NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 18, 2024
The Devils defeat the Flyers in their Stadium Series matchup, Auston Matthews tallies another hat trick, and more from a busy Saturday in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The New Jersey Devils defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 6-3 in front of 70, 328 fans at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey in their NHL Stadium Series. Nico Hischier led the way with two goals and an assist, Nathan Bastian scored twice and Nico Daws made 45 saves for the 28-22-4 Devils (60 points), who sit two points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth. Owen Tippett tallied two goals for the Flyers (29-20-7) as they hold third place in the Metropolitan Division with 65 points.
Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews netted his second straight hat trick and his sixth of the season in a 9-2 drubbing of the Anaheim Ducks. Matthews also collected two assists, Bobby McMann scored twice and added an assist and Timothy Liljegren picked up three assists as the Leafs (29-16-8) vaulted over the Tampa Bay Lightning into third place in the Atlantic Division with 66 points. Ryan Strome had a goal and an assist for the 19-33-2 Ducks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews now has a league-leading 48 goals, nine more than second-place Sam Reinhart of the Florida Panthers. Leafs captain John Tavares missed this game with an undisclosed injury and is listed as day-to-day while defenseman William Lagesson left the game with an upper-body injury. The Ducks, meanwhile, activated Alex Killorn (knee surgery) off injured reserve for this game and placed winger Brock McGinn (upper body) on IR retroactive to Feb. 10.
Speaking of the Lightning, they were crushed 9-2 by the Florida Panthers as they picked up their fifth straight win. Matthew Tkachuk and Sam Bennett each had two goals and two assists while Carter Verhaeghe scored twice and picked up an assist for the 36-15-4 Panthers as they lead the Eastern Conference with 76 points. Brandon Hagel and Brayden Point scored for the Lightning (30-21-5) as they slipped into the first Eastern wild-card spot with 65 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad missed this game with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. Lightning forward Tanner Jeannot also didn’t play as he’s day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.
Los Angeles Kings rookie defenseman Brandt Clarke scored his first NHL goal in overtime to lift his club over the Boston Bruins 5-4. Anze Kopitar scored the tying goal late in the third period while Pierre-Luc Dubois picked up two assists for the 26-16-10 Kings, who hold the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 62 points. James van Riemsdyk scored twice and collected an assist for the 32-12-11 Bruins, who had a 3-1 lead at one point in this contest. With 75 points, they sit second overall in the Eastern Conference.
A four-point performance by Mark Schiefele (one goal, three assists) carried the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Gabriel Vilardi scored two goals and picked up an assist while Connor Hellebucyk stopped 35 shots for the Jets (33-14-5) as they moved past the Colorado Avalanche into second place in the Central Division with 71 points. Noah Juulsen and Tyler Myers replied for the 37-13-6 Canucks as they remain in first place in the overall standings with 80 points.
The Edmonton Oilers nipped the Dallas Stars 4-3 on an overtime tally by Evan Bouchard, who finished the game with two goals. Leon Draisaitl and Corey Perry each had two points for the Oilers (32-18-1) as they’re perched in third place in the Pacific Division with 65 points. Matt Duchene had a goal and two assists for the Stars (34-14-7) as they hold first place in the Central Division with 75 points and sit second overall in the Western Conference.
Third-period goals by Seth Jarvis and Stefan Noesen gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Seth Martin turned aside 29 shots for the 32-17-5 Hurricanes, who sit second in the Metropolitan Division with 69 points. Jonathan Marchessault replied for the Golden Knights (31-17-6), who sit second in the Pacific Division with 68 points.
Detroit Red Wings goaltender James Reimer turned in a 38-save shutout to blank the Calgary Flames 5-0. Patrick Kane and Lucas Raymond each had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings (28-20-6) as they hold the final Eastern wild-card spot with 62 points. Jacob Markstrom got the hook after giving up four goals on 12 shots as the 25-25-5 Flames (55 points) have lost three straight and sit five points behind the St. Louis Blues for the final Western wild-card berth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A rough outing for Markstrom but he didn’t get much help from his teammates in this game. I’ll have more about the Flames in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.
Speaking of the Predators, they rolled to a 5-2 win over the Blues. Juuse Saros kicked out 35 shots while Filip Forsberg and Ryan O’Reilly each had a goal and an assist for the 28-25-2 Predators (58 points) as they picked up their first regulation win in seven games. They sit two points behind the 29-23-2 Blues (60 points), who got goals from Jordan Kyrou and Nathan Walker.
The Washington Capitals kept their playoff hopes alive by downing the Montreal Canadiens 4-3. Aliaksei Protas snapped a 3-3 tie while Anthony Mantha had a goal and an assist for the 24-21-8 Capitals (56 points) as they sit six points behind the Red Wings. Nick Suzuki scored to extend his points streak to 10 games while linemate Juraj Slafkovsky collected an assist as his points streak reached eight games for the Canadiens, who dropped to 22-25-8 on the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals defenseman Martin Fehervary left this game with a lower-body injury.
An overtime goal by Henri Jokiharju lifted the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild. Casey Mittelstadt and Dylan Cozens also scored for the Sabres (24-26-4) while Joel Eriksson Ek and Declan Chisholm replied for the 25-23-6 Wild (56 points) as they moved to within four points of the Blues for that final Western wild-card berth.
Chicago Blackhawks rookie Connor Bedard had a goal and an assist as his team downed the Ottawa Senators 3-2. Petr Mrazek made 40 saves for the 15-37-3 Blackhawks while Tim Stutzle had a goal and an assist for the 22-27-5 Senators.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bedard has picked up from where he left off when he was sidelined on Jan. 5 with a fractured jaw. He now has three points in two games since his return to action and has regained the rookie scoring lead with 36 points.
A late goal by Boone Jenner gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks. Johnny Gaudreau, Yegor Chinakhov and Erik Gudbranson each had two assists for the 17-26-10 Blue Jackets while Anthony Duclair tallied twice for the 15-34-5 Sharks.