NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 22, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 22, 2024

Four-assist performances from the Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov and the Oilers’ Connor McDavid, a hat trick for the Rangers’ Artemi Panarin, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov assisted on each of his club’s goals in a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Brayden Point scored twice to reach the 40-goal mark as the Lightning extended their win streak to five games. With a record of 38-25-6, they hold the first Eastern Conference wildcard berth with 82 points. William Eklund replied for the 16-46-7 Sharks.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kucherov leads the scoring race with 122 points, opening a five-point gap over Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon. Lightning winger Anthony Duclair scored against his former team, reaching the 20-goal plateau for the fourth time in his career. Since being acquired by the Lightning before the March 8 trade deadline, Duclair has four goals and seven points in five games.

The Edmonton Oilers erupted for five unanswered third-period goals to crush the Buffalo Sabres 8-3. Connor McDavid collected four assists while Zach Hyman and Mattias Ekholm scored two goals each for the 42-21-4 Oilers, who sit second in the Pacific Division with 88 points. JJ Peterka tallied two goals for the 33-33-5 Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hyman is just two goals away from reaching the vaunted 50-goal plateau for the first time in his career. Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (Hyman’s former teammate) leads the league this season with 57 goals.

New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin collected the third hat trick of his NHL career in a 5-2 win over the Boston Bruins. Jonathan Quick made 24 saves as the Rangers (46-20-4) moved within one point of the league-leading Bruins with 96 points. Justin Brazeau had a goal and an assist for the 41-15-15 Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Quick picked up his 391st career win to tie Ryan Miller for the most NHL victories by an American-born goaltender.

Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin scored twice in his triumphant return to the lineup to beat the New York Islanders 6-3, leaving the latter winless in their last six games (0-5-1). Andrew Copp also had two goals and Christian Fischer had a goal and two assists for the Red Wings (36-28-6) as they opened a three-point lead over the Washington Capitals for the final Eastern Conference wildcard spot with 78 points. Mathew Barzal netted his 21st goal for the 29-25-15 Islanders as they slipped five points behind the Wings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Larkin missed the last eight games with a lower-body injury. During his absence, the Wings went into a tailspin that threatened to derail their playoff hopes. They’re a different team when their captain is in the lineup.

The Vancouver Canucks gained ground on the Bruins in the overall standings with a 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Nikita Zadorov scored two goals for the Canucks (44-18-8) as they sit one point behind the league-leading Bruins. Juraj Slafkovsky scored to extend his points streak to six games for the Canadiens (25-32-12), who are winless in their last four games (0-2-2).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Slafkovsky remains a bright spot for the Canadiens this season. He had just eight points in his first 31 games but now has 30 points in his last 38 contests. Speaking of the Canadiens, they announced that Joshua Roy will be sidelined for four to six weeks with an upper-body injury.

Speaking of gaining ground in the overall standings, the Carolina Hurricanes moved to within three points of the Bruins by defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 on an overtime goal by Seth Jarvis. Frederik Andersen stopped 30 shots for the 44-20-6 Hurricanes (94 points) as they’ve won five straight games. Travis Konecny netted his 28th goal of the season for the Flyers (35-26-9), who remain in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 79 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers captain Sean Couturier was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. Flyers head coach John Tortorella declined to discuss Couturier during a pregame interview. However, benching his captain has drawn plenty of media attention as rumors grow of a possible rift between the two.

The Nashville Predators continue to tighten their grip on the first Western Conference wildcard berth as they blanked the Florida Panthers 3-0. Kevin Lankinen kicked out 33 shots for the shutout and Filip Forsberg tallied twice for the 41-25-4 Predators (86 points) as they extended their points streak to 16 games with their fourth straight win. Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside 34 shots for the 45-20-4 Panthers (94 points) as they’ve lost three straight and sit three points behind the Bruins in the overall standings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers were without team captain Aleksander Barkov as he’s day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

Speaking of the Western Conference wildcard spots, the Vegas Golden Knights cling to the final berth following a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Keegan Kolesar snapped a 1-1 tie and Chandler Stephenson netted the insurance goal for the 37-25-7 Golden Knights (81 points). Jaden Schwartz replied for the 28-28-12 Kraken.

