NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 30, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 30, 2022

The Hurricanes and Rangers prepare for Game 7 in their second-round series, Jason Spezza retires, plus the latest on the Avalanche, Oilers, Lightning and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the Rangers have the heart and fortitude to pick up their first road win in their second-round series against the Carolina Hurricanes and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. He also believes the club’s identity stems from goaltender Igor Shesterkin, who has garnered a growing edge over the Hurricanes’ Antti Raanta as this series progresses.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin sees no point in dwelling on his club’s loss in Game 6 when they have a good opportunity in front of them in Game 7. “Looking back at the Boston series, no one really talks about the fact we lost three on the road. You talks about the fact we won the series,” said Slavin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes haven’t won on the road in this postseason but they’ve also never lost on home ice. If that trend continues, they’ll defeat the Rangers tonight and advance to meet the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Conference Finals.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Jason Spezza has announced his retirement (NHL Images).

On the other hand, the Rangers’ have ridden Shesterkin’s solid goaltending and a never-say-die attitude to push the favored Hurricanes to a seventh and deciding game in this series. They could pull off the upset if Shesterkin continues to shine and Raanta struggles as he did in Game 6.

TORONTO SUN: Jason Spezza announced his retirement on Sunday after 19 seasons as an NHL player to become a special assistant to Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Duba. Spezza spent the past three seasons with the Leafs. He began his career with the Ottawa Senators in 2002-03, spending 11 seasons with them before moving on to the Dallas Stars for five seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Spezza in his new role. His best seasons were with the Senators, helping them become one of the dominant clubs in the league between 2002-03 to 2007-08, culminating in reaching the 2007 Stanley Cup Final.

Spezza holds the Senators’ single-season record with 71 assists (2005-06) and tallied 87-plus points in three seasons between 2005-06 and 2007-08. He is second all-time among Senators scorers with 251 goals, 436 assists and 687 points.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Leon Draisaitl was a dominant force in the Edmonton Oilers’ second-round victory over the Calgary Flames. He set an NHL record for most assists in a playoff series with 15 and accomplished this while playing with a suspected ankle injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Draisaitl’s accomplishments have been overshadowed by the scoring of Connor McDavid and Evander Kane. With the focus on those two, he’s been able to thrive with his playmaking skills.

THE DENVER POST: Bo Byram has established himself as the Colorado Avalanche’s No. 3 defenseman in this postseason, filling in for the sidelined Samuel Girard after he suffered a season-ending sternum injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been a difficult season for Byram as he’s had to battle back from concussion symptoms that limited him to just 30 games during the regular season. Finally healthy, he’s showing the skills that enticed the Avalanche to select him fourth overall in the 2019 draft.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Still awaiting the winner of the Hurricanes-Rangers series, the Lightning are simulating games in practice in anticipation of the start of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The long layoff gives the Lightning’s banged-up players an opportunity to heal and return to action. However, the downside of that layoff is the risk of getting stale from a lack of serious game action. We’ll find out on Wednesday how much of an effect it’ll have on the Lightning’s performance.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Top NHL prospect Shane Wright will meet with the Canadiens at this week’s NHL Draft Combine in Buffalo. After that, he’ll be flown to New Jersey to meet with the Devils.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens hold the first-overall selection in the 2022 NHL Draft and are expected to select Wright. However, the Devils must be prepared in case the Habs choose someone else.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Former New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz interviewed with the Red Wings regarding their vacant bench boss position. He’s also met with the Winnipeg Jets, Philadelphia Flyers and Vegas Golden Knights. Trotz has reportedly told those interested clubs he won’t make his decision until he’s sure it’s the right one for himself and his family.

SPORTSNET: Vegas Golden Knights goalie Laurent Brossoit recently underwent hip surgery. The club is hopeful he’ll be available for the start of next season.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 27, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 27, 2022

The Oilers eliminate the Flames, the Hurricanes push the Rangers to the brink of elimination, updates on the Avalanche and Blues and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers are heading to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 16 years. Connor McDavid’s overtime goal gave the Oilers a 5-4 victory over the Calgary Flames in Game 5 to take their best-of-seven second-round series four games to one.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

Edmonton overcame a 2-0 deficit and held a 3-2 lead before Calgary battled back to regain the lead 4-3. Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard tied the game 4-4 late in the second period. Flames forward Blake Coleman appeared to score the go-ahead goal late in the third but it was overruled on a controversial video review claiming he kicked the puck into the net.

