NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 24, 2023
A four-point second period for the Leafs’ William Nylander, Johnny Gaudreau has his first game in Calgary since leaving the Flames, the three stars of the week are announced, the Senators’ Josh Norris will undergo season-ending surgery and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander scored two goals and collected two assists – all in the second period – in a 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders. John Tavares had a goal and an assist and Auston Matthews scored but Mitch Marner’s 20-game home points streak came to an end. The 29-11-8 Leafs are tied with the Carolina Hurricanes for second overall in the Eastern Conference with 66 points but the Hurricanes hold two games in hand.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anders Lee scored both goals for the Islanders (23-21-5) as they’ve dropped five in a row and sit three points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 51 points. The Isles also activated Kyle Palmieri and Adam Pelech from injured reserve for this game.
An overtime goal by Dillon Dube lifted the Calgary Flames over the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3, spoiling Johnny Gaudreau’s first game in Calgary since the former Flame signed with the Jackets last summer. The Flames’ Andrew Mangiapane had a goal and an assist as did the Blue Jackets’ Patrik Laine. Gaudreau collected two assists. The Flames (23-16-9) regained the final Western Conference wild-card spot with 55 points while the 14-30-3 Jackets sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with 31 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gaudreau was booed by Flames fans every time he touched the puck. Calgary Hockey Now’s Steve Macfarlane suggested that’s rooted in frustration by Flames fans over what was lost when the playmaking Gaudreau signed with Columbus. It was a costly win for Calgary as defenseman Chris Tanev left the game with an upper-body injury.
The Buffalo Sabres nipped the Dallas Stars 3-2 on an overtime goal by Owen Power. Tage Thompson collected two assists while Craig Anderson stopped 29 shots as the Sabres improved to 24-19-3 to sit three points out of the final Eastern wild-card spot with 51 points. Roope Hintz collected an assist as he returned to the lineup after missing seven games with an upper-body injury. The Stars (28-13-8) moved one point up on the Winnipeg Jets for sole possession of first place in the Western Conference with 64 points.
New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad scored twice and collected an assist to beat the Florida Panthers 6-2. Adam Fox and Artemi Panarin also had three points each while Igor Shesterkin made 33 saves for the 26-14-7 Rangers as they sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 59 points. Carter Verhaeghe and Aleksander Barkov scored for the Panthers (23-21-5) as they remain three points out of the final Eastern wild-card berth with 51 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers winger Sammy Blais was scratched from this game for the second straight contest and the sixth time in the last 16 games. He’s struggled to regain his form since suffering a serious knee injury 14 months ago. Blais is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The New York Post’s Larry Brooks believes his NHL career could be in jeopardy.
NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers winger Zach Hyman, Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos and Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras are the three stars for the week ending Jan. 22, 2023.
OTTAWA SUN: Bad news for the struggling Senators as Josh Norris will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. It was the same shoulder that sidelined him for 38 games and was reinjured during a 5-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Norris’ absence was a contributing factor hampering the Senators’ anticipated improvement this season. Speaking of the Senators, they activated defenseman Nikita Zaitsev off injured reserve.
TSN: New Vancouver Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet will earn $2.75 million per season through 2024-25. He replaced Bruce Boudreau, who was fired on Sunday. The Canucks will be paying Boudreau the remainder of his $2 million salary for this season as well as the $2.75 million owed to Boudreau’s predecessor Travis Green.
NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks placed forward Tyler Johnson (left ankle) on injured reserve.
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: A tight roster, limited salary-cap space and being close to their contract limit for this season explain why the Canadiens only plucked one player (Johnathan Kovacevic) off waivers this season.