NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 2, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 2, 2023

The Hurricanes extended their win streak, Erik Karlsson sets a Sharks record and the Stars re-sign Joe Pavelski. Details and much more in the NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes picked up their 11th straight win by defeating the New Jersey Devils 5-4 on a shootout goal by Andrei Svechnikov. Derek Stepan tallied twice in regulation for the Hurricanes (25-6-6) as they also extended their points streak to 17 games. Jesper Bratt scored twice and collected an assist for the Devils as they dropped to 23-11-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 56 points, the red-hot Hurricanes sit four points behind the first-overall Boston Bruins. The Devils activated defenseman Ryan Graves off injured reserve for this contest. He’d missed the last three games with a lower-body injury.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson collected two assists in a 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, extending his points streak to a franchise-record 13 games. Blueliner Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored in what was his 1,200th career game all spent with the Sharks. Patrick Kane and Sam Lafferty scored for the Blackhawks (8-24-4) as they’ve lost 12 of their last 13 contests. The Sharks improved to 12-20-7.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson remains the leading scorer among NHL defensemen by a wide margin. With 53 points, he’s 11 ahead of the Winnipeg Jets’ Josh Morrissey and sits fifth among all NHL skaters this season.

The New York Rangers got two goals from Mika Zibanejad to defeat the Florida Panthers by a score of 5-3. Jaroslav Halak turned aside 32 shots as the Rangers improved to 20-12-6. Eric Staal had two points for the Panthers (16-18-4), who’ve lost five of their last six games.

Seattle Kraken goaltender Martin Jones made 18 saves in a 4-1 victory over the New York Islanders. Yanni Gourde and Vince Dunn each collected two points as the Kraken improved to 19-12-4. Ilya Sorokin stopped 31 shots while Mathew Barzal tallied his 100th career goal for the 21-15-2 Islanders.

The Ottawa Senators beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-1, snapping the latter’s six-game win streak. Anton Forsberg picked up the win with a 33-save performance, Tim Stutzle scored twice and Jacob Lucchini’s first NHL goal turned out to be the game-winner for the Senators (17-17-3) while the Sabres dropped to 18-15-2.

HEADLINES

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars and Joe Pavelski agreed to a one-year, $5.5 million contract extension for 2023-24. Pavelski, 38, will earn a base salary of $3.5 million with an additional $2 million in performance bonuses. The deal also includes a no-movement clause

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pavelski’s new contract is similar to his current deal. The only difference is how the dollars are divided up. It’s a reasonable contract for both sides given his age. Pavelski is currently second among the Stars in assists with 25 and third in points with 37 in 38 games.

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid and Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson are the league’s three stars for December 2022. Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov is the rookie of the month.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang could miss Monday’s Winter Classic against the Boston Bruins at Fenway Park. He didn’t practice yesterday and remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

The Edmonton Oilers will host the Calgary Flames in the 2023 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium on Oct. 29. It will mark the 20th anniversary of the first NHL outdoor regular-season game in which the Oilers fell to the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in front of over 56,000 fans in the first Heritage Classic.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since the first Heritage Classic. That game laid the foundation for the annual Winter Classic and a host of outdoor regular-season games.

BOSTON HERALD’s Steve Conroy took to Twitter yesterday debunking a radio report out of Boston on New Year’s Eve claiming the Bruins had re-signed winger David Pastrnak. He cited Pastrnak’s agent J.P. Barry calling the report “rubbish”, adding that negotiations are ongoing but it’s difficult to say whether progress has been made or not.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report claimed the Bruins and Pastrnak were finalizing an eight-year deal worth $88 million. That’s an average annual value of $11 million, which is pretty much what the 27-year-old pending free-agent winger is expected to receive from the Bruins or on the open market by July 1. 

CBS SPORTS: The Vegas Golden Knights placed defenseman Alec Martinez on injured reserve. He’s been sidelined for the past two games with an undisclosed injury.

NHL.COM: The Anaheim Ducks activated goaltender Anthony Stolarz off injured reserve.