NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 13, 2023
The Devils’ Jack Hughes matches a franchise record in their win over the Hurricanes, the Penguins’ Kris Letang buries the Rangers in overtime, interim Flyers GM Daniel Briere says the “R” word and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes had a goal and two assists, Jesper Bratt tallied twice and Vitek Vanecek made 32 saves to shut out the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0. Hughes tied a franchise record with his 27th multi-point game this season as the Devils (44-16-6) moved into a tie with Carolina (43-14-8) with 94 points. The Hurricanes played without Andrei Svechnikov as he’s sidelined by a lower-body injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes still hold first place in the Metropolitan Division on the basis of a game in hand. Nevertheless, the Devils have overtaken the Canes, who’ve held sole possession of the top spot in the Metro since Dec. 20. It’s shaping up to be an exciting battle down the stretch between these two for the division title.
An overtime goal by Kris Letang lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each collected two assists while Tristan Jarry turned aside 27 shots for the 34-22-10 Penguins, who hold the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth and have won seven of their last nine games. Jaroslav Halak stopped 32 shots for the 37-19-10 Rangers as they sit third in the Metro with 84 points.
Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck kicked out 33 shots to hold off the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2. Nino Niedereitter scored as he has six points in seven games with the 38-26-3 Jets (79 points) as they moved past the Colorado Avalanche into third place in the Central Division. Anthony Cirelli had a goal and an assist for the Lightning (39-22-6) as they sit third in the Atlantic Division with 84 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lightning captain Steven Stamkos played in this game, showing no ill effects from the leg injury that forced him out of Saturday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Jets, meanwhile, played without sidelined defenseman Josh Morrissey, who could return to the lineup on Tuesday against the Hurricanes. Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois (upper-body) is not expected to rejoin the club for the remainder of this road trip.
The Vegas Golden Knights defeated the St. Louis Blues 5-3. Jiri Patera stopped 30 shots to win his first-ever NHL game while Alex Pietrangelo, William Karlsson and Pavel Dorofeyev each had a goal and an assist as the Golden Knights improved to 41-20-6 to sit atop the Western Conference with 88 points. Jordan Kyrou had a goal and an assist for the 29-32-5 Blues.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Golden Knights winger Keegan Kolesar missed this game as he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom made 30 saves while Jonathan Huberdeau, Elias Lindholm and Rasmus Andersson each had a goal and an assist in a 5-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators. With 73 points, the Flames (30-24-13) are five points out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth. Tim Stutzle scored for the Senators (33-29-4) as they sit six points out of the final Eastern wild-card spot.
The Detroit Red Wings kept their fading playoff hopes alive with a 5-3 upset of the Boston Bruins. Dylan Larkin had a goal and two assists while Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond each had two points for the 30-27-9 Red Wings (69 points) as they sit seven points out of the final Eastern wild-card spot. David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist for the Bruins (50-10-5) as they sit atop the overall standings with 105 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins defenseman Hampus Lindholm missed this game with a foot injury suffered during Saturday’s game with the Wings.
Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller scored the tying and winning goals in a 5-4 overtime upset of the Minnesota Wild. Keller finished with three points while Barrett Hayton scored twice and collected two assists for the 24-32-11 Coyotes. The 38-21-8 Wild (84 points) matched a franchise-record points streak at 13 as they sit one point out of first place in the Central Division.
The Nashville Predators nipped the Anaheim Ducks 5-4 on an overtime tally by Tommy Novak, who finished the game with two goals. The Predators (33-24-7) are five points out of the final Western wild-card spot with 73 points. Mason McTavish scored twice and Cam Fowler collected three assists for the 22-35-10 Ducks.
PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Interim Flyers general manager Daniel Briere believes a rebuild is necessary for his club but stressed that doesn’t mean there will be a fire sale of roster players. He added they will look at every possible option to improve the team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Briere’s predecessor avoided the “R” word over the final two years of his tenure when it was becoming clear to fans and pundits that a rebuild was necessary. I’ll have more about Briere’s comments and plans for the Flyers in today’s Rumor Mill.
NHL.COM: The department of player safety fined Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares $5,000.00 for slashing Edmonton Oilers defenseman Vincent Desharnais on Saturday.
NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Rasmus Sandin is thriving since joining the Capitals in a trade with the Maple Leafs on Feb. 28. Buried on the Leafs’ third defense pairing, the 23-year-old blueliner is skating on the Capitals’ top pairing, collecting eight points in his first four games with his new club.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs shipped out Sandin to bolster their defense corps by adding Erik Gustafsson along with acquiring a 2023 first-round pick that originally belonged to the Bruins. Gustafsson has no points in their first three games with the Leafs after collecting 38 in 61 games with Washington.
DAILY FACEOFF: The Buffalo Sabres announced defenseman Rasmus Dahlin is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Blueliner Mattias Samuelsson (upper body) and goaltender Eric Comrie (lower body) are week-to-week.
THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks signed winger Phillip Di Giuseppe to a two-year, two-way contract extension.