NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 12, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 12, 2019

Game recaps, stars of the week, NHLPA appeals Jakub Voracek’s suspension, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Tyler Johnson and Cedric Paquette each scored twice as the Tampa Bay Lightning crushed the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-2. With the win, the Lightning became the seventh team in NHL history to reach 110 points in 70 games or less. They lead the overall standings by 18 points. 

Tyler Johnson scored twice as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-2 (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This matchup was lopsided from the start. While the Lightning benefited from a couple of flukey goals and a horrible power-play line change by the Leafs, they dominated this contest, out-shooting the Leafs 42-28.

This loss doesn’t bode well for the Leafs’ Stanley Cup hopes this spring. As per The Toronto Star’s Dave Feschuk, the Leafs are 7-14-1 against this season’s top-10 defensive teams. Those include the Lightning, Boston Bruins, and New York Islanders, all of whom are potential playoff opponents for the Leafs this spring. 

Speaking of last night’s Lightning-Leafs game, Toronto general manager Kyle Dubas pledged his assistance as the league investigates allegations of a homophobic slur picked up on a microphone from one of the benches. 

New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss made 31 saves as his clubs blanked the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0. Ryan Pulock and Anders Lee were the goal scorers. The Islanders (87 points) moved within two points of the Washington Capitals for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division, while the Blue Jackets (79 points) cling to the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth. 

The Philadelphia Flyers (76 points) moved within three points of the Blue Jackets by holding off the Ottawa Senators 3-2. Michael Raffl had a goal and an assist for the Flyers, who’ve won six of their last eight games.  Meanwhile, the NHL Players Association is appealing Jakub Voracek’s two-game suspension for interfering with New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk during a recent game. 

Martin Jones kicked out 24 shots as the San Jose Sharks shut out the Minnesota Wild 3-0. Barclay Goodrow, Tomas Hertl, and Logan Couture tallied for the Sharks (92 points), who regained first place in the Western Conference standings. The Wild (74 points) hold the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. 

Chicago Blackhawks winger Brendan Perlini tallied his first career NHL hat trick to lead his club to a 7-1 drubbing of the Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes (73 points) remain one point behind the Wild while the Blackhawks (69 points) are five points back. 

Petr Mrazek had a 38-save shutout performance and Andrei Svechnikov scored twice to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-0 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. The Hurricanes (83 points) sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division while the Avalanche (72 points) are two points behind the Wild. 

Leon Draitsaitl’s overtime goal gave the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers. It’s the Oilers fifth victory in their last six contests, moving them within five points of the Wild. 

Florida Panthers left wing Jonathan Huberdeau, Dallas Stars goaltender Ben Bishop, and Anaheim Ducks right wing Troy Terry are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending March 10. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres captain Jack Eichel and head coach Phil Housley disagree with Eichel’s two-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of Colorado Avalanche center Carl Soderberg. 

CBS SPORTS: The Calgary Flames recalled defenseman Michael Stone from his AHL conditioning stint. 

NBC SPORTS: Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk has returned to Boston for further evaluation on his injured right arm. X-rays revealed no broken bones but there’s concern he may have suffered some ligament damage. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens have called up goaltender Charlie Lindgren from their AHL affiliate in Laval. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Habs coaching staff appear to have lost confidence in backup Antti Niemi, who’s made just six starts since the calendar flipped to 2019. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: With winger Zach Aston-Reese injured, the Pittsburgh Penguins called up Joseph Blandisi.