NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 4, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 4, 2020

Sidney Crosby reaches an assist milestone, Kyle Connor and Kevin Fiala extend their goal streaks and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM:The Boston Bruins widened their lead atop the overall standings by edging the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1. Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk scored for the Bruins (96 points), who sit nine points over the Lightning for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Third-period goals by Brayden Schenn and Jaden Schwartz lifted the St. Louis Blues to their eighth straight win by downing the New York Rangers 3-1. The Blues (90 points) hold a three-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche for first place in the Western Conference. With 74 points, the Rangers remain four points out of an Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby collected his 800th career assist in a 7-3 win over the Ottawa Senators (Photo via NHL Images).

Bryan Rust’s hat trick powered the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Ottawa Senators 7-3 to snap a six-game losing skid. Evgeni Malkin collected four assists while Sidney Crosby (one goal, two assists) picked up his 800th career assist. The Penguins (82 points) sit one behind the Philadelphia Flyers for second place in the Metropolitan Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby became just the sixth player in NHL history to reach 800 assists in less than 1,000 games.

Vegas Golden Knights netminder Robin Lehner made 27 saves in a 3-0 shutout of the New Jersey Devils. Max Pacioretty and William Karlsson each had a goal and an assist. The Golden Knights (82 points) have won nine of their last 10 contests and sit atop the Pacific Division.

Alex Chiasson’s overtime goal gave the Edmonton Oilers a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars. Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen kicked out 42 shots as Edmonton (80 points) remains two back of the Golden Knights, while the Stars (82 points) remain in third place in the Central Division. Oilers winger James Neal returned to the lineup for the first time since being sidelined by a foot injury on Jan. 29.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor scored twice and set up another to lead his club over the fading Buffalo Sabres 3-1. Connor’s goal streak has reached four games as the Jets (74 points) moved into the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference. The Sabres have dropped four straight.

Kevin Fiala extended his goal streak to five games as the Minnesota Wild dumped the Nashville Predators 3-1. Wild goalie Alex Stalock made 37 saves as the Wild (73 points) moved one point ahead of the Predators to sit one point out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Preds have dropped three straight games.

A three-goal third period carried the San Jose Sharks to a 5-2 upset of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Evander Kane scored twice for the Sharks. With 78 points, the Leafs sit in third place in the Atlantic Division. Leafs center Auston Matthews tallied his 46th goal to move into second place among this season’s goal-scoring leaders.

The Montreal Canadiens rolled to a 6-2 victory over the slumping New York Islanders, who’ve won just two of their last 10 games. Isles defenseman Johnny Boychuk left the game in the third period after being inadvertently struck in the face by the skate blade of Canadiens winger Artturi Lehkonen. Boychuk suffered a facial cut but his eyesight was unaffected. Canadiens winger Tomas Tatar left the game early in the first with an upper-body injury. The Isles (78 points) cling to the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Canadiens (71 points) sit seven points behind them.

A four-goal second period lifted the Chicago Blackhawks to a 6-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks, Dylan Strome tallied two goals and collected an assist.


THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets forward Oliver Bjorkstrand will be sidelined eight-to-ten weeks following surgery to repair an ankle sprain and a hairline fracture.

THE SCORE: Carolina Hurricanes goalies Petr Mrazek (concussion) and James Reimer (lower-body injury) are expected to miss at least another week. The Hurricanes are winless since Mrazek and Reimer were sidelined.

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks defenseman Tyler Myers and Quinn Hughes are questionable for tonight’s game against the Arizona Coyotes.

SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said head coach Claude Julien will return behind the bench next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens fans are calling for Bergevin and Julien to be fired as the club is on the verge of missing the playoffs for the third straight year. Neither guy is going anywhere, but this off-season and the Canadiens’ performance in 2021-22 will determine if they still have their jobs a year from now.

