NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 25, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 25, 2021

The Panthers tied a winning-streak record, McDavid and Draisaitl reach scoring milestones, Alex Ovechkin tallies his most assists through 20 games, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers picked up their 11th straight home win to start the season as they downed the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1. Aaron Ekblad tallied in overtime as the Panthers tied the 1963-64 Chicago Blackhawks for the longest season-opening home win streak at 11-0-0. The victory also propelled them into first overall with 31 points.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid each scored two goals and collected two assists to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 5-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Zack Kassian also chipped in a goal and two assists while the Coyotes Clayton Keller had a three-point performance. Draisaitl has a league-leading 20 goals and 40 points, joining Wayne Gretzky as the only Oiler to score 20 goals in less than 20 games. McDavid, meanwhile, netted his 400th career assist. Earlier in the day, the Coyotes placed goaltender Carter Hutton in COVID protocol.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Draisaitl maintains a four-point lead over McDavid in the NHL scoring race.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin collected three assists in a 6-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Ovechkin (33 points) has 18 assists in 20 games, exceeding his previous best (17) in 2008-09. He joins Mario Lemieux, Johnny Bucyk, Gordie Howe and Martin St. Louis as the only players’ age 36 or older to reach at least 18 assists in their first 20 games of the season. Capitals defenseman Justin Schultz left the game with an upper-body injury. Canadiens rookie Cole Caufield potted his first goal of the season.

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri had two points to extend his points streak to 10 games to help his club beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-2. Kadri has netted 21 points during that streak. Sonny Milano scored both goals for the Ducks. Earlier in the day, the Ducks listed Adam Henrique as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

The Toronto Maple Leafs netted four goals in the second period on route to a 6-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Auston Matthews and John Tavares each had a goal and an assist while Rasmus Sandin chipped in three helpers. The Leafs have won seven of their last eight. Earlier in the day, the Kings placed forward Andreas Athanasiou in COVID protocol.

A four-goal first period powered the Boston Bruins over the Buffalo Sabres 5-1. David Pastrnak, Charlie Coyle and Nick Foligno each collected two points for the Bruins, handing the Sabres their fourth straight loss. Bruins netminder (and former Sabre) Linus Ullmark didn’t start as he’s nursing a minor undisclosed injury but served as a backup in this contest.

Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala scored in the shootout as his club nipped the New Jersey Devils 3-2. Wild goalie Cam Talbot made 40 saves in regulation and overtime and was perfect in the shootout. The Devils overcame a 2-0 deficit on goals by Pavel Zacha and Yegor Sherangovich with Nico Hischier assisting on both.

A 36-save performance by Tristan Jarry carried the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks 4-1. The Penguins have won four straight while the Canucks have dropped seven of their last eight contests.

Elvis Merzlikins kicked out 36 shots for his first shutout of the season as the Columbus Blue Jackets blanked the Winnipeg Jets 3-0, spoiling Pierre-Luc Dubois’ return to Columbus for the first time since getting traded to Winnipeg in January.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets’ usually reliable offense has dried up of late, managing just four goals in their last four games. Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets continue to exceed expectations, winning seven of their last 10 contests.

The Detroit Red Wings got 35 saves from Alex Nedeljkovic to snap a four-game losing streak by doubling up the St. Louis Blues 4-2. Adam Erne broke a 2-2 tie while Robby Fabbri had a goal and an assist. Blues center Brayden Schenn returned to action after missing nine games with an upper-body injury. Earlier in the day, the Wings placed defenseman Danny DeKeyser in COVID protocol.

Chris Kreider and Kevin Rooney each scored twice to lead the New York Rangers to a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders, who had seven players in COVID protocol. The Isles have lost seven straight games. Adding to their misery, defenseman Noah Dobson is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Arthur Staple shot down a rumor claiming Isles general manager Lou Lamoriello asked the league for a postponement. NHL sources said they didn’t believe any such request came from Lamoriello. The league continues to monitor the Isles’ situation closely. Yesterday was the first time in a week the club had no new COVID cases.

Max Pacioretty collected an assist as the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Nashville Predators 5-2. Pacioretty missed 17 games with a fractured foot. Filip Forsberg scored both Predators’ goals as he returned from a nine-game absence with an upper-body injury.

The Seattle Kraken got 35 saves from Philipp Grubauer and a late goal in the third period by Marcus Johansson to upset the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1. Jared McCann tallied the tying goal on a power play in the second period for the Kraken (6-12-1), giving them their second straight win. The Hurricanes (14-3-1) sit two points behind the first-overall Panthers.