The New Jersey Devils got two power-play goals from Jack Hughes to defeat the Winnipeg Jets 3-1. Nico Hischier and Timo Meier each had a goal and two assists for the 34-32-4 Devils. Nikolaj Ehlers replied for the Jets (44-20-5) as they remain in first place in the Central Division with 93 points.

St. Louis Blues forward Jordan Kyrou had a goal and two assists to keep their playoff hopes alive in a 5-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Jake Neighbours scored twice and Joel Hofer made 37 saves for the 37-30-3 Blues (77 points) as they sit four points behind the Golden Knights for that final Western wild-card berth. Mark Kastelic and Dominik Kubalik scored for the 28-36-4 Senators.

The Anaheim Ducks snapped a seven-game losing skid by blanking the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0. Lukas Dostal stopped 29 shots for his first NHL shutout while Alex Killorn scored two goals for the 24-43-3 Ducks. Arvid Soderblom made 21 saves for the 19-46-5 Blackhawks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ducks center Leo Carlsson left this game in the second period following a knee-on-knee collision with the Blackhawks Alex Vlasic. There was no postgame update on his condition.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson was offered an in-person hearing by the NHL department of player safety for high-sticking Toronto Maple Leafs forward Noah Gregor on Thursday. Wilson faces the possibility of a suspension beyond five games.

CALGARY SUN: Flames goaltender Dan Vladar will undergo season-ending hip surgery next week. He’s expected to be ready for the start of next season.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 27, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 27, 2023

The three stars of the week and more as we catch up on the latest news following the league’s holiday break in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov, New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad, and Detroit Red Wings right wing Patrick Kane are the league’s three stars for the week ending Dec. 24.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov (NHL Images).

The NHL returns to action following its three-day holiday break with fourteen games featuring the Toronto Maple Leafs facing off against the Ottawa Senators, the Tampa Bay Lightning squaring off against the Florida Panthers, the Dallas Stars meeting the St. Louis Blues, the Colorado Avalanche going up against the Arizona Coyotes, and the Winnipeg Jets versus the Chicago Blackhawks.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Blown leads and a recent scoring drought are among four issues the Bruins must address following the holiday break.

ESPN.COM: Anaheim Ducks rookie Leo Carlsson will be sidelined for four-to-six weeks with a sprained right knee ligament. The 19-year-old suffered the injury during Thursday’s game against the Calgary Flames when he became entangled with Flames defenseman MacKenzie Weegar.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carlsson was fortunate to escape serious injury as his leg bent at an awkward angle. In 23 games, he’s fourth among rookie scorers with eight goals and 12th in points with 15 as the Ducks carefully managed his playing time and number of games played before his injury. Carlsson’s numbers might have been higher had he played as many games as most of his fellow rookies currently ahead of him in goals and points.

SPORTSNET: Columbus Blues Jackets forward Sean Kuraly is resting at home after undergoing tests for an abdominal injury suffered in the final minute of the first period during Saturday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The tests came back negative but there’s no indication how long he’ll be sidelined.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuraly left the ice on his own but paramedics were called in after he collapsed on his way to the Blue Jackets’ dressing room, resulting in play being briefly suspended. Fortunately, the injury didn’t appear to be serious but was taken to the hospital for tests as a precaution.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Carolina Hurricanes recalled goaltender Antti Raanta on Tuesday from the AHL’s Chicago Wolves.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings placed forward Christian Fischer on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 23 and called up Jonatan Berggren, Austin Czarnik and Simon Edvinsson from their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids under emergency conditions.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators are continuing talks with the National Capital Commission for a lease at LeBreton Flats. However, they’re also studying other options in case a lease agreement with the NCC falls through.

ESPN.COM: All eyes will be on Team Canada center Macklin Celebrini during the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship currently underway in Gothenburg, Sweden. He’s projected to become the top prospect in the 2024 NHL Draft class but he will face competition from players such as Team USA’s Cole Eiserman and Finland’s Aron Kiviharju.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A prospect’s performance in the WJC can affect their value in the draft. It’ll be interesting to see how the potential Class of 2024 performs in this tournament.

