NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 1, 2020
Alex Ovechkin moves past Mark Messier among the all-time goal scorers, Andrei Vasilevskiy gets a milestone victory, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin continued his march toward 700 career goals, scoring twice in a 5-3 win over the Ottawa Senators. With 695 goals, Ovechkin moved past Mark Messier into sole possession of eighth overall among the NHL’s all-time leading goal scorers. Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot had a goal and an assist. With 75 points, the Capitals maintain a three-point lead over the Boston Bruins for top spot in the Eastern Conference and the overall standings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin has passed five Hall-of-Fame goal scorers (Messier, Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux, Teemu Selanne, and Luc Robitaille) this season. He’s 13 goals behind Mike Gartner (708), who sits seventh on the list.
Three-point performances by Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin carried the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Crosby tallied the winner in overtime after the Flyers overcame a 3-1 deficit to force the extra period.
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made 23 saves for his 150th career win in a 4-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Nikita Kucherov and Anthony Cirellia each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning. Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf picked up two assists.
Tuukka Rask returned from injury with a 37-save performance as the Boston Bruins edged the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 in a close-checking, fight-filled contest. Jake DeBrusk snapped a 1-1 tie with a power-play goal in the third period. The Bruins (72 points) hold a five-point lead over the Lightning for first place in the Atlantic Division.
Edmonton Oilers winger Leon Draisaitl scored twice to extend his points streak to 10 games in 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins collected two assists. With the win, the Oilers (60 points) moved into second place in the Pacific Division.
A power-play goal by Alex Tuch late in the third period allowed the Vegas Golden Knights to edge the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3. Jonathan Marchessault and Paul Stastny each had a goal and an assist for the Golden Knights (59 points), who hold a one-point lead over the Arizona Coyotes for the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen also each had a goal and an assist.
Mika Zibanejad had a goal and two assists as the New York Rangers doubled up the Detroit Red Wings 4-2. Chris Kreider and Artemi Panarin each collected two points. Wings forward Robby Fabbri had a goal and an assist. The Rangers (52 points) are nine points out of an Eastern Conference wild-card berth.
THE SCORE: Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving dismissed talk suggesting defenseman Mark Giordano deliberately attempted to injure Oilers captain Connor McDavid on Wednesday. Giordano and McDavid collided in the neutral zone in the second period, appearing to clip the Oilers star with his hip. McDavid was incensed, but he and Oilers coach Dave Tippett downplayed the incident.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings center Valtteri Filppula will play in his 1,000th career NHL game tonight against the Rangers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres’ ongoing mediocrity is bad enough, but there’s now a growing perception among their fans that their support of the franchise is being taken for granted by ownership. The club has sunk to 24th overall in attendance, there are calls for a protest rally among Sabres fans, while some are taking to the airwaves and social media to vent their anger and frustration over the club’s ongoing lack of direction, the state of the arena, and the treatment of Sabres alumni. It’ll be interesting to see how team owners Terry and Kim Pegula handle this situation.