NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 6. 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 6. 2022

The Avalanche reaches the 50-win milestone and clinches a playoff berth, Jonathan Huberdeau hits another Panthers milestone, Ryan Getzlaf to retire, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche became the first team to cross the 50-win milestone as they downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4, becoming the second club to clinch a playoff berth. Nathan MacKinnon scored twice, Devon Toews collected three assists and Darcy Kuemper made 41 saves for the Avalanche, who hold a two-point lead over the Florida Panthers atop the overall standings with 106 points. Jake Guentzel had a goal and an assist for the Penguins as they sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 92 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bowen Byram returned to the Avalanche lineup for the first time since Jan. 10 after suffering from concussion symptoms. Avs winger Valeri Nichushkin missed the game due to a non-COVID-related illness.

Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau (NHL Images).

Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice and collected three assists as the Florida Panthers overcame a 5-1 deficit to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-6 in overtime. Huberdeau netted the winning goal and became the first player in Panthers’ history to reach 100 points in a season. Aleksander Barkov had four points, Sam Reinhart tallied twice and Spencer Knight got the win replacing Sergei Bobrovsky, who got the hook after giving up four goals on 14 shots. Mitch Marner scored two goals and added two assists for the Leafs, who remain in second place in the Atlantic Division with 96 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 102 points, Huberdeau moved into second place in the NHL scoring race, one point ahead of Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored in overtime to nip the San Jose Sharks 2-1. Edmonton goaltender Mike Smith stopped 31 shots and collected the assist on McDavid’s goal. With 87 points, the Oilers are four points behind the first-place Calgary Flames in the Pacific Division and sit one point up on the third-place Los Angeles Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers center Leon Draisaitl missed this game with an undisclosed injury. He did participate in Tuesday’s optional skate.

The Dallas Stars regained the final Western Conference playoff berth with a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders. Radek Faksa potted the game-winner by snapping a 2-2 tie in the second period with a short-handed goal. Semyon Varlamov made 37 saves for the Islanders. The Stars have 83 points, one ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stars winger Denis Gurianov was sidelined by a non-COVID-related illness.

Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen picked up his first career NHL hat trick in a 6-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild. Roman Josi, Filip Forsberg and Philip Tomasino each collected three points for the Predators, who hold a one-point lead over the Stars for the first Western wild-card spot. Minnesota winger Kirill Kaprizov tallied his 40th goal of the season, putting him two behind Marian Gaborik and Eric Staal for the franchise record of 42. The Wild (91 points) hold a three-point lead over the third-place St. Louis Blues in the Central Division.

The New York Rangers defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-1. Chris Kreider tallied his 47th goal of the season as the Rangers sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 96 points. Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist for the Blueshirts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Devils announced center Jack Hughes will miss the remainder of the season with a low-grade MCL sprain in his left knee. The 20-year-old center enjoyed a breakout performance in his third NHL season, sitting second among Devils scorers with 26 goals and 56 points in 49 games. Those numbers would’ve been much higher had he not missed 20 games earlier this season to a dislocated shoulder and COVID-19. Perhaps the Devils would’ve stayed in the playoff chase had Hughes enjoyed a healthier season.

Buffalo Sabres winger Victor Olofsson had a goal and an assist in a 4-2 upset over the Carolina Hurricanes. Craig Anderson kicked out 32 shots as the Sabres picked up their sixth victory in their last 10 contests. The Hurricanes (98 points) hold a two-point lead over the Rangers for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Detroit Red Wings shocked the Boston Bruins 5-3. Wings goalie Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 47 shots and collected an assist on Sam Gagner’s insurance goal. Jakub Vrana had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings while Boston forwards Patrice Bergeron and Taylor Hall each collected two points. The Bruins are tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning with 93 points but the latter moved ahead into third place in the Atlantic Division with a game in hand.

Columbus Blue Jackets rookie Carson Meyer picked up his first two career NHL points with a goal and an assist in a 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Elvis Merzlikins got the win with a 47-save performance.

Ottawa Senators winger Brady Tkachuk had a goal and two assists while Austin Watson tallied twice to beat the Montreal Canadiens 6-3. Brendan Gallagher had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens.