A three-point effort by Timo Meier (one goal, two assists) gave the San Jose Sharks a 6-3 win over the Ottawa Senators. Sharks forward Nick Bonino also scored in what was his 700th career game. Brady Tkachuk had a goal and an assist for the Senators.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 24, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 24, 2021

The Flames expand their lead in the Western Conference, Connor McDavid’s point streak comes to an end, Steven Stamkos reaches a milestone and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Calgary Flames (29 points) opened a three-point lead over the Edmonton Oilers atop the Western Conference by defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2. Matthew Tkachuk broke a 2-2 tie in the third period while Trevor Lewis and Johnny Gaudreau put the game out of reach. The Flames have won four straight.

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

Speaking of the Oilers, they were beaten 4-1 by the Dallas Stars, snapping Connor McDavid’s point streak at 17 games. Stars defenseman John Klingberg collected three assists while teammate Roope Hintz had a goal and an assist. Oilers defenseman Duncan Keith left the game midway through the second period with an upper-body injury.

Andrei Vasilevskiy had a 34-save shutout and Steven Stamkos scored a goal and set up two others as the Tampa Bay Lightning blanked the Philadelphia Flyers 4-0. Stamkos became the seventh active player to tally at least three points in a game 80 times in their career.

HEADLINES

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning center Brayden Point will be sidelined for four to six weeks with an upper-body injury.

NEW YORK POST: The Islanders have seven players in COVID protocol as Zdeno Chara became the latest to receive a positive test. Chara joins Josh Bailey, Anders Lee, Ross Johnston, Adam Pelech, Andy Greene and Kieffer Bellows.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is the third team to suffer a COVID-19 outbreak since late October. The San Jose Sharks also had seven players and a coach sidelined while the Ottawa Senators had three games postponed last week with 10 players and a coach waylaid by the coronavirus. All the players were fully vaccinated.

The Sharks didn’t have any games postponed and there’s no indication yet if the Isles’ schedule will require any changes. This will also stoke concern over the possibility of the NHL pulling out of participating in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. The league has until Jan. 10, 2022, to make that decision.

The Islanders got additional bad news yesterday when they announced leading scorer Brock Nelson will be out two to four weeks with an undisclosed lower-body injury.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon is listed as week-to-week following a lower-body injury suffered during a recent game against the Florida Panthers.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens defenseman Brett Kulak will miss the club’s upcoming three-game road trip with a lower-body injury.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Injuries will keep Red Wings defenseman Troy Stecher (wrist) and center Mitchell Stephens (lower body) on the shelf until after the February Olympic break.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils officially unveiled their third jersey yesterday. Designed by former Devils great Martin Brodeur, it is a black jersey with the “Jersey” on the front.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The unveiling was spoiled when photos of the third jersey were leaked the day prior. The reaction seemed mixed on social media with some folks liking it, some hating it and some amused by the name on the front, sparking a good-natured reply from the Devils.

HOCKEY HALL OF FAME: Mike Gartner takes over as chair of the Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee while Cammi Granato joins the 18-member committee. Gartner replaces John Davidson, who is retiring from the position on Dec. 31.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 21, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 21, 2021

Connor McDavid extends his season-opening points streak, the league-leading Panthers home-winning streak continues, the Islanders debut in their new arena, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid’s season-opening points streak reached 17 games with a goal and an assist as his Edmonton Oilers downed the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2, snapping the latter’s four-game winning streak. Leon Draisaitl (35 points) also had a goal and an assist to maintain his three-point lead over McDavid atop the scoring race. Alex DeBrincat netted both Blackhawks goals.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

The Florida Panthers remain undefeated at home (10-0-0) by holding off the Minnesota Wild 5-4. Frank Vatrano scored two goals and collected an assist while Sergei Bobrovsky made 35 saves. Kirill Kaprizov and Joel Eriksson Ek each had a goal and an assist for the Wild.

Calgary Flames winger Andrew Mangiapane tallied twice in a 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders, spoiled the latter’s first game at UBS Arena. Jacob Markstrom made 34 saves and Noah Hanifin had three assists for the Flames. Brock Nelson scored both goals for the COVID-depleted Islanders, who placed Adam Pelech, Andy Greene and Anthony Beauvillier in the protocol before the game, joining Anders Lee, Ross Johnston and Josh Bailey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite the loss, it was great to see the Islanders finally play in their new arena. This was a long-time dream come true for the team and their fans following years of delays due to local political machinations amid concerns about a possible relocation of the franchise.

