NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 8, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 8, 2022

Auston Matthews reaches two goal-scoring milestones, the Hurricanes clinch a playoff berth, Roman Josi sets a Predators record, Doug Wilson steps down as Sharks GM, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Auston Matthews scored twice, including the winning goal in overtime, as the Toronto Maple Leafs downed the Dallas Stars 4-3. William Nylander had two points for the Leafs, who hold a five-point lead over the Boston Bruins for second place in the Atlantic Division with 98 points. Joe Pavelski and Jason Robertson each had two points for the Stars (82 points), who hold a two-point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights for the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews broke the Leafs’ single-season goal-scoring record with his 55th goal while his 56th set the league record for most goals in a season by an American-born player. At this point, it’s a matter of when, not if, Matthews reaches the 60-goal plateau. He could reach 65 goals before the season ends.

The Carolina Hurricanes became the third team to clinch a playoff berth with a 5-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Jordan Staal scored twice as Carolina overcame a 3-2 deficit with three unanswered third-period goals. Sebastian Aho also tallied two goals for the Hurricanes, who hold a two-point lead over the New York Rangers for first place in the Metropolitan Division with 100 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sadly for the Sabres, they set an NHL record by missing the playoffs for the 11th straight season.

Roman Josi collected three assists to lead the Nashville Predators over the Ottawa Senators 3-2. Josi set Nashville’s single-season franchise record with 87 points. Matt Duchene scored his 37th goal of the season for the Predators as they sit two points up on the Stars in the first Western wild-card spot with 86 points. Senators forward Tim Stutzle missed this game with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Josi is running away with the scoring races for defensemen, sitting 12 points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche’s Cale Makar. With 12 games remaining in the season, the Predators’ captain has a legitimate shot at becoming the first blueliner to reach 100 points since Brian Leetch in 1991-92.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist to extend his points streak to 15 games in a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Evan Bouchard has a goal and two assists for the Oilers (89 points) as they sit six points behind the first-place Calgary Flames in the Pacific Division. Kings forward Trevor Moore had a goal and an assist as his club remains three points behind the Oilers.

The Flames meanwhile got two goals from Elias Lindholm and a three-point performance from Matthew Tkachuk to double up the San Jose Sharks 4-2. Lindholm has 38 goals on the season and Tkachuk 34 while Dan Vladar got the win with a 31-save performance. Sharks netminder James Reimer left the game with an injury in the third period.

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin stopped 30 shots to shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0. Mika Zibanejad picked up two assists as the Rangers sit two points behind the first-place Hurricanes in the Metro Division. Sidney Crosby, John Marino and Radim Zohorna missed this game with undisclosed illnesses as the Penguins are six points behind the Rangers.

The Vancouver Canucks kept their playoff hopes alive with a 5-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Bo Horvat and Elias Pettersson each had three-point performances while Jaroslav Halak kicked out 27 shots for the Canucks (78 points), who sit six points behind the Stars for that final wild-card spot in the West.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks have no room for error now as the Stars hold two games in hand.

Seattle Kraken netminder Philipp Grubauer had a 29-save shutout to blank the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0. Alex Wennberg and Jordan Eberle were the goal scorers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: During the first TV timeout, the Blackhawks announced they will retire Marian Hossa’s No. 81 in 2022-23. Earlier in the day, Hossa signed a one-day contract to officially retire as a Blackhawk. He will become the eighth player in franchise history to have his number retired.

The Montreal Canadiens beat the New Jersey Devils 7-4 to pick up their first regulation win over the Devils since January 2017. Christian Dvorak, Chris Wideman and Kale Clague each had a goal and two assists. Jesper Bratt and Tomas Tatar both had a goal and an assist for the Devils.

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Martin Jones turned aside 26 shots and Travis Sanheim had two assists in a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Philadelphia winger Cam Atkinson was held scoreless in his first game in Columbus since being traded to the Flyers last summer.

