NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 2, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 2, 2023

The Devils eliminate the Rangers, the Flames fire head coach Darryl Sutter and the Panthers limit ticket sales for fans of the Maple Leafs. Details and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The New Jersey Devils blanked the New York Rangers 4-0 in Game 7 of their best-of-seven first-round series. Akira Schmid turned in a 31-save shutout while Michael McLeod, Tomas Tatar, Erik Haula and Jesper Bratt scored for the Devils, who advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2012. They’ll face off with the Carolina Hurricanes with Game 1 starting Wednesday.

New Jersey Devils goaltender Akira Schmid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a big step forward for the Devils emerging from years of rebuilding. Schmid was their MVP in this series, taking over in Game 3 with his club down 2-0 in the series and winning four of five games. His goaltending inspired his teammates as their overall play improved over the course of this series.

Credit also goes to head coach Lindy Ruff, whose gamble on Schmid paid off handsomely for the Devils. Haula, Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier were among the Devils who stepped up as this series went on.

Devils winger Timo Meier left the game in the third period following a thundering hit by Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba. He left the game but return to the Devils’ bench late in the third. Ruff had no update on Meier following the game but felt that Trouba made contact with the winger’s head. No penalty was called on the play.

For the Rangers, this is a major letdown after their run to the Eastern Conference Finals last season. They loaded up for a run at the Stanley Cup by acquiring Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane but they tallied four goals between them in seven games.

They’re not solely to blame for this defeat. The only Rangers who played well consistently in this series were goalie Igor Shesterkin and winger Chris Kreider.

Mika Zibanejad was limited to one goal and four points while Artemi Panarin had just two assists. The Kid Line of Filip Chytil, Kaapo Kakko and Alexis Lafreniere wasn’t as effective as they were in last year’s playoffs. Meanwhile, the blueline struggled to contain the speedy Devils forwards.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: The Flames yesterday announced they fired head coach Darryl Sutter. The move came two weeks after Brad Treliving stepped down as general manager. Treliving’s replacement has yet to be named but whoever takes over that role will choose the Flames’ next head coach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames must still honor Sutter’s two-year contract extension worth a reported $8 million. They evidently felt it was worthwhile eating that deal considering how the club struggled this season amid reports of growing unhappiness among the players over Sutter’s coaching style.

Winger Jonathan Huberdeau admitted he and Sutter “really didn’t click” and there were rumors that Sutter was clashing with center Nazem Kadri. Centers Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund hinted they might depart as free agents next summer though Lindholm seemed to suggest he would see what direction the club took in the coming months.

Speaking of the Flames, Oliver Kylington will return to the club next season. The 25-year-old defenseman missed the entirety of this season for personal reasons.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers are limiting tickets being sold on their website for the first two home games of their series against the Toronto Maple Leafs to those with a billing address in the United States. Team president Matthew Caldwell called it “an access thing so our fans can get tickets.” He said they will eventually allow tickets to be sold to Toronto fans.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the Panthers want to ensure their fans aren’t outnumbered by fanatical Leafs supporters. However, there will be plenty of “snowbirds” who live in Florida that are Leafs fans. They will likely make their presence felt at those games.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: According to ESPN’s Kevin Weekes, Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark played through a “debilitating and painful injury that limited his mobility and technique.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That explains why Ullmark (the favorite to win the Vezina Trophy as this season’s top goalie) at times didn’t seem like himself in the first-round series against the Panthers. It calls into question the coaching staff’s decision to allow him to play through that injury rather than give more starts to a healthy Jeremy Swayman.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek said he suffered a broken leg while blocking a shot during an Apr. 6 game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He attempted to play in Game 3 of the Wild’s first-round series with the Dallas Stars but left after one shift. He had surgery on his fibula shortly following that game.

