NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 8, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 8, 2018

Evgeni Malkin’s overtime goal lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 6-5 victory over the Boston Bruins (Photo via NHL Images).

Game recaps, All-Star Game coaches named plus updates on Josh Bailey, Sebastian Aho, Dan Girardi and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM:An overtime goal by Evgeni Malkin carried the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 6-5 victory over the Boston Bruins. Malkin scored twice and Sidney Crosby collected three assists. 

-The Vegas Golden Knights collected their league-leading 18th home win by squeezing past the New York Rangers 2-1. Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves while James Neal and William Karlsson scored for the Knights, who were playing without defenseman Luca Sbisa (upper-body, day-to-day). 

-Yanni Gourde scored two goals and set up another while Nikita Kucherov tallied his 27th goal of the season as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-2, handing the latter their first loss in five games.

The Lightning suffered a scare when defenseman Dan Girardi left the game after taking a shot to the back of his neck. He’s reportedly okay but will undergo further tests in Tampa. 

-The New York Islanders snapped a five-game losing skid by edging the New Jersey Devils 5-4, handing the latter their fifth straight defeat. Brock Nelson scored the only goal in the shootout frame after the Isles overcame a 4-2 deficit in the third period. Travis Zajac scored twice for the Devils.

Islanders coach Doug Weight said winger Josh Bailey’s lower-body injury, suffered during Friday’s game against Pittsburgh with a lower-body injury, isn’t expected to keep him sidelined for long.

-Sean Couturier scored twice and Michal Neuvirth made 30 saves in his first start since Nov. 30 as the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-1. 

-The Edmonton Oilers suffered their sixth loss in seven games, falling to the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1. Hawks goalie Anton Forsberg made 32 saves for the victory. Rumors of a coaching change have dogged the slumping Oilers but general manager Peter Chiarelli said he has no intention of firing head coach Todd McLellan. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s been rumblings of changes coming for the Oilers if they don’t snap out of their current funk soon. If Chiarelli or McLellan aren’t going anywhere, a roster shakeup is the only remaining option. 

-Mathieu Perreault scored twice and Connor Hellebucyk made 31 saves as the Winnipeg Jets downed the San Jose Sharks 4-1, picking up their 15th win in 17 home contests this season. 

-Nicklas Backstrom’s overtime goal lifted the Washington Capitals to a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues. It was the Capitals fourth straight win. 

-Sergei Bobrovsky made 42 saves and Josh Anderson tallied the shootout winner as the Columbus Blue Jackets nipped the Florida Panthers 3-2. Florida netminder James Reimer kicked out 46 shots.

-The Montreal Canadiens got a goal and an assist from Brendan Gallagher in the third period to beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2. Canucks winger Sven Baertschi returned to action after missing 11 games with a fractured jaw. 

Before the game, Canadiens GM Marc Bergervin held a “state of the team” midseason press conference. He said he’d like to a piece to help his struggling roster, but isn’t about to sacrifice the future to do so. He also admitted there’s no short-term solution out there he’s aware of that can help reverse his club’s fortunes. Bergevin said his club isn’t giving up on the season and declined to say at what point he’d consider becoming a seller before the trade deadline if the Habs fail to improve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect Bergevin will be a seller. Team captain Max Pacioretty has featured prominently in recent trade speculatuion but I don’t believe he’ll be dealt. The Habs GM has apparently set a high price (a young scorer and a first-round pick) for Pacioretty and he’s not getting that before the trade deadline.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes winger Sebastian Aho is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury suffered during Saturday’s game against Boston. 

NBC SPORTS: The coaches for the 2018 NHL All-Star Game were revealed on Sunday. Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper will coach the Atlantic Division squad, Nashville’s Peter Laviolette will guide the Central Division team, Washington’s Barry Trotz will be the bench boss for the Metropolitan Division and Vegas’s Gerard Gallant will coach the Pacific Division. 

LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: Former LA Kings play-by-play announcer Bob Miller will be honored with a statue and a banner before Saturday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks.