NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 19, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 19, 2024

The Rangers defeat the Islanders in their Stadium Series, the Penguins retire Jaromir Jagr’s number, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Artemi Panarin scored in overtime to cap a three-goal rally by the New York Rangers in a 6-5 victory over the New York Islanders in front of 79, 690 fans at MetLife Stadium. Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad scored power-play goals within the final five minutes of the third period, setting the stage for Panarin’s game-winner. Both goals came with Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin pulled for an extra attacker.

The Rangers (36-16-3) have won seven straight and hold first place in the Metropolitan Division with 75 points, one back of the Eastern Conference-leading Florida Panthers. Noah Dobson had three assists and Brock Nelson a goal and an assist for the 22-18-14 Islanders, who sit four points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 58 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was one of the most exciting outdoor NHL games I’ve ever seen. The Rangers and Isles added another page to their longstanding rivalry with this one. The Islanders seemed to have this one under control up 5-3 late in the third until the Rangers pulled their goalie and took advantage of two late power-play opportunities.

Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren is being evaluated for an upper-body injury that forced him from the game in the third period.

The NHL also announced the Islanders will host the 2026 NHL All-Star Game, which will be held before the league takes a two-week break for the 2026 Winter Olympics. There will be no All-Star Game next season as the league will be staging a Four Nations Tournament.

Jaromir Jagr’s No. 68 is retired by the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL.com).

The Pittsburgh Penguins honored future Hall-of-Famer Jaromir Jagr by retiring his iconic No. 68 in a pregame ceremony before dropping a 2-1 decision to the Los Angeles Kings. Adrian Kempe scored twice in the third period for the 27-16-10 Kings, who have won three in a row and hold the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 64 points. Sidney Crosby netted his 31st of the season for the 24-21-7 Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This loss was another blow to the Penguins’ fading playoff hopes but it was overshadowed on this night by the long-overdue retirement of Jagr’s number. He’s the third player in franchise history to be so honored, joining Mario Lemieux (No. 66) and Michel Briere (21). Jagr suited up and joined the Penguins in their pregame skate and afterward saluted the crowd. Someday, Crosby will be the next Penguin to have his number retired.

Speaking of the Penguins, they activated winger Jansen Harkins (concussion) off injured reserve and sent Vinnie Hinostroza and Jonathan Gruden to their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist to extend his season-opening home points streak to 26 games to nip the Arizona Coyotes 4-3, handing the latter their ninth straight loss. Bowen Byram and Jack Johnson each had two points as the Avalanche (34-18-4) sit in second place in the Central Division with 72 points. Matias Maccelli and Matt Dumba each had two points for the 23-27-4 Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacKinnon (91 points) became the second player to reach 90 points this season. He sits three behind league leader Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Meanwhile, the Coyotes’ recent swoon in the standings raised some speculation over whether head coach Andre Tourigny would be replaced. Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong insists that Tourigny’s job is safe.

HEADLINES

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The NHL officially confirmed the 2025 Stadium Series between the Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings at Ohio Stadium on March 1, 2025.

NHL.COM: St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington was fined $5,000.00 by the department of player safety for high-sticking Nashville Predators forward Luke Evangelista on Saturday.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars placed winger Evgenii Dadonov on long-term injury reserve and called up forward Matej Blumel.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks have demoted struggling young forward Lukas Reichel to their AHL affiliate in Rockford. Reichel, 21, had just 10 points in 50 games this season before his demotion.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reichel is considered a promising part of the rebuilding Blackhawks’ future. They had hoped for a possible breakout performance this season after he netted 15 points in 23 games in 2022-23.

DAILY FACEOFF: Boston Bruins forward Oskar Steen and Detroit Red Wings forward Matt Luff were placed on waivers Sunday.

TSN: The Calgary Flames forwarded a message from Hall-of-Famer Lanny McDonald that he was out of hospital following a cardiac event earlier this month. He stated in an Instagram post that he was ending his “two-week visit with new and improved pipes, some fancy hardware and a figuratively full heart.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to McDonald in his ongoing recovery. He’s one of the game’s good guys.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 20, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – January 20, 2024

Could the Canucks pursue Jake Guentzel? Will the Kings attempt to land Jake Allen? Which players could become Blues trade candidates? Find out in the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

COULD THE CANUCKS PURSUE GUENTZEL?

SPORTSNET: During his latest “32 Thoughts” podcast episode, Elliotte Friedman expressed his belief that the Vancouver Canucks would be interested in acquiring Jake Guentzel if the Pittsburgh Penguins winger becomes available before the March 8 trade deadline.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel (NHL Images)

Friedman noted that Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford knows Guentzel from his days as Penguins general manager. However, he also said a lot of other clubs would be interested in the 29-year-old winger, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins GM Kyle Dubas earlier this week dismissed recent trade speculation about Guentzel, saying he hasn’t had discussions about him with other clubs. Dubas also said at some point they’ll evaluate what’s best for Guentzel and the Penguins going forward.

With the Penguins jockeying for a wild-card berth Dubas could hang onto Guentzel as an own rental for the remainder of this season. Perhaps he’s already decided that he’s keeping the winger in the fold and has no plans to move him regardless of where his club sits in the standings.

Rutherford has said he’d like to add a top-six forward before the trade deadline. He’ll probably look into the cost of acquiring Guentzel if he’s available. Whether he’d be willing to pay what could be a steep asking price or can outbid other clubs is another matter.

JAKE ALLEN TO THE KINGS?

TVA SPORTS: cited Friedman also talking about where Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen might end up. He believes the Canadiens’ asking price is a draft pick but that could go higher if an interested club wants the Habs to retain part of his $3.85 million average annual value through 2024-25.

Friedman said at one point earlier in this season he thought the 33-year-old Allen would be headed to the Edmonton Oilers but he’s not convinced of that now. Instead, he suggested the Canadiens goalie could be a trade target for the Los Angeles Kings.

I think they’re going to acquire a goalie,” said Friedman. “Whether it’s Allen or whoever, I think they will add a goalie.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings were getting good goaltending from aging starter Cam Talbot but he’s had his difficulties in recent games. With Pheonix Copley sidelined for the season by a knee injury, call-up David Rittich has performed well in limited action.

It remains to be seen if Kings management is willing to stick with Rittich as a backup for the rest of the season. They could look for someone with a more reliable record.

WHICH BLUES COULD BECOME TRADE CANDIDATES?

THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford recently looked at which players the St. Louis Blues could attempt to move if they become sellers before the March 8 trade deadline.

Sammy Blais, Oskar Sundqvist, Kasperi Kapanen, Jakub Vrana and Marco Scandella are their notable pending unrestricted free agents. Of these, Rutherford expects Sundqvist might the the only one with a chance of re-signing with the Blues.

Other trade candidates could include Pavel Buchnevich, Jordan Binnington, Justin Faulk, Brandon Saad, Nick Leddy and Torey Krug. They all have term remaining on their respective contracts, making them more likely to be off-season trade candidates.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Krug used his no-trade clause to nix a move to Philadelphia last summer. Unless he has a change of mind or a preferable trade destination, I don’t see him going anywhere. The same goes for Binnington, Saad, Faulk and Leddy as they also possess full no-trade protection.

Buchnevich, meanwhile, has a 12-team no-trade clause while Scandella’s is a seven-team NTC. That makes them easier to move than the others but still limits the number of potential trade partners.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 29, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – November 29, 2023

The latest on the Oilers, Flames, Hurricanes, Sharks, Flyers, Devils and Panthers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

LATEST FROM GARRIOCH’S “INSIDER TRADING”.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch has a collection of trade rumors this week from around the NHL. So let’s dive in…

The Edmonton Oilers continue to look for a goaltender after sending Jack Campbell to the minors. However, it’s believed the front office wants to give new head coach Kris Knoblauch an opportunity to right the ship before trading away assets.

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (NHL Images).

Garrioch thinks the Oilers kicked tires on St. Louis Blues netminder Jordan Binnington. It’s believed they’re willing to move a number of assets with the exception of their 2024 first-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Binnington has a full no-trade clause so he’s probably not going anywhere. He also has a $6 million average annual value that the cap-strapped Oilers can’t afford to take on unless they can shed salary in the deal or in a separate move.

The Calgary Flames are trying to move center Elias Lindholm and defensemen Noah Hanifin, Chris Tanev and Nikita Zadorov. They’re all slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer.