Leon Drasaitl collected four assists while Zach Hyman had a goal and two assists for the Oilers. Coleman had two assists, Mikael Backlund had a goal and an assist and Johnny Gaudreau scored for the Flames.

The Oilers await the winner of the Colorado Avalanche-St. Louis Blues series. Game 6 of that series is tonight with the Avalanche up three games to two.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t have a dog in this fight but that didn’t look like a kicking motion on Coleman’s part. His skate made contact with the pick but there was incidental contact by an Oilers defenseman as Coleman was heading toward the net. Just my two cents. The league’s video review folks believed differently.

While that disallowed goal cost the Flames this game, their sloppy defensive play and uncharacteristic shaky goaltending from Jacob Markstrom throughout this series led to their postseason demise. They struggled to contain Edmonton’s offense, especially McDavid and Draisaitl. Had they won this game, I doubt they would’ve gone on to take the series.

The Carolina Hurricanes have the New York Rangers on the brink of elimination following a 3-1 victory in Game 5 of their second-round series. Teuvo Teravainen snapped a 1-1 tie in the second period while Andrei Svechnikov’s third-period goal put the game out of reach. The Hurricanes can advance to the Eastern Conference Finals with a win in Game 6 on Saturday in New York.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes have yet to win a road game in this postseason but they’ve been dominating on home ice. They outshot the Rangers 34-17, controlled this game at even strength, scored on the power play and shorthanded, and apart from Mika Zibanejad’s goal overwhelmed the Rangers’ top line. If they can carry over that effort into Game 6, they’ll have a date with the Tampa Bay Lightning starting next week.

HEADLINE

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche hope to avoid a Game 7 when they face off against the St. Louis Blues in Game 6 of their second-round series tonight. Head coach Jared Bednar believes his club will put their blown lead in Game 5 behind them and play with confidence in tonight’s contest.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche dominated the first 40 minutes of Game 5 but took their foot off the gas and tried to protect their lead in the third period. That enabled the Blues to rally back twice, setting the stage for their dramatic overtime victory.

TSN: Don’t expect St. Louis Blues defenseman Torey Krug to return to action in tonight’s game. He’s been sidelined by a lower-body injury since Game 3 of their first-round series with the Minnesota Wild. Blues coach Craig Berube indicated Krug would also be out for Game 7 if this series goes that far.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin has changed agents, hiring Pat Brisson to negotiate his next contract. Larkin is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in 2023. The Wings can sign him to a contract extension on July 13.

SPORTSNET: Los Angeles Kings defenseman Sean Durzi underwent successful shoulder surgery. He’s expected to be ready for the start of the 2022-23 season.

The Geneve-Servette Hockey Club signed former NHL defenseman Sami Vatanen to a two-year contract and former NHL forward Valtteri Filppula to a one-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, don’t expect either guy to be signing with NHL teams this summer as free agents.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 23, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 23, 2022

The Oilers take a 2-1 series lead over the Flames, the Lightning go up 3-0 over the Panthers, the Rangers get their first win over the Hurricanes, the Leafs re-sign Mark Giordano, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: A four-goal second period powered the Edmonton Oilers to a 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames in Game 3 of their second-round series. Evander Kane tallied a natural hat trick, Leon Draisaitl had four assists, and Connor McDavid collected three helpers. Oliver Kylington replied for the Flames. The Oilers hold their first lead of this series (two games to one) with Game 4 on Tuesday.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was another dominant offensive performance by the Oilers, particularly from scoring stars McDavid, Draisaitl and Kane. McDavid leads all postseason scorers with 23 points in just 10 games, nine of those multi-point contests. Draisaitl sits second with 19 points and set an NHL playoff record in Game 3 by collecting those four assists in the same period. Kane’s hat trick, meanwhile, gives him a playoff-leading 10 goals.

The Flames’ frustration boiled over midway through the third period when Milan Lucic bowled over Oilers goaltender Mike Smith, sparking a melee that saw Lucic get ejected for charging. Smith was initially removed from the game by concussion spotters but quickly returned to action.

