NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 25, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 25, 2022

The Lightning stay alive with a Game 5 win in the Stanley Cup Final, Barry Trotz is in no hurry to return to coaching, the Blackhawks will name Luke Richardson as their new coach, Chris Kreider and Joel Farabee undergo surgery, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Ondrej Palat’s third-period goal lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ondrej Palat (NHL Images).

Andrei Vasilevskiy picked up the win with a 35-save performance, Jan Rutta and Nikita Kucherov also scored while Corey Perry and Mikhail Sergachev each collected two assists for the Lightning.

Valeri Nichushkin and Cale Makar replied for the Avalanche, whose lead in the series has been cut to three games to two. Nichushkin tied a franchise record with his fourth goal in a Stanley Cup Final.

The series returns to Tampa Bay on Sunday for Game 6.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the third time in this postseason, the Lightning battled back with a hard-fought victory when facing elimination. Once again, Vasilevskiy was stellar in a must-win game. And once again, it was Palat with a clutch goal, giving him a team-leading three game-winners in this postseason and 12 playoff winners for his career, ranking third in that category among active players.

The breaks went the Lightning’s way in this contest. After the Avalanche got lucky in Game 5 with a missed too-many-men call during Nazem Kadri’s game-winner in overtime, they were tagged this time with 2:43 remaining in regulation, all but snuffing out an opportunity to pull their goalie and push for the equalizing goal. The Bolts also benefited when a tripping call on Makar led to Kucherov’s 4-on-3 power-play goal in the second period.

WINNIPEG SUN: Former New York Islanders coach Barry Trotz turned down the opportunity to coach the Jets, basing his decision on spending more time with his family.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report indicated Trotz was impressed by the Jets’ approach in both their patience as he considered their offer and willingness to accommodate his needs if he accepted the job.

Sources told the Sun that Trotz was reluctant to face the grind of another NHL season after 23 straight years of coaching. The Islanders also owe him another season of salary ($4 million), allowing him time to step back, spend more time with his family and ponder his future.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reported the Chicago Blackhawks are expected to name Luke Richardson as their new head coach next week. Richardson has spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers winger Chris Kreider underwent surgery to remove a small bone fragment from his wrist. His expected timeline of recovery is two-to-four weeks.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers forward Joel Farabee could miss the start of the 2022-23 season after undergoing disc-replacement surgery in his cervical area on Friday. He’s expected to make a full recovery in three-to-four months.

VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: The Canucks have hired former Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon as a senior advisor.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tallon’s NHL career has now come full circle. He began his playing career with the Canucks in 1970-71.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins named Tom Kostopoulos as director of player development. He replaces Scott Young, who was named the Canucks director of player personnel on Friday.

NHL.COM: The Nashville Predators signed forward Cody Glass to a one-year, two-way contract worth over $874K at the NHL level.

TSN: Minnesota Wild prospect Pavel Novak is taking time away from hockey to deal with an oncological disease.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Novak in his treatments. Here’s hoping he makes a full recovery and resumes his playing career.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 13, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 13, 2022

Chris Kreider reaches 50 goals, Johnny Gaudreau hits 100 points, the Western Conference wild-card race intensifies and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider tallied his 50th goal of the season in a 4-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Sebastian Aho had a goal and two assists and Frederik Andersen made 28 saves for the Hurricanes, who sit four points ahead of the second-place Rangers atop the Metropolitan Division with 104 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kreider is the third NHL player to reach the 50-goal plateau this season and the fourth player in Rangers history to do so, joining Jaromir Jagr, Adam Graves and Vic Hadfield. He needs just five more goals to break Jagr’s franchise record of 54.

Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau (NHL Images).

Johnny Gaudreau collected two assists to reach the 100-point mark as the Calgary Flames defeated the Seattle Kraken 5-3. Matthew Tkachuk tallied a hat trick for the Flames, who sit in first place in the Pacific Division with 99 points. Kraken center Matty Beniers picked up an assist for his first point in his first NHL game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the first time Gaudreau’s reached 100 points in his career. He’s the first Flame to do so since Theo Fleury in 1992-93.