Zadorov recently made a very public trade request which apparently hasn’t sat well with his teammates. He’s been linked to Toronto, where former Flames general manager Brad Treliving is the Maple Leafs GM. They’re looking for a defenseman with John Klingberg on long-term injury reserve (LTIR).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy cites a league source recently speculating that the Bruins could be interested in Zadorov. The source also noted that the Bruins had been listening for offers for Matt Grzelcyk and wondered if a one-for-one swap was possible.

The Flames could be keeping their options open but I don’t see them moving anyone right now. They’ve risen into wild-card contention in the Western Conference and will likely want to see how things progress before deciding if they’ll be sellers by the March 8 trade deadline.

Teams in the market for a defenseman should contact the Carolina Hurricanes. They’re willing to move pending UFA blueliners Brett Pesce and Tony DeAngelo.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pesce was the subject of offseason speculation but the Hurricanes apparently intend to hang onto him and sort out his contract situation once the season is over. DeAngelo, on the other hand, could be available if clubs are seeking an experienced puck-moving rearguard.

San Jose Sharks GM Mike Grier is willing to move Mackenzie Blackwood. Several teams have expressed interested in the 26-year-old goaltenders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackwood is playing fairly well this season with the rebuilding Sharks. He also carries an affordable $2.35 million AAV through 2024-25 and lacks no-trade protection. However, the earliest I see him moving could be leading up to the March trade deadline. Blackwood’s future with the Sharks could also depend on whether Grier intends to sign pending UFA goalie Kaapo Kahkonen to a contract extension.

The Flyers are willing to give forward Morgan Frost a fresh start elsewhere because he’s been scratched by head coach John Tortorella. There’s talk they were interested in shipping him to Ottawa for Shane Pinto. However, that was before Pinto was suspended for breaking the league’s gambling rules. Garrioch said the Senators have shown no interest in moving Pinto.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Frost could have an opportunity to draw back into the Flyers’ lineup with Noah Cates sidelined for six to eight weeks.

LATEST ON THE DEVILS

NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: James Nichols cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculating that Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald could be looking around for help between the pipes. Friedman noted that Fitzgerald was also interested in boosting his goaltending at the start of the season but has ramped up those efforts as the tandem of Vitek Vanecek and Akira Schmid continues to struggle.

Nichols noted that Fitzgerald was in the mix for Connor Hellebuyck prior to his re-signing with the Winnipeg Jets. Other options could include the Anaheim Ducks’ John Gibson, Jake Allen or Sam Montembeault of the Montreal Canadiens, the Philadelphia Flyers’ Carter Hart or Ville Husso, James Reimer or Alex Lyon of the Detroit Red Wings.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun noted the Devils had spoken with the Calgary Flames regarding defenseman Nikita Zadorov. However, they want to see if their club can regain its “A” game following their sluggish start before going the trade route.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries have also piled up for the Devils this season with key players such as Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier and Timo Meier sidelined for long periods of time. Perhaps a healthier roster might help them right the ship.

In the meantime, I expect Fitzgerald will keep an eye on the goalie market. Even if the club improves over the course of the season, he could seek an upgrade by the trade deadline if they’re in playoff contention by then.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE PANTHERS AFTER LOSING THE KANE SWEEPSTAKES?

ESPN: Kevin Weekes believes the Florida Panthers will shift their focus to re-signing pending free agents such as Sam Reinhart, Gustav Forsling and Brandon Montour now that the Patrick Kane sweepstakes has ended.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers GM Bill Zito remains hopeful of getting Reinhart under contract. The rise in the salary cap for next season could make it possible for Zito to re-sign everyone provided they take the decision to accept less money to stay. That’s what Aleksander Barkov did while Matthew Tkachuk took less than market value to join the Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reinhart will be the most expensive to re-sign. He’s earning an AAV of $6.5 million but is on pace for a career-high season as he leads the Panthers with 15 goals and 27 points in 22 games.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 21, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – November 21, 2023

Leafs winger William Nylander’s performance is pushing up the cost of his next contract, a look at the goalie market for the Oilers plus an update on the Avalanche in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

WHAT PRICE TO SIGN NYLANDER?

TSN: Travis Yost believes William Nylander’s torrid scoring pace will raise the cost of his next contract if he maintains his production throughout this season. He pointed out that the 27-year-old Toronto Maple Leafs winger had closed the gap with teammates such as Mitch Marner, including outperforming them in the playoffs.

TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman observing that the difference between Leafs management and the Nylander camp over the summer was thought to be around $1 million per season in the $8 million to $9 million range. “I just do not think that’s realistic anymore,” said Friedman. Hornby noted that talks are continuing between the two sides.

TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran wondered if Nylander has priced himself out of Toronto. “Looks like the supposed $10-million-a-year ask over the summer might have been a bargain,” he writes.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun spoke to team executives in rival front offices across the NHL to get their views on what they felt would be a fair contract extension for Nylander. The numbers came in with an average annual value between $8.5 million to $12.25 million on a seven or eight-year contract.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be very surprised if the AAV is below $10 million on his next contract if he maintains his current level of performance throughout this season.

Nylander is the Leafs’ leading scorer thus far and among this season’s league leaders. He’s on pace to reach 100 points for the first time after two seasons between 80 and 87 points. He’s earned far less than teammates Marner and Auston Matthews. His summer asking price indicates that he wants fair market value.

I think Nylander’s asking price is now between $11 million and $12 million. Maybe he accepts a little less if he wants to stay in Toronto but I doubt that number goes below $10 million. If the Leafs won’t pay up, plenty of other clubs will line up to do so if he hits the open market on July 1.

WHAT’S THE GOALIE MARKET LOOK LIKE FOR THE OILERS?

THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell believes the Edmonton Oilers’ salary-cap constraints mean they must find a way to shed the contract of struggling goalie Jack Campbell to free up cap dollars for an upgrade between the pipes.

Mitchell believes it’ll cost the Oilers at least three good prospects/draft picks being bundled with Campbell as sweeteners. He wondered if they could find a team that would accept their 2024 first-round pick, top prospect Xavier Bourgault and a “more established asset” such as Philip Broberg or the sidelined Dylan Holloway packaged with Campbell.

Mitchell then looked around at possible options in the trade market. They include Montreal’s Sam Montembeault and Jake Allen, St. Louis’ Jordan Binnington, Calgary’s Dan Vladar and Detroit’s James Reimer. He felt Vladar was the right choice.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers are in a very bad state with their goaltending right now. I concur with Mitchell regarding what it would cost them to entice a rival team into taking Campbell off their hands. That club could then buy him out next summer if he doesn’t improve over the remainder of this season.

Nevertheless, I still think moving out Campbell’s contract is very difficult with so many teams pressed for cap space this season. The Oilers have no leverage which other clubs will attempt to exploit.

Mitchell mentioned Montembeault and Allen because of recent reports indicating the Oilers had scouted the Canadiens goalies. Binnington’s come up because of rumored concerns in St. Louis over his performance in recent years (though he’s playing better this season) as well as the difficulty of carrying his $6 million AAV. Like the Canadiens, the Red Wings are carrying three goalies which is why Reimer got mentioned. Meanwhile, the Flames could be willing to move Vladar to bring up promising Dustin Wolf.

Binnington, however, has a full no-trade clause while Allen carries a seven-team no-trade list for this season. Given the Oilers’ struggles this season, the attraction of playing with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl might not be enough of a selling point to convince either guy to come to Edmonton.

The Red Wings and Canadiens could have the room to take on Campbell’s contract but I don’t think they’re keen to do so even if they got a package of sweeteners in the deal. The Flames, meanwhile, lack the cap space plus I don’t see them and the Oilers making a deal unless a third team gets into the mix. Indeed, it could take a three-team deal to spread Campbell’s cap hit around to make this happen.

LATEST ON THE AVALANCHE

SPORTSNET (via NHL WATCHER): During his latest “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman said Artturi Lehkonen’s injury is pretty significant. He added the Colorado Avalanche are in the market to add some depth scoring.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word on who they might pursue and what they’re willing to offer. Perhaps we’ll learn more in the coming days.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 9, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – November 9, 2023

Possible goalie trade targets for the Oilers plus the latest on Patrick Kane, Noah Hanifin and an update on the Senators in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

POTENTIAL GOALIE TARGETS FOR THE OILERS

SPORTSNET: In his latest “32 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman speculated the Edmonton Oilers could be contemplating their options for a goaltending upgrade.

He noted reports linking the Oilers to St. Louis Blues starter Jordan Binnington but doubts that happens unless they’re giving up on the season. The Blues would have to replace Binnington and his $6 million average annual value and they won’t accept Jack Campbell in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Blues giving up on the season. Binnington, meanwhile, has a full no-trade clause. Unless he agrees to waive it, he’s not going anywhere.

