NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 9, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 9, 2019

Game recaps, Mark Stone officially signs with the Golden Knights, an update on Erik Karlsson, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Aleksander Barkov’s five-assist performance led the Florida Panthers to a 6-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild to snap their six-game losing skid. Jonathan Huberdeau had a four-point game, Evgenii Dadonov collected three assists, defensemen Mike Matheson and MacKenzie Weeger each scored twice, and goaltender Sam Montembeault picked up his first NHL win. The Wild (74 points) failed to widen their three-point lead over the Arizona Coyotes for the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference. 

Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov collected five assists in a 6-2 win over the New Jersey Devils (Photo via NHL Images)

The Washington Capitals picked up their sixth straight win by blanking the New Jersey Devils 3-0. Braden Holtby had a 25-save shutout while Andre Burakovsky, Nicklas Backstrom, and Lars Eller were the goal scorers. The Capitals (87 points) opened a two-point lead over the New York Islanders for first place in the Metropolitan Division. 

A four-goal first period powered to the Winnipeg Jets to an 8-1 thrashing of the Carolina Hurricanes. Nikolaj Ehlers had three points and Andrew Copp scored two goals and Laurent Brossoit made 28 saves. The Jets (84 points) vaulted over the Nashville Predators for first place in the Central Division while the Hurricanes (79 points) slipped into the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. 

Adam Henrique scored a goal and added two assists and Tory Terry tallied twice as the Anaheim Ducks thumped the Montreal Canadiens 8-2. The loss leaves the Canadiens (79 points) just two points ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final Eastern wild-card spot. 

LAS VEGAS SUN: The Vegas Golden Knights officially announced right wing Mark Stone’s new eight-year, $76-million contract. The annual average value is $9.5 million and comes with a full no-movement clause. More than half the contract ($48 million) consists of signing bonuses. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Follow this link for my take on this deal, which was originally announced on Feb. 25. 

THE SCORE: San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (undisclosed injury) said he doesn’t expect to return to the lineup anytime soon but anticipates he’ll be good to go when the playoffs open next month.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson’s absence won’t hurt the Sharks’ playoff hopes. With 88 points in 67 games and six wins in their last 10 games, they’re only one point behind the Calgary Flames for the top spot in the Western Conference 

SPORTSNET: Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog will be sidelined four-to-six weeks with an upper-body injury. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could crush the Avalanche’s hopes of securing a Western Conference playoff spot. Landeskog was their first-line left wing and one of their leading scorers.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. 

GRAND FORKS HERALD: Minnesota Wild center Luke Kunin is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury.