NHL Rumor Mill – August 29, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – August 29, 2020

A look at this year’s noteworthy UFAs in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SI.COM/THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Larkin recently updated his listing of this year’s top NHL unrestricted free agents. St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo tops the list, followed by Arizona Coyotes left wing Taylor Hall, Boston Bruins blueliner Torey Krug, Florida Panthers winger Mike Hoffman, and Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner.

TSN: Frank Seravalli also has Pietrangelo, Hall and Krug among his top-three and Lehner at No. 5 on his top-10 list, with Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom in the fourth spot.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No argument from me regarding Pietrangelo’s placement. He’ll be heavily courted if he and the Blues fail to reach agreement on a contract extension. Despite the flattened salary cap for next season, he could command over $9 million annually on the open market.

The respective playoff performances of Hall and Krug didn’t do much to improve their free-agent value, but they still remain near the top of this year’s UFA crop. Hall’s current annual average value is $6 million and Krug’s is $5.25 million. Under normal circumstances, they’d get long-term contracts with big raises. Now, they might have to accept short-term deals for more modest raises in hopes of scoring more lucrative deals once league revenue improves.

Hoffman played well for the Panthers during the qualifying round. He’s a reliable scorer but his age (31) could limit him to a three-year deal with an AAV of around $6 million.

I’d put Lehner slightly ahead of Markstrom but both are the best pending UFA netminders. Lehner will want a long-term deal after spending the past two years on one-year contracts and for more than his current $5 million. Markstrom is rumored to be seeking over $6 million annually on a long-term contract, but maybe he’ll accept that much on a three-year deal.

Larkin has Markstrom ninth on his listing, with Panthers winger Evgenii Dadonov, Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Tyson Barrie, Vancouver Canucks winger Tyler Toffoli, and Calgary Flames rearguard T.J. Brodie coming in sixth through 10.

Seravalli has Hoffman and Dadonov sixth and seventh on his listing, followed by Toffoli, Panthers center Erik Haula, and Barrie completing his top-10 list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe Toffoli’s two-way skills should put him higher on those lists. Dadonov has tallied 25-play goals in each of the last three seasons and probably would’ve reached 60 points again this season had the schedule not been derailed by COVID-19, but I wonder how productive he’ll be with another club. 

Barrie’s stock really took a hit this season with the Leafs. However, he’s a right-handed shot with good puck-moving skills. As Seravalli suggests, he could regain his form away from Toronto’s harsh spotlight. I’m puzzled by Seravalli’s ranking Haula so high. While I agree this year’s market isn’t a good one for centers, Haula’s injury history could hurt his UFA value.

Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby and former Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien are 13th and 14th on Larkin’s rankings. Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Sami Vatanen, Nashville Predators winger Mikael Granlund, and Tampa Bay Lightning blueliner Kevin Shattenkirk fill in the rest of spots 11 through 15.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holtby’s playoff performance didn’t help his UFA stock. His play has been in decline since 2018. The flat cap will also work against his chances of securing a hefty raise on a long-term deal. Granlund also didn’t help his case with his postseason play. I’d put Byfuglien at the bottom of this list because we don’t know if he intends to resume his career after sitting out this season and if the 35-year-old blueliner will be as effective as he once way.

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford lands at No. 20 on Larkin’s list, preceded by Calgary Flames defenseman Erik Gustafsson, Washington Capitals blueliner Brenden Dillon, Haula, and Flames rearguard Travis Hamonic.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Larkin pointed out, Crawford played well despite the horrible blueline in front of him this season. He wonders if the long-time Blackhawks goalie will take less money to stay in Chicago. I think he will. At 35, he could sign a one-year, bonus-laden deal with a low base salary that could take him up to $5 million.

Dallas Stars netminder Anton Khudobin, Calgary Flames goalie Cam Talbot, and Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz are among Larkin’s bottom 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Khudobin’s play throughout this season and in the playoffs could send his value rising for clubs pursuing an experienced, reliable backup. Talbot could seek a starter’s job elsewhere if he doesn’t re-sign with the Flames. Schultz’s value plummeted this season, in part because he was returning from a serious leg injury suffered last season. He could prove a worthwhile, affordable gamble on a one-year, “show-me” deal.

