NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 9, 2024
The Bruins shut out the Canucks in the battle of the league’s top teams, the Hurricanes’ Martin Necas nets a quick hat trick, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Two shorthanded first-period goals by Brad Marchand and Danton Heinen powered the Boston Bruins to a 4-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in the battle of the league’s top-two teams. Linus Ullmark made 17 saves for the shutout while David Pastrnak, Pavel Zacha and Charlie Coyle each had two points for the 32-10-9 Bruins, who sit first in the Eastern Conference and sit second in the overall standings with 73 points. The Canucks (73 points) maintain first overall with two more victories (34-12-5) than the Bruins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet summed it up best following this game when he said the Bruins’ best players turned up to play while those on his club did not. Giving up two shorthanded goals in the first period put the Canucks on the back foot for the rest of the game.
A natural hat trick by Martin Necas in the opening 16:51 carried the Carolina Hurricanes over the Colorado Avalanche 5-2. Teuvo Teravainen collected four assists for the Hurricanes (29-16-5) as they sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 63 points. Zach Parise scored his first goal of the season for the 32-16-4 Avalanche as they remain in second place in the Central Division with 68 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hurricanes goaltender Antti Raanta with a lower-body injury while defenseman Brett Pesce missed this game due to illness. Meanwhile, Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon was held scoreless and remains in second place in the NHL scoring race with 85 points.
Philadelphia Flyers forward Travis Konecny had a Gordie Howe hat trick (a goal, an assist and a fight) in a 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets, leaving the latter winless in five games (0-4-1). Samuel Ersson stopped 28 shots while Ryan Poehling had a goal and an assist for the 27-19-6 Flyers, who remain in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 60 points. Kyle Connor scored for the Jets (30-14-5) as they sit third in the Central Division with 65 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Less than a month ago, the Jets were jockeying for first place in the overall standings. There’s plenty of time for them to pull out of this current skid but this is reminiscent of last season when the Jets stumbled down the stretch following a strong first half of the season and barely made the playoffs.
The Florida Panthers doubled up the Washington Capitals 4-2 on third-period goals by Ryan Lomberg and Eetu Luostarinen. Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and two assists for the Panthers (32-15-4), who sit in second place in the Eastern Conference with 68 points. Alex Ovechkin netted his 11th goal of the season for the 22-20-7 Capitals, who are winless in their last six games (0-5-1).
New York Islanders forwards Bo Horvat and Mathew Barzal each had a goal and an assist to thump the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-2. Ilya Sorokin turned aside 18 shots for the 22-17-12 Islanders (56 points) as they sit two points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth. Nikita Kucherov scored for Tampa Bay (27-20-5) as he holds a two-point lead over Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon in the scoring race with 87 points. The Lightning hold the first Eastern wild-card spot with 59 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev could be out for the season after undergoing surgery on Thursday to repair a fractured tibia and fibula in his left leg suffered during Wednesday’s game against the New York Rangers.
A three-goal first period enabled the Vegas Golden Knights to hold off the Arizona Coyotes by a score of 3-2. Jonathan Marchessault and Nicolas Hague scored 58 seconds apart for the Golden Knights (31-15-6), who sit second in the Pacific Division with 68 points. Connor Ingram got the hook after giving up three goals on six shots for the 23-23-9 Coyotes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes forward Barrett Hayton returned to action after missing nearly three months with an upper-body injury.
The Calgary Flames kept their playoff hopes alive with a 5-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. Jacob Markstrom kicked out 37 shots, Connor Zary and Andrew Mangiapane each had a goal and an assist and Andrei Kuzmenko tallied his second goal in as many games with the Flames (24-22-5) as they sit one point out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 53 points. Ondrej Palat tallied twice and Jesper Bratt had three assists for the 25-21-3 Devils (53 points) as they sit five points out of the final Eastern wild-card spot.
STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Justin Faulk and Scott Perunovich are listed as week-to-week with lower-body injuries.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars forward Mason Marchment was fined $5,000 by the NHL department of player safety for interference against Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jake McCabe on Wednesday.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Jake Sanderson is expected to miss Saturday’s game against the Maple Leafs with a lower-body injury.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: San Jose Sharks winger Anthony Duclair recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new outdoor synthetic ice surface on the campus of Boyd H. Anderson High School in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida.
USA HOCKEY: Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin has been named the GM of Team USA for the NHL’s 2025 4 Nations Face-off tournament and the 2026 Winter Olympics.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Former NHL defenseman Janne Niinimaa was recently found guilty by a Helsinki court of tax fraud for failing to report over 300,000 euros in earnings from the United States in 2020. It was determined that he still owes nearly 55,000 euros in income tax in his native Finland. Niinimaa, 48, received a four-month suspended sentence and must pay those back taxes as well as cover the court costs and pay a standard crime victim fee.