The Dallas Stars blanked the Tampa Bay Lightning 1-0 with Scott Wedgewood making 24 saves for his fifth career shutout. Roope Hintz broke a scoreless tie in the third period to give the Stars (88 points) a three-point cushion over the Vegas Golden Knights for the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

Speaking of the Golden Knights, they dropped a 5-4 decision to the Vancouver Canucks on an overtime goal by Quinn Hughes. Elias Pettersson had a goal and two assists while Thatcher Demko made 41 stops for the win. Shea Theodore tallied twice for Vegas while Golden Knights captain Mark Stone was held pointless after being out of the lineup since Feb. 8 with a back injury. The Canucks (82 points) moved to within six points of the Stars and within three of the Golden Knights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights moved William Carrier, Nolan Patrick and Laurent Brossoit to long-term injured reserve yesterday to clear sufficient cap space for Stone’s return.

An overtime goal by Ryan Johansen gave the Nashville Predators a 1-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Juuse Saros kicked out 25 shots for his fourth shutout of the season as the Predators (89 points) sit one point ahead of the Stars in the first Western wild-card spot. The Sharks have dropped seven straight games.

The Los Angeles Kings snapped a three-game losing skid to down the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2. Blake Lizotte scored twice and Phillip Danault had a goal and an assist for Los Angeles (88 points) to open a three-point lead over the Golden Knights for third place in the Pacific Division. Kings winger Dustin Brown collected two assists in his first game since being sidelined in March 12 by an upper-body injury.

Minnesota Wild forwards Kevin Fiala and Ryan Hartman each scored twice in a 5-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Cam Talbot stopped 27 shots for the Wild, who sit in second place in the Central Division with 96 points. Leon Draisaitl tallied his 51st goal of the season for the Oilers, who sit two points up on the Kings with 90 points in the Pacific Division.

Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice as the St. Louis Blues doubled up the Boston Bruins 4-2. Ville Husso made 39 saves while Torey Krug collected two points in his first games since March 22. The Blues are tied with the Wild but sit in third place in the Central Division as the Wild holds a game in hand. The Bruins remain in the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 95 points, one back of the third-place Lightning in the Atlantic Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo left the game in the first period with an undisclosed injury.

Alex Ovechkin tallied his 46th goal of the season as the Washington Capitals crushed the Philadelphia Flyers 9-2. Lars Eller tallied two goals and Justin Schultz collected three assists as the Capitals sit three points behind the Bruins in the second wild-card berth. Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov missed the game with a lower-body injury while Flyers winger Cam Atkinson left the game after suffering a lower-body injury following a first-period collision with Capitals winger Tom Wilson.

The Florida Panthers picked up their eighth straight win as an overtime goal by Jonathan Huberdeau gave them a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Anthony Duclair scored twice for the Panthers, who sit in first place in the Eastern Conference with 110 points. They’re tied with the Colorado Avalanche but the latter holds first overall with a game in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Ducks confirmed they’ve picked up the option year in head coach Dallas Eakins’ contract.

New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin made 43 saves and Kyle Palmieri scored in the shootout to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-4. Zach Parise and Josh Bailey each tallied twice for the Islanders. Jake Guentzel scored two goals and added an assist for the illness-ravaged Penguins, who activated Brock McGinn into the lineup after missing 15 games with an upper-body injury. The Penguins hold third place in the Metropolitan Division with 95 points but have just one victory in their last six contests.

The Buffalo Sabres got 24 saves from Craig Anderson to upset the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2. Victor Olofsson, Rasmus Dahlin, Alex Tuch and Rasmus Asplund each had two-point performance. 2021 first-overall pick Owen Power looked sharp in his NHL debut, seeing over 19 minutes of ice time and finishing with a plus-minus of plus-two.

Ottawa Senators forward Tim Stutzle scored twice and added an assist in a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Auston Watson collected two points for the Senators while Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi netted his 27th goal of the season.

The New Jersey Devils defeated the Arizona Coyotes 6-2. Yegor Sharangovich scored two goals and set up another while Nico Hischier collected three assists.

IN OTHER NEWS…

TSN: NHL team player representatives are voting on whether to publicly disclose the results of an investigation into NHL Players Association executive director Donald Fehr’s response to concerns raised by two player agents about former Chicago Blackhawks’ Kyle Beach’s alleged sexual assault.

It will take 18 reps to vote in favor of a public release to make it happen. One source told TSN’s Rick Westhead some of those reps have already voted to make the report public.