New York Rangers winger Jesper Fast, Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dylan DeMelo, Predators forward Craig Smith, Canucks blueliner Chris Tanev, Colorado Avalanche winger Vladislav Namestnikov, Carolina Hurricanes’ defenseman Joel Edmundson, and Arizona Coyotes center Carl Soderberg complete the listing.










NHL Rumor Mill – July 17, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – July 17, 2020

Check out the recent speculation on the Penguins, Islanders, and Kings in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TIGHT BUDGETS LEAVE PENGUINS, ISLANDERS FACING DIFFICULT DECISIONS

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Mike DeFabo recently reported the flat salary cap for 2020-21 ($81.5 million) will leave the Penguins facing some hard choices in the off-season. They have over $68 million invested in next season’s payroll.

All of their top-six forwards and top-four defensemen are under contract for ’20-’21. Unless general manager Jim Rutherford creates some cap room via trade, they won’t have enough to re-sign all their key free agents.

How much will it cost the Pittsburgh Penguins to re-sign goaltender Matt Murray? (Photo via NHL Images)

Topping the list are restricted free agent goaltenders Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry. It could take a deal comparable to Columbus’ Elvis Merzlikins (two years, $4 million annual average value) to re-sign Jarry. Murray’s playoff record and inconsistent regular-season play could be worth something like the $5.1 million Jimmy Howard makes with Detroit and $6.4 million like Anaheim’s John Gibson. Keeping Murray and Jarry could mean trading a skater.

Unrestricted free agent defenseman Justin Schultz’s season has hampered by injury. Letting him walk could open a big hole on the blueline. It’s uncertain if the reacquisition of UFA winger Conor Sheary was for the short or long term. DeFabo also wondered if trade deadline pickup Patrick Marleau would be willing to return for the minimum salary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rather than trade a skater, Rutherford could trade Murray or Jarry and call up Casey DeSmith as a full-time backup next season. Schultz indicated he’d like to stay, but he might have to take a pay cut from his $5.5 million to do so.

Marleau could return to San Jose for one more year or retire if he wins the Cup in the upcoming tournament. I think Rutherford wants to re-sign Sheary but that will depend upon what happens with the goaltenders and Schultz.

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Arthur Staple recently examined the New York Islanders’ options with limited cap room for next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staple’s column appeared before the Isles signed goaltender Ilya Sorokin. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $73.3 million invested in 19 players.

Staple speculates their UFAs (Matt Martin, Derick Brassard, Tom Kuhnhackl, Andy Greene, and Thomas Greiss) might not return next season. The focus will be on re-signing RFAs Mathew Barzal, Ryan Pulock, and Devon Toews.

Going the trade route would mean shopping defenseman Nick Leddy or Thomas Hickey. Staple doubts oft-injured Johnny Boychuk will attract must interest.

Forwards Andrew Ladd and Leo Komarov could also be trade options, but the Isles might have to package either guy with next year’s first-round pick or a top prospect. Komarov also seems the most likely buyout candidate. Staple also doesn’t rule out Ladd and Komarov starting next season on long-term injury reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello has demonstrated his salary-cap creativity in the past to free up sufficient room to address his roster needs. Given the number of clubs with limited cap room for next season, he’ll have to strike fast in the trade market to dump a salary or two. Of the trade candidates listed by Staple, Leddy might attract the most interest, but his $5.5 million cap hit through 2021-22 could be a sticking point.

WILL THE KINGS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE FLAT CAP?

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Lisa Dillman recently reported Los Angeles Kings GM Rob Blake said back in April his club had flexibility under the flat cap, but he thought the big cap year for his club was a year away. However, he did say they were in a position to look at some things.