Once again, the Flames failed to contain the Oilers’ leading scorers. This time, they couldn’t score their way out of trouble as they did in Game 1 or even take an early lead as in Game 2. Head coach Darryl Sutter will have to find a solution by Game 4 or risk falling behind 3-1 heading back to Calgary for Game 5.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are poised to sweep the Florida Panthers from their second-round series following a commanding 5-1 victory in Game 3. Nikita Kucherov had four points, Steven Stamkos scored twice and Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside 34 shots for the Lightning. Sam Reinhart replied for the Panthers. With a 3-0 series lead, the Lightning can wrap things up in Game 4 on Monday night.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning took control of this game with two goals in the second period and never looked back. They dominated the Panthers, whose will to win evaporated as this contest went on. The Bolts are reminding everyone why they’re the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions, holding this season’s highest-scoring team to just three goals thus far in this series.

A 43-save performance by Igor Shesterkin gave the New York Rangers a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes, cutting the latter’s series lead to two games to one. Mika Zibanejad had a goal and an assist while Chris Kreider and Tyler Motte also tallied for the Rangers. Nino Niederreiter had the Hurricanes’ only goal. Game 4 goes Tuesday night in New York.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers’ coach Gerard Gallant’s lineup tweaks paid off for this game, moving Filip Chytil alongside Kreider and Zibanejad and Alexei Lafreniere with Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome. Shesterkin was rock solid throughout this contest. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes still seek their first road win of this postseason. Their special teams struggled in this contest, giving up a power-play goal and failing to tally with three man-advantage opportunities.

Gallant wasn’t pleased with Blue Jackets winger Max Domi whacking Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren with his stick in the dying seconds of the game. He sent a none-too-subtle warning toward the Hurricanes during his post-game press conference that “we’ve got the guys to match them” if they want to play that way.

HEADLINES

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs signed defenseman Mark Giordano to a two-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $800K. Giordano, 38, was slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. He was acquired from the Seattle Kraken prior to the March trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a noteworthy signing by the Leafs. Giordano was earning $6.75 million annually on his current contract. Despite his age, he remains an effective top-four defenseman who could’ve earned a lot more than $800K per season on the open market.

Giordano obviously wants to finish his career in his hometown but he was aware of the Leafs’ limited cap space. Taking such a huge discount also shows his belief that his best chance of winning a Stanley Cup is with the Maple Leafs.

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues announced goaltender Jordan Binnington will be sidelined for the remainder of their second-round series against the Colorado Avalanche. Binnington suffered the injury following a collision with Avalanche center Nazem Kadri in Game 3. The Blues have recalled goaltender Charlie Lindgren to back up Ville Husso, who replaces Binnington as their starter.

THE DENVER POST: Speaking of Kadri, the Avalanche are working with local law enforcement to investigate threats against the 31-year-old center following Game 3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whether you believe Kadri deliberately intended to injure Binnington, that’s no excuse for threatening him. That crap has no place in sports at any level.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 18, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 18, 2022

The Avalanche and Lightning draw first blood in their respective second-round series, the Selke Trophy finalists are announced, the Jets interview Barry Trotz, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Josh Manson lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of their second-round series. Valeri Nichushkin and Samuel Girard also scored for Colorado while Ryan O’Reilly and Jordan Kyrou tallied for St. Louis. Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington made 51 saves in this game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Binnington was outstanding in this contest and couldn’t be faulted on Manson’s screened shot eluding him in overtime. However, the Blues must do a better job containing the Avalanche’s fast-paced offense or this series won’t last long despite Binnington’s heroics in net.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov (NHL Images).

Third-period goals by Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Nikita Kucherov and Ross Colton gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a 4-1 victory over the Florida Panthers in Game 1 of their second-round series. Kucherov and Corey Perry each had a goal and an assist while Andrei Vasilevskiy made 33 saves for the win. Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak left this contest in the second period after blocking a shot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I was looking forward to this series as last year’s first-round matchup between these two clubs was among the best of the 2021 postseason. Sadly, this game failed to match last year’s pace and intensity. Here’s hoping that improves as this series progresses. Penalties proved costly for the Panthers as three of the Lightning’s four goals came on the power play.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron and Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm are this season’s finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL’s top defensive forwards.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is the 11th straight season Bergeron has been a finalist for the Selke. He’s tied with Hall-of-Famer Bob Gainey for the most Selke wins (four) and could break that record this season. Barkov won the award last season while this is Lindholm’s first time as a finalist.

SPORTSNET: The Winnipeg Jets will be interviewing Barry Trotz for their vacant head-coaching position. Trotz, 59, is a two-time winner of the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year. He’s third all-time in NHL coaching wins, won the Stanley Cup in 2018 with the Washington Capitals, and guided the New York Islanders to the 2020 Eastern Conference Final and the 2021 semifinal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s how that interview with Jets general manager Ken Cheveldayoff should go: “Hi, Barry, how much money do you want, who do you want as your assistant coaches, and is there anything we can do to ease your family’s move to Winnipeg?”

