NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 15, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 15, 2023

Tuesday’s action saw the Bruins regain first place in the overall standings while the Ducks set a league record for comeback wins. Check out the recaps plus the latest on the Devils’ Jack Hughes, the Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins (12-1-2) took over first place (26 points) in the overall standings with a 5-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. David Pastrnak had a goal and two assists while Charlie McAvoy and Pavel Zacha each collected two assists. Victor Olofsson scored both goals for the Sabres (7-8-1), who also lost scoring center Tage Thompson for what could be a “significant” amount of time with an injured left wrist.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Losing Thompson comes at a time when the Sabres are struggling to gain some traction in the standings. They face a big challenge offsetting his absence if he’s sidelined for a long time.

Speaking of the Bruins, winger Jake DeBrusk has been having trouble finding the back of the net through the early going. Coming off a 27-goal performance last season, he’s managed just one goal in 14 games thus far.

Third-period goals by Radko Gudas and Adam Henrique lifted the Anaheim Ducks over the Nashville Predators 3-2, setting an NHL single-season record with their sixth comeback third-period win through the first 15 games of the season. John Gibson stopped 29 shots for the Ducks as they improved to 9-6-0 on the season. Filip Forsberg and Roman Josi scored for the Predators as they slipped to 5-10-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Predators placed forward Tommy Novak (upper body) on injured reserve. He’s expected to miss four to six weeks.

The Washington Capitals blanked the Vegas Golden Knights 3-0. Netminder Charlie Lindgren turned in a 35-save shutout performance while Dylan Strome, Connor McMichael and Beck Malenstyn tallied for the Capitals (8-4-2). Logan Thompson turned aside 28 shots for the Golden Knights (12-3-1), who sit atop the Western Conference with 25 points but slipped to second in the overall standings following the Bruins win over the Sabres.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby tallied a hat trick to lead his club over the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3. Crosby finished with four points while Erik Karlsson and Jake Guentzel each had a goal and an assist for the 8-6-0 Penguins. Elvis Merzlikins made 36 saves for the Blue Jackets (4-8-4) as they sit last in the Eastern Conference with 12 points.

Winnipeg Jets wingers Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers each tallied twice to defeat the New Jersey Devils 6-3. Josh Morrissey collected four assists for the 8-5-2 Jets as Connor moved into a tie with Toronto’s Auston Matthews for the league lead in goals with 13. Timo Meier, John Marino and Dawson Mercer replied for the slumping Devils (7-6-1) as they’ve dropped their third straight contest.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils got some good news as sidelined center Jack Hughes could return to their lineup as early as Saturday when they host the Rangers. However, team captain Nico Hischier (head) was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Oct. 27. Meanwhile, Jets defenseman Rasmus Kupari left this game in the first period with a possible shoulder or arm injury.

An overtime goal by Matt Duchene lifted the Dallas Stars to a 4-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Tyler Seguin tied the game late in the third period as he and Duchene each finished with a goal and an assist. Clayton Keller, Jason Zucker and Lawson Crouse scored for the 7-6-2 Coyotes while the Stars (11-3-1) won their fourth straight to sit atop the Central Division with 23 points.

The Calgary Flames got a 34-save performance from goaltender Jacob Markstrom in a 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Nazem Kadri and Conor Zary scored for the Flames (5-8-2) while Gustav Lindstrom replied for the Canadiens, who dropped to 7-7-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens defenseman Kaiden Guhle avoided a serious facial injury when he was accidentally clipped in the face by the skate of Flames center Elias Lindholm. Guhle went straight to the dressing room but returned to the game after getting treatment for a small cut to his mouth.

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington kicked out 30 shots to shut out the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-0. Jordan Kyrou scored two goals and Pavel Buchnevich collected two assists for the Blues (8-5-1), who’ve won three games in a row and five of their last six. It’s the third straight loss for the Lightning (6-6-4) and their second straight shutout loss.

The Florida Panthers picked up their fifth straight win with a 5-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Sam Reinhart, Aleksander Barkov and Matthew Tkachuk each had two points for the 10-4-1 Panthers. Mike Hoffman, Tomas Hertl and Luke Kunin replied for the 2-13-1Sharks, who remain at the bottom of the overall standings with five points.