NEW YORK POST: The Islanders signed winger Hudson Fasching to a two-year, one-way contract worth $775K annually.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Capitals signed top prospect Ivan Miroshnichenko to a three-year entry-level contract after he and his KHL club Avangard Omsk mutually agreed to terminate his deal. The 19-year-old forward was chosen 20th overall by the Capitals in the 2022 NHL Draft

THE SCORE: Rapper Snoop Dogg is part of a bid fronted by Los Angeles entrepreneur Neko Sparks interested in purchasing the Ottawa Senators. He’s the latest celebrity connected to a bid for the Senators, joining actor Ryan Reynolds.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 23, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 23, 2023

The Devils, Golden Knights and Leafs garner tough overtime victories, the Avalanche hold off the pesky Kraken, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights needed overtime for a 5-4 victory in Game 3 over the Winnipeg Jets after the latter overcame a 4-1 deficit in the third period. Michael Amadio tallied the winning goal while Jack Eichel scored twice and collected an assist for Vegas. Nino Niederreiter, Mark Scheifele and Adam Lowry scored in the third to rally the Jets while Neal Pionk collected three assists. The Golden Knights lead the best-of-seven first-round series 2-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets also lost puck-moving defenseman Josh Morrissey for the remainder of the series after he suffered a lower-body injury in the first period. That’s a major setback to their hopes of winning this series.

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly (NHL Images).

An overtime goal by Morgan Rielly lifted the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 4-3 to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round series. Ryan O’Reilly had a three-point performance, scoring the tying goal late in the third period to force the extra period. Brandon Hagel had a goal and an assist for the Lightning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game could be a preview of what the remainder of this series will look like. After each club traded lopsided wins in the first two games, Game 3 was a more closely-contested and physical match. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos goaded Auston Matthews into a fight in the third period while Nikita Kucherov jumped Rielly after he crunched Lighting forward Brayden Point into the end boards.

Leafs fans have to be feeling better about the goaltending of Ilya Samsonov. He bounced back from a brutal 7-3 loss in Game 1 with two solid victories in the next two games, including a 36-save effort in Game 3.

The New Jersey Devils defeated the New York Rangers 2-1 on an overtime goal by Dougie Hamilton. Rookie goalie Akira Schmid stopped 35 shots to win his first NHL playoff game while Jack Hughes scored the tying goal for the Devils. Chris Kreider netted his playoff-leading fifth goal for the Rangers, who still hold a 2-1 lead in this first-round series.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a big win for the Devils. Had they lost Game 3 they would’ve faced the almost impossible task of overcoming an 0-3 deficit to win the series.

Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen each scored twice as the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Seattle Kraken 6-4 to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round series. Jaden Schwartz tallied two goals while Matty Beniers scored his first NHL playoff goal for the Kraken.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken opened the scoring, fell behind 3-1 and rallied back to tie the game before MacKinnon and Rantanen put this one out of reach. MacKinnon praised the Kraken as “a really great team,” calling this series the hardest first round he’s been in thus far.

The Avalanche got the win without winger Valeri Nichushkin as he’s out for what head coach Jared Bednar called “personal reasons.” Kraken forward Morgan Geekie missed this one with an undisclosed injury.

HEADLINES

TSN: Carolina Hurricanes winger Teuvo Teravainen underwent successful hand surgery and is sidelined indefinitely. He suffered the injury during Game 2 of the Hurricanes’ win over the New York Islanders.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery said center David Krejci is 50-50 to play in Game 4 today against the Florida Panthers. Krejci missed Game 3 with an upper-body injury.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: It’s uncertain if Minnesota Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek will be in the lineup for Game 4 today against the Dallas Stars. He’d missed the final two weeks of the regular season and the first two games of this series with a lower-body injury. He played just one shift in Game 3.

NHL.COM: Speaking of the Wild, they’ve shaken up the coaching staff of their AHL affiliate. General manager Bill Guerin yesterday announced the Wild won’t renew the contracts of Iowa Wild head coach Tim Army and assistant coaches Nate DiCasmirro and Nolan Yonkman.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: There’s concern among Edmonton followers that the Oilers could lose their first-round series against the Los Angeles Kings. The Oilers are down in the series 2-1 as they’ve struggled to hold leads and have been undisciplined at times against the Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings are an improved team over the one that pushed Edmonton to seven games in last year’s opening-round series. If the Oilers lose today they’ll be down 3-1 in the series and face elimination on home ice in Game 5.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers recalled defenseman Lucas Carlsson as Aaron Ekblad and Josh Mahura will be game-day decisions for today’s matchup with the Bruins.

