NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 4, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 4, 2019

Game recaps, Devils re-sign coach John Hynes, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Nikita Kucherov became the second player in Tampa Bay Lightning history to record seven consecutive multi-point games as he led his club to a 6-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Kucherov (one goal, three assists) joined Vincent Lecavalier, who holds the club record with eight straight multi-point contests. The Lightning also extended their points streak (15-0-1) to 16 games.

Tampa Bay Lightning star Nikita Kucherov continues to roll offensively in 2019. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kucherov is on an incredible roll right now. With 69 points, he has a seven-point lead in the NHL scoring race and is on pace for a career-high 138 points. 

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price returned to action with a 33-save shutout performance in a 2-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Price had missed the last three games with a lower-body injury. Canucks rookie star Elias Pettersson left the game with an apparent right leg injury after getting tangled up with Canadiens forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi.

The Canadiens, meanwhile, were playing without winger Andrew Shaw after placing him on injured reserve with a neck injury. Earlier in the day, the Canucks placed recently acquired goalie Mike McKenna on waivers for the purpose of sending him to their AHL affiliate in Utica. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The good news for Pettersson is he was walking under his own power following the game, suggesting his injury might not be serious. An update on his status could be made later today. 

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his 30th goal of the season in a 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues, marking the third win in the last five games for the struggling Blues. St. Louis captain Alex Pietrangelo had a goal and an assist.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin became just the second player in NHL history to begin his NHL career with 14 consecutive 30-goal seasons. Hall-of-Famer Mike Gartner holds the record with 15 seasons. 

The Minnesota Wild overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 on a goal by Zach Parise. Mitch Marner scored twice for the Leafs while teammate William Nylander potted his first goal of the season. 

Boston Bruins forwards Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk each scored twice to lead their club to a 6-4 victory over the Calgary Flames, giving the Bruins their third straight win. 

New York Islanders rookie Devon Toews’ first NHL goal was a memorable one, netting the winner in a 3-2 overtime victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Mathew Barzal also scored twice for the Islanders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Devon Toews is not related to Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. 

Playing without sidelined captain Jack Eichel (day-to-day, upper-body injury), the Buffalo Sabres held off the Florida Panthers 4-3. Jeff Skinner led the way for the Sabres with two goals. 

Winger Teuvo Teravainen scored twice and set up another as the Carolina Hurricanes held on for a 5-3 win over the floundering Philadelphia Flyers. 

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils signed head coach John Hynes to a multi-year contract extension. General manager Ray Shero cited Hynes’ leadership in rebuilding the club’s culture and development. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby surprised a New York Rangers fan who chirped him throughout his club’s 7-2 loss to the Penguins with an autographed stick and a message, “Good chirps. Take it easy on me next time!”. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  According to one fan sitting nearby, one of the chips was, “Sid, when Gatorade was looking for a spokesman, they wanted someone tough and they considered you but signed Justin Bieber instead.” Now, that is pro-level chirping worthy of an autographed stick.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars captain Jamie Benn is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury after a hit from New Jersey Devils forward Miles Wood on Wednesday. 

ARIZONA SPORTS:  Coyotes forward Nick Schmaltz was placed on injured reserve and is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Prior to the injury, Schmaltz had 14 points in 17 games since joining the Coyotes in a trade from the Chicago Blackhawks.

LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: Anaheim Ducks prospect Max Comtois was the target of cyberbullying after failing to score on a penalty shot during Canada’s 2-1 tournament-ending loss to Finland in the 2019 World Junior Hockey Championships. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Comtois has received an outpouring of support for the class and dignity he’s shown in the face of those disgusting comments left on his Instagram account, some of which were bigoted slurs calling for the youngster to die. Those few morons were not true hockey fans. They’re sad, pathetic losers who hide behind a keyboard to make themselves feel tough.