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas and head coach Sheldon Keefe will be returning in their roles next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So will team president Brendan Shanahan. As I said after the Lightning eliminated the Leafs from the first round, the club’s franchise-best 115-point season and pushing the defending Stanley Cup champions to seven games in that series would buy that trio another season to get it right.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl could be dealing with a high-ankle sprain as his club prepares to face off with the Calgary Flames in their second-round series.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Draisaitl is believed to have suffered the injury in Game 6 of their opening-round series against the Los Angeles Kings. He played in Game 7 but has taken time away from recent Oilers’ practices.

TSN: It looks like Chris Tanev will be ready for tonight’s game against the Oilers. The Calgary Flames defenseman missed Game 7 of their first-round series with the Dallas Stars dealing with an undisclosed injury. He participated in practice with his teammates on Tuesday.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and head coach Mike Sullivan denied a report claiming he was cleared to play in Game 6 against the New York Rangers after suffering a head injury in the previous game. The report also claimed Crosby was held out of Game 6 by management.

A head injury also sidelined winger Rickard Rakell for most of that series. Defenseman Brian Dumoulin suffered a knee injury in Game 1 and was also nursing a foot injury that nagged him throughout the season. Backup goaltender Casey DeSmith underwent season-ending core muscle surgery due to an injury suffered in Game 1.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars forward Tyler Seguin played through a fractured foot in that series against the Flames. Forward Luke Glendening suffered a groin injury, a twisted knee and concussion symptoms. Center Roope Hintz missed Game 7 following a reaction to treatment for an oblique injury while forward Radek Faksa left Game 7 with a concussion. Backup goaltender Braden Holtby missed the final two months of the season and the series against the Flames with a hip injury.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Former NHL player and current league executive Ray Whitney will reportedly interview for the post of Sharks general manager on Thursday. Whitney currently works in the league’s department of player safety.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 14, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 14, 2022

The Panthers eliminate the Capitals while the Rangers and Stars extend their respective first-round series to Game 7, the Ted Lindsay Award finalists are announced, Bruce Boudreau returns as Canucks coach and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: For the first time since 1996, the Florida Panthers are advancing to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Carter Verhaeghe’s overtime goal lifted Florida to 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals in Game 6 to take their first-round series four games to two. Claude Giroux had a goal and two assists while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 34 shots for the win. Washington’s T.J. Oshie scored to force overtime in the third period after his Capitals squandered 1-0 and 2-1 leads.

Florida Panthers forward Carter Verhaeghe (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Verhaeghe was the Panthers’ most valuable player in this series, leading them with six goals and six assists for 12 points and tallying three straight game-winning goals.

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin shared the view of his teammates that they gave away the series after blowing a 2-1 series lead and failing to hold leads in the final three games. “It’s on us. It’s on me, on Backy (Nicklas Backstrom), on Osh (Oshie), on Carly (John Carlson), it’s on everybody. Kind of a f**ked up situation,” said Ovechkin.

The absence of power forward Tom Wilson was another contributing factor to the Capitals’ loss. He was sidelined by a lower-body injury in Game 1 and never returned to the series.

There will be a seventh and deciding game in the opening round series between the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins. Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider each scored twice and Adam Fox collected four assists in Game 6 as New York rallied to beat Pittsburgh 5-3. The Penguins led 2-0 after the first period but fell behind 3-2 before Evgeni Malkin tied it before the end of the second. Kreider got the game-winner late in the third and Andrew Copp added the insurance goal. Game 7 goes Sunday in New York.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby missed this game with an upper-body injury and remains questionable for Game 7. Rickard Rakell remained out of this contest as he’s still recovering from a concussion suffered in Game 1.

With starter Tristan Jarry finally healthy, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan must decide if he’ll put him in for that final game or stick with Louis Domingue, who’s carried the load since taking over for a sidelined Casey DeSmith during overtime in Game 1. Jarry is the better goalie but he hasn’t played since suffering a foot injury in mid-April. Domingue’s done his best but he has given up some questionable goals for the Penguins.