HEADLINES

TSN: Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf yesterday announced he will retire at the end of this season. He has spent his entire 17-season NHL career with the Ducks, helping them win the Stanley Cup in 2007 and to become one of the dominant teams in the Western Conference by finishing first in the Pacific Division for five straight seasons from 2012-13 to 2016-17. The Ducks captain also holds the club’s single-season assist record (66) and is the franchise leader with 1,150 career games, 731 assists and 1,013 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Getzlaf will also be remembered as one of this generation’s greatest playmakers, becoming a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy in 2013-14. He and Corey Perry were for many years the driving forces behind the Ducks’ offense. The 36-year-old center put up respectable numbers this season with 28 assists and 31 points in 49 games.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Marian Hossa will sign a one-day contract with the Blackhawks on Thursday to officially retire as a member of their club. He hasn’t played since 2017 after being sidelined by a progressive skin condition. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2021.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser has been sidelined by an upper-body injury suffered during Sunday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights. . His condition is still being evaluated.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: The Avalanche signed Kurtis MacDermid to a two-year contract extension with an annual average value of $987,500.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 4, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 4, 2022

Leon Draisaitl is this season’s first 50-goal, 100-point player, Jonathan Huberdeau sets a franchise record as his Panthers clinch a playoff berth, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl had a goal and an assist to become this season’s first 50-goal, 100-point player in a 6-1 thrashing of the Anaheim Ducks. Connor McDavid scored his 40th goal of the season and chipped in two assists as the Oilers (85 points) moved to within one point of the second-place Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division. McDavid still leads the scoring race with 105 points while Draisaitl is second at 101. The latter is also second in goals with 50, one behind Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ducks winger Troy Terry missed this game due to facial injuries suffered when he received multiple punches from Arizona Coyotes center Jay Beagle on Friday. Beagle received no supplemental discipline for his actions.

The Florida Panthers are the first team to clinch a playoff berth after defeating the Buffalo Sabres 5-3. Jonathan Huberdeau scored to set a franchise record with his 97th point of the season while teammate Anthony Duclair tallied two goals for the Panthers, who sit atop the Eastern Conference with 102 points.

Minnesota Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek scored two goals and set up another in a 5-1 victory over the Washington Capitals. Jordan Greenway collected three assists as the Wild extended their points streak to 10 games and sit in second place in the Central Division with 91 points. The Capitals hold the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 84 points, seven back of the Boston Bruins.

An overtime goal by Shea Theodore lifted the Vegas Golden Knights over the Vancouver Canucks 3-2. Jonathan Marchessault had a goal and an assist while Robin Lehner returned to action with a 26-save performance after being sidelined 10 games with a lower-body injury. The Golden Knights vaulted ahead of the Dallas Stars into the second Western Conference wild-card berth with 82 points while the Canucks sit eight points back.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks have won just three of their last 10 games. With 12 games remaining in their schedule, they face long odds of clinching a wild-card spot.

The Philadelphia Flyers blew a 3-0 lead but managed to defeat the New York Rangers 4-3 on a shootout goal by Kevin Hayes. Martin Jones got the win with a 43-save performance. Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist for the Rangers (94 points), who hold a two-point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins for second place in the Metropolitan Division.

Speaking of the Stars, they fell 4-1 to the Seattle Kraken. Chris Driedger made 29 saves while Alex Wennberg, Carson Soucy and Karson Kuhlman each had two points.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere scored in overtime in a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Before the game, the Blackhawks honored captain Jonathan Toews for recently reaching the 1,000 career NHL game milestone.

Cory Schneider made 27 saves in his first start in over two seasons to backstop the New York Islanders over the New Jersey Devils 4-3. Jean-Gabriel Pageau tallied a hat trick while Kyle Palmieri and Adam Pelech each had three points. Devils center Jack Hughes left the game after suffering a leg injury from a hit by Isles forward Oliver Wahlstrom.

Ottawa Senators center Josh Norris scored his first career NHL hat trick in a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Forward Mathieu Joseph collected three assists for the Senators in their first home game since the death of Eugene Melnyk, who was honored by the club in a pre-game ceremony.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Senators forward Tyler Ennis was playing in his 700th career game but left the contest in the first period with what has been diagnosed as a season-ending upper-body injury.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 7, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 7, 2022

Devils center Jack Hughes enters COVID protocol, Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour considers the Panthers a juggernaut, the Wild look like Stanley Cup contenders, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

ESPN.COM: New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes was placed on the NHL’s COVID protocol list after participating in the 2022 All-Star Game over the weekend.

New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how many other All-Star participants join Hughes on the protocol list.

SPORTSNET (via THE SCORE): Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour praised the Florida Panthers when asked about them during an interview on Friday. “That’s the juggernaut for me,” he said, commending the club’s management for the “great job” it did to construct the roster. “There’s no weaknesses,” said Brind’Amour.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers could get even better if they land a top-four, left-side defenseman before the March 21 trade deadline. Their only real weakness is the lack of playoff success. Perhaps that will change this year.