The Oilers have talked to the Montreal Canadiens (who don’t need a goalie) about Jake Allen but Friedman doesn’t sense anything imminent there.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens are currently carrying three goalies in Allen, Sam Montembeault and Cayden Primeau. While they could attempt to move one of them, they won’t want a goalie in return.

The Habs would also likely have to retain half of Allen’s $3.85 million cap hit. However, they only have one salary retention spot left for this season and might prefer to keep that open for later in the season. Allen also has a seven-team no-trade list.

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (NHL Images).

Friedman mentioned Nashville Predators starter Juuse Saros but believes the asking price would put him out of reach for the Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Saros is signed through 2024-25 and lacks no-trade protection. Back in October, Predators general manager Barry Trotz told The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun that he’s already reached out to Saros’ agent to gauge their thoughts about discussing a contract extension.

Unless Saros intends on testing the 2025 free-agent market, I don’t expect Trotz will move him this season.

NHL WATCHER: Speaking of the Predators, TSN’s Ryan Rishaug on the “Got Yer Back” podcast yesterday suggested the Oilers pursue promising Yaroslav Askarov, who has great numbers with their AHL affiliate in Milwaukee. LeBrun, however, considered that to be too risky for the Oilers as Askarov hasn’t proven anything yet at the NHL level.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trotz acknowledged he considered moving Askarov before the first round of the 2023 NHL Draft in the hope of landing one of the top five selections. However, he’s since said that he intends to hang onto the promising netminder.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss acknowledged Oilers fans are looking longingly at Bruins goalie (and 2023 Vezina Trophy winner) Linus Ullmark now that Jeremy Swayman is off to a red-hot start in Boston. However, Goss doesn’t think it’s a good idea to move Ullmark unless the return is a top-tier player like Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers are reportedly on Ullmark’s 16-team no-trade list. Besides, the Bruins are off to a great start and have no reason to break up their dominating goalie tandem at this time.

THE LATEST ON PATRICK KANE

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports it sounds like eight teams are “somewhat seriously” looking at free agent Patrick Kane. It’s believed the 34-year-old winger will be looking at where he can win this season.

THE ATHLETIC: Chris Johnston listed the New York Rangers (Kane’s previous team), Florida Panthers, Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs as the destinations that league sources believe are where he’s most likely to land.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nothing new here that I (and others) haven’t already gone over in recent weeks. Kane will reportedly start fielding offers from interested teams this month and is expected to make his choice before his anticipated return to action in December.

Of those clubs listed by Johnston, I think the Rangers are Kane’s best bet if he wants to play for a Stanley Cup contender. Whether they want to bring him back or can afford to do so remains to be seen.

MORE HANIFIN SPECULATION

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the San Jose Sharks contacted the Calgary Flames about Noah Hanifin but he doesn’t see them as a fit for the 26-year-old defenseman.

He also wondered about the improving Arizona Coyotes, who have the second-best goal differential in the Central Division and are pushing to make the playoffs. A contract extension from the Coyotes would benefit Hanifin and the Flames in terms of return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks made a move for a defenseman yesterday by acquiring Calen Addison from the Minnesota Wild.

The Coyotes have been a laughingstock for years but their rebuilding process is starting to bear fruit this season. They have a projected $43 million in cap space for next season with 11 active roster players under contract.

The Desert Dawgs can afford Hanifin under Friedman’s scenario. Whether they’d pursue and sign him is a completely different matter.

UPDATE ON THE SENATORS

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported the Ottawa Senators have looked at depth defensive options to shore up their battered blueline but their limited cap space makes that difficult. They still intend to bring back center Shane Pinto once his 41-game suspension ends in the New Year and have no intention of trading him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of the Senators, there is no truth to a rumor that former NHL coach and Hockey Hall-of-Famer Patrick Roy was spotted in Kanata recently. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 17, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 17, 2023

