NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 8, 2023
The Kings set a new road wins record, Patrick Kane debuts with the Red Wings, Alex Ovechkin reaches a scoring milestone, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Los Angeles Kings set a league season-opening road wins record (11-0-0) by blanking the Montreal Canadiens 4-0. Quinton Byfield scored two goals and set up another, Anze Kopitar collected three assists and Cam Talbot turned in a 24-save shutout for the Kings (16-4-3), who sit second overall in the Western Conference with 35 points. Sam Montembeault stopped 38 shots for the Canadiens, who slipped to 11-12-3.
Patrick Kane made his season debut with the Detroit Red Wings as they fell 6-5 in overtime to the San Jose Sharks. Kane was held scoreless while Michael Rasmussen scored twice for the 14-7-4 Red Wings. Mikael Granlund scored the game-winner and collected three points while Tomas Hertl and Nico Sturm each scored two goals for the 8-17-2 Sharks as they overcame deficits of 4-0 and 5-4 for the win.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a wild game that saw the Red Wings leap to a 4-0 lead in the second period only to have the Sharks roar back to tie it before the end of the frame. Kane saw 16:33 of ice time and had three shots on goal, including ringing one off the goalpost in the third period. It’ll take him a few games to shake off the rust and get into full game shape.
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin collected an assist to reach his 1,500th career NHL point but his club fell 5-4 to the Dallas Stars in a shootout. Roope Hintz tallied twice in regulation while Jason Robertson scored the winning goal as the Stars improved to 15-7-3. Dylan Strome scored two goals for the Capitals as they dropped to 12-8-3.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stars center Matt Duchene also achieved a career milestone as he skated in his 1,000th career NHL game.
The Buffalo Sabres snapped a four-game losing skid by dropping the Boston Bruins 3-1. Devon Levi made 29 saves for his first win since Nov. 10 while JJ Peterka, Tage Thompson and Victor Olofsson scored for the 11-14-2 Sabres.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy left this game in the third period with an upper-body injury following a collision with Peterka. An update on his status could come later today. Before the game, former Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask served as an emergency backup in practice with Jeremy Swayman sidelined by illness until call-up Brandon Bussi joined the club for the Sabres game. They also placed defensemen Derek Forbort (undisclosed) on injured reserve and recalled rookie blueliner Mason Lohrei from their AHL affiliate in Providence.
Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander scored what proved to be the game-winner as his club held on for a 4-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Leafs goalie Joseph Woll stopped 29 shots but left the game midway through the third period after injuring his left leg making a save. He was replaced by call-up Martin Jones who stopped nine of the 10 shots he faced for the 13-6-4 Maple Leafs. Josh Norris, Jacob Bernard-Docker and Claude Giroux replied for the Senators as they fell to 10-11-0 on the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After the game, Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said he expected Woll to “miss time, for sure.” Earlier in the day, the Senators announced that defenseman Thomas Chabot will be sidelined for at least four weeks with an injured leg.
New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal scored twice and set up two others while Bo Horvat tallied two goals within 20 seconds to dump the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-3. Semyon Varlamov turned aside 32 shots for the 11-7-7 Islanders. Rookie Adam Fantilli scored twice and collected an assist for the 8-15-5 Blue Jackets.
The Nashville Predators picked up their third straight win in a 5-1 trouncing of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Roman Josi and Ryan McDonagh each had a goal and an assist while Juuse Saros kicked out 32 shots as the Predators (14-12-0) moved into the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 28 points. Alex Barre-Boulet replied for the 12-11-5 Lightning as Nikita Kucherov’s 11-game points streak came to an end.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lightning forward Austin Watson set off a brouhaha at the end of the game by firing a slapshot at Predators defenseman Jeremy Lauzon. Watson received a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct. Earlier in the day, the Predators placed forward Liam Foudy on waivers.
Chicago Blackhawks goalie Petr Mrazek stopped 37 shots to shut out the Anaheim Ducks 1-0. Philipp Kurashev netted the only goal with rookie teammate Connor Bedard collecting an assist for the 8-16-1 Blackhawks. Lukas Dostal made 24 saves for the Ducks as they fell to 10-16-0.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After a promising opening month to this season the Ducks have come unglued, winning just once in their last 10 games.
The Philadelphia Flyers downed the Arizona Coyotes 4-1 to snap the latter’s five-game win streak. Travis Konecny tallied twice while Carter Hart made 25 saves for the Flyers (14-10-2) as they’ve won three straight. Lawson Crouse netted his 11th goal of the season for the Coyotes (13-10-2) as they cling to the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
A three-goal third period lifted the Calgary Flames over the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. Rasmus Andersson, Connor Zary and Blake Coleman were the goalscorers while Dustin Wolf made 28 saves for the 11-12-3 Flames. Stefan Noesen and Michael Bunting tallied for the Hurricanes as they slipped to 14-11-1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes played without Andrei Svechnikov as he was sidelined by an upper-body injury.
Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor scored two goals in a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 32 shots while Josh Morrissey had a goal and an assist for the 15-8-2 Jets. Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche (16-8-2) as they cling to first place in the Central Division with 34 points, one up on the Dallas Stars and two ahead of the Jets.
Vancouver Canucks backup Casey DeSmith made 26 saves to blank the Minnesota Wild 2-0. Nils Hoglander and Teddy Blueger were the goalscorers for the 17-9-1 Canucks. It was the first loss for the Wild (9-11-4) under new head coach John Hynes, snapping a four-game win streak.
The New Jersey Devils nipped the Seattle Kraken 2-1. Akira Schmid stopped 37 shots while Simon Nemec’s first career NHL goal snapped a 1-1 tie as the Devils improved their record to 13-10-1. Tye Kartye replied for the 8-13-6 Kraken.