. I’m not too sure what it said the last couple of weeks for this, but right now for the Leafs and Lightening it shows a 0% chance of finishing 1st in the Atlantic. This could have been what was affecting their numbers previously.
        In the Money Pucks playoff table, you can actually see who they think will be playing each other each round of the playoffs by percentage. For example, The Oilers have a 61.5% chance of making the second round and the Golden Knights have a 39.2% chance of making the second round. That equals 100.7%. The Leafs have a 66% chance of making the second round and the Lightening have a 33.5 % chance of making the second round. That equals 99.5%.

      • Thanks Kevjam

        Yes saw that…. and yes Oil do have an easier path (but still likely needing to go through the current champs AND Oil is relying on a healthy and playoff consistent Skinner (with only 53 NHL starts under his belt and I believe , none in playoffs)

        That said; still don’t buy their prognostications per se

        Swany…. Yep longshot for sure…. If they do get to SC…. They’ve (Oil & McD) then already won Campbell

        If the miracle in Oil country happens and they become champs…. It will be on McD’s back..,, so Stanley and Smythe to add to Campbell…. At that point…. How does Oil alumni Mess not give McD the trophy named after him?

        Puckpedia says Oil 12% chance of winning cup…. If valid…. McD has 12% chance of 8 trophies this year

  3. Miller can use that performance to spit-shine his resume. I’ll bet he was salivating every time he touched the puck.

    Man, mentioning him is like lobbing up a softball.

  4. Sens fans

    Be prepared for a very enjoyable night

    Per Daily Faceoff, Pens best LD (Pettersson) out for the night AND once again Sully refuses to play best available….

    Per same sight…. Sully has 2nd pair as the Pens two worst D-Men…. Dumo and Ruhweedel

    This quite literally could get extremely ugly…. Extremely fast!!!!


    • Could get ugly? Pengy, it is ugly and will only get worse. A coach that refuses to adapt, a patchwork D-corps, and an incompetent GM. Oh, then there’s the ownership group whose silence is deafening. This year is a disappointment, but the future looks grim.

    • Pengy, with the likes of Crosby, Malkin, Guentzel, Letang (and others) firing at a rookie goalie like Sogaard, who has been feeling the pressure since Talbot and Forsberg went down, the only thing I’m prepared for is a high-scoring game, perhaps, but with Pittsburgh coming out on top.

      Then the other kid they just elevated – ex-Marlie Ferguson – goes in tomorrow night … “hey kid, welcome to the bigs … no pressure … just play your game … oh, by the way, you first start’ll be in Boston …”