TWINCITIES.COM: Dane Mizutani points out the Minnesota Wild’s current record of 28 wins, 10 losses and three overtime losses is a franchise-best after 41 games. He cites several factors, including the one-two scoring punch of Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello, that makes them legitimate Stanley Cup contenders this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild’s lack of experienced depth at center could hold them back, but there’s no question they’ve become a rising force since last season in the Western Conference.

PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW (via THE SCORE): Penguins president of hockey operations Brian Burke praised general manager Ron Hextall’s support of Tristan Jarry after the latter’s struggles during last year’s playoffs. Jarry is enjoying a bounce-back performance this season. He’s among this season’s top netminders and played in the 2022 All-Star Game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hextall ignored calls to find a replacement for Jarry via trade or free agency last summer. Some observers still believe the Penguins should go shopping for a goalie but those calls are now for a reliable backup for Jarry.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks fired long-time Rockford Icehogs head athletic trainer D.J. Jones in November for sexual harassment that allegedly took place in 2014 but didn’t come to light until recently.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can’t find the words to describe my reaction to this story given everything about the Blackhawks organization that’s preceded this report. Disgust doesn’t seem sufficient to cover it.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators are among the Canadian clubs that approached the NHL about playing some home games within the stringent rules in Ontario regarding large gatherings that are in place until March.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 6, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 6, 2022

Claude Giroux leads Metropolitan Division to victory in the 2022 All-Star Game. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux was named the most valuable player of the 2022 NHL All-Star Game as he led the Metropolitan Division to two victories in the 3-on-3 tournament format. Giroux finished with three goals and an assist, including two goals in the clinching 5-3 victory over the Central Division, taking home a 2022 Honda Passport.

Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux was named MVP of the 2022 NHL All-Star Game (NHL.com)

Giroux became the third Flyer in All-Star Game history to win MVP honors, joining Reggie Leach (1980) and Wayne Simmonds (2017).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Giroux, whose performance in the All-Star Game has put more focus on his uncertain future in Philadelphia. He’s eligible for unrestricted free agent status this summer, making him the subject of increasing trade speculation. I’ll have more on that in the Rumors section.

St. Louis Blues forward Jordan Kyrou led all scorers in the tournament with two goals and three assists for five points across two games, followed by Giroux, New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (three goals and one assist) and Dallas Stars forward Joe Pavelski with two goals and two assists.

RDS.CA: Speaking of the Flyers, Daniel Briere will reportedly be named as assistant general manager to GM Chuck Fletcher. The former Flyers winger is the current vice-president of hockey operations for the ECHL’s Maine Mariners.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Briere hasn’t been officially announced as assistant GM yet but that could come in the next day or so. He was also a candidate for the Montreal Canadiens general manager position, which eventually went to former player agent Kent Hughes.

TSN.CA: The Chicago Blackhawks have interviewed Scott Mellanby for their general manager position. A former NHL forward, Mellanby was assistant GM with the Montreal Canadiens from 2014 until his resignation last November.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 1, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 1, 2021

Filip Forsberg enjoys a four-goal performance, the Panthers and Blues turn deficits into victories, the Devils re-sign Jack Hughes, Rod Brind’Amour and Brendan Lemieux fined, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Filip Forsberg scored four goals as the Nashville Predators thumped the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-0. Forsberg also reached his 400th career point in this contest. Juuse Saros made 27 saves for the shutout while Mikael Granlund collected four assists.

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forsberg now has 10 goals and 15 points in just 13 games. Granlund, meanwhile, has 25 points in just 22 games. He had a combined 57 points over the last two seasons but should exceed that total this season at his current rate of production.

Four unanswered third-period goals lifted the Florida Panthers to a 5-4 victory over the Washington Capitals. Sam Reinhart buried the winner with just 15 seconds remaining in regulation. Jonathan Huberdeau and Aaron Ekblad each collected three assists for the Panthers.

Ryan O’Reilly scored the only goal in a shootout as the St. Louis Blues overcame a 3-0 deficit to drop the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3. O’Reilly also scored in regulation while Jordan Binnington settled down from a shaky first period to make 30 saves for the win. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos missed the game to attend the birth of his second child while Erik Cernak returned to the Bolts lineup after missing eight games with an upper-body injury.

Dallas Stars forward Roope Hintz tallied a hat trick as his club downed the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1. Joe Pavelski also scored for the Stars and collected two assists while Braden Holtby picked up the win with a 39-save performance. Earlier in the day, the NHL fined Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour $25,000.00 for inappropriate conduct during Sunday’s game against the Capitals. Brind’Amour yelled at the referees late in the game over a slashing call against Sebastian Aho that gave the Capitals a 5-on-3 power play.