DAILY FACEOFF: The WJC isn’t the only international tournament currently taking place. Mike Gould lists five former NHL players worth watching at the 2023 Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Young Russian NHL prospects could be staying in the KHL for four to five years before being allowed to join their NHL teams. Flyers prospect Matvei Michkov’s current KHL contract expires in 2026 but could end up staying beyond that if the KHL implements new rules that determine how long teenage prospects would have to stay and play in Russia. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That was always the risk for NHL clubs drafting Russian players. The KHL currently has rules in place that prevent their best young players from bolting to the NHL soon after being drafted. If those rules change, the Flyers could wait another four or five years before Michkov finally joins their roster.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 22, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 22, 2023

A milestone game for the Avs’ Nathan MacKinnon, the Sabres rebound from a nine-goal loss with a nine-goal victory, the Canucks move into first place in the overall standings, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon scored four goals )including his 300th career tally) and collected an assist in a 6-4 win over the Ottawa Senators. MacKinnon extended his points streak to 17 games while Mikko Rantanen scored twice for the 20-11-2 Avalanche, who sit second in the Central Division with 42 points. Drake Batherson had a goal and an assist for the Senators (11-17-0) as they dropped their sixth straight game and their second under interim coach Jacques Martin.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 53 points, MacKinnon sits four behind Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov for the league scoring lead. Meanwhile, the constant losing by the Senators is frustrating team captain Brady Tkachuk. “It’s a pretty s****y feeling, and I don’t think I’ve felt worse in my life. This is not fun right now,” said Tkachuk.

After losing 9-4 to the Columbus Blue Jackets in their previous game, the Buffalo Sabres bounced back by thumping the Toronto Maple Leafs 9-3. Jeff Skinner scored two goals and set up another in his return from injury, Kyle Okposo tallied twice, Tage Thompson had a goal and two assists while Alex Tuch collected four helpers for the 14-17-3 Sabres. Auston Matthews netted his league-leading 26th goal of the season for the Leafs (16-8-6) as they sit second in the Atlantic Division with 38 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews called this loss “the worst game since I’ve been here”, calling his club’s performance “embarrassing.” It was a rough night for the Leafs goaltenders. Ilya Samsonov got the hook in the second period after giving up five goals on 19 shots. Martin Jones fared little better, allowing four goals and 15 shots.

Meanwhile, Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin was still fuming over Sabres fans chanting for head coach Don Granato to be fired during their last game. He considered that criticism of Granato unfair, blaming that lopsided loss on himself and his teammates. “We really wanted to back Donnie, that was the main focus today and he got way too much heat the other game, he didn’t deserve it,” said Dahlin.

An overtime goal by Matt Duchene lifted the Dallas Stars over the Vancouver Canucks 4-3. Duchene and Thomas Harley each finished with a goal and an assist for the Stars (19-8-4) as they vaulted over the Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets to regain first place in the Central. Conor Garland and Dakota Joshua each had a goal and an assist for the Canucks (22-9-3), who moved past the Vegas Golden Knights into first place in the overall standings with 47 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks have the same amount of points as the Golden Knights but hold first place as they have one more regulation win. Meanwhile, Dallas and Colorado also have the same amount of points (42) but the Stars hold two games in hand.

Canucks winger Andrei Kuzmenko was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. While his agent recently said his client loves playing in Vancouver and there’s a plan with the club to improve his game, his ongoing absence from the lineup will ensure the trade rumors keep swirling.

Speaking of the Golden Knights, they dropped a 5-4 decision to the Tampa Bay Lightning as Nick Paul potted the game-winner late in the third period. Paul and Nikita Kucherov each had a goal and two assists, Brayden Point scored two goals and set up another while Victor Hedman had three assists for the 16-13-5 Lightning (37 points), who sit one point behind the Carolina Hurricanes for the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev missed this game as he’s listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby’s shootout goal lifted his team past the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1. Crosby also scored in regulation while Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 23 shots for the win as the Penguins improved to 15-13-4. Teuvo Teravainen replied for the 17-12-4 Hurricanes.

