NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 8, 2020
Game recaps, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Jack Campbell made 26 saves in his Toronto Maple Leafs debut to backstop his new club to a 5-4 overtime win over the Anaheim Ducks. Campbell and Kyle Clifford were acquired on Wednesday night from the Los Angeles Kings. John Tavares scored twice (including the game-winner), Auston Matthews tallied his 40th goal of the season, and Mitch Marner collected three assists. With the win, the Leafs vault into third place (65 points) in the Atlantic Division. They played without Frederik Andersen (neck injury) and William Nylander (flu). The Leafs also recalled defenseman Timothy Liljegren to replace sidelined Cody Ceci.
The Buffalo Sabres kept their playoff hopes alive by edging the New York Rangers 3-2. Sabres goalie Carter Hutton made 37 saves, Sam Reinhart scored his 20th goal while Jack Eichel and Jimmy Vesey each collected two points. Mika Zibanejad also netted two points for the Rangers. The Sabres (56 points) are nine points out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
A 42-save effort by Jimmy Howard wasn’t enough to prevent the Detroit Red Wings from falling 2-0 to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Zach Werenski and Boone Jenner were the goal scorers, while Elvis Merzlikins picked up his fifth shutout in his last eight games. It was the 18th consecutive defeat for Howard. The Jackets (69 points) hold third place in the Metropolitan Divison.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Howard deserved better. He played well enough to pick up the win, but the flatlining Wings simply aren’t good enough.
The Minnesota Wild overcame a 2-0 deficit to edge the Dallas Stars 3-2. Joel Eriksson Ek scored twice, including the game-winner in the third period. The Wild (58 points) moved to within two points of the Calgary Flames for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
CBS SPORTS: The Florida Panthers got some good news as sidelined captain Aleksander Barkov will return from a lower-body injury tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Panthers have dropped three of their last four games and slipped out of a playoff berth.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Speaking of the Penguins, rookie defenseman John Marino could be sidelined for a while. He suffered a broken left cheekbone after being struck by a shot from Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos on Thursday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marino will reportedly require surgery that could keep him out of the lineup for several weeks. It’s another blow for the injury-ravaged Penguins. Marino was enjoying a fine debut season, becoming an invaluable part of their blueline.
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere tossed his stick and stormed off the ice following practice yesterday, raising questions over the source of his frustration. The blueliner’s trying to work himself back into the roster following a lengthy absence recovering from recent arthroscopic knee surgery.
TORONTO SUN: Former Maple Leafs defenseman Brian Glennie passed away yesterday at age 73. He spent nine seasons in the NHL, most of those with the Leafs. The hard-hitting blueliner netted 114 points and 621 penalty minutes in 572 NHL games. He was also a member of Team Canada during the 1972 Summit Series and a bronze medal with Canada in the 1968 Winter Olympics. He was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Glennie’s family, friends, and former teammates.