HEADLINES

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Doug Wilson announced yesterday he is stepping down as general manager of the San Jose Sharks after 19 seasons. Under his management, the Sharks reached the playoffs 14 times. He is currently on medical leave but hopes to continue his NHL career in the future. Wilson was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a player in 2020.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: During Wilson’s tenure as general manager, the Sharks topped the Pacific Division five times, won the Presidents’ Trophy in 2009, reaching the Western Conference Finals four times and the Stanley Cup Final in 2016. He was responsible for drafting such notable Sharks as Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier and Marc-Edouard Vlasic and acquiring Joe Thornton and Brent Burns via trades. Best wishes to Wilson for a full recovery.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba will not play in tonight’s game against the St. Louis Blues with an apparent shoulder injury. However, he remains with the club on their current road trip.

TSN: Former Hockey Night in Canada play-by-play man Bob Cole will receive a lifetime achievement award from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television at the 2022 Canadian Screen Awards show. Cole joined the CBC in 1969 and called his final game in 2019. He received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award from the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Cole for this recognition of his outstanding work over his long career.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 2, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 2, 2022

The Oilers match their longest home win streak, the Sabres honor long-time broadcaster Rick Jeanneret, the three stars and top rookie for March are announced and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers tied their franchise-record home win streak at nine games with a 6-5 overtime victory over the St. Louis Blues, who overcame 4-1 and 5-3 deficits to force the extra period. Connor McDavid scored twice, including the game-winner. Zach Hyman also had two goals and Evander Kane had a three-point night for the Oilers (83 points) as they sit one point back of the second-place Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division. Pavel Buchnevich tallied twice for the Blues, who are in third place in the Central Division with 84 points.

Buffalo Sabres honor broadcaster Rick Jeanneret (NHL.com).

The Buffalo Sabres honored long-time broadcaster Rick Jeanneret with a pre-game banner ceremony before going on to defeat the Nashville Predators 4-3. Jeanneret, the voice of the Sabres since 1971, is retiring at the end of this season. Tage Thompson scored twice for the Sabres while Ryan Johansen had two assists for the Predators, who remain in the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 82 points.

Jack Eichel scored two goals to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to a 5-2 win over the Seattle Kraken. Evgenii Dadonov collected two assists as the Golden Knights regained the second Western wild-card spot with 80 points.

The Tampa Bay Lightning got two goals from Ross Colton to down the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2. Colton and Nick Paul each finished the night with three points as the Lightning picked up their fourth straight victory to move into second place in the Atlantic Division with 92 points. During a break in the action, the Lightning honored Blackhawks forward Tyler Johnson with a video tribute. Johnson was a member of the Bolts for nine seasons before being traded last summer to the Blackhawks.

New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 27 saves to shut out the New York Rangers 3-0. Casey Cizikas, Matt Martin and Mathew Barzal were the goal scorers. The Rangers (93 points) remain one point ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins in second place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Anaheim Ducks got a 22-save shutout from Anthony Stolarz to blank the Arizona Coyotes 5-0. Trevor Zegras netted his second lacrosse-style goal of the season while Isac Lundestrom tallied twice and picked up an assist as the Ducks snapped their 11-game winless skid.

Ottawa Senators forward Mathieu Joseph scored his first NHL hat trick in a 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Mads Sogaard made 27 saves for his first NHL victory. Lucas Raymond netted both Red Wings goals.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi, Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau, and Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky are the NHL’s three stars for March 2022. Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield was named rookie of the month.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Josi had 28 points in 14 games through March to overtake the Colorado Avalanche’s Cale Makar as the leading scorer among defensemen with 81 points. The Predators captain is making a strong case for his second Norris Trophy. Caufield, meanwhile, continues to blossom since Martin St. Louis took over as Canadiens coach in February, picking up 15 points in as many games last month.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov could break the franchise single-season points record in tonight’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes. With 83 points, Kaprizov is tied with Marian Gaborik.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: An illness could bring Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle’s 989-game Ironman streak to an end if he’s unable to suit up tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Yandle broke the original Ironman record of 964 earlier this season.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 28, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 28, 2022

The Penguins score 11 goals to crush the Red Wings, Roman Josi reached a scoring milestone, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Evgeni Malkin returned from illness to tally a hat trick in a four-point performance as the Pittsburgh Penguins crushed the Detroit Red Wings 11-2. Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, Bryan Rust, Rickard Rakell and Teddy Blueger each had three points in this contest as the Penguins became the first team in the salary-cap era to score 11 goals in a game. Red Wings goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic was pulled during the second period but returned in the third after Calvin Pickard was injured in a collision with Rust. The Penguins sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 90 points.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This lopsided loss caps a two-month slide for the Wings, undoing what had been promising improvement by the rebuilding club during the first half of the season. It’s generating speculation suggesting head coach Jeff Blashill could be replaced in the offseason.

Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi collected two assists to reach the 80-point plateau for the first time in a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Yakov Trenin scored twice and Tanner Jeannot had a goal and two assists for the Predators, who move into third place in the Central Division with 80 points. James van Riemsdyk had a goal and an assist for the Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Josi has become a solid contender for the Norris Trophy with his play over the second half of this season. He leads all NHL scorers with 81 points and became just the fifth defenseman in NHL history to reach 80 points in fewer than 65 games. The last blueliner to achieve that feat was Al MacInnis in 1990-91.

An overtime goal by Kevin Fiala lifted the Minnesota Wild over the Colorado Avalanche 3-2. Cam Talbot made 40 saves for the win and Mats Zuccarello collected three assists as the Wild have won six straight to sit in second place with 84 points in the Central Division. Nazem Kadri had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, who remain atop the overall standings with 98 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kirill Kaprizov (81 points) also scored for the Wild to become the second player in franchise history to reach 80 points. He’s just two behind Marian Gaborik’s franchise record of 83.

John Tavares scored twice and Auston Matthews netted his 48th goal of the season as the Toronto Maple Leafs rolled to a 5-2 victory over the Florida Panthers. Mitch Marner and Morgan Rielly each collected three points and Petr Mrazek made 34 saves as the Leafs (87 points) sit one point behind the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division. The Panthers, meanwhile, hold a one-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes for first overall in the Eastern Conference with 94 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A solid bounce-back win by the Leafs following Saturday’s disappointing 4-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

Speaking of the Lightning, they dropped the New York Islanders 4-1. Steven Stamkos picked up an assist to collect his 70th point of the season while Mikhail Sergachev had a goal and an assist. Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin left the game in the third period with an upper-body injury.

New York Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller scored in overtime in a 5-4 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Frank Vatrano scored two goals for the Rangers, who remain one point behind the second-place Penguins in the Metropolitan Division. It was a costly win for the Rangers as center Ryan Strome left the game with a lower-body injury in the first period. Sabres defenseman Colin Miller missed the game as he was placed in COVID protocol.

The Winnipeg Jets squeaked past the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 on an overtime goal by Mark Scheifele, who also opened the scoring. With 74 points, the Jets are two points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes winger Phil Kessel extended his NHL Ironman streak to 965 games, sitting second to the Flyers’ Keith Yandle and his 988 games.

New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes scored twice as his club blew a 2-0 lead before downing the Montreal Canadiens on a shootout goal by Yegor Sherangovich. Rem Pitlick scored for the Canadiens with 46 seconds remaining in regulation.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 22, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 22, 2022

Recaps of Monday’s games, the stars of the week are revealed, Evgenii Dadonov trade held up by the league, plus some notable contract signings, injury news and waiver moves overshadowed by yesterday’s trade deadline in NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg scored twice and collected three assists in a 6-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Matt Duchene tallied two goals and added an assist as the Predators sit in third place in the Central Division with 78 points. Ducks winger Troy Terry netted his 30th goal of the season.

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sidelined since March 8, Ducks winger Jakob Silfverberg is listed as week-to-week with a blood clot in his right leg. It is being managed and he could return to action before the end of the season.

The league-leading Colorado Avalanche (95 points) opened a five-point lead over the Florida Panthers in the overall standings by beating the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 on an overtime goal by Mikko Rantanen, who finished the night with two goals. Kailer Yamamoto had a goal and an assist for the Oilers (75 points) as they sit one point behind the second-place Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division.

Brad Marchand scored twice, including the winner in overtime, to lead the Boston Bruins over the Montreal Canadiens 3-2. Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen made 43 saves. With 83 points, the Bruins hold a three-point lead over the Washington Capitals for the first wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Bruins signed winger Jake DeBrusk to a two-year contract extension with an annual average value of $4 million. The 25-year-old DeBrusk requested a trade in November so this move caught many observers by surprise. I’ll have more about this in today’s Rumor Mill.