An overtime goal by Alex Ovechkin gave the Washington Capitals a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Anthony Mantha scored twice for the Capitals (17-9-4) as they hold the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 38 points. Cole Sillinger and Yegor Chinakhov scored for the 11-17-6 Blue Jackets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That was Ovechkin’s first goal in 15 games. Emotions boiled over during the overtime period as Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins and Capitals winger Tom Wilson traded blows during a tangle-up in the Jackets net. The Capitals and Hurricanes have the same amount of points but the Capitals hold three games in hand.

The Edmonton Oilers tallied four unanswered goals led by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in a 6-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils. McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each had a goal and an assist while Ryan McLeod tallied twice for the 14-15-1 Oilers. Dawson Mercer had a goal and an assist for the 16-13-2 Devils.

St. Louis Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich scored two goals and set up another as his club downed the Florida Panthers 4-1. Robert Thomas collected three assists while Joel Hofer made 37 saves for the 16-15-1 Blues. Eetu Luostarinen scored for the Panthers (18-12-2), who’ve dropped four of their last five games but remain in third place in the Atlantic Division with 38 points.

The Nashville Predators doubled up the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2 on two goals by Philip Tomasino, snapping the Flyers’ nine-game points streak. Juuse Saros turned aside 29 shots for the Predators (19-14-0) as they hold the first Western Conference wild-card spot with 38 points. Morgan Frost and Sean Couturier replied for the 18-11-3 Flyers as they sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 39 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Predators forward Yakov Trenin was ejected from this game for boarding Frost during the second period. Frost spent several minutes in the Flyers dressing room but returned to finish the game.

An overtime goal by Kirill Kaprizov gave the Minnesota Wild a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Kaprizov and Marco Rossi each finished with a goal and two assists for the 14-13-4 Wild while Nick Suzuki and Juraj Slafkovsky each had a goal and an assist for the 14-13-5 Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild played without forward Ryan Hartman as he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom kicked out 25 shots to shut out the Anaheim Ducks 3-0. Elias Lindholm had a goal and two assists for the Flames (14-14-5) as they’ve won three straight games. The Ducks dropped to 12-20-0 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks welcomed back Mason McTavish and Jamie Drysdale following their lengthy absences due to injuries. However, they also lost rookie Leo Carlsson to what could be a serious injury to his right leg after he and Flames defenseman MacKenzie Weegar became entangled during the third period.

The Arizona Coyotes picked up their fourth straight win by downing the San Jose Sharks 5-2. Clayton Keller and Alex Kerfoot each had a goal and two assists for the 17-13-2 Coyotes, who hold the final Western wild-card spot with 36 points. Mackenzie Blackwood made 25 saves for the Sharks (9-21-3) as they made forward Alexander Barabanov a late scratch due to illness.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 13, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 13, 2023

Recaps of Thursday’s games featured two-goal performances by the Rangers’ Chris Kreider and the Devils’ Jack Hughes plus the Bruins reveal their All-Centennial Team. Details on these and other stories in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider scored a power play and a shorthanded goal in a 5-1 season-opening victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Mika Zibanejad collected three assists while Igor Shesterkin made 23 saves for his 100th career victory to give Peter Laviolette his first win as Rangers head coach. JJ Peterka scored for the Sabres.

New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider (NHL Images).

The New Jersey Devils opened the season with a two-goal performance by Jack Hughes to hold off the Detroit Red Wings 4-3. Jonas Siegenthaler collected three assists while Vitek Vanecek stopped 32 shots for the win. Alex DeBrincat scored his first goal for the Red Wings while Ville Husso made 23 saves.

Philadelphia Flyers winger Travis Konecny tallied twice, Scott Laughton had two assists and Carter Hart kicked out 31 shots in a 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Patrik Laine scored for the Jackets while rookie Adam Fantilli picked up an assist for his first career NHL point.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers center Sean Couturier had an assist and winger Cam Atkinson scored as both players played their first games after being sidelined by injuries for the entirety of last season. Meanwhile, Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski left the game in the second period with a quadriceps contusion following a hit by Flyers forward Garnet Hathaway.