CBS SPORTS/TSN: The Montreal Canadiens placed winger Jonathan Drouin on long-term injury reserve after undergoing season-ending surgery. The move will free up salary-cap space for a possible return to action of goaltender Carey Price. The Canadiens also announced injuries have sidelined goalie Jake Allen and defenseman Justin Barron for the remainder of the season.

NHL.COM: Wednesday’s game between the Seattle Kraken and Winnipeg Jets has been postponed to May 1 due to a major winter storm in Winnipeg.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 10, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 10, 2022

The Maple Leafs and Rangers clinch playoff berths, Auston Matthews, Chris Kreider and Alex Ovechkin each approach significant scoring milestones, the Avalanche tie a franchise record, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Auston Matthews scored twice as the Toronto Maple Leafs clinched a playoff berth by holding off the Montreal Canadiens 3-2. Matthews reached 58 goals on the season, becoming the ninth player in league history to score 50 goals in a 50-game period. The Leafs sit in second place in the Atlantic Division with 100 points. Montreal defenseman Jeff Petry returned to action after missing seven games with a lower-body injury. However, Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews is two goals away from becoming the NHL’s first 60-goal scorer since the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Steven Stamkos reached that mark in 2011-12. Meanwhile, Allen’s injury is not expected to hasten the timeline for Carey Price’s return to the Canadiens’ net. Earlier in the day, the club announced winger Jonathan Drouin underwent season-ending wrist surgery on Friday.

The New York Rangers also clinched a postseason berth with a 5-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Chris Kreider tallied two goals to reach 49 on the season while Artemi Panarin had a goal and two assists. With 100 points, the Rangers are tied with the Carolina Hurricanes but the latter holds first place in the Metropolitan Division with a game in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kreider sits third in the goal-scoring race and is poised to become the third player to reach the 50-goal plateau this season. He’s also five away from tying Jaromir Jagr for the single-season franchise record of 54 goals.

Three unanswered third-period goals lifted the Washington Capitals over the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3, handing the latter their fourth straight loss. Alex Ovechkin scored his 44th goal of the season while Tom Wilson and John Carlson each collected two points for the Capitals, who hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 88 points. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, sits just four points ahead of the Capitals for third place in the Metro Division. Penguins winger Jason Zucker returned to the lineup after missing three games with a core-muscle injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin is tied with Gordie Howe for the second-most goals scored in a season by a player 36-or-old. He’s four behind record-holder Teemu Selanne. The Capitals captain also needs six more goals to tie Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy for the most 50-goal seasons (nine) in a career.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon scored the tying goal and the only goal in the shootout in a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Darcy Kuemper turned in a 49-save performance as Colorado tied a franchise single-season record with 52 wins. The Avalanche sits two points ahead of the Florida Panthers for first in the overall standings with 110 points. With 90 points, the Oilers hold a four-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings for second place in the Pacific Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard returned to action after missing 13 games with a lower-body injury.

Speaking of the Panthers, they picked up their seventh straight victory by dropping the Nashville Predators 4-1. Jonathan Huberdeau scored to extend his points streak to 11 games while Spencer Knight got the win by stopping 24 shots. The Predators hold the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference with 86 points.

Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin collected assists on each of his club’s goals on route to a 4-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken. With 97 points, the Flames are seven points up on the Oilers for first place in the Pacific Division.

The St. Louis Blues took over sole possession of second place in the Central Division with 94 points as they thumped the New York Islanders 6-1. Justin Faulk scored two goals and collected an assist as his club extended its points streak to eight games. Vladimir Tarasenko and Robert Thomas each had a goal and an assist. The Islanders were playing without Casey Cizikas, who served a one-game suspension for boarding Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brendan Smith on Friday.

New Jersey Devils captain Nico Hischier had a goal and an assist to lead his club to a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars. The loss leaves the Stars two points behind the Predators and clinging to the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 84 points.

Max Pacioretty scored in his return to the Vegas Golden Knights lineup as they crushed the Arizona Coyotes 6-1. Pacioretty had missed 12 games with an undisclosed ailment. Brayden McNabb had a goal and two assists while Robin Lehner turned aside 29 shots. The Golden Knights are tied with the Stars but the latter has two games in hand.

The Vancouver Canucks remain alive in the chase for the final Western wild-card berth by doubling up the San Jose Sharks 4-2. Thatcher Demko stopped 35 shots while Alex Chiasson had a goal and an assist for the Canucks, who are four points behind the Stars and Golden Knights.