OTTAWA SUN: The deadline for final bids for aspiring owners of the Senators is expected to be May 15.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 16, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 16, 2023

The three stars from the final week of the regular season are announced, notable news from locker clean-out day for eliminated clubs, and notable updates involving several playoff teams in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THREE STARS OF THE FINAL WEEK OF THE REGULAR SEASON

NHL.COM: Dallas Stars winger Jason Robertson, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brent Burns and Vegas Golden Knight goaltender Laurent Brossoit are the three stars for the week ending April 14

NOTABLE NEWS FROM LOCKER CLEAN-OUT DAY FOR ELIMINATED TEAMS

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson once again emphasized that he still likes playing for the Sharks but winning remains his priority. He once again shrugged off the trade rumors dogging him throughout this season, adding that he’s focusing on the present. Karlsson intends to take some time to enjoy himself and resume training for next season.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson is handling this diplomatically as he has all season but that won’t make the trade speculation disappear. There were teams interested in him but his hefty contract proved difficult to move during the season. It’s expected trade chatter involving Karlsson will pick up in June when teams have more cap space to work with for next season.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Flames winger Jonathan Huberdeau vowed to bounce back next season from his lackluster performance in 2022-23. Following a career-best 115-point performance last season with the Florida Panthers, he managed just 55 points this season with the Flames.

I didn’t lose my talent in five months. I’m not a different player from what I was last season,” said Huberdeau. He acknowledged that he found it challenging playing under head coach Darryl Sutter’s system and struggled to adjust to playing right wing after spending his career on the left side.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Moving to Calgary after 10 seasons with the Panthers likely required some adjustment for Huberdeau. Struggling to play up to expectations after signing an eight-year contract extension worth $10.5 million annually was probably another factor that affected his play.

THE PROVINCE: Six months after injuring his left hand and several surgeries later, Vancouver Canucks winger Tanner Pearson is trying to get his career and life back on track. He didn’t comment about the quality of care he received from the Canucks but it’s expected he’ll file a grievance against the club with the help of the NHL Players’ Association. “I’m just trying to get my hand back,” he said.

Canucks winger Brock Boeser made it clear that he wants to continue his career in Vancouver. “To be completely honest with you, I don’t want to be traded,” he said. The 26-year-old winger struggled through a difficult first half following the death of his father last year, sparking speculation that he would be traded.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The rumors seemed to suggest that the Canucks were listening to offers for Boeser but they weren’t actively shopping him. They could move him for the right price as they’re reportedly looking to garner salary-cap flexibility for next season but they could consider other options before going that route.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Flyers winger Cam Atkinson is looking forward to 2023-24 after missing all of this season with a herniated disc in his neck that required surgery after a few misdiagnoses and conflicting information from doctors. Despite the confusion at the start of his recovery, Atkinson said he has full confidence in the Flyers’ medical staff and is feeling better now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report noted that head coach John Tortorella said earlier in the season that the club was focused on increasing trust between the players and the medical staff after a new head trainer was brought in.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Washington Capitals winger T.J. Oshie revealed he underwent a minor procedure to address lingering back issues. He’s looking forward to a full summer of training, claiming he’s feeling good and is optimistic moving forward.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins forward Jeff Carter said he and his family love living in Pittsburgh and he intends to finish the final season of his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bang goes the fantasy of those Penguins fans hoping the club’s new management would convince the 38-year-old Carter to waive his no-movement clause. They could buy him out but because it’s a 35-plus contract they won’t get any cap relief from doing so.

THE ATHLETIC’s Aaron Portzline reports Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins won’t be playing for Latvia in next month’s IIHF World Championships. He’s at a career crossroads after struggling this season and is putting his offseason focus on preparing for 2023-24.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators center Josh Norris will be spending the summer preparing for next season after undergoing shoulder surgery in January…Defenseman Thomas Chabot revealed he fractured a bone and tore ligaments in his wrist…Blueliner Travis Hamonic injured the meniscus and medial collateral ligament in his right knee late in the season…Rearguard Jakob Chychrun was sidelined by a hamstring injury.

PLAYOFF NOTES

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins center David Krejci returned to practice on Saturday after missing the last six games of the regular season. However, captain Patrice Bergeron skipped practice for precautionary reasons as he’s still feeling the effects of an upper-body injury suffered on Thursday.