TSN: NHL general managers discuss cut-proof equipment and tweaking the rules for regular-season overtime during their annual meeting in Toronto on Tuesday.

Interest in cut-resistant equipment came to the forefront of conversation following the death of former NHL player Adam Johnson after his neck was cut by a skate blade during an EIHL game in England on Oct. 28.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of Johnson, British police have arrested EIHL player Matt Petgrave and charged him with manslaughter following a three-week investigation into the incident.

As for those tweaks to overtime, they could include a shot clock or preventing teams from continuously leaving the offensive zone to retain possession. NHL executive Colin Campbell said they haven’t considered a change to the format such as making the overtime period longer or eliminating the shootout.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’d ditch the shootout, have 3-on-3 20-minute overtime periods until there’s a winner and get rid of the “loser point”. What changes would you make? Let me know in the comments below.

TSN/EDMONTON JOURNAL: The NHL department of player safety fined Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl $5,000.00 for a dangerous trip on New York Islanders center Bo Horvat on Monday.

The Oilers also announced that forward Dylan Holloway could be out long-term after suffering a knee injury against the Islanders on Monday. They’ve also returned forward Raphael Lavoie to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.

CBS SPORTS: Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart is ready to return to action after missing the last five games with a mid-body injury followed by a bout with food poisoning.

THE PROVINCE: Canucks defenseman Carson Soucy is listed as week-to-week after suffering a leg injury during Sunday’s game against the Canadiens.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 20, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 20, 2023

Recaps of Thursday’s games plus the latest on Patrik Laine, Kaiden Guhle, Craig Anderson and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines


NHL.COM: The Calgary Flames nipped the Buffalo Sabres 4-3. Adam Ruzicka snapped a 3-3 tie in the third period while Dan Vladar stopped 24 shots for the win as the Flames improved to 2-1-1. Rasmus Dahlin and Dylan Cozens each collected two assists for the Sabres, who drop to 1-3-0 to start the season.

Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves in a 3-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Sam Reinhart had a goal and an assist for the 2-2-0 Panthers. Mitch Marner scored for the 2-2-0 Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs winger Tyler Bertuzzi was bumped down to the third line to begin the second period as he’s playing through an injury.

The Nashville Predators defeated the New York Rangers 4-1. Cole Smith tallied twice, Filip Forsberg and Tyson Barrie each had two points and Juuse Saros turned aside 24 shots for the Predators (2-3-0). Adam Fox replied for the Rangers (2-2-0) while goalie Igor Shesterkin got the hook after giving up four goals in 18 shots.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov (NHL Images).

Nikita Kucherov scored two goals as the Tampa Bay Lightning improved to 2-2-1 by holding off the Vancouver Canucks 4-3. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos picked up an assist as he returned to action after missing the last two games with a lower-body injury. J.T. Miller and Elias Pettersson each had two points for the 2-2-0 Canucks.

The Philadelphia Flyers got two goals from Cam Atkinson in a 4-1 upset of the Edmonton Oilers, dropping the latter to 1-3-0. Sean Couturier and Owen Tippett each had two assists while Carter Hart made 22 saves for the 3-1-0 Flyers, who sit atop the Metropolitan Division. Zach Hyman scored for the Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers were outworked and outhustled by the Flyers in this game. It’s still very early in the season and the Oilers have plenty of time to recover from this poor start. For now, though, they look nothing like the Stanley Cup contender they were projected to be this season.

Los Angeles Kings center Pierre-Luc Dubois scored two goals in 12 seconds in the second period to lead his club over the Minnesota Wild 7-3. Adrian Kempe and Kevin Fiala each had two points for the Kings as they improved to 2-1-1. Connor Dewar, Kirill Kaprizov and Joel Eriksson Ek replied for the Wild as they dropped to 2-2-0.

The Arizona Coyotes got power-play goals by Nick Bjugstad, Jason Zucker and Sean Durzi in a 6-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Durzi, Clayton Keller and Nick Schmaltz each had a goal and an assist for the 2-2-0 Coyotes. Jakub Vrana and Sammy Blais scored for the 1-1-1 Blues.

