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
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.
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.