NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 18, 2023
Ivan Provorov cites religious reasons for his refusal to wear Pride Night jersey during warm-ups before the Ducks-Flyers game, Mitch Marner sets a Leafs points record and Evander Kane returns to the Oilers lineup. Details and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers’ 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks was overshadowed by Ivan Provorov citing his religious beliefs for his refusal to participate in pregame warmups when the Flyers were wearing jerseys to commemorate Pride Night in support of the LGBTQ+ community. Kevin Hayes had a hat trick as the Flyers improved to 19-19-7 on the season while the Ducks fell to 12-28-5.
Provorov, who is Russian Orthodox, said he respected everyone and their choices during a post-game press conference. “My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion.” Flyers head coach John Tortorella also spoke to reporters following the game. “It’s one thing I respect about Provy, he’s always true to himself,” said Tortorella.
The Flyers released a statement following warmups indicating they are committed to inclusivity and proudly support the LGBTQ+ community and would continue to do so. They pointed out that a number of their players support their local LGBTQ+ communities.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Provorov’s stand earned him condemnation and support on social media. Meanwhile, Flyers forwards Scott Laughton and James van Riemsdyk met with around 50 people in the LGBTQ+ community following the game. Laughton said that overall the Flyers had a “great, great night that brings a lot of awareness.” He expects there will be more conversations with Provorov. “I don’t hold anything against anyone,” he said.
Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner collected two assists to extend his home points streak to a franchise-record 19 games in a 5-4 overtime victory over the Florida Panthers. William Nylander scored the tying and winning goals as the Leafs (27-11-7) sit in second place in the Atlantic Division with 61 points. Aleksander Barkov had a goal and an assist for the 21-20-5 Panthers as they sit three points out of a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference with 47 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs overcame a 4-1 deficit after replacing starting goalie Matt Murray with Ilya Samsonov. Murray has struggled of late, allowing at least four goals in four of his last seven games.
The Edmonton Oilers extended their wins streak to four games by defeating the Seattle Kraken 5-2. Zach Hyman had a goal and two assists while Connor McDavid tallied his league-leading 38th goal of the season. The Oilers improved to 25-18-3 and hold the first Western Conference wild-card spot with 53 points. The Kraken (26-14-4) remain two points behind the first-place Vegas Golden Knights in the Pacific Division with 56 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Evander Kane returned to the Oilers lineup for the first time since suffering a gruesome wrist injury on Nov. 8. He was held scoreless but led all skaters in this game with seven shots on goal. To accommodate Kane’s return, the cap-strapped Oilers placed defenseman Ryan Murray and winger Kailer Yamamoto on long-term injury reserve.
Minnesota Wild captain Jared Spurgeon tallied twice as his club doubled up the Washington Capitals 4-2. Filip Gustavsson stopped 34 shots for the Wild (25-14-4) as they sit third in the Central Division with 54 points. Alex Ovechkin collected two assists as the Capitals dropped to 24-17-6, holding the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 54 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Capitals announced forward Nic Dowd remains sidelined by a lower-body injury suffered on Monday against the New York Islanders. He’s likely to be listed as day-to-day.
The Montreal Canadiens got two goals from Evgeni Dadonov to upset the Winnipeg Jets by a score of 4-1. Sam Montembeault stopped 25 shots as the Canadiens improved to 19-23-3. Kyle Connor tallied his 200th career NHL goal as the Jets (29-15-1) remain in second place in the Central Division with 59 points. The Dallas Stars have the same number of points but hold first place on the basis of regulation wins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens defenseman Mike Matheson collected an assist in his first game since being sidelined by a lower-body injury on Dec. 17. Meanwhile, the Habs announced forwards Joel Armia (upper body), Jake Evans (lower body) and Juraj Slavkovsky (lower body) were placed on injured reserve.
Nashville Predators goalie Kevin Lankinen made 39 saves to hold off the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1. Cody Glass and Yakov Trenin scored in the second period for the Predators as they boosted their record to 21-17-6. With 48 points, they’re three behind the Calgary Flames for the final Western wild-card berth. Gustav Nyquist replied for the 13-29-2 Blue Jackets, who’ve dropped 14 of their last 17 games.
Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Seth Jones scored the tying and winning goals in a 4-3 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres. Philipp Kurashev had a goal and two assists for the Blackhawks (12-26-4). Tage Thompson tallied his 32nd goal of the season for Sabres as they fell to 21-19-3 on the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before this game, the Sabres recalled forward Peyton Krebs from their AHL affiliate and loaned goalie Ukka-Pekka Luukkonen to Rochester. Meanwhile, Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock entered concussion protocol on Tuesday following a collision in practice on Monday.
The Arizona Coyotes snapped a nine-game losing skid by downing the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 on shootout goals by Nick Schmaltz and Nick Bjugstad. Lawson Crouse collected three assists while Connor Ingram picked up the win with a 37-save performance for the Coyotes (14-25-5). The Red Wings slipped to 18-17-8.