Martin Necas goal with 34 seconds remaining in regulation gave the Carolina Hurricanes their fourth straight win with a closely contested 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Sebastian Aho and Derek Stepan each had a goal and an assist while Frederik Andersen made 39 saves. Adrian Kempe scored two goals for the Kings. With 28 points, the Hurricanes sit one back of the league-leading Panthers.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored twice and chipped in an assist to blank the San Jose Sharks 4-0. Ilya Samsonov made 22 saves for his second straight shutout while Conor Sheary also potted two goals. Sharks winger Kevin Lebanc missed this contest as he was serving a one-game suspension for slew-footing St. Louis Blues center Tyler Bozak.

Four unanswered third-period goals powered the New Jersey Devils to a 5-3 upset of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Yegor Sharangovich scored twice and set up another as the Devils ended a three-game losing skid.

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry turned aside 26 shots for his second straight shutout to down the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-0. Jake Guentzel and Jeff Carter scored the only goals in the first period as they snapped the Leafs’ five-game win streak.

The Montreal Canadiens rode a 5-0 lead to a 6-3 win over the Nashville Predators. Ryan Poehling scored two goals with 37 seconds in the second period while Tyler Toffoli had a goal and two assists. Matt Duchene collected the hat trick for the Predators.

Boston Bruins defenseman Derek Forbort had the first two-goal game of his NHL career as his club dropped the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2. David Pastrnak and Craig Smith each had a goal and an assist for the Bruins as they collected their third straight victory. Derick Brassard scored both goals for the Flyers.

Third-period goals by Reilly Smith and Mattias Janmark lifted the Vegas Golden Knights over the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2. Laurent Brossoit picked up the win with a 27-save effort. Blue Jackets forward Max Domi rejoined the lineup after being activated off their COVID protocol list.

Two shorthanded goals by Roope Hintz helped the Dallas Stars defeat the St. Louis Blues 4-1. Stars captain Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist.

The Arizona Coyotes picked up their third win of the season (3-13-2) as they nipped the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 on an overtime goal by Clayton Keller, handing the Wings their fourth straight loss.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE JOURNAL NEWS: The New York Rangers had a bit of a scare when center Mika Zibanejad missed practice on Saturday after being placed in COVID protocol. However, it was subsequently determined to be a false positive and he’s slated to play in today’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. Zibanejad contracted the coronavirus last January, missing a portion of last season’s training camp.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks returned center Mason McTavish to his OHL team in Peterborough for the remainder of the season. Selected third-overall by the Ducks in the 2021 NHL Draft, he scored two goals and added an assist in his nine games with the Ducks.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported Fenway Sports Group had explored the possibility of a merger with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment before pursuing their plans to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins. Those discussions didn’t get far as MLSE was not ready for that kind of move yet.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 19, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 19, 2021

Connor McDavid and Troy Terry extend their points streak, Jacob Markstrom collects another shutout, the Panthers remain undefeated at home, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid tallied another highlight-reel goal to extend his season-opening points streak to 16 games in a 2-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. McDavid and Kyle Turris also scored in the shootout while Stuart Skinner made 46 saves for the win. Nikolaj Ehlers scored in regulation for the Jets.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid’s goal was almost a carbon copy of the one he recently tallied against the New York Rangers, stickhandling his way through three defenders with his blazing speed to beat Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck. With 30 points, McDavid sits three behind teammate Leon Draisaitl for first place in the NHL scoring race.

Troy Terry also extended his points streak with a goal but his Anaheim Ducks had their eight-game winning streak snapped in a 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Seth Jarvis snapped a 1-1 tie in the third period while Hurricanes goalie Frederik Andersen stopped 31 shots.

Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom collected his league-leading fifth shutout of the season to douse the Buffalo Sabres 5-0. Johnny Gaudreau and Andrew Mangiapane each tallied twice for the Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL’s modern-day single-season shutout record is 15 held by the late Tony Esposito in 1969-70. Markstrom is already a third of the way toward reaching that record.

The Florida Panthers extended their season-opening home winning streak to 9-0-0 by dropping the New Jersey Devils 4-1. Spencer Knight kicked out 45 shots while Jonathan Huberdeau and Anthony Duclair each had a goal and an assist. Panthers center Joe Thornton returned to the lineup after missing eight games with an undisclosed injury. The Panthers (27 points) hold a one-point lead over the Hurricanes atop the NHL’s overall standings.

Shootout goals by Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. The Lightning extended their points streak to nine games (7-0-2). Stamkos also had a goal and an assist in regulation play while Claude Giroux tallied twice for the Flyers. Earlier in the day, the Flyers announced defenseman Ryan Ellis will be sidelined four-to-six weeks dealing with a lingering lower-body injury.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov had his first four-point NHL game (one goal, three assists) as his club trounced the Dallas Stars 7-2. Mats Zuccarello, Victor Rask and Alex Goligoski each had a goal and two assists for the Wild.