A hat trick by Jack Roslovic, including the winner in overtime, powered the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-4 win over the Detroit Red Wings, handing the latter their eighth defeat in their last nine contests. Jakub Vrana tallied twice for the Wings.

Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras scored two goals to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3. Flyers forward Joel Farabee missed this game as he’s suffering from the flu.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 31, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 31, 2022

Connor McDavid reaches 100 points again, Leon Draisaitl and Chris Kreider make the race for the Richard Trophy interesting, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid netted his league-leading 100th point of the season and Leon Draisaitl tallied his 49th goal of the campaign as the Edmonton Oilers downed the Los Angeles Kings 4-3. Both players also scored in the shootout for the Oilers. Alexander Edler and Carl Grundstrom each had two points for the Kings (82 points), who hold a one-point lead over the Oilers for second place in the Pacific Division.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

An overtime goal by Andrew Copp lifted the New York Rangers over the Detroit Red Wings 5-4. Chris Kreider’s game-tying goal was his 46th of the season while Artemi Panarin had a goal and two assists for the Rangers (93 points) as they sit three points behind the first-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Logan Thompson made 22 saves for his first NHL shutout to blank the Seattle Kraken 3-0. Shea Theodore, Michael Amadio and Jonathan Marchessault were the goal scorers as the Golden Knights (78 points) regained the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference, sitting one point up on the Dallas Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken became the fourth team officially eliminated from playoff contention, joining the Arizona Coyotes, Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers.

Blake Wheeler potted the deciding goal in the shootout in the Winnipeg Jets’ 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Connor Hellebuyck got the win with a 35-save performance while Zemgus Girgensons scored twice for the Sabres. The Jets have won seven of their last 10 games and sit two points behind the Golden Knights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets played without leading scorer Kyle Connor and defenseman Nate Schmidt after both entered COVID protocol yesterday.

The St. Louis Blues regained third place in the Central Division by holding off the Vancouver Canucks 4-3. Ryan O’Reilly had a goal and an assist for the Blues, who sit three points behind the second-place Minnesota Wild with 83 points. With 73 points, the Canucks are five points behind the Golden Knights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the second straight loss for the Canucks, putting their playoff hopes in jeopardy. Earlier in the day, they also learned forward Nils Hoglander may be done for the season after suffering a groin injury during practice on March 16.

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka made 39 saves and Jan Jenik scored two goals in a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks. It was a costly win for the Coyotes as leading scorer Clayton Keller was stretchered from the game in the third period after falling awkwardly into the boards. Keller was transported to a hospital for further examination.

HEADLINES

OTTAWA SUN: Anthony LeBlanc, the Senators president of business operations, confirmed the club had held talks with Quebec City, but only about entering a joint bid to host the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship.

A report in La Presse yesterday claimed NHL commissioner Gary Bettman had spoken to the Quebec government about the Senators playing five of its home games in Quebec City next season. LeBlanc said the possibility of playing neutral site games there was floated but never really discussed. “The idea that we (Senators) are going to be playing in Quebec City is very disingenuous,” said LeBlanc.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some folks seem to be jumping to conclusions by taking this story as an indication the Senators could be relocated to Quebec City. Coming two days after the death of Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, the La Presse report stirred unease for a fan base that is, according to the Ottawa Sun’s Ken Warren, insecure over the franchise’s future in Ottawa.

Part of that is uncertainty over what Melnyk’s successors intend to do with the Senators. However, Bettman recently indicated an ownership structure is in place and he anticipated the franchise will continue operating as it has. Part of it could also be tied to the late Melnyk’s attempts to build a new arena in downtown Ottawa.

If the Melnyk family decides to sell the Senators, the priority will be to find a buyer who will keep the team in its current location. Any sale of the franchise has to be approved by the NHL board of governors.

NHL.COM: The NHL department of player safety fined Boston Bruins winger Taylor Hall $5,000.00 for roughing Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin on Tuesday. Nashville Predators forward Tanner Jeannot was fined $2,000.00 for kneeing Ottawa Senators winger Brady Tkachuk on Tuesday.

CBS SPORTS: The Maple Leafs placed winger Ondrej Kase on long-term injury reserve. He’s been sidelined by a concussion since March 19.