Minnesota Wild goaltender Cam Talbot turned in a 28-save shutout to blank the Vegas Golden Knights 3-0. Nicolas Deslauriers scored the winning goal in his first game with the Wild since being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks over the weekend. With 78 points, the Wild are tied with the Nashville Predators but hold second place in the Central Division with two games in hand. The Golden Knights, meanwhile, cling to the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 72 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks earlier in the day, Marc-Andre Fleury suited up for the Wild as Talbot’s backup.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: 33 trades involving 54 players were made leading up to yesterday’s 3 pm ET trade deadline.

LAS VEGAS SUN: The NHL’s Central Registry is holding up a trade that would send winger Evgenii Dadonov from the Golden Knights to the Anaheim Ducks. The issue involves Dadonov’s 10-team no-trade, with reports indicating the Ducks were on that list. It’s uncertain if the winger agreed to accept a trade to Anaheim.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reports Dadonov filed his 10-team no-trade list last summer while a member of the Ottawa Senators. The Golden Knights appear to be claiming they didn’t receive his no-trade list from the Senators when they acquired him in July.

NHL.COM: Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi, Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor, and Arizona Coyotes winger Lawson Crouse were named the NHL’s three stars for the week ending March 20, 2022.

NEW YORK POST: The Islanders signed forward Cal Clutterbuck to a two-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $1.75 million and winger Zach Parise to a one-year extension worth $1.5 million.

NHL.COM: The Ottawa Senators inked goaltender Anton Forsberg to a three-year extension worth an annual cap hit of $2.75 million.

TSN: Speaking of goalies getting new three-year contracts, Karel Vejmelka agreed to one with the Arizona Coyotes worth $2.725 million annually.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis will miss the remainder of the season with what’s believed to be a hip/groin injury. He appeared in just four games with the Flyers.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals winger Carl Hagelin will undergo a second surgery for an eye injury suffered on March 1. There is no timetable for his return.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs defenseman Rasmus Sandin was placed on long-term injury reserve with a knee injury.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers forwards Kaapo Kakko (wrist injury) and Kevin Rooney (upper-body injury) remain sidelined for the remainder of March.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Arizona Coyotes claimed goalie Harri Sateri off waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Seattle Kraken claimed defenseman Derrick Pouliot from the Vegas Golden Knights, and the Vancouver Canucks claimed forward Brad Richardson from the Calgary Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas wasn’t pleased with the Coyotes plucking Sateri away after the Leafs signed him on Sunday to a one-year contract. However, the Coyotes were well within their rights to do so.

A player who skated in a European league during the season who signs with an NHL club must first clear waivers before he can join that team. Dubas knew this but I suspect he was hoping Sateri would pass unnoticed through waivers.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 18, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 18, 2022

Claude Giroux plays his 1,000th (and possibly final) game with the Flyers, Roman Josi sets a Predators record, Golden Knights lose Jack Eichel, Robin Lehner denies he’s seriously injured, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Claude Giroux’s 1,000th and possibly final game with the Philadelphia Flyers ended in a 5-4 victory over the Nashville Predators thanks to Joel Farabee’s game-winner late in the third period. Farabee, Kevin Hayes and Travis Sanheim each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers while Giroux was held scoreless. Predators defenseman Roman Josi collected three assists to set a single-season franchise record with 55 assists while teammate Filip Forsberg scored his 210th career goal to tie the franchise record. The Predators hold the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference with 74 points.

Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Giroux is not traveling with the Flyers to Ottawa to face the Senators tonight. He’s expected to be dealt before Monday’s trade deadline.

The Vegas Golden Knights snapped a five-game losing skid by beating the Florida Panthers 5-3 but lost Jack Eichel as he left the game in the second period after blocking a shot with one of his arms. There was no immediate update on his condition. Evgenii Dadonov scored twice as the Golden Knight (70 points) remain one point up on the Dallas Stars for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The Panthers, meanwhile, remain one point ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes for first overall in the Eastern Conference with 88 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sidelined Golden Knights starting goaltender Robin Lehner denied a report by Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli claiming he could miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury. Nevertheless, his frequent absences to injury this season and the Golden Knights’ struggles while he’s out of the lineup fuels speculation that management is shopping for a goalie.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs as rookie goalie Erik Kallgren made 34 saves for his second straight win in his second NHL start. Ondrej Kase tallied the winning goal for the Leafs (83 points), who are 4-1-1 in their last six and move within one point of the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division.