The Nashville Predators have opened the doors of their arena to people affected by the tornado that ripped through the city early Tuesday morning. At least 19 people were killed and 40 buildings were destroyed.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 3, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 3, 2018

Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy picked up his second straight shutout in a 2-0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Game recaps, stars and rookie of the month for December and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights picked up their eighth consecutive victory by downing the Nashville Predators 3-0. Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 28 shots for his second shutout in three games while Reilly Smith, Shea Theodore and Jonathan Marchessault were the goal scorers. Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis was held scoreless in his season debut, returning to action after being sidelined by offseason knee surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 56 points, the Knights sit three points up on the Los Angeles Kings and Winnipeg Jets for top spot in the Western Conference and four back of the Tampa Bay Lightning for first in the overall standings. 

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves for his second straight shutout (and league-leading sixth of the season) backstopping the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 2-0 blanking of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Nazem Kadri (whiplash-type injury) returned to action for the Leafs, who honored legendary goaltender Johnny Bower before the game. Bower passed away last week following a brief battle with pneumonia.

The Boston Bruins extended their points streak to nine games with a 5-1 victory over the New York Islanders. Brad Marchand and Danton Heinen each had a goal and an assist for the Bruins (50 points), who moved two points ahead of the Leafs for second in the Atlantic Division.

Alex Ovechkin scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the  Washington Capitals edged the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4. It was Ovechkin’s 22nd career OT goal and his third this season. With 26 goals, he’s also the league leader in that category.

Four goals by Phil Kessel, Ryan Reaves, Conor Sheary and Tom Kuhnhackl within a four-minute stretch in the second period powered the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, snapping a three-game losing skid.

Carter Hutton made 24 saves while Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko scored in a shootout to give the St. Louis Blues a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

Two-goal performances by Matt Cullen and Eric Staal carried the Minnesota Wild to a 5-1 thumping of the Florida Panthers, ending the latter’s winning streak at five games. Wild winger Zach Parise went scoreless in his season debut.

Two third-period goals by Oliver Bjorkstrand lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars. Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky picked up his 200th career NHL victory.

Erik Johnson’s breakaway goal in the dying seconds of overtime gave the Colorado Avalanche a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Avs forward Mikko Rantanen had a three-point game while Blake Wheeler scored both Jets’ goals. Winnipeg defenseman Dustin Byfuglien made his return to the lineup after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury.

The Edmonton Oilers fading playoff hopes took a hit with a 5-0 blanking at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings. Jonathan Quick kicked out 32 shots for the shutout while Dustin Brown scored twice. Oilers forward Patrick Maroon could face supplemental discipline after receiving a match penalty for a hit to the head of Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, who left the game but later returned to action.

Former Vancouver Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller turned in a 31-save shutout performance against his former club to backstop the Anaheim Ducks to a 5-0 win. Ryan Getzlaf scored and collected two helpers.

Timo Meier scored twice as the San Jose Sharks beat the listless Montreal Canadiens 4-1, handing the Habs their fifth straight defeat.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens players held a players-only meeting following the game, but I don’t think that’s going to reverse their fortunes. Despite goaltender Carey Price’s heroics, they lack the overall talent to bolster their anemic offense or improve their lousy defense.

Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, New York Islanders winger Josh Bailey and Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov were the NHL’s three stars for December 2017.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Quite a bounce-back performance for Rask, who struggled earlier this season and at one point was briefly benched in favor of backup Anton Khudobin. 

Vancouver Canucks forward Brock Boeser was named NHL rookie of the month for December 2017. Boeser also took home that honor in November.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At this point, Boeser has to be considered the front-runner for the Calder Memorial Trophy. If he maintains his current offensive pace, he could become the first Canucks to win the award since Pavel Bure in 1992.

The Chicago Blackhawks jersey (1958 to present) was voted the Greatest NHL Uniform by NHL fans. 

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Prospect Tyler Bertuzzi will be sticking with the Red Wings for the remainder of the season.