Morgan Rielly scored twice and Jack Campbell made 27 saves as the Toronto Maple Leafs nipped the New York Rangers 2-1. The Leafs have won five straight games and snapped the Rangers’ win streak at four.

A two-goal performance by Brandon Saad carried the St. Louis Blues to their first victory in five games with a 4-1 win over the San Jose Sharks. Blues goalie Ville Husso got his second win in as many starts with a 27-save performance.

The Vegas Golden Knights got two goals from defenseman Zach Whitecloud in his return to the lineup from a broken hand to beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-2. Golden Knights blueliner Shea Theodore was scratched from this contest with an undisclosed injury. Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin returned to the lineup after missing half of his previous game to a false positive COVID test. Teammate Moritz Seider left the game in the third period after taking a puck off his right knee.

Columbus Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner netted two goals to lead his team over the Arizona Coyotes 5-4. Coyotes goalie Scott Wedgewood made 42 saves. Earlier in the day, Coyotes defenseman Conor Timmins underwent successful knee surgery. He’ll be sidelined for the remainder of the season.

The Pittsburgh Penguins blanked the Montreal Canadiens 6-0 as Tristan Jarry made 24 saves for his first shutout of the season. Sidney Crosby scored his first goal of the season while Teddy Blueger tallied twice and set up another. Earlier in the day, the Canadiens recalled winger Cole Caufield after his six-game stint with their AHL affiliate in Laval.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens have just one win in their last 10 games. They’ve now reached the point where their “slow start” to the season can now be called a poor start, with no end to their misery in sight.

IN OTHER NEWS…

CANUCKS ARMY: The Vancouver Canucks placed Justin Bailey on waivers.

TSN: Winger Troy Brouwer announced his retirement after 14 NHL seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, Washington Capitals, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames and Florida Panthers. He scored 181 goals and 363 points in 851 regular-season games and 16 goals and 35 points in 106 playoff contests, winning a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2010. His last season was with the Blues in 2019-20.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Brouwer and his family in their future endeavors.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 15, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 15, 2021

Connor McDavid achieves a points milestone while Ryan Getzlaf is on the verge of reaching one of his own. Check out the details in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid became the sixth-fastest player to reach 600 points during his club’s 5-4 win over the St. Louis Blues. McDavid had a goal and an assist to reach that milestone in 421 games and now has 601 points. Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists and Kailer Yamamoto netted the game-winner with 28 seconds remaining in regulation. Robert Thomas collected three helpers for the Blues.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drasaitl (31 points) opened a four-point lead over McDavid atop the NHL points leader board.

The Anaheim Ducks won their seventh straight game by downing the Vancouver Canucks 5-1. Trevor Zegras scored twice, Troy Terry (one assist) extended his points streak to 14 games, and Ryan Getzlaf collected two assists to reach 999 career points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Getzlaf had 17 points in 48 games last season. The 36-year-old center has the same number of points in just 16 games thus far this season.

A shootout goal by Chris Kreider gave the New York Rangers a 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. Rangers winger Kaapo Kakko picked up his first points of the season with a goal and an assist. Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood left the game in the third period and entered concussion protocol. Rangers forward Sammy Blais suffered an injured leg following a collision with Devils defenseman P.K. Subban.

The Washington Capitals scored twice in the second period and two more in the third in a 6-1 drubbing of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Alex Ovechkin, Tom Wilson, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Conor Sheary Garnet Hathaway and Daniel Sprong all collected two points. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was held scoreless in his first game since returning from COVID protocol. Earlier in the day, the Capitals announced center Nic Dowd signed a three-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $1.3 million.

A four-goal third period lifted the Boston Bruins over the Montreal Canadiens 5-2. Charlie McAvoy and Charlie Coyle each scored twice for the Bruins while teammate Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist. Earlier in the day, the Canadiens announced goaltender Jake Allen was listed as day-to-day with a head injury.

Calgary Flames goaltender Dan Vladar made 27 saves for his first career NHL shutout in a 4-0 win over the Ottawa Senators. Elias Lindholm and Sean Monahan each had two points. The Senators were playing with 10 regulars on COVID protocol as Drake Batherson was the latest to make the list yesterday.