The Stars, meanwhile, got the game-tying and winning goals by John Klingberg to nip the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in overtime to snap a three-game losing skid. Stars captain Jamie Benn had a goal and two assists. Canadiens goalie Jake Allen made 31 saves in his first game since being sidelined by a lower-body injury on Jan. 13.

Leon Draisaitl scored his 40th goal of the season as the Edmonton Oilers rolled to a 6-1 dubbing of the Buffalo Sabres. Connor McDavid was among five Oilers to finish the night with two points while Mike Smith made 27 saves for the win. With 72 points, the Oilers have won four straight and sit in third place in the Pacific Division.

Alex Ovechkin tallied his 38th goal of the season, Anthony Mantha scored twice and Vitek Vanecek stopped 39 shots as the Washington Capitals thumped the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-2. It was a costly win for the Capitals as winger T.J. Oshie left the game with a lower-body injury. The Capitals (78 points) move within a point of the Boston Bruins for the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

Detroit Red Wing netminder Alex Nedeljkovic kicked out 43 shots and Pius Suter scored the only goal to blank the Vancouver Canucks 1-0. Canucks center J.T. Miller’s point streak ended at 13 games. The loss leaves the Canucks (67 points) three points out of the final Western wild-card spot.

Speaking of shutouts, Cal Petersen made 29 saves for his third of the season in a 3-0 win over the San Jose Sharks. Anze Kopitar, Phillip Danault and Adrian Kempe were the goal scorers as the Kings (76 points) hold a four-point lead over the Oilers for second place in the Pacific Division.

A shootout goal by Bryan Rust lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins over the St. Louis Blues 3-2. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby’s point streak ended at 10 games. Blues goaltender Ville Husso made 43 saves in a losing cause. The Penguins (83 points) hold a two-point lead over the New York Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division while the Blues (77 points) sit four points ahead of the Minnesota Wild in second place in the Central Division.

The Rangers, meanwhile, dropped a 2-1 decision to the New York Islanders. Ilya Sorokin made 29 saves for the win as Kyle Palmieri broke a 1-1 tie late in the third period. Rangers winger Chris Kreider netted his 40th goal of the season.

IN OTHER NEWS…

OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot’s season is over after suffering a broken right hand during Wednesday’s 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets forward Andrew Copp was shaken up but avoided another concussion following a hit by Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist on Sunday. He passed a return-to-play test on Tuesday. Copp has suffered four concussions in his playing career.

NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights signed defenseman Derrick Pouliot to a one-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move was made to shore up Vegas’ injury-depleted blue line.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford was placed on the NHL COVID protocol list.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 16, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 16, 2022

Alex Ovechkin takes over third place on the all-time goal list, Connor McDavid, Chris Kreider, Roman Josi and Mitch Marner also reach scoring milestones, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 767th career NHL goal as his club downed the New York Islanders 4-3 on a shootout goal by Anthony Mantha. Evgeny Kuznetsov collected two assists for the Capitals while Brock Nelson had a goal and an assist for the Islanders. With 76 points, the Capitals hold the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin surpassed Jaromir Jagr to move into sole possession of third place on the all-time goal-scoring list, becoming the top European goal scorer in NHL history. He now sits 34 goals behind Gordie Howe for second place.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid had two points and Evander Kane tallied twice to give the Edmonton Oilers a 7-5 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Warren Foegele snapped a 5-5 tie while Leon Draisaitl, Duncan Keith and Kailer Yamamoto also collected two points for the Oilers, who sit in third place in the Pacific Division with 70 points. Marc Staal scored two goals for the Red Wings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was McDavid’s 200th career multi-point game. It’s the most among all players since his debut in 2015-16.

New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider became the sixth active skater to score at least 20 power-play goals in a season as his club nipped the Anaheim Ducks 4-3. Adam Fox had three points (including the winning goal in overtime) and Artemi Panarin collected three assists. The Rangers are tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins with 81 points but hold second place in the Metropolitan Division with a game in hand. The Ducks (65 points) have dropped five straight and sit three points out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

Speaking of the Penguins, they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Nashville Predators. Roman Josi collected three assists, becoming the third place in franchise history to record 50 assists in a season. Josi also leads all defensemen in scoring this season with 69 points while his club moved into third place in the Central Division with 74 points. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby picked up an assist to extend his points streak to 10 games.