The Kings have over $60.7 million invested in their payroll for ’20-’21. Dillman suggested signing Vancouver Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev or Florida Panthers versatile forward Erik Haula if they test the UFA market at season’s end.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blake is expected to resist the temptation of pursuing a big-ticket UFA this year. However, that doesn’t mean he won’t consider adding a veteran or two at a reasonable price. Someone like Tanev or Haula on a short-term deal could provide some experienced depth as the Kings develop their promising youngsters.

Tanev’s performance has declined a bit in recent years. Haula looks like he still hasn’t fully recovered from the knee injury that cost him most of last season.










NHL Rumor Mill – July 2, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – July 2, 2020

A look at TSN’s listing of this year’s top unrestricted free agents in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TSN: St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, Arizona Coyotes winger Taylor Hall, and Boston Bruins blueliner Torey Krug top Frank Seravalli’s listing of this year’s top-50 unrestricted free agents.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise there. Media consensus has those three in exactly those three positions among the top-50.

Vancouver’s Jacob Markstrom (fourth) and Vegas’ Robin Lehner (sixth) ranked above Washington’s Braden Holtby (12th) among this year’s top UFA goalies.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holtby has a Vezina Trophy (2016) and a Stanley Cup (2018) on his resume, but his inconsistent play over the past two seasons sent his stock tumbling. A strong performance in the upcoming playoff tournament, however,  could send him rising on this list.

Former Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien ranked fifth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If this was two years ago, I’d have no issue with Byfuglien ranking this high. But the 35-year-old blueliner missed all of this season over a dispute with the Jets regarding the severity of an ankle injury, which ultimately required surgery. We don’t know if he’s keen to return to the NHL following the mutual agreement to terminate his contract in April. Until we get an indication from the Byfuglien camp that he wants to resume his playing career, he should be at the bottom of this list.

Florida Panthers wingers Mike Hoffman and Evgenii Dadonov, Vancouver Canucks’ versatile forward Tyler Toffoli, and Toronto Maple Leafs rearguard Tyson Barrie round out the top ten.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’d rank Toffoli over Hoffman and Dadonov because of his two-way skills, Stanley Cup experience, plus he’s younger than those two. I’d put Holtby over Barrie, who had a rough season with the Leafs and should be ranked much lower than 10th.

Among the surprises was Florida Panthers oft-injured center Erik Haula ranked 11th, aging Washington Capitals winger Ilya Kovalchuk at 23rd, and Leafs blueliner Cody Ceci at 24th.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Haula shouldn’t be ranked that high. He hasn’t fully recovered from knee surgery in 2018. Kovalchuk enjoyed a bounce-back performance during a two-month tenure with the Montreal Canadiens, but there’s no certainty the 36-year-old can sustain that effort over a full season. Ceci’s stock was in decline before he was dealt to the Leafs last summer and tumbled further this season.

Defensemen dominate this list. Along with Pietrangelo, Krug, Barrie, and Ceci, the list includes Calgary’s T.J. Brodie (13th) and Travis Hamonic (20th), Carolina’s Sami Vatanen (14th), Tampa Bay’s Kevin Shattenkirk (15th), Vancouver’s Chris Tanev (17th), Philadelphia’s Justin Braun (19th), and Pittsburgh’s Justin Schultz (29th).

Seravalli believes many UFAs could be on edge as this will be a free-agent period like no other thanks to the interruption of the season by COVID-19 and the effect upon league revenue and the salary cap. Players on non-playoff clubs, like Buffalo’s Wayne Simmonds and Ottawa’s Mark Borowiecki, could be sidelined for seven months, potentially affecting their future earnings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This year’s UFA class could have difficulty finding lucrative long-term contracts if the salary cap is frozen at $81.5 million for next season. Thirteen teams have payrolls already exceeding $70 million for next season, with a handful of others sitting with payrolls over $65 million.

Some of those notable free agents could end up accepting short-term deals, perhaps for less than market value, in hope of landing more lucrative offers when (if?) revenue rebounds over the next couple of years.