A third-period power-play goal by Jack Eichel broke a 3-3 tie as the Vegas Golden Knights downed the Winnipeg Jets 5-3. Logan Thompson made 36 saves while Shea Theodore collected three assists for the 5-0-0 Golden Knights. Alex Iafallo netted two goals for the 1-3-0 Jets, who scratched defenseman Nate Schmidt from this contest.

Dallas Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen broke a 2-2 tie to lift his club to a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks (1-2-0). Heiskanen finished the night with a goal and two assists while teammate Joe Pavelski had a goal and an assist as the Stars improved to 2-0-1. Ducks rookie Leo Carlsson netted his first NHL goal while teammate Troy Terry had a goal and an assist.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ducks defenseman Jamie Drysdale missed this game with a lower-body injury.

The Seattle Kraken got their first win of the season by beating the Carolina Hurricanes 7-4. Vince Dunn and Oliver Bjorkstrand each had a goal and two assists for the 1-3-1 Kraken. Seth Jarvis had a goal and two assists for the 3-2-0 Hurricanes.

Colorado Avalanche goalie Alexandar Georgiev stopped 18 shots to shut out the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0. Logan O’Connor, Ryan Johansen, Devon Toews and Nathan MacKinnon scored for the Avalanche as they improved to 4-0-0. Petr Mrazek made 37 saves for the Blackhawks as they dropped to 2-3-0.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak extended his goal streak to three games in a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks. James van Riemsdyk and Brad Marchand also scored for 3-0-0 Bruins while Anthony Duclair replied for the 0-3-1 Sharks.


DAILY FACEOFF: Columbus Blue Jackets star Patrik Laine isn’t impressed with his poor start to this season. “I feel like it’s overall been pretty awful, pretty awful so far,” he told The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline. “Can’t hit the net if my life depends on it. Can’t make any plays. Can’t win a faceoff.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It could be down to the pressure of playing a new position. As the article noted, Laine is playing center this season for the first time after spending the past seven seasons as a left wing.

Canadiens defenseman Kaiden Guhle is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens followers were expecting the worst after losing center Kirby Dach for the season with a knee injury. They’re undoubtedly breathing a sigh of relief now.

The Winnipeg Jets aren’t the only club suffering at the gate early in this season. The Buffalo Sabres are at 83 percent capacity through their opening home games while the Washington Capitals sellout streak of 588 games ended on Monday. The San Jose Sharks drew just 10,000 for their third game of the season while the Calgary Flames didn’t sell out their home opener.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Several factors are likely behind this. The rising cost of living caused by inflation can make it difficult for fans to afford the cost of attending NHL games. As the piece also noted, the start of the NHL season also coincides with Major League Baseball playoffs and in some markets that’s going to draw away eyeballs from hockey. Meanwhile, teams like the Sharks are in the middle of a rebuild while the Flames, Jets and Capitals are coming off a disappointing 2022-23 campaign.

The Ottawa Senators will sign goaltender Craig Anderson to a one-day contract so that he can officially retire as a member of the club. He’ll join the Sabres as a hockey liaison.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anderson spent half of his 20-year NHL playing career with the Senators. The high-water mark of his tenure in Ottawa was backstopping them to the 2017 Eastern Conference Final.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Radim Simek, Ottawa Senators forward Zack MacEwen and Pittsburgh Penguins center Jansen Harkins were placed on waivers yesterday.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 18, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 18, 2023

Recaps of Tuesday’s games include Leon Draisaitl setting an Oilers record, the Avalanche tying a league record, plus the Canucks and Penguins making a trade. Details on these and other stories in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman each had four points as the Edmonton Oilers picked up their first win of the season with a 6-1 drubbing of the Nashville Predators. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had three points, Connor McDavid, Warren Foegele and Evan Bouchard each had two points while Jack Campbell kicked out 42 shots for the win. Tommy Novak netted the Predators’s only goal.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Draisaitl’s two goals came on the powerplay, giving him the franchise record for career tallies on the man advantage with 128. Meanwhile, the Predators held a video tribute to Oilers defenseman Mattias Ekholm as he returned to Nashville for the first time since being traded to Edmonton last season.

The Colorado Avalanche defeated the Seattle Kraken 4-1. Mikko Rantanen and Valeri Nichushkin were among the goal scorers for the Avalanche while Alexandar Georgiev got the win with a 37-save performance. Kailer Yamamoto replied for the Kraken, who are winless (0-3-1) in their first four games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche tied the league record for consecutive regular-season road wins (14) stretching back to last season.

Vegas Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault scored in the shootout to lift his club to a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars. William Karlsson and Kaeden Korczak each had a goal and an assist while Adin Hill got the win by stopping 24 shots. Craig Smith and Joe Pavelski replied for the Stars while Jake Oettinger made 32 saves.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The defending Stanley Cup champion Golden Knights are red-hot to start the season with a league-leading four straight wins. Stars center Roope Hintz made his season debut after being sidelined by an upper-body injury.

The Minnesota Wild scored three power-play goals and tallied twice shorthanded to thump the Montreal Canadiens 5-2. Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello each had three points, Joel Eriksson Ek scored twice and Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves for the Wild. Tanner Pearson and Alex Newhook replied for the Canadiens, who lost defenseman Kaiden Guhle to an upper-body injury in the second period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Following the game, the Canadiens announced that center Kirby Dach (knee injury) is done for the season. Meanwhile, the 38-year-old Fleury soaked up the atmosphere as he played what was likely his final game in Montreal as he faces potential retirement at the end of this season. Speaking of the Wild, defenseman Alex Goligoski missed this game with a lower-body injury.

Former Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois scored his first goal of the season with the Los Angeles Kings in a 5-1 victory over his former club. Phillip Danault and Trevor Moore each had three points for the Kings. Mark Scheifele replied for the Jets, who lost forward (and former King) Gabriel Vilardi to a lower-body injury in the first period following a hit by Blake Lizotte.

The Buffalo Sabres blew a 2-0 lead but nipped the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on an overtime goal by Dylan Cozens. Zemgus Girgensons and Jeff Skinner also scored while Devon Levi stopped 21 shots for the Sabres as they picked up their first win of the season. Brandon Hagel tallied both Lightning goals as Jonas Johansson made 28 saves.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lightning captain Steven Stamkos missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury. Sabres defenseman Mattias Samuelsson left this game in the third period with an upper-body injury while winger Victor Olofsson was a healthy scratch.

Four unanswered third-period goals lifted the Carolina Hurricanes to a 6-3 win over the San Jose Sharks. Seth Jarvis tallied twice for the Hurricanes while Tomas Hertl collected two assists for the Sharks as they remain winless (0-2-1) in their first three games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho missed this contest with an upper-body injury. Goaltender Frederik Andersen was pulled early in the first period for precautionary reasons when he appeared dazed after being struck in the mask by a shot. He was replaced by Antti Raanta.

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart turned in a 25-save performance to shut out the Vancouver Canucks 2-0. Flyers center Sean Couturier scored his first goal for the first time since missing all of last season due to back surgery. Thatcher Demko turned aside 40 shots for the Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Canucks traded minor leaguers Jack Rathbone and Karel Plasek to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for defenseman Mark Friedman and forward Ty Glover. The addition of Friedman brings more size and experience to the Canucks blueline. The Canucks also placed defenseman Guillaume Brisebois on long-term injury reserve.

The New York Islanders blanked the Arizona Coyotes 1-0. Mathew Barzal tallied the game’s only goal while Ilya Sorokin made 14 saves for the shutout. Karel Vejmelka kicked out 33 shots for the Coyotes.

NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: The Devils placed goaltender Keith Kinkaid on waivers.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 1, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 1, 2023

Kick off 2023 with recaps of the final games of 2022 – featuring hat tricks by Alex Ovechkin and Filip Forsberg – in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied a hat trick as his club crushed the Montreal Canadiens 9-2. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Erik Gustafsson each had three points as the Capitals (21-13-5) are 11-1-1 in their last 13 games. Cole Caufield tallied twice to reach the 20- goal plateau as his Canadiens (15-19-3) have lost five in a row.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals (47) sit one behind the second-place New Jersey Devils in the Metropolitan Division. Caufield, meanwhile, joined Guy Lafleur and Stephane Richer as the only Canadiens with consecutive 20-goal seasons before the age of 22. The Canadiens also announced that defenseman Kaiden Guhle (lower-body injury) will miss their upcoming game against the Nashville Predators.