Toronto Maple Leafs rookie goaltender Erik Kallgren turned in a 35-save shutout in his first NHL start to blank the Dallas Stars 4-0. Mitch Marner collected two assists to surpass the 40-assist mark for the sixth straight season. With 81 points, the Leafs are one back of the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division. The loss puts the Stars one point behind the Vegas Golden Knights (68 points) for the final Western wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the first of two games the Leafs will play without Auston Matthews as he serves his suspension for cross-checking Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin during Sunday’s Heritage Classic.

The Golden Knights, meanwhile, suffered their fifth straight defeat as they fell 7-3 to the Winnipeg Jets, who’ve won four of their last five games. Kyle Connor led the way for the Jets with a goal and two assists while Connor Hellebuyck made 35 saves for the win. They now sit just two points behind the Golden Knights. Jets forward Andrew Copp missed this game with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Six weeks ago, the Golden Knights sat atop the Pacific Division with 57 points. The combination of injuries to team captain Mark Stone and starting goalie Robin Lehner has contributed to their decline since then. They’re in danger of dropping out of the playoff race.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat scored twice and added an assist to lead his club over the New Jersey Devils 6-3, snapping a 12-game losing skid against New Jersey. Canucks center J.T. Miller extended his points streak to 13 games with three assists as his club sits one point behind the Golden Knights. Devils forward Pavel Zacha is doubtful for his club’s game tonight against the Calgary Flames after suffering an upper-body injury in this contest.

The league-leading Colorado Avalanche became the first team to reach 90 points this season (91) by beating the Los Angeles Kings 3-0. Darcy Kuemper made 23 saves for his second straight shutout while Mikko Rantanen and Valeri Nichushkin each had a goal and an assist. Josh Manson logged over 18 minutes in his first game with the Avs since they acquired him from the Ducks on Monday.

Florida Panthers forward Frank Vatrano scored the game-tying and overtime goals to lift his club to a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. It was Panthers center Joe Thornton’s first game back in San Jose against his former club since his departure in 2020. The Panthers (88 points) move one point ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes into first place in the Eastern Conference.

The Boston Bruins (79 points) remain three points ahead of the Capitals for the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth by downing the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 on an overtime goal by Matt Grzelcyk. Blackhawks goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made 46 saves in a losing cause.

A 36-save effort by Karel Vejmelka gave the Arizona Coyotes a 6-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens for their sixth victory in their last seven contests. Clayton Keller and Lawson Crouse each had a goal and an assist. Cole Caufield tallied twice in eight seconds for the Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens held trade candidate Ben Chiarot out of this game while Josh Anderson missed this matchup with a lower-body injury. The Habs also indicated Ryan Poehling was placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE DENVER POST/TWINCITIES.COM: The Colorado Avalanche made their second trade in as many days, shipping forward Tyson Jost to the Minnesota Wild for forward Nico Sturm.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move adds more size to the Avalanche roster while also swapping Jost’s $2 million salary-cap hit through 2022-23 for the pending free agent Sturm’s more affordable $725K. Avs general manager Joe Sakic could be setting the table for a bigger move before the March 21 trade deadline.

As for the Wild, this deal is being seen as GM Bill Guerin’s attempt to inject some life into a roster that’s struggled over the past month. He believes Jost will have a better chance to showcase his skills with the Wild.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin underwent season-ending hip surgery on Monday. He’s expected to make a full recovery but will be sidelined for six months.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That should put an end to the Braden Holtby trade rumors. The Stars won’t shop their backup while they’re jockeying for a playoff spot. He’s currently sidelined by a lower-body injury though he skated with his teammates during practice yesterday.

NEW YORK POST: Former NHL defenseman Jean Potvin passed away last night at age 72. An 11-year NHL veteran, he spent two tenures totaling seven seasons with the New York Islanders, winning two Stanley Cups with brother Denis Potvin. He also served stints with the Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Cleveland Barons and Minnesota North Stars. Potvin netted 287 points in 613 total games between 1970-71 and 1980-81.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Potvin’s family, friends and former teammates.