Winger Brad Marchand left practice for precautionary reasons after experiencing some soreness. Meanwhile, Nick Foligno and Derek Forbort resumed scrimmaging with their teammates.

TSN: New Jersey Devils winger Timo Meier missed practice on Saturday due to food poisoning.

Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett missed the final 12 games of the regular season with an undisclosed injury but could return at some point in his club’s first-round series with the Bruins.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers said he was merely winded from a heavy hit by Minnesota’s Ryan Hartman, did not suffer a head injury, and is ready to play in Game 1 of his club’s first-round series with the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.

TWINCITIES.COM: Speaking of the Wild, sidelined center Joel Eriksson Ek is progressing faster than expected after being listed as week-to-week following a lower-body injury suffered on April 6. He’s resumed skating, prompting speculation he might at least travel with the team as they start their first-round series this week against the Dallas Stars.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 8, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 8, 2023

A first-ever 16-game day features a key matchup between the Predators and Jets in the Western wild-card race while the Bruins attempt to tie the single-season wins record. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: For the first time in league history there will be a 16-game day involving all 32 NHL franchises on Saturday kicking off with the Carolina Hurricanes visiting the Buffalo Sabres at 12:30 pm ET.

The Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers and New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference and the Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames and Nashville Predators in the Western Conference are jockeying for the three remaining wild-card berths.

A key matchup pits the Predators against the Jets in Winnipeg. The Jets are tied with the Flames for the final Western wild-card spot with 89 points while the Predators are one point behind them. The Jets and Predators have four games remaining in their schedule while the Flames have three games left.

The Boston Bruins hope to celebrate their 62nd win on Saturday (NHL.com).

Meanwhile, the league-leading Boston Bruins have an opportunity to tie the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings and 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning for the most wins (62) in a season as they face the New Jersey Devils. The Bruins are 61-12-5 with 127 points and four games remaining in their schedule.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: It’s a good news-bad news day for the Minnesota Wild. The good news is leading scorer Kirill Kaprizov returns to the lineup after missing a month with a lower-body injury. The bad news is two-way center Joel Eriksson Ek is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury that could sideline him for the start of the playoffs on April 17.

GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan highlights the impressive rookie campaign of Arizona Coyotes forward Matias Maccelli. Despite missing 16 games to a lower-body injury, the 22-year-old left wing leads this season’s rookie class with 36 assists and sits second with 46 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like emerging superstar Clayton Keller, Maccelli’s performance has been mostly overshadowed by the Coyotes’ ongoing arena issues, their continuing roster rebuild and their placement near the bottom of the standings. Maccelli probably won’t win the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie but he should be among the top finalists.

DAILY FACEOFF: University of Michigan center Adam Fantilli is the 2023 winner of the Hobey Baker Award honoring the top player in men’s NCAA hockey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fantilli is considered the best prospect behind the Regina Pats’ Connor Bedard in this year’s draft. He is expected to be chosen second overall by whichever club ends up with that selection following next month’s NHL Draft Lottery.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres goaltender Devon Levi’s US college career recently ended but he was named the winner of the Mike Richter Award as the top college goalie for an unprecedented second consecutive year. He was also named Hockey East Player of the Year for the second straight season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres got Levi in 2021 as part of the return from the Florida Panthers in the Sam Reinhart trade. That move could go down as one of the biggest in Sabres’ history if Levi turns into the franchise goalie he’s projected to become. He’s won two of his first three games for the Sabres thus far.

DAILY FACEOFF: St. Louis Blues goaltender Thomas Greiss will miss the remaining week of the regular season with a lower-body injury.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports the NHL’s spending gap widened to record levels this season. The Tampa Bay Lightning spent at least $41 million more this season than the Arizona Coyotes in total player wage expenditure. Big-spending teams and bottom feeders have used long-term injury reserve (LTIR), front-loaded contracts and massive signing bonuses to game the salary-cap system.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli also points out that this doesn’t always equate to success. The Tampa Bay Lightning, Vegas Golden Knights, Edmonton Oilers, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils are among this season’s high-spending playoff clubs. However, they share space with non-contenders like the Montreal Canadiens, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks and Washington Capitals among the top-10 teams in salary expenditure.

