NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 19, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 19, 2024

Another milestone for Alex Ovechkin as the Capitals move into a playoff spot, the three stars of the week, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored twice in a 5-2 victory over the Calgary Flames, becoming the third player in NHL history to score 20 goals in 19 consecutive seasons. Charlie Lindgren stopped 34 shots for the 33-25-9 Capitals, who vaulted into the final Eastern Conference wildcard berth with 75 points. Rookie goalie Dustin Wolf made 28 saves for the 33-30-5 Flames.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gordie Howe (22 seasons) and Brendan Shanahan (19) are the other two to reach that milestone.

The Buffalo Sabres defeated the Seattle Kraken 6-2. Jeff Skinner netted his seventh career NHL hat trick and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen turned aside 32 shots for the Sabres (33-31-5), who’ve won four of their last five and sit four points behind the Capitals. Kraken goaltender Joey Daccord got the hook after giving up three goals on four shots as his club slipped to 28-27-12.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sabres forward Alex Tuch collected his 300th career NHL point in this game. Meanwhile, Kraken defenseman Jamie Oleksiak left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury.


NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov, Chicago Blackhawks center Connor Bedard, and Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending March 17, 2024.

SPORTSNET: Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner will miss the club’s two-game road trip as he continues to nurse a high-ankle sprain.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes winger Clayton Keller reached a franchise milestone during his team’s 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. Keller, 25, collected two points to become the second player to reach 400 career points (401) in the club’s 28 years in Arizona.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes’ ongoing arena issues and ongoing playoff drought overshadow Keller’s impressive play over the past three seasons. He’s among the league’s best players but few fans outside of Arizona seem to know that.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek remains sidelined with a lower-body injury to the end of this week.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov received a two-game suspension from the NHL department of player safety for an illegal hit to the head to Tampa Bay Lightning winger Conor Sheary.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren is projected to be sidelined for several weeks with a lower-body injury. Lindgren suffered the injury during Sunday’s game against the New York Islanders.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Wayne Simmonds officially announced his retirement and signed a one-day contract to retire as a Flyers player on April 13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmonds spent 15 seasons in the NHL from 2008-09 to 2022-23with the Los Angeles Kings, Flyers, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs. He finished with 263 goals, 263 assists and 526 points with 1,313 PIMs in 1,037 games.

During his eight years with the Flyers, Simmonds had six seasons of 24-plus goals and 46 or more points, including two 30-plus goal performances and two 60-point campaigns.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best of luck to Simmonds in his future endeavors.

THE ATHLETIC: Former NHL player Konstantin Koltsov passed away at age 42. He spent three seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2002-03 to 2005-06, finishing with 12 goals and 26 assists for 38 points in 144 games. Koltsov spent most of his playing career in Russia, including 10 seasons in the KHL following his NHL tenure. He was the coach of KHL club Salavat Yulaev at the time of his passing.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Koltsov’s family, friends, former teammates and Salavat Yulaev for their loss.

STLTODAY.COM: Laila Anderson, the young girl who was the inspiration for the St. Louis Blues’ Stanley Cup run in 2019, has overcome her life-threatening brain disease. Now 15, she plays hockey for the Chesterfield Lady Falcons, who won the Blue Note Cup Tournament in the Bantam (B3) Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Laila and her teammates.