The Dallas Stars ensured there will be a seventh game against the Calgary Flames with a 4-2 victory in Game 6 of their series. Jake Oettinger kicked out 36 shots, Roope Hintz got a goal and an assist and Miro Heiskanen scored the game-winner for the Stars. Flames defenseman Michael Stone had a goal and an assist. The series returns to Calgary for Game 7 on Sunday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars got it done by outshooting the Flames 30-20 in the final two periods and another outstanding performance by Oettinger, especially in the third period. Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov could face supplemental discipline after he laid out Stars forward Luke Glendening with an elbow to the head.

HEADLINES

NHLPA.COM: Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews and Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid are the 2022 finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award as this season’s most valuable player as voted by the NHLPA membership.

THE PROVINCE: Bruce Boudreau will return next season as the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks. Boudreau explained the delay in exercising the option year of his contract was due to personal arrangements, including the well-being of his 90-year-old mother in Toronto.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers star Leon Draisaitl could be nursing an injured right ankle or knee as he and his teammates prepared to face the Los Angeles Kings in Game 7 of their opening-round series tonight.

CAP FRIENDLY: A $100K performance bonus for Tyler Bozak has pushed the St. Louis Blues salary-cap bonus overage to $1.1 million. Bozak could earn another $150K bonus if the Blues reach the conference final.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bonus overages are applied to next season’s salary-cap payroll.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 4, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 4, 2022

Leon Draisaitl is this season’s first 50-goal, 100-point player, Jonathan Huberdeau sets a franchise record as his Panthers clinch a playoff berth, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl had a goal and an assist to become this season’s first 50-goal, 100-point player in a 6-1 thrashing of the Anaheim Ducks. Connor McDavid scored his 40th goal of the season and chipped in two assists as the Oilers (85 points) moved to within one point of the second-place Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division. McDavid still leads the scoring race with 105 points while Draisaitl is second at 101. The latter is also second in goals with 50, one behind Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ducks winger Troy Terry missed this game due to facial injuries suffered when he received multiple punches from Arizona Coyotes center Jay Beagle on Friday. Beagle received no supplemental discipline for his actions.

The Florida Panthers are the first team to clinch a playoff berth after defeating the Buffalo Sabres 5-3. Jonathan Huberdeau scored to set a franchise record with his 97th point of the season while teammate Anthony Duclair tallied two goals for the Panthers, who sit atop the Eastern Conference with 102 points.

Minnesota Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek scored two goals and set up another in a 5-1 victory over the Washington Capitals. Jordan Greenway collected three assists as the Wild extended their points streak to 10 games and sit in second place in the Central Division with 91 points. The Capitals hold the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 84 points, seven back of the Boston Bruins.

An overtime goal by Shea Theodore lifted the Vegas Golden Knights over the Vancouver Canucks 3-2. Jonathan Marchessault had a goal and an assist while Robin Lehner returned to action with a 26-save performance after being sidelined 10 games with a lower-body injury. The Golden Knights vaulted ahead of the Dallas Stars into the second Western Conference wild-card berth with 82 points while the Canucks sit eight points back.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks have won just three of their last 10 games. With 12 games remaining in their schedule, they face long odds of clinching a wild-card spot.

The Philadelphia Flyers blew a 3-0 lead but managed to defeat the New York Rangers 4-3 on a shootout goal by Kevin Hayes. Martin Jones got the win with a 43-save performance. Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist for the Rangers (94 points), who hold a two-point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins for second place in the Metropolitan Division.

Speaking of the Stars, they fell 4-1 to the Seattle Kraken. Chris Driedger made 29 saves while Alex Wennberg, Carson Soucy and Karson Kuhlman each had two points.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere scored in overtime in a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Before the game, the Blackhawks honored captain Jonathan Toews for recently reaching the 1,000 career NHL game milestone.

Cory Schneider made 27 saves in his first start in over two seasons to backstop the New York Islanders over the New Jersey Devils 4-3. Jean-Gabriel Pageau tallied a hat trick while Kyle Palmieri and Adam Pelech each had three points. Devils center Jack Hughes left the game after suffering a leg injury from a hit by Isles forward Oliver Wahlstrom.

Ottawa Senators center Josh Norris scored his first career NHL hat trick in a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Forward Mathieu Joseph collected three assists for the Senators in their first home game since the death of Eugene Melnyk, who was honored by the club in a pre-game ceremony.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Senators forward Tyler Ennis was playing in his 700th career game but left the contest in the first period with what has been diagnosed as a season-ending upper-body injury.