A day after being a healthy scratch, Dallas Stars center Jason Spezza scored twice against the Detroit Red Wings (Photo via NHL Images).
Game recaps plus latest on Corey Crawford, Jason Spezza, Viktor Arvidsson and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist reached the 20-win plateau for the 13th time in his career as he backstopped his club to a 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Rick Nash tallied two goals for the Blueshirts, who also lost defenseman Marc Staal to a hip-flexor injury. An update on Staal’s status is expected later today,
One day after being a healthy scratch, Jason Spezza returned to action and scored twice as the Dallas Stars doubled up the Detroit Red Wings 4-2.
The New Jersey Devils snapped a six-game losing skid by defeating the New York Islanders 4-1. Damon Severson scored two goals, Taylor Hall extended his points streak to five games and Keith Kinkaid made 25 saves for the win. The Islanders got some good news, as sidelined winger Josh Bailey (lower-body injury) could return to action on Thursday against the Boston Bruins.
Juuse Saros made 43 saves and Kevin Fiala tallied the only goal as the Nashville Predators shut out the Vegas Golden Knights 1-0. Earlier in the day, the Predators placed winger Viktor Arvidsson (lower body) on injured reserve. Meanwhile, the Golden Knights re-signed defenseman Jon Merrill to a two-year, $2.75-million contract extension and recalled blueliner Jason Garrison from the minors.
The San Jose Sharks collected their third straight win as Joe Pavelski’s shootout goal gave them a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Earlier in the day, Sharks defenseman Paul Martin cleared waivers and was assigned to the club’s minor-league affiliate.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Martin’s age (36), contract ($4.85 million annual salary-cap hit through 2018-19) and the fact he’s missed all but three games this season recovering from ankle surgery, it’s unsurprising he went unclaimed. However, it’s believed he could attract interest in the trade market with a strong showing in the minors. There’s talk some rival GMs want to see if Martin is still capable of being an effective defenseman before making a pitch for his services.
Vince Dunn’s overtime goal gave the St. Louis Blues a 2-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Sources say Blackhawks starting goaltender Corey Crawford could miss the remainder of the season due to vertigo-like symptoms. It’s the second time in his career he’s suffered from this condition. The Blackhawks have declined to publicly comments on Crawford’s status.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sitting three points out of a wild-card berth in the Western Conference, the Blackhawks face a tough fight to lock up a playoff spot this season. They’ve been making due with backup Anton Forsberg and call-up Jeff Glass but neither have Crawford’s pedigree. If he goes on long-term injured reserve the Hawks could use the cap savings to pursue a replacement, but there’s no one available in the trade market who could suitable replace him on a short-term basis.
TSN: The Los Angeles Kings placed winger Jussi Jokinen on waivers. Earlier this season, they acquired Jokinen from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for winger Mike Cammalleri.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Staff members, associates and alumni from the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning teamed up with Habitat for Humanity in Collier County, Florida to help build affordable housing for those who lost homes to Hurricane Irma last fall.
TSN: Data shows fighting in the NHL is on the verge of extinction.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fighting will never be eradicated from the game, but there’s no question it’s in decline. Changes to the rules and pace of the NHL game have been contributing factors.
YAHOO SPORTS: The NHL’s choice of Kid Rock to headline festivities at the 2018 NHL All-Star Game was greeted with derision on Twitter.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This announcement would’ve been big news twenty years ago.