Speaking of the Predators, they got a hat trick performance from Filip Forsberg but fell 5-4 to the Vegas Golden Knights on an overtime goal by Nicolas Hague. Mark Stone collected three assists and Chandler Stephenson had a goal and two assists for the Golden Knights (25-12-2), who are tied with the Dallas Stars with 52 points but sit second in the Western Conference. The Predators (15-14-6) played without winger Cole Smith, who is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

The Dallas Stars, meanwhile, got a three-point performance from Joe Pavelski in a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Jason Robertson collected two points to move into sole possession of third place in the NHL scoring race with 54 points while his Stars (23-9-2) hold first place in the Western Conference with a game in hand. Erik Karlsson collected an assist to extend his point streak to 12 games but his Sharks drop to 11-20-7 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks defenseman Radim Simek left this game with an undisclosed injury. There was no postgame update regarding his status.

Buffalo Sabres winger Alex Tuch scored twice, including the winner in overtime, in a four-point performance to upset the Boston Bruins by a score of 4-3. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 37 shots for the win as the Sabres improved to 18-14-2 with their sixth straight win. David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand each had two points as the league-leading Bruins (28-4-4) extended their home points streak to 21 games.

The Toronto Maple Leafs got two goals from Michael Bunting in a 6-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche (19-13-3). Auston Matthews, William Nylander and John Tavares each had two points for the Maple Leafs (23-8-6), who sit two points behind the second-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference with 52 points. Nathan MacKinnon was held scoreless in his return to the Avalanche roster after missing the last 11 games with an upper-body injury.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos tallied his 498th career NHL goal as his club downed the Arizona Coyotes 5-3. Stamkos and Brayden Point each had two points while Victor Hedman collected three assists as the Lightning improved to 23-11-1. The Coyotes (13-17-5) played without forward Nick Schmaltz, who’s listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

The Winnipeg Jets nipped the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 on a third-period goal by Kyle Connor to finish the night with two points. Teammate Neal Pionk also had a goal and an assist as the Jets improved to 23-13-1. Klim Kostin replied for the Oilers (20-16-2) while teammate Connor McDavid had his point streak end at 17 games.

Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Hartman tallied twice in a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. Marc-Andre Fleury got the win with a 29-save effort for the Wild (21-13-2). Jordan Kyrou collected two assists for the Blues (17-17-3), who also lost winger Vladimir Tarasenko to an injured hand suffered in the first period after blocking a shot by Matt Dumba. An update was not provided on his status following the game.

Calgary Flames defenseman MacKenzie Weegar’s first goal of the season proved to be the game-winner as his club held on for a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Elias Lindholm also scored for the Flames (18-13-7) in his 700th career NHL game. Sheldon Dries and Elias Pettersson replied for the Canucks, who fell to 16-17-3.

The Detroit Red Wings got three unanswered third-period goals from Lucas Raymond, Elmer Soderblom and Michael Rasmussen to double up the Ottawa Senators 4-2. Raymond finished with two points as the Red Wings move to 16-12-7 while the Senators dropped to 16-17-3.

Two unanswered third-period goals by Noah Cates and Travis Konecny lifted the Philadelphia Flyers (13-17-7) to a 4-2 upset of the Los Angeles Kings. Cates, Owen Tippett and Scott Laughton each had two points for the Flyers. Adrian Kempe and Phillip Danault replied for the 21-13-6 Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kings defenseman Alex Edler skated in his 1,000th career NHL game.

