NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 14, 2024
Oilers captain Connor McDavid has a six-assist performance, Bruins captain Brad Marchand reaches a career milestone, Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly is suspended for five games, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid collected a career-high six assists (including his 600th career NHL assist) in an 8-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two goals and an assist while Evan Bouchard had a goal and two assists for the 31-17-1 Oilers, who sit third in the Pacific Division with 63 points. Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat and David Perron each had two points for the Red Wings (27-19-6) as they hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 60 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid also extended his home points streak to 19 games. His six-assist performance vaulted him into a tie with Boston’s David Pastrnak for third place in the NHL scoring race with 77 points. Meanwhile, Red Wings goaltender Ville Husso left this game in the first period with a lower-body injury. It was his first game back with the Wings since suffering a lower-body injury on Dec. 18.
Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov scored a goal for his league-leading 90th point as his club nipped the Boston Bruins 3-2 on a shootout goal by Brayden Point. Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves as his club improved to 29-20-5 and sit third in the Atlantic Division with 63 points. Bruins captain Brad Marchand collected two assists in his 1,000th career NHL game. With a record of 32-11-10 for 74 points, the Bruins sit first in the Eastern Conference and second in the overall standings.
After learning defenseman Morgan Rielly received a five-game suspension for cross-checking Ottawa Senators forward Ridly Grieg on Saturday, the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-1. Bobby McMann tallied his first career NHL hat trick for the 27-16-8 Leafs as they sit in the first Eastern wild-card spot with 62 points. Jordan Binnington turned aside 28 shots for the Blues (28-22-2) as they hold the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 58 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs roster for this game was further depleted with John Tavares and Mitch Marner sidelined by an illness while Conor Timmins is out with mononucleosis.
The league-leading Vancouver Canucks doubled up the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2. Dakota Joshua lead the way with a Gordie Howe hat trick (including two assists) while Conor Garland tallied twice for the 36-12-6 Canucks (78 points). Petr Mrazek stopped 34 shots for the 14-36-3 Blackhawks as they sit in last place in the overall standings with 31 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of the Canucks, they’ve invited free agent forward Phil Kessel to work out for the team this week in Abbotsford, BC.
Colorado Avalanche forward Artturi Lehkonen scored twice and collected two assists in a 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals. Nathan MacKinnon collected two assists to move within three points of Nikita Kucherov in the NHL scoring race with 87 points. The Avalanche improved to 33-17-4 and sit in second place in the Central Division with 70 points. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored for the sixth straight game but his Capitals slipped to 23-21-8 on the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals playoff hopes are fading, winning just twice in their last 10 games.
The Dallas Stars (33-14-6) maintained their two-point lead over the Avalanche in the Central Division by defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2. Jason Robertson and Matt Duchene each had a goal and an assist for the Stars. Jordan Staal had a goal and an assist for the 30-17-5 Hurricanes as they sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 65 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Stars announced that winger Evgenii Dadonov will be sidelined for several weeks with a lower-body fracture. He suffered the injury during Saturday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk’s hat trick powered his club to a 6-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Claude Giroux had a goal and two assists for the 22-25-2 Senators, who picked up their fourth straight win. Daniil Tarasov made 24 saves for the Blue Jackets (16-26-10) as they remain in last place in the Eastern Conference with 42 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of the Blue Jackets, a derogatory remark about Patrik Laine on a Jackets fan podcast is being used to rally support for the winger and raise charitable donations on his behalf for mental health awareness.
Laine is undergoing treatment through the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. One of the podcast hosts said the Blue Jackets winger was away because he was contemplating a “Remington retirement”, which is a slang term for suicide by gunshot. If you’d like to donate to Laine’s charitable fund you can do so at this link.
The Buffalo Sabres thumped the Los Angeles Kings 7-0 as Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 33 saves for the shutout. Jordan Greenway scored twice and collected an assist for the 23-25-4 Sabres. With 58 points, the 24-16-10 Kings are clinging to a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kings forward Carl Grundstrom left the game in the second period with an undisclosed injury. Earlier in the day, the Sabres announced defenseman Owen Power will be sidelined for the next two weeks with an upper-body injury.
New Jersey Devils captain Nico Hischier tallied two third-period goals in a 4-2 victory over the Nashville Predators. Nico Daws stopped 30 shots for the Devils (27-21-4) as they sit two points out of the final Eastern wild-card berth with 58 points. Juuse Saros kicked out 43 shots for the 27-24-2 Predators (56 points) as they remain two points out of the final Western wild-card spot.
A 26-save performance by Philipp Grubauer carried the Seattle Kraken over the New York Islanders by a score of 2-1. Tomas Tatar netted the winning goal in a shootout for the 22-21-10 Kraken (54 points) as they sit four points out of the final Western wild-card berth. Ilya Sorokin turned aside 29 shots for the Islanders (22-18-13) as they sit three points out of the final Eastern wild-card berth with 57 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kraken winger Pierre-Edouard Bellemare returned to action after missing 19 games with a fractured bone in his leg.
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Cayden Primeau made 13 saves for his first NHL shutout to blank the Anaheim Ducks 5-0. Juraj Slafkovsky had a goal and two assists for his first NHL three-point game while Nick Suzuki had two goals and an assist to extend his points streak to eight games for the 22-23-8 Canadiens. Lukas Dostal stopped 33 shots for the 18-32-2 Ducks, who welcomed back defenseman Pavel Mintyukov after being sidelined since Jan. 9 with a separated shoulder.