Shootout goals by Trevor Zegras and Kevin Shattenkirk lifted the Anaheim Ducks over the Los Angeles Kings 5-4. The Kings rallied back from a 4-1 deficit in the third to tie the game. Kings defenseman Drew Doughty returned to the lineup for the first time since suffering a knee injury on Oct. 22. The Kings also played without winger Brendan Lemieux, who was suspended five games for biting Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk on Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In the “Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree Department”, Brendan and his father Claude Lemieux hold the dubious honor of being the first father/son duo in NHL history to be suspended for biting opponents during their respective careers.

The Detroit Red Wings got a 41-save performance from Alex Nedeljkovic as they nipped the Boston Bruins 2-1. Marc Staal broke a 1-1 tie in the third period. The Bruins were playing without Brad Marchand (three-game suspension) and head coach Bruce Cassidy after he was placed in COVID protocol yesterday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of COVID protocols, the NHL sent a memo to its 32 teams yesterday outlining a series of new measures designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Those steps include canceling team Christmas parties, charity events and autograph sessions.

A 5-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes moved the Minnesota Wild into a tie with the Calgary Flames for first place in the Western Conference standings. Jordan Greenway had a goal and two assists while Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and an assist. Clayton Keller scored and set up another for the Coyotes.

Timo Meier scored twice and James Reimer kicked out 32 shots as the San Jose Sharks beat the New Jersey Devils 5-2. Devils center Jack Hughes returned to the lineup after missing 17 games with a dislocated shoulder. Earlier in the day, the Devils announced Hughes signed an eight-year, $64-million contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils are making a major investment in the 20-year-old Hughes after just 120 games and 55 points since 2019-20. He’s shown considerable potential since last season but will face a lot of pressure to meet the expectations that come with this contract. If he does, this could turn into a worthwhile deal for one of their core players.

HEADLINES

THE SCORE: Evander Kane downplayed reports from earlier this summer claiming his San Jose Sharks teammates were frustrated by his behavior and didn’t want him back on the team this season. He said his end-of-season interview with management was positive, singling out how well he worked with the younger players and praising his performance. Kane cleared waivers Monday and reported to the AHL’s San Jose Barracudas, where he took part in his first practice with the team on Tuesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Meanwhile, there were reports during the offseason claiming the Sharks attempted to trade Kane earlier in the summer. They’re reportedly trying to do so again. Draw your own conclusions, folks.

CBC SPORTS: Quebec Remparts general manager and coach Patrick Roy has expressed interest in the Montreal Canadiens’ vacant general manager position. “Since 1993, this club has been running in circles,” said the Canadiens Hall-of-Famer. “What do they have to lose by giving me a chance, and seeing what I can do with this club?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The issue would be whether the temperamental Roy could work well with Jeff Gorton, the Canadiens’ new executive VP of hockey operations. That might not be possible given his departure from the Colorado Avalanche in 2016 over a disagreement regarding the direction of that club. The last thing the Habs will want is their next GM butting heads with Gorton and turning their disagreements into a media circus.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers placed defenseman Cody Ceci in COVID protocol yesterday. The club also canceled Tuesday’s practice and order two rounds of tests.

TSN: Ottawa Senators center Shane Pinto underwent season-ending shoulder surgery. They also traded minor leaguer Kole Sherwood to the Nashville Predators for future considerations.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 30, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 30, 2021

Jets GM Cheveldayoff won’t be disciplined by the league regarding the Blackhawks scandal, NHLPA director Fehr faces criticism related to the scandal, the Leafs sign Rielly to a contract extension, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL WON’T DISCIPLINE CHEVELDAYOFF, NHLPA DIRECTOR FEHR UNDER FIRE

NHL.COM: The league announced yesterday it will not impose discipline on Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff regarding improper decisions made by the Chicago Blackhawks organization regarding sexual assault allegations against former video coach Bradley Aldrich in 2010. Cheveldayoff was the Blackhawks assistant GM during that time. The decision came following Cheveldayoff’s meeting on Friday with league commissioner Gary Bettman in New York. 

Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff (NHL.com).

Bettman released a statement pointing out Cheveldayoff was not a member of the Blackhawks senior management in 2010 and thus couldn’t assign responsibility upon him for the club’s handling of the matter. The commissioner indicated Cheveldayoff’s degree of involvement was limited to one meeting and found he was “extremely forthcoming and credible in our discussion.”

The statement went on to note Cheveldayoff’s role within the organization at the time left him without authority to make appropriate organizational decisions on the matter. “In short, Cheveldayoff was not a participant in either the formulation or execution of the club’s response”.