The Panthers and Canadiens tie a record for most first-period goals, Sidney Crosby reaches another scoring milestone, Connor McDavid tops 130 points on the season, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers and Montreal Canadiens combined to tie a league record for most first-period goals with 10 as the Panthers romped to a 9-5 victory after scoring seven in the opening frame. Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and three assists while Aaron Ekblad and Carter Verhaeghe each tallied twice for the 34-27-7 Panthers (75 points), who moved to within three points of the New York Islanders for the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth. The Canadiens have dropped eight of their last nine and fell to 27-36-6 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers also set a franchise record for most goals in one period.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby collected two assists for his 18th career point-per-game season in a 4-2 loss to the New York Rangers. Chris Kreider scored twice while Mika Zibanejad and Vincent Trocheck each had two points as the Rangers (39-19-10) hold third place in the Metropolitan Division with 88 points. The Penguins (34-24-10) continue to cling to the first Eastern wild-card spot with 78 points and two games in hand over the Islanders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby now sits second in most point-per-game seasons. Wayne Gretzky is the leader with 19 seasons. The Penguins activated Ryan Poehling off long-term injured reserve for this game.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid surpassed 130 points on the season with a goal and an assist to defeat the Dallas Stars 4-1. Mattias Janmark scored two goals as the Oilers improved to 38-23-8 and hold third place in the Pacific Division with 84 points. The 37-19-13 Stars cling to first place in the Central Division with 87 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid is the first player to reach 130 points in a season since Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr did it in 1995-96.

The Boston Bruins got a 36-save performance from Jeremy Swayman in a 3-0 shutout of the Winnipeg Jets. Trent Frederic, Pavel Zacha and Tomas Nosek scored for the Bruins (51-11-5) as they sit on top of the overall standings with 107 points. The Winnipeg Jets sank to 38-29-3 and hold the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 79 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins defenseman Derek Forbort left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury. Earlier in the day, the Jets announced Sam Gagner (hip surgery) is done for the season.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos scored twice and collected an assist while Alex Killorn scored in the shootout to nip the New Jersey Devils 4-3. The 41-22-6 Lightning (88 points) moved within one point of the second-place Toronto Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division. Timo Meier tallied twice and Nico Hischier had two assists for the Devils (44-17-7). With 95 points, they sit one point back of the first-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division.

The Colorado Avalanche picked up their fourth straight win by holding off the Ottawa Senators 5-4. Mikko Rantanen had a goal and two assists while Nathan MacKinnon collected three assists for the 39-22-6 Avalanche, who sit third in the Central Division with 84 points. Tim Stutzle had three assists for the Senators (33-31-4) as they sit eight points out of the final Eastern wild-card berth with 70 points.

Calgary Flames forward Tyler Toffoli scored twice and added two assists in a 7-2 thumping of the Vegas Golden Knights. Blake Coleman also had two goals for the Flames as they improved to 31-24-14 (76 points) and move within three points of the Jets for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. It was Jonathan Quick’s first loss (4-1-0) with the Golden Knights (42-21-6) as they hold first place in the Western Conference with 90 points.

A four-goal second period carried the Los Angeles Kings over the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1. Pheonix Copley made 29 saves for the 40-20-9 Kings, who sit one point back of the Golden Knights in the Western Conference standings. The Blue Jackets (21-39-7) sit dead last in the overall standings with 49 points.

An overtime goal by Vince Dunn lifted the Seattle Kraken to a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Oliver Bjorkstand scored the game-tying goal and Philipp Grubauer stopped 31 shots as the Kraken improved to 38-23-7 and hold the first Western wild-card berth with 83 points. William Eklund scored his second goal in as many games for the 19-36-14 Sharks.

The Chicago Blackhawks got a 35-save effort from Alex Stalock to upset the Nashville Predators 2-1. Lukas Reichel and Joey Anderson scored for the 24-38-6 Blackhawks while Roman Josi replied for the 34-25-7 Predators (75 points), who sit four points out of the final Western wild-card spot.

Arizona Coyotes forward Travis Boyd scored twice in a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Elias Pettersson had a goal and an assist for the Canucks. The Coyotes 26-32-11 extended their points streak to seven games while the Canucks dropped to 29-33-5.

IN OTHER NEWS…

STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington received a two-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for roughing Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Hartman on Wednesday.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks goaltender Anthony Stolarz underwent season-ending knee surgery. His expected recovery time is six to eight weeks.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings defenseman Ben Chiarot could be sidelined on a week-to-week basis with an upper-body injury.

ESPN.COM: The Arizona Coyotes signed Josh Doan to a three-year entry-level contract. He’s the son of former Coyotes captain Shane Doan.