NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 13, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 13, 2019

Game recaps, injury updates, fighting continues to decline, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: After missing three games with a lower-body injury, New Jersey Devils rookie goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood made 32 saves as his club edged the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2. Teammate Nico Hischier had a goal and an assist. Flyers forwards Sean Couturier and James van Riemsdyk also had two-point performances. 

The New York Rangers picked up their first-ever victory at Barclays Center by defeating the New York Islanders 2-1. Mats Zuccarello tallied the winner late in the third period for the Rangers, who lost defenseman Fredrik Claesson to an apparent right shoulder injury

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov widened his lead in the scoring race with three points in a 5-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres (Photo via NHL Images)

Three unanswered third-period goals by Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Ryan Callahan lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Kucherov, the NHL’s scoring leader, collected three points and now has 75 in 45 games. 

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak’s late second-period goal proved to be the game-winner as his club nipped the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2. Sean Kuraly had a goal and two assists while Tuukka Rask turned aside 30 shots. 

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price kicked out 28 shots to pick up his third shutout of the season in a 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Phillip Danault had two assists for the Canadiens, who vaulted over the Islanders and Sabres into the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets downed the Washington Capitals 2-1 on an overtime tally by Artemi Panarin, after which he and his teammates mimicked Washington’s Evgeny Kuznetsov’s “bird dance” goal celebration. Capitals starter Braden Holtby left the game after being struck in the left eye with a stick in the second period. He was originally expected to return to action but team doctors felt it better that he remain out of the game. Holtby will be re-evaluated later today. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The blade of Blue Jackets winger Cam Atkinson’s stick somehow slipped through Holtby’s mask during a scrum in front of the Capitals’ net. Here’s hoping the injury isn’t serious. 

Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi picked up his first career NHL hat trick in a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild. Thomas Vanek also scored twice and Dylan Larkin collected three assists. Following the game, Wild coach Bruce Boudreau called the loss the worst he’s experienced since taking over as Minnesota’s bench boss.  “Effort, compete, I don’t know where it was,” said Boudreau. 

Boudreau wasn’t the only coach to rip his team’s performance as Jim Montgomery of the Dallas Stars expressed his unhappiness over his club’s effort in a 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues.  “It’s everybody. Unfortunately, I’m very frustrated that I have not been able to gain consistency in our performance, and I haven’t been able to change the culture of mediocrity,” said Montgomery. Vladimir Taransenko scored twice for the Blues. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild and Stars possess the talent to be higher than they currently are in the standings. They’re starting to turn underachievement into an art form. 

Vegas Golden Knights winger Alex Tuch set a franchise record with a nine-game points streak as his club beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 on an overtime goal by Shea Theodore. Tuch and Max Pacioretty each had two points. Alex DeBrincat scored twice for the Blackhawks. 

The San Jose Sharks picked up their sixth straight victory by downing the Ottawa Senators 4-1. Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson has yet to score against his former club. The Sharks activated blueliner Justin Braun off injured reserve but lost winger Joonas Donskoi to an upper-body injury

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick’s 38-save performance carried his club to a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, snapping the latter’s six-game road winning streak. It was Quick’s 301st career victory, tying him with Mike Richter for fourth all-time among American-born netminders. Anze Kopitar scored two goals and Jeff Carter had a three-point game. Penguins winger Jake Guentzel netted both of his team’s goals. 

Arizona Coyotes rookie Conor Garland scored twice, with the first deflecting in off his face, in a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Garland left the game for stitches and returned to score the winner in the third period.

THE SCORE: Anaheim Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle didn’t take kindly to a reporter’s question about his job security following the club’s 10th straight loss on Friday. He abruptly ended the media scrum, calling the reporter “a jerk” and complaining about being asked “dumb questions”. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carlyle certainly seems to be feeling the heat right now. Remains to be seen if Ducks general manager Bob Murray intends on replacing him. Despite the long losing skid, the Ducks are only one point out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. However, they risk tumbling further out of contention if they fail to find a way to pull out of their tailspin. 

BOSTON GLOBE: Fighting continues to decline in the NHL. At the mid-point of this season, the number of fighting majors is down to 0.38 per game.