The Minnesota Wild got a 41-save shutout from Filip Gustavsson to blank the Florida Panthers 2-0. Wild rookie (and Minnesota native) Brock Faber scored his first career NHL goal while Joel Eriksson Ek scored and assisted on Faber’s goal. Sergei Bobrovsky made 19 saves for the Panthers.

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros stopped 23 shots for his 21st career shutout in a 3-0 win over the Seattle Kraken. Colton Sissons, Gustav Nyquist and Juuso Parssinen scored for the Predators, giving head coach Andrew Brunette his first win behind their bench. Philipp Grubauer made 32 saves for the Kraken.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken played without forward Brandon Tanev as he remains sidelined with an upper-body injury. Predators defenseman Luke Schenn was a late scratch from this game with a lower-body injury.

Shootout goals by Jason Robertson and Matt Duchene lifted the Dallas Stars over the St. Louis Blues 2-1. Jamie Benn opened the scoring while Jake Oettinger stopped 23 shots for the Stars. Tyler Tucker replied for the Blues, who got a 33-save effort from Jordan Binnington.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars played without top-line forward Roope Hintz as he continues to nurse an upper-body injury.

Second-period goals by Nic Hague and Nicolas Roy carried the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-1 win over the San Jose Sharks. Logan Thompson made 22 saves for the Golden Knights. Filip Zadina replied for the Sharks.


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins announced their All-Centennial Team yesterday.

Forwards: Patrice Bergeron, Johnny Bucyk, Wayne Cashman, Bill Cowley, Phil Esposito, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, Rick Middleton, Cam Neely, Terry O’Reilly, David Pastrnak, and Milt Schmidt.

Defense: Ray Bourque, Zdeno Chara, Dit Clapper, Bobby Orr, Brad Park and Eddie Shore.

Goaltenders: Frankie Brimsek and Gerry Cheevers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fans will likely quibble over the same of the names on this list, making for what should be a fun debate. Overall, however, it’s comprised of players who played major roles for the Bruins in their biggest moments over their 100-year history.

Oh, and if they haven’t already chosen the biggest moment in Bruins history, it’s unquestionably Orr’s Stanley Cup winner in 1970. That is the most iconic goal ever scored in the NHL.

TSN: The Los Angeles Kings placed winger Viktor Arvidsson (lower-body injury) on long-term injury reserve. Meanwhile, Kings center Phillip Danault was fined $5,000.00 for slashing Colorado Avalanche forward Ross Colton on Wednesday.


Vancouver Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet revealed the reason why goaltender Thatcher Demko left the game during Wednesday’s 8-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Demko was battling the flu and was pulled during the third period after he “puked in his mask,” according to Tocchet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My apologies to those of you who may have been eating when you read this bit, but I did warn you!

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Blue Jackets defenseman Ivan Provorov pointed to the Flyers and their style of play for the decline in his performance during his final three seasons with the club. Provorov was traded to the Jackets in June.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see if there’s any reaction from the Flyers about Provorov’s comments, especially from head coach John Tortorella. Time will tell if his move to the Jackets will improve his game.

Mind you, Provorov does have a point about the Flyers’ style of play. Part of that was due to their coaching changes since 2021, firing Alain Vigneault and going with Mike Yeo on an interim basis before hiring Tortorella in 2022.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Anaheim Ducks rookie Leo Carlsson will miss the club’s season opener on Saturday with a lower-body injury. However, he’s expected to rejoin the lineup at some point next week.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning recalled forward Alex Barre-Boulet, which is seen as an indication that winger Tyler Motte will remain sidelined with an injured hand.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ottawa Senators free agent Alex Formenton has signed with Swiss club HC Ambri-Piotta until the end of the calendar year. The club also released a statement referencing an ongoing investigation into sexual assault allegations made toward some unnamed members of Canada’s 2018 World Junior team. Formenton was part of that club but hasn’t commented on the investigation nor has he been accused or charged.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Formenton’s contract also contains an out-clause allowing him to return to the NHL.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 8, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 8, 2023

The preseason comes to an end, Senators center Josh Norris remains sidelined and the Wild sign Ryan Hartman to a contract extension. Details on these and other stories in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel scored two goals and collected three assists to lead his club to a 7-4 win over the Los Angeles Kings. 2023 playoff MVP Jonathan Marchessault scored a goal and picked up three assists. Kevin Fiala and Matt Roy each had a goal and an assist for the Kings.

Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Golden Knights claimed forward Grigori Denisenko off waivers from the Florida Panthers.

The Minnesota Wild got a 22-save performance from Filip Gustavsson to shut out the Dallas Stars 4-0. Jake Oettinger made 11 saves through two periods for the Stars before being replaced by Scott Wedgewood, who gave up three goals on 11 shots.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Matt Dumba had a goal and two assists as his club thumped the Anaheim Ducks 7-1. Alex Stalock allowed all seven goals on 21 shots for the Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Ducks received good news regarding sidelined center Leo Carlsson, who had to be helped from the ice during practice on Friday. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that his injury isn’t as bad as it seemed. While there’s no timeline yet for his return, Friedman indicated that he’s not expected to be out as long as initially feared.

The Tampa Bay Lightning doubled up the Florida Panthers 4-2 with Brayden Point netting his first goal of the preseason and Jonas Johansson making 27 stops for the win. Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 19 saves.

Three unanswered goals by Sean Monahan, Cole Caufield and Arber Xhekaj rallied the Montreal Canadiens to a 6-4 win over the Ottawa Senators. Mads Sogaard kicked out 32 shots for the Senators, who finished the preseason with a record of 7-1-0.

The Detroit Red Wings scored four straight goals (including three in the second period) to nip the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3. Christian Fischer and Jeff Petry each had two assists and Ville Husso made 21 saves for the Red Wings. Joseph Woll stopped 28 shots for the Maple Leafs.

Columbus Blue Jackets rookie Adam Fantilli scored the game-winning goal in a 4-2 victory over the Washington Capitals. Patrik Laine put the game out of reach for the Jackets with an empty-net goal. John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin replied for the Capitals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blue Jackets forward Yegor Chinakhov and goaltender Daniil Tarasov are expected to be placed on injured reserve before Monday’s 5 p.m. ET roster submission deadline. They will not be in the lineup for the Jackets’ season opener on Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

The St. Louis Blues got two goals from Robert Thomas as they beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3. Petr Mrazek stopped 18 shots for the Blackhawks.


THE ATHLETIC: Josh Norris likely won’t be in the Ottawa Senators’ lineup for their season-opener against the Hurricanes in Carolina on Wednesday. The 24-year-old center appears to be still nursing a shoulder injury. While he participated in practices with his teammates, he didn’t appear in any preseason games and apparently doesn’t yet have medical clearance to resume play.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Norris was expected to center the Senators’ second line this season. The uncertainty over his status could hasten the club’s efforts to re-sign restricted free agent Shane Pinto, especially if Norris and his $7.95 million annual cap hit ends up on long-term injury reserve to start the season.

The Senators currently have just $1.7 million in cap space. It’s believed Pinto seeks an average annual value of $2.5 million.

TSN: The Minnesota Wild announced yesterday that they reached an agreement with center Ryan Hartman on a three-year contract extension with an AAV of $4 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reports overnight Friday into Saturday morning had the two sides closing in on this deal. As I noted yesterday, it’s a significant raise for the 29-year-old Hartman, who’s earned $1.7 million this season on his current contract.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said forward Sam Bennett is expected to be sidelined for at least “a couple of weeks” with a lower-body injury.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Penguins signed center Colin White to a one-year, two-way contract worth $775K at the NHL level. Prior to training camp, they signed the 26-year-old to a professional tryout offer.