TSN: Cheveldayoff released a statement following the meeting through the Jets’ website. He expressed his support and empathy for Kyle Beach (the victim of Aldrich’s alleged assaults) and praised his courage. He also thanked the league for allowing him the opportunity to meet with Bettman and provide his side of the story.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cheveldayoff may have been cleared by the league but he still faces scrutiny from Winnipeg pundits and fans. Sportsnet’s Ken Wiebe and the Winnipeg Sun’s Scott Stinson believe the Jets GM owes Beach an apology, something that was absent from his statement. The Sun’s Scott Billeck and Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press believe Cheveldayoff owes an explanation to fans and media.

TSN: NHLPA director Donald Fehr is facing criticism after Kyle Beach revealed a lack of support from the association when he and his agent, Ross Gurney, informed them of the details of his alleged assault by Aldrich.

Gurney said he spoke to Fehr directly in 2011 about his concerns regarding Aldrich, who was working with USA Hockey at that time. “My purpose in calling the PA was to get a warning to USA Hockey,” he said. “That is what I was directed to do by Kyle”. He said Fehr told him he knew people at USA Hockey and the PA would look into the matter and offer support.

Beach was referred to Dr. Brian Shaw, a psychologist and program director within the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. He said Shaw told him the PA would handle it but never heard from them again.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reports Fehr is facing waning support among PA staff and is under fire externally following the results from the independent investigation and Beach’s interview on Wednesday. Seravalli pointed out the player-led Executive Board has the authority to oust Fehr as PA director. He said it’s unclear if the 32 members will move to conduct an inquiry or pressure Fehr into resigning.

ESPN.COM: The Chicago Blackhawks sent a request to the Hockey Hall of Fame to have Aldrich’s name removed from the Stanley Cup. The Hall issued a statement saying HHOF chairman Lanny McDonald, league commissioner Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly are on board with the request. Discussions are underway with the Stanley Cup trustees to make this happen.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers extended their season-opening win streak to eight games with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Aleksander Barkov scored twice, including the game-winner. The Panthers had a 2-0 lead but the Wings rallied on goals by Sam Gagner and Pius Suter.

The Carolina Hurricanes set a franchise record with a season-opening seventh straight win by dropping the Chicago Blackhawks 6-3. Tony DeAngelo had a goal and two assists for the Hurricanes. Blackhawks forward Tyler Johnson left the game after being crosschecked by Hurricanes center Vincent Trocheck.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 739th career goal to lead his club over the Arizona Coyotes 2-0. Ilya Samsonov made 16 saves for the shutout while John Carlson scored the game-winning goal. Ovechkin extended his points streak to eight games as his club remains unbeaten (5-0-3) in regulation. He’s now just two goals behind Brett Hull for fourth place on the all-time goal leader list.

The Vegas Golden Knights blew a 4-1 lead but went on to defeat the Anaheim Ducks 5-4 on a shootout goal by Evgenii Dadonov. Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf collected an assist to tie Teemu Selanne as the franchise’s leading scorer with 988 points. The Ducks also placed winger Rickard Rakell on injured reserve with a shoulder injury suffered during Thursday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres.

A 31-save shutout by Igor Shesterkin carried the New York Rangers over the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0. Chris Kreider scored two power-play goals while Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox each had three assists.

The Ottawa Senators snapped a three-game losing skid by dropping the Dallas Stars 4-1. Josh Norris tallied twice, Brady Tkachuk netted his first goal of the season and Filip Gustavsson kicked out 38 shots for the win.

IN OTHER NEWS…

TSN: The Toronto Maple Leafs signed defenseman Morgan Rielly to an eight-year, $60 million contract. The annual average value is $7.5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The good news is the Leafs have their best defenseman under a new long-term deal at a cap hit lower than what he would’ve received on the open market next summer. Given the big contracts signed this summer by other notable blueliners, speculation suggested it would cost the Leafs around $8.5 million to keep him in the fold. Rielly left some money on the table to stay in Toronto.

The bad news is Cap Friendly shows the Leafs have over $53.63 million invested in just six players (Rielly, Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and Jake Muzzin) for 2022-23. With $75.3 million committed to 15 players next season, Leafs management faces another summer of salary-cap gymnastics to remain cap compliant.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes will be sidelined for five weeks with a dislocated shoulder.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild placed forward Jordan Greenway on IR with a lower-body injury.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Steve Carlson, who played one of the Hanson Brothers in the movie “Slap Shot”, has been diagnosed with a form of cancer known as Stage IV metastatic squamous cell carcinoma. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help him with living costs while he undergoes radiation therapy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Carlson. Follow this link if you’d like to contribute to this fundraiser.