SPORTSNET: Former NHL player Jake Virtanen will go to trial starting on July 18 for sexual assault charges.










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.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 3, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 3, 2022

The Rangers down the Blues, the Stars get a big win over the Kings, Senators owner pledges support for Ukraine, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Three unanswered third-period goals by Patrik Nemeth, Chris Kreider and Artemi Panarin rallied the New York Rangers to a 5-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Kreider’s goal was his 35th of the season and his league-leading 18th on the power play while teammates Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox each collected three points. The Rangers (73 points) sit one point back of the second-place Pittsburgh Penguins in the Metropolitan Division. Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron each had two points for the Blues, who remain in second place in the Central Division with 70 points.

New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider (NHL Images).

Dallas Stars winger Alexander Radulov tallied the winning goal in his 500th career NHL game as his club overcame a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Kings 4-3. Jason Robertson and Ryan Suter also scored for the Stars, who are 3-0-1 in their last four games to hold the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference with 63 points, holding a game in hand over the Edmonton Oilers. The Kings got two goals from Arthur Kaliyev and remain in second place in the Pacific Division with 65 points.

The Seattle Kraken snapped a seven-game losing skid with a 4-3 upset of the Nashville Predators. Colin Blackwell broke a 3-3 tie with the only goal in the third period. Nashville captain Roman Josi collected two assists (including his 500th career point) while Matt Duchene scored twice. The Predators (64 points) sit one point ahead of the Stars in the first Western wild-card spot.

Speaking of teams snapping long losing streaks, the Buffalo Sabres ended their six-game skid by upsetting the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1, breaking the latter’s three-game win streak. Jeff Skinner had a goal and an assist for the Sabres while Toronto goaltender Petr Mrazek gave up five goals on 31 shots. With 74 points, the Leafs remain one back of the second-place Florida Panthers in the Atlantic Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs were flatter than pancakes playing in front of a full house in their home arena for the first time since December against an opponent they should’ve easily defeated. That’s not going to soothe jittery Leafs fans concerned over their club’s shaky goaltending, inconsistent defense, and a second line whose center (John Tavares) is mired in a long goal-scoring slump.

HEADLINES

OTTAWA SUN: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk published an open letter yesterday saying he’ll try to support Ukraine in the unprovoked war with Russia. Melnyk has strong ties to the country as his parents were both born in Ukraine. Among the means he’ll use to pledge support is directing some of the funds from the Senators Community Fund 50/50 draws to charitable causes to help Ukraine. The team will also work with the Ukrainian community in Ottawa to facilitate charitable donations to that country.

ESPN.COM: NHL player agent Dan Milstein said his Russian clients are experiencing “disturbing levels” of harassment and believes draft-eligible players are already being discriminated against because of their country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Among his clients is Calgary Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov, who’s among the few Russian players to speak out publicly against the invasion. However, he’s received derogatory messages to his Instagram account for speaking out.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This war could affect Russian players eligible for this year’s NHL draft if it is still going on when the event is held in July or if Russia has taken control of Ukraine by that point.

Teams could be reluctant to select Russian players if there’s concern about a backlash for doing so from their fans. Those players could also find it difficult to leave Russia if the strict travel restrictions that are part of the tough sanctions imposed by North American and European countries remain in place. It’s also possible the Russian government could prevent those players from leaving the country.

Russian players already under NHL contracts beyond this season will still keep their jobs as the league isn’t expected to ban them from playing. However, those slated to become unrestricted free agents this summer could encounter difficulty finding new contracts with NHL clubs.

Milstein also tweeted yesterday the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) was expected yesterday to ban Russian and Belarussian players from its 2022 import draft. While the CHL announced it was canceling the 2022 Canada-Russia series, no decision has been reached yet regarding the date and format of this year’s import draft.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals winger Carl Hagelin will be sidelined for an extended period with an injury to his left eye.

ESPN.COM: An injury to James Reimer prompted the San Jose Sharks to acquire goaltender Alex Stalock from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for future considerations. Backup Adin Hill has also been sidelined but is expected to return to the Sharks’ lineup soon.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens traded minor-league goaltender Michael McNiven to the Calgary Flames for future considerations.

TSN: Speaking of the Canadiens, they’re expected to return to full capacity at the Bell Centre on March 12 as pandemic restrictions are eased through Quebec.