DAILY FACEOFF: Nashville Predators forward Denis Gurianov, Boston Bruins defenseman Jakub Zboril, Colorado Avalanche blueliner Brad Hunt and Seattle Kraken goaltender Chris Driedger are among the players placed on waivers on Saturday. Teams have until noon ET to submit a claim.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 7, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 7, 2023

Recaps of Friday’s preseason action, injury updates on the Oilers’ Mattias Ekholm, the Wild’s Jared Spurgeon and the Jets’ Ville Heinola, the latest players on the waiver wire and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils goaltender Akira Schmid made 30 saves to shut out the New York Islanders 3-0. Max Willman, Kevin Bahl and Simon Nemec were the goal scorers as the Devils went undefeated (7-0-0) in all their preseason games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Islanders winger Kyle Palmieri made his preseason debut in this contest. He’d been sidelined by an undisclosed offseason injury.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

The Pittsburgh Penguins got two goals by Drew O’Connor and two assists from team captain Sidney Crosby in a 7-4 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Casey Mittelstadt had a goal and two assists and Devon Levi stopped 28 shots for the Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby also got into a brief tussle with Sabres forward Peyton Krebs over the latter’s hit on Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, who was unhurt on the play.

Carolina Hurricanes forwards Martin Necas and Teuvo Teravainen each had a goal and an assist as their club beat the Nashville Predators 4-1. Kevin Lankinen made 30 saves for the Predators.

The Edmonton Oilers got a 35-save performance by Jack Campbell in a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Evander Kane, Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman scored for the Oilers while Jared McCann replied for the Kraken.

Vancouver Canucks forward Phillip Di Giuseppe had a goal and an assist to lead his club over the Calgary Flames by a score of 3-1. Nazem Kadri replied for the Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A moment of silence was held before the game to honor the memory of Flames assistant general manager Chris Snow, who died on Sept. 30 from ALS at age 42.


STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild captain Jared Spurgeon is sidelined week-to-week with an upper-body injury suffered during Thursday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild are turning to veteran blueliner Alex Goligoski as Spurgeon’s replacement.

DAILY FACEOFF: Speaking of the Wild, they’re reportedly closing in on a contract extension for Ryan Hartman. The 29-year-old forward’s new deal is expected to be for three years with an average annual value of $4.1 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a nice raise in pay over the $1.7 million AAV that Hartman is earning on his current contract.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: With Mattias Ekholm questionable to be ready to play in the Oilers’ season opener, some observers are wondering about the seriousness of his lingering hip injury that sidelined him throughout training camp and preseason play.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ekholm downplayed those concerns, saying he and the club are being extra cautious. Still, the worries are understandable given his value to the Oilers blueline since his acquisition from the Nashville Predators before last season’s trade deadline.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets defenseman Ville Heinola suffered a fractured ankle in his club’s 3-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. He will be sidelined for between eight to 12 weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Heinola had a terrific training camp and played well in preseason action until his injury. It’s a setback not just for his development as an NHL regular but also for the Jets defense corps.

DAILY FACEOFF: Anaheim Ducks forward Leo Carlsson was helped from the ice during practice on Friday as he was unable to put any weight on his right foot. The full extent of the injury has not been revealed. The 18-year-old center was the Ducks first-round pick (second overall) in this year’s draft and was expected to play for them this season.

NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman John Klingberg is expected to be ready for the club’s season-opener next week after spending the past week sidelined with an upper-body injury.

TORONTO SUN: Speaking of the Leafs, goaltender Ilya Samsonov avoided serious injury in practice on Friday after taking a Calle Jarnkrok slap shot around his shoulder/collarbone area. He left practice but head coach Sheldon Keefe later said that Samsonov was fine.

DAILY FACEOFF: San Jose Sharks forward Oskar Lindblom, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Caleb Jones and Philadelphia Flyers forward Wade Allison are among the notable names to hit the waiver wire on Friday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Allison being placed on waivers caught Flyers followers by surprise. Despite his injury history, the 25-year-old winger could draw some interest from clubs seeking depth on their forward lines.

TSN: The Florida Panthers loaned goaltender Spencer Knight to their AHL affiliate in Charlotte. He’s entering the first season of a three-year contract with an AAV of $4.15 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Knight is trying to get his NHL career back on track after spending time last season in the NHL-NHLPA player assistance program seeking treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Panthers coach Paul Maurice said sending Knight to the AHL was being done to give him more playing time in a starter’s role as they hope to build on his strong preseason play.