The NHL department of player safety fined Minnesota Wild defenseman Alex Goligoski $5,000.00 for high-sticking Seattle Kraken winger Jordan Eberle on Saturday. Buffalo Sabres forward Evan Rodrigues was fined $2,500.00 for a dangerous trip of Ottawa Senators forward Zach Sanford.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 6, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 6, 2021

Oilers stars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl enjoy multi-point performances against the Rangers, Carey Price will soon return to the Canadiens, Brady Tkachuk named captain of the Senators, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid’s game-tying goal set the stage for Leon Draisaitl’s overtime winner as the Edmonton Oilers overcame 4-1 and 5-4 deficits to defeat the New York Rangers 6-5. McDavid, Draisaitl and Tyson Barrie each finished the night with a goal and two assists while Jesse Puljujarvi tallied twice and Darnell Nurse collected three assists for the Oilers. Mika Zibanejad scored two goals for the Rangers. Before the game, the Oilers honored former defenseman Kevin Lowe by retiring his No. 4 jersey.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid’s highlight-reel goal was another example of why he’s the best hockey player in the world right now. He stickhandled through four Rangers inside the New York blueline at high speed before tucking the puck past a sprawling Alexandar Georgiev. Draisaitl (23 points) and McDavid (22) are currently the NHL’s leading scorers.

Unanswered goals by Matt Duchene and Philip Tomasino lifted the Nashville Predators to a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Predators goalie Juuse Saros made 26 saves while teammate Mikael Granlund picked up two assists. Brock Boeser and Nils Hoglander scored for the Canucks.

The Winnipeg Jets downed the Chicago Blackhawks 5-1. Andrew Copp collected three assists while Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers each had a goal and an assist. The Jets (6-2-2) are off to their best start since relocating to Winnipeg in 2011 while the sad-sack Blackhawks fall to 1-9-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Something’s gotta give for the Blackhawks soon. It could be a trade or a coaching change but this is a team badly in need of a shakeup. Another month of this and they can kiss their already fading playoff chances goodbye. Then again, whatever they do will probably already be too late to reverse their fortunes this season.

Anaheim Ducks goaltender Anthony Stolarz made 28 saves to backstop his club over the Arizona Coyotes 3-1. Adam Henrique had a goal and an assist for the Ducks, who honored team captain Ryan Getzlaf before the game for becoming the highest-scoring player in team history. The Coyotes have yet to win a game this season, sitting 0-10-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game highlighted two rebuilding clubs going in different directions. The Ducks (5-4-3) are off to a better than expected start while the Coyotes are feeling the effects of management’s offseason teardown moves that depleted the club’s depth, especially in goal. The Ducks still aren’t guaranteed to reach the playoffs but they’re showing early signs of becoming more competitive. The Coyotes, meanwhile, are going to endure a very long and difficult season.

The Los Angeles Kings nipped the New Jersey Devils 3-2 on an overtime goal by Alex Iafallo. Adrian Kempe and Arthur Kaliyev also scored for the Kings while Jesper Bratt and Pavel Zacha replied for the Devils.

HEADLINES

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price will rejoin the club on Monday following a 30-day stint in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. However, there’s no timetable for when he’ll return to action.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price was recovering from offseason knee surgery prior to entering the program. It will likely take some time, perhaps several weeks, before he’s ready for game action. Nevertheless, it’s good to see that Price feels well enough mentally to make this first step toward resuming his career.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators named Brady Tkachuk as their new captain on Friday. The Senators also placed winger Auston Watson in COVID protocol.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators haven’t had a team captain since trading Erik Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks in 2018. It’s an unsurprising choice as it had been speculated Tkachuk or Thomas Chabot would be named captain at some point this season. He leads by example on the ice and has become the face of the franchise.

Brady’s brother, Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk was fined $5,000.00 for high-sticking Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine will be sidelined for four-to-six weeks with a strained oblique.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A tough setback for Laine, who was off to a good start with 10 points in nine games before the injury. He had just 21 points in 45 games with the Jackets last season.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals forward Anthony Mantha is sidelined indefinitely after undergoing shoulder surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries continue to plague Mantha, who’s been sidelined in recent years with an injured lung, a broken hand, a fractured finger and a groin injury.

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues placed Torey Krug and Niko Mikkola in COVID protocol and announced center Brayden Schenn will be sidelined for two games with an upper-body injury. Ryan O’Reilly has come out of COVID protocol.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The NHL department of player safety handed down a two-game suspension to Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev for an illegal hit to the head of Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner on Thursday.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks reassigned winger William Eklund to his Swedish Hockey League club, Djurgardens IF, to save a year of the 19-year-old rookie’s contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a difficult decision by the Sharks. Eklund collected four assists in nine games and show considerable potential. The youngster is disappointed by the move but I expect he’ll be back full-time with the Sharks next season.