NHL Trade Deadline Tracker – February 24, 2020

NHL Trade Deadline Tracker – February 24, 2020

The NHL Trade Deadline is 3 pm ET today. This listing will be updated regularly throughout the day until all trade activity is complete.

Anaheim Ducks trade defenseman Korbinian Holzer to the Nashville Predators for defenseman Matt Irwin. 

Washington Capitals trade defenseman Christian Djoos to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Daniel Sprong. 

Montreal Canadiens trade Nick Cousins to the Vegas Golden Knights. Details to follow…

Calgary Flames trade Brandon Davidson to the San Jose Sharks for future considerations

New Jersey Devils trade goaltender Louis Domingue to the Vancouver Canucks in exhange for goalie Zane McIntyre

Tampa Bay Lightning acquire Barclay Goodrow from the San Jose Sharks for a first-round pick.

New York Rangers traded defenseman Brady Skjei to the Carolina Hurricanes for the Hurricanes’ first-round pick in 2020. 

Columbus Blue Jackets acquire Devin Shore from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Sonny Milano

Vegas Golden Knights acquired goaltender Robin Lehner from the Chicago Blackhawks for Malcolm Subban, Slava Demin and a 2nd round pick. 

New Jersey Devils trade defenseman Sami Vatanen to the Carolina Hurricanes for winger Janne Kuokkanen and a second-round pick. 

Buffalo Sabres trade Conor Sheary and Evan Rodrigues to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Dominik Kahun. 

Calgary Flames acquire defenseman Erik Gustafsson from the Chicago Blackhawks for a third-round pick

Los Angeles Kings ship defenseman Derek Forbort to the Calgary Flames for a fourth-round pick. 

Edmonton Oilers trade a fifth-round pick in 2021 to the Ottawa Senators for Tyler Ennis.

Edmonton Oilers acquired Andreas Athanasiou and Ryan Kuffner from the Detroit Red Wings for Sam Gagner, a second-round pick in 2020 and a second-rounder in 2021. 

Boston Bruins trade Danton Heinen to the Anaheim Ducks for Nick Ritchie.

Buffalo Sabres acquire winger Wayne Simmonds from the New Jersey Devils for a conditional fifth-rounder in 2021. 

Philadelphia Flyers acquire center Derek Grant from the Anaheim Ducks for minor-league center Kyle Crisuolo and a fourth-round pick in 2020. 

Toronto Maple Leafs trade goaltender Michael Hutchinson to the Colorado Avalanche for defenseman Calle Rosen.

Pittsburgh Penguins acquire Patrick Marleau from the San Jose Sharks for a conditional third-round pick in 2020. The pick becomes a second-rounder if the Penguins win the Stanley Cup. 

Montreal Canadiens trade center Nate Thompson to the Philadelphia Flyers for a fifth-round pick in 2021. 

Florida Panthers trade center Vincent Trocheck to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for forwards Erik Haula, Lucas Wallmark and prospects Chase Priskie and Eetu Luostarinen.

New York Islanders acquire center Jean-Gabriel Pageau to the New York Islanders for a first-round pick (lottery protected) in 2020, a  second-rounder in 2020, and a third in 2022. There are conditions attached to all picks. The Islanders re-sign him to a six-year contract extension.

Ottawa Senators trade Vladislav Namestnikov to the Colorado Avalanche for a fourth-round pick in the 2021 NHL draft. 

Detroit Red Wings trade defenseman Mike Green to the Edmonton Oilers for sidelined forward Kyle Brodziak and a conditional draft pick.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 3, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 3, 2020

Three stars and top rookie of the month for December, Canadiens, Sabres, and Flames get busy in the trade market, milestones reached by Zdeno Chara, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COMNathan MacKinnon’s four-point performance (one goal, three assists) led the Colorado Avalanche to a 7-3 thumping of the St. Louis Blues. Nazem Kadri scored twice and Samuel Girard collected four assists. Robert Thomas scored twice for the Blues.

Nathan MacKinnon’s four-point effort carried the Colorado Avalanche over the St. Louis Blues 7-3 (Photo via NHL Images).