LTIR has been a bone of contention for critics of the salary cap system for years. Nevertheless, most teams find it a necessary evil to get through seasons when they’re pressed for cap room. They had two opportunities to address it during the 2012-13 lockout and in 2020. The fact it still exists likely means it won’t be changed in the next round of collective bargaining in 2026.

The league previously cracked down on front-loaded contracts in the 2012-13 lockout and could attempt to tweak those rules in 2026. Signing bonuses are capped at 10 percent of a contract’s total salary compensation but I wouldn’t be shocked if that gets lowered too.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 22, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 22, 2021

The NHL & NHLPA withdraw from the 2022 Winter Olympics, the Lightning beat the Golden Knights in the final game before the extended holiday break, the Flames ownership walks away from its arena deal, and more in today’s morning coffee headlines.

HEADLINES

SPORTSNET: Multiple reports indicate the NHL and NHL Players Association intend to withdraw from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing amid concerns over rising COVID-19 cases among NHL clubs which forced the postponement of a number of games. A formal announcement, however, has yet to be made.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the delay in the announcement is the PA had to do its own internal process involving a number of calls to players. The league and PA also have to talk to the International Olympic Committee before it becomes official.

**UPDATE** 

The NHL and NHLPA officially announced this morning they will not send players to the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

The adverse effect upon the NHL schedule by the recent COVID outbreak is the reason behind the decision. LeBrun indicated the league scheduler is already at work to determine how to make up those postponed games and fill dates during that three-week period in February that was scheduled for the Olympic break.

Chris Johnston indicates there is no ability for individual players to take a leave of absence in February to participate in the Games. He also said this decision will not affect the 2022 All-Star Game scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 5.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Withdrawing from the Olympics is a disappointment for the players who would’ve been selected to represent their countries and for hockey fans looking forward to the tournament. Nevertheless, the league and the PA had no choice.

Those postponed games have to be made up in a timely fashion without derailing the schedule or pushing it further into the spring, which would’ve meant another postseason going deep into the summer. Neither side has any intention of shortening the schedule because that would adversely affect hockey-related revenue.

NHL.COM: Steven Stamkos scored the winning goal as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in the only game remaining on the schedule before the NHL’s extended holiday break that takes effect today and runs to Dec. 26.

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

Stamkos’ goal was his 65th game-winner, surpassing Martin St. Louis for the most in Lightning history. Golden Knights winger Mark Stone scored twice but left the game in the second period after tweaking a previous injury.

The Lightning played without head coach Jon Cooper, who entered COVID protocol before the games. Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo and winger Evgenii Dadonov also entered the protocol yesterday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet has a full list of players and coaches currently in COVID protocol that is updated daily.

CALGARY SUN: The owners of the Flames released a statement yesterday indicating they’re walking away from its multimillion-dollar plan with the city of Calgary to replace the aging Saddledome. Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corps cited the growing price tag of the planned new arena, which would’ve been built under a cost-sharing agreement with the city.

The sticking point is reportedly less than $10 million (1.5 percent of the projected $634 million) for infrastructure and climate change mitigation that the city is asking the Flames ownership to pick up.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This seems like a squabble over a pittance when factoring in the total cost of the arena plan. The Flames will reportedly continue to use the Saddledome but they can’t stay there forever.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman got involved in smoothing things over when the plans for constructing Rogers Place in Edmonton threatened to derail several years ago. Perhaps he’ll have to do the same in Calgary.

IN OTHER NEWS…

TSN: Boston Bruins defenseman Jakub Zboril will miss the remainder of this season with a torn ACL in his right knee. He underwent surgery last week.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek could be sidelined for a while. He was spotted wearing a sling on his arm following an injury suffered during their 7-4 loss to the Dallas Stars on Monday.

SPORTSNET: The province of Alberta has announced restrictions on the capacity for sporting events that limits attendance at Flames and Oilers home games to 50 percent. Those restrictions also apply to the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championships in Edmonton and Red Deer.