The Columbus Blue Jackets snapped a seven-game losing skid by downing the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2. Gustav Nyquist scored twice for the Blue Jackets (11-22-2) while Johnny Gaudreau collected two assists. Andreas Athanasiou replied for the Blackhawks, who sit at the bottom of the overall standings with a record of 8-23-4.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 31, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 31, 2022

Connor McDavid reaches 70 points with a five-point performance while the Hurricanes set a franchise-record win streak. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored a goal and collected four assists in a 7-2 thumping of the Seattle Kraken. He extended his points streak to 17 games while becoming the first player to reach 40 assists and 70 points this season. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had four assists while Zach Hyman and Klim Kostin each tallied twice for the Oilers (20-15-2). Daniel Sprong and Brandon Tanev replied for the Kraken (18-12-4), who are winless in their last three games.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid leads the NHL points race with 72, 15 more than teammate Leon Draisaitl, who missed this game nursing some bumps and bruises. The Oilers captain also leads the goal-scoring race with 32.

The Carolina Hurricanes picked up their franchise-best 10th straight win by blanking the Florida Panthers 4-0. Antti Raanta kicked out 19 shots for the shutout while Brent Burns, Seth Jarvis and Jesperi Kotkaniemi each collected two points. With 54 points (24-6-6), the Hurricanes sit six points up on the New Jersey Devils in first place in the Metropolitan Division. The Panthers, meanwhile, slipped to 16-17-4.

Speaking of the New Jersey Devils, they doubled up the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 to hand the latter their fourth straight loss. Jack Hughes scored twice while Vitek Vanecek made 25 saves for the win as the Devils improved to 23-11-2. Evgeni Malkin and Jeff Carter scored for the Penguins (19-11-6) as they went 0-9 on the power play in this game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins defenseman Kris Letang missed this game with a lower-body injury. Earlier in the day, the Pens activated forward Ryan Poehling off injured reserve after missing the last three games with an upper-body injury.

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg scored and set up two others in his 600th career NHL game to lead his club to a 6-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. John Gibson made 37 saves for the Ducks as they dropped to 10-23-4. The Predators now sit at 15-14-5.


STLTODAY.COM: Vladimir Tarasenko remains questionable for Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Wild as he battles a non-COVID-related illness that sidelined him from Thursday’s win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Islanders winger Oliver Wahlstrom is listed as out indefinitely with a lower-body injury suffered during Tuesday’s win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Winger Simon Holmstrom (knee) was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 23 but remained day-to-day.

SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens defenseman Kaiden Guhle will miss Saturday’s game against the Washington Capitals with a lower-body injury suffered during Thursday’s loss to the Florida Panthers.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Former Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly, 30, has announced his retirement. He spent eight seasons in the NHL from 2011-12 to 2018-19 with the Anaheim Ducks, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils and Washington Capitals, helping the latter win the Stanley Cup in 2018.

Smith-Pelly spent 2019-20 in the KHL and the last two seasons in the AHL. In 395 NHL games, he scored 44 goals and 57 assists for 101 points along with 13 goals and 16 points (including three game-winners) in 51 postseason contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Smith-Pelly in his future endeavors. Capitals fans will long remember his highlight-reel game-tying goal in Game 5 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final that set the stage for Lars Eller’s Cup-winning goal.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 21, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 21, 2022

Game recaps feature the Hurricanes, Leafs and Jets moving upward in the standings, Phil Kessel’s Ironman streak could soon come to an end, injury updates and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes stretched their points streak to 12 games by topping the New Jersey Devils 4-1, extending the latter’s winless skid to six games (0-5-1). Pyotr Kochetkov stopped 37 shots while Jordan Staal scored what proved to be the game-winning goal as the Hurricanes (20-6-6) moved ahead of the Devils into first place in the Metropolitan Division and second place overall in the Eastern Conference with 46 points. The Devils sit at 21-9-2 with 44 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After riding a 13-game win streak from late October to late November, the Devils are 5-6-2 in their last 13 contest. Their defense has been sloppy and they’re not cashing in on the power play, sitting 25th overall with a PP percentage of 19.2.

Third-period goals by Pierre Engvall and William Nylander gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Nylander finished the night with a goal and an assist as the Leafs (20-7-6) snapped the Lightning’s five-game win streak and move into third overall in the Eastern Conference with 46 points. The Lightning dropped to 20-10-1.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes and Leafs have the same number of points but the former has a game in hand. Leafs defenseman Rasmus Sandin left the game late in the second period with a neck injury. He’ll undergo further evaluation today.