The Vancouver Canucks picked up their sixth straight win by holding off the Chicago Blackhawks 7-5. J.T. Miller had a four-point effort while teammates Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat, and Tanner Pearson each collected three points. Patrick Kane scored two goals for the Blackhawks while teammate Adam DeBrincat had three helpers.

The San Jose Sharks defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on an overtime tally by Brent Burns. Joe Thornton picked up his 1,080th career NHL assist to move into seventh on the all-time assists leader list. Patric Hornqvist scored both Penguins goals.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are unbeaten in their last nine games (8-0-1) after downing the Winnipeg Jets 6-3. William Nylander scored two goals and set up another while teammate Frederik Andersen kicked out 45 shots. Earlier in the day, the Jets announced defenseman Nathan Beaulieu will miss at least a month with a lower-body injury.

Sean Monahan’s third-period goal gave the Calgary Flames a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers. Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and an assist for the Flames while Rangers defenseman Adam Fox collected three assists.

The Vegas Golden Knights scored four first-period goals and hung on to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4. Max Pacioretty scored twice for the Golden Knights, who killed off a 6-on-3 Flyers power-play in the final 90 seconds of the third period. Vegas winger Jonathan Marchessault missed the game with a lower-body injury.

A four-goal second period carried the Florida Panthers to a 6-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Evgenii Dadonov tallied twice and added an assist for the Panthers.

The Columbus Blue Jackets edged the Boston Bruins 2-1 on an overtime goal by Pierre-Luc Dubois. The Jackets’ point streak has reached 12 games (8-0-4). Bruins winger David Pastrnak tallied his league-leading 30th goal of the season.

Jack Eichel’s penalty-shot goal in overtime completed a 3-2 comeback by the Buffalo Sabres over the Edmonton Oilers. The Sabres overcame a 2-0 deficit on regulation goals by Curtis Lazar and Sam Reinhart. Sabres rookie winger Victor Olofsson left the game in the third period with a lower-body injury.

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy’s 38-save performance carried his club over the Montreal Canadiens 2-1. The Habs played without winger Brendan Gallagher, who’s out indefinitely with a concussion.

Nico Hischier tallied the game-winner as the New Jersey Devils nipped the New York Islanders 2-1. The Devils are 4-0-1 in their last five games. New Jersey center Jack Hughes missed the game with an upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (lower-body injury) also missed this contest.

The Arizona Coyotes doubled up the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 following a three-goal third period. Goaltender Antti Raanta made 26 saves for the win.

HEADLINES

Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau, Pittsburgh Penguins goatender Tristan Jarry, and New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin are the NHL’s three stars for December 2019. Buffalo Sabres winger Victor Olofsson is rookie of the month for December.

Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara and San Jose Sharks forwards Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are the 12th, 13th, and 14th players in NHL history to play at least one game in four or more different decades.

TSN: The Montreal Canadiens yesterday traded defenseman Mike Reilly to the Ottawa Senators for a fifth-round pick in 2021 and minor-leaguer Andrew Sturtz. They also acquired defenseman Marco Scandella from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2020.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With these moves, the Canadiens add some much-needed veteran experience to their blueline in Scandella while shedding a $1.5-million salary-cap hit for 2020-21 by moving out the frequently-scratched Reilly. Eligible for UFA status this summer, Scandella can be considered a rental to keep the Habs’ flickering playoff hopes alive. The Senators, meanwhile, needed defensive depth with Dylan DeMelo, Nikita Zaitsev and Ron Hainsey sidelined by injuries.

The Sabres, meanwhile, flipped that draft pick they received from the Canadiens to the Calgary Flames for winger Michael Frolik.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres needed help up front. That they only had to part with a fourth-rounder speaks to the decline in Frolik’s stock. The Flames were reportedly close to moving Frolik at last year’s trade deadline to the Minnesota Wild in a deal for winger Jason Zucker but it fell through at the last minutes. Frolik might not be the only move the Sabres have in store, while the Flames could also be active in the trade market leading up to this year’s deadline. I’ll have more later this morning in my daily Rumors update.