DAILY FACEOFF: Speaking of the World Juniors, Montreal Canadiens prospect Kaiden Guhle was named captain of Team Canada while Ottawa Senators prospect Jake Sanderson will captain Team USA.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 20, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 20, 2021

Leon Draisaitl reaches a milestone goal, Joel Eriksson Ek pots his first career hat trick, Alex Ovechkin keeps rising up the all-time goal leaders board, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Leon Draisaitl scored twice and assisted on two others to lead the Edmonton Oilers over the Anaheim Ducks 6-5. Draisaitl also tallied his 200th career goal as the Oilers have won their first three games of the season. Connor McDavid had three points and Zack Kassian scored twice. Mikko Koskinen made 20 saves for the Oilers after Mike Smith left the game with an apparent leg injury in the second period. Kevin Shattenkirk and Sam Steel each tallied twice for the Ducks, who placed forwards Max Jones and Mason McTavish on injured reserve earlier in the day.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

Minnesota Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek’s scored in overtime to complete his first career hat trick in a 6-5 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Mats Zuccarello scored twice and set up two others and Kirill Kaprizov collected three helpers. Andrew Copp had a goal and two assists for the Jets, who picked up their first point in three games.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his 734th career goal into an empty net in a 6-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored twice and added an assist and Tom Wilson had three helpers for the Capitals. Ovechkin sits seven goals behind Brett Hull (741) for fourth place on the all-time goal-scoring list.

Florida Panthers rookie goaltender Spencer Knight extended his regular-season win streak to five games stretching back to last season in a 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Bay Lightning. Knight kicked out 30 shots, Aleksander Barkov and Sam Reinhart each collected two points and rookie Anton Lundell tallied his first career NHL goal. The Lightning played without Nikita Kucherov, who was placed on long-term injury reserve with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The All-Star winger missed the entirety of the 2020-21 regular season recovering from offseason hip surgery. It’s uncertain if his current ailment is tied to that.

The Buffalo Sabres stretching their season-opening record to 3-0-0 for the first time since 2008 by dropping the Vancouver Canucks 5-2. Kyle Okposo and Zemgus Girgensons each had a goal and an assist while Craig Anderson picked up the win with 32 saves. Canucks winger Brock Boeser was held scoreless in his season debut while defenseman Quinn Hughes missed the game with a lower-body injury. Earlier in the day, the Canucks placed Nic Petan on waivers.

A 4-2 victory by the New Jersey Devils over the Seattle Kraken was overshadowed by Devils center Jack Hughes leaving the game in the first period with an injured left shoulder. Hughes is listed as day-to-day. Ryan Graves collected two assists for the Devils and rookie Dawson Mercer scored his first career goal. The Kraken lost their third straight game despite the season debut of center Yanni Gourde.

Ilya Sorokin’s 39-save performance carried the New York Islanders to their first win of the season as they defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1, leaving the latter winless in four games. Oliver Wahlstrom tallied twice for the Isles.

Alexander Radulov scored in a shootout as the Dallas Stars downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1. Braden Holtby picked up the win with 27 saves. Michael Raffl also scored for the Stars while John Marino replied for the Penguins.

Two third-period goals gave the Nashville Predators their first win of the season as they nipped the Los Angeles Kings 2-1. Juuse Saros made 25 saves for the Predators as Tanner Jeannot potted the game-winner in the third period. Anze Kopitar scored for the Kings.

The San Jose Sharks blanked the Montreal Canadiens 5-0, handing the latter their fourth straight loss. Rookie Jonathan Dahlen scored his first two NHL goals, Erik Karlsson and Timo Meier each had a goal and two assists while Adin Hill turned in a 21-save shutout.

Rookie Lucas Raymond netted his first career NHL goal and added an assist as the Detroit Red Wings beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1. Thomas Greiss made 22 saves for the win and captain Dylan Larkin collected two assists.

IN OTHER NEWS…

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Golden Knights received some good news as team captain Mark Stone won’t require surgery for an undisclosed injury. Coach Peter DeBoer said Stone was between “day-to-day and week-to-week.” There’s no timetable for his return.

SPORTSNET: St. Louis Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich received a two-game suspension for headbutting Arizona Coyotes forward Lawson Crouse on Monday.

SI/THE HOCKEY NEWS: Hall-of-Famer Mike Bossy is stepping away from his broadcasting duties with TVA Sports after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Bossy makes a swift and full recovery.