Winnipeg Jets forward Kyle Connor and defenseman Josh Morrissey each extended their points streaks to 10 games with a 5-1 thrashing of the Ottawa Senators. Connor had two goals and an assist while Morrisey scored and collected an assist as the Jets (21-10-1, 43 points) sit one point behind the first-place Dallas Stars in the Central Division. The Senators slipped to 14-16-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck missed this game with a non-COVID illness. Earlier in the day, the Jets placed winger Blake Wheeler on injured reserve as he recovers from groin surgery.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby scored the game-winner as his club held off the New York Rangers by a score of 3-2, snapping the latter’s seven-game win streak. Tristan Jarry stopped 26 shots as the Penguins improved to 19-9-4. Chris Kreider tallied twice for the 18-11-5 Rangers.

The Seattle Kraken improved to 18-10-3 with a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. Ryan Donato scored to extend his goal streak to four games while Morgan Geekie and Brandon Tanev each had two points for the Kraken. Pavel Buchnevich and Colton Parayko replied for the Blues (16-16-1) as their four-game winning streak comes to an end.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blues winger Jordan Kyrou missed this game with an upper-body injury suffered during Monday’s win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Calgary Flames forwards Jonathan Huberdeau, Elias Lindholm and Tyler Toffoli each collected three points in a 7-3 thumping of the San Jose Sharks. Toffoli and Dillon Dube set a franchise record by scoring within the first 30 seconds as the Flames improved to 15-12-6 on the season. The Sharks fell to 10-18-6.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames activated defenseman Chris Tanev off injured reserve but placed blueliner Dennis Gilbert on IR. Meanwhile, Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro returned to action after missing 10 games with an injured foot. Earlier in the day, the Sharks announced that winger Luke Kunin underwent season-ending knee surgery.

The Los Angeles Kings picked up their third win in a row by downing the Anaheim Ducks 4-1. Adrian Kempe collected two assists while Pheonix Copley kicked out 24 shots for the 18-12-5 Kings. Lukas Dostal made 37 saves for the Ducks as they slide to 9-21-3.

Philadelphia Flyers forwards Travis Konecny and Owen Tippett each scored twice and Carter Hart made 30 saves in a 5-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Flyers improved to 11-15-7 while the injury-depleted Blue Jackets (10-20-5) suffered their fifth straight defeat.


THE ATHLETIC: Phil Kessel’s Ironman streak (1,016 games) could be in jeopardy. He’s seeing declining ice time with the Vegas Golden Knights as he’s struggled of late, especially in his defensive play.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At 35, Kessel’s best days are behind him. The veteran winger could become a healthy scratch in the near future if his play doesn’t improve. Nevertheless, his consecutive games record won’t be falling anytime soon. The active player closest to him is 37-year-old Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brent Burns at 711 games.

YARDBARKER: Ryan McDonagh will return to the Nashville Predators lineup on Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks. He’s missed the last seven games with a facial injury.

NESN: The Boston Bruins assigned winger Craig Smith to their AHL affiliate in Providence on Monday afternoon after he cleared waivers. The move frees up $1.125 million in cap space for the Bruins. It’s unclear if he will actually report to Providence.

CBS SPORTS: Colorado Avalanche winger Andrew Cogliano will miss the next two games with a shoulder injury.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: One of the victims in a condo shooting in Vaughan, Ontario, on Sunday was the maternal grandfather of Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Victor Mete. Five people were killed in the mass shooting.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Mete and his family as well as the families of the other victims.

OTTAWA SUN: NHL sources said it could take until March before we learn who the new owner of the Senators will be due to the league’s stringent vetting process of potential owners.

SB NATION: Former NHL defensemen Alex Biega and Brendan Guhle have announced their retirements.

Biega tallied 42 points in 243 career NHL games from 2014-15 to 2021-22 with the Vancouver Canucks, Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. Guhle had 14 points in 65 games with the Buffalo Sabres and Anaheim Ducks from 2016-17 to 2021-22. He is the older brother of Montreal Canadiens blueliner Kaiden Guhle.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to both players in their future endeavors.