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.
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.
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.
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.