THE ATHLETIC: Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown returned to practice yesterday following a stint in hospital recovering from pneumonia.

USA TODAY: Carolina Hurricanes center Erik Haula and his wife, Kristen, released a statement yesterday mourning the passing of their unborn daughter.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My sincere condolences to the Haulas.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 22, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 22, 2019

Blake Wheeler sets franchise record, Jack Eichel extends his points streak, team captains selected for 2020 NHL All-Star Game, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler became his club’s all-time leading scorer in a 6-0 drubbing of the Minnesota Wild. Wheeler scored and picked up an assist to surpass Ilya Kovalchuk with 616 points. Connor Hellebuyck picked up the shutout with 31 saves, Patrik Laine scored two goals, and Josh Morrissey had three assists.

Blake Wheeler surpassed Ilya Kovalchuk as the Winnipeg Jets’ all-time scorer in a 6-0 rout of the Minnesota Wild (Photo via NHL Images).

Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel returned to the lineup and collected an assist in a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Eichel’s points streak stretched to 18 games, though he missed Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers with an upper-body injury. Sabres winger Sam Reinhart collected two assists.

Jakob Silfverberg tallied the game-winner in a shootout as the Anaheim Ducks edged the New York Islanders 6-5. Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf missed the game with an illness. Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy scored and set up two others. Before the game, the Isles revealed forward Cal Clutterbuck is sidelined indefinitely following wrist surgery.

Riley Sheahan’s third-period goal lifted the Edmonton Oilers over the Montreal Canadiens 4-3. Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Josh Archibald each had a goal and an assist. Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry had a goal and two helpers.

Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis’ overtime goal gave his club a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins, who’ve won just once in their last nine contests. Predators captain Roman Josi and Bruins center Patrice Bergeron each scored twice. Predators forwards Viktor Arvidsson and Mikael Granlund returned to the lineup following long absences due to injuries.

Goaltender Michael Hutchinson picked up his first win of the season backstopping the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 over the Detroit Red Wings. Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman each scored twice for the Leafs. Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha left the game in the third period following a slew-foot by Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin.

The Philadelphia Flyers needed a shootout goal by Sean Couturier to get past the Ottawa Senators 5-4. James van Riemsdyk tallied twice for the Flyers while Senators forward Tyler Ennis also scored two goals.

The Washington Capitals picked up their 10th win in their last 12 games by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1. Dmitry Orlov broke a 1-1 tie in the third with the winning goal. Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov picked up his 200th career goal.

Florida Panthers netminder Chris Driedger kicked out 42 shots in a 4-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Jonathan Huberdeau and Brian Boyle each collected two points, as did Hurricanes winger Nino Niederreiter. Carolina center Erik Haula returned to action after missing 15 games with a knee injury.

The Columbus Blue Jackets rolled to a 5-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Blue Jackets winger Oliver Bjorkstrand scored the game’s first two goals before leaving with an undisclosed injury. Boone Jenner and Seth Jones each collected two assists.

Four unanswered third-period goals powered the Chicago Blackhawks over the Colorado Avalanche 5-3. Jonathan Toews had a goal and two assists while Patrick Kane netted his 20th goal of the season. Matt Calvert scored twice for the Avalanche. Earlier in the day, the Blackhawks placed winger Brandon Saad (ankle) on injured reserve.

J.T. Miller and Elias Pettersson each had a goal and an assist as the Vancouver Canucks downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1. Earlier in the day, the Canucks revealed winger Josh Leivo will be sidelined two-to-three months with a fractured knee cap.

St. Louis Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo tallied twice to lead his club over the San Jose Sharks 5-2. Teammate Jaden Schwartz scored and set up two others.

The divisional captains for the 2020 NHL All-Star Game (as voted by the fans) were revealed yesterday. Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid will captain the Pacific Division for the fourth straight year. Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak is captain of the Atlantic Division, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon will captain the Central Division, and Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin is captain of the Metropolitan Division.