NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 25, 2024
The Rangers match their franchise record win streak, the Canucks regain first overall, the Leafs’ Tyler Bertuzzi nets a birthday hat trick, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The New York Rangers tied a franchise record with their 10th straight win by downing the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1. Rookie forward Matt Rempe’s first career NHL goal was the game-winner as he snapped a 1-1 tie in the third period while Igor Shesterkin made 39 saves for the Rangers (39-16-3). With 81 points, they lead the Metropolitan Division and sit in second place in the overall standings. Tyson Foerster scored for the 30-21-7 Flyers as they remain in third place in the Metro with 67 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers winger Travis Konecny missed this game as he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury. He’s not expected to be sidelined for long.
Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser tallied two goals, including the winner in overtime, to defeat the Boston Bruins 3-2 and reclaim first place in the overall standings with 82 points. The Bruins (34-12-13) jumped to a 2-0 lead on goals by Jesper Boqvist and Danton Heinen before the Canucks (38-16-6) staged their rally. The Bruins lead the Atlantic Division with 81 points and sit third in the overall standings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins and Rangers have the same number of points but the latter holds a game in hand plus they’ve got more regulation wins.
The Toronto Maple Leafs picked up their seventh straight win by nipping the Colorado Avalanche 4-3. Tyler Bertuzzi celebrated his 29th birthday with a hat trick while William Nylander collected three assists for the 33-16-8 Leafs as they sit third in the Atlantic Division with 74 points. Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon had three assists for the 35-19-5 Avalanche, who sit third in the Central Division with 75 points but have won only three of their last 10 games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacKinnon sits second in the NHL scoring race with 96 points, two back of Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov.
Speaking of Kucherov, he had a goal and two assists for the Lightning in a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders. Victor Hedman picked up three assists while Andrei Vasilevskiy made 32 saves for the Lightning (31-23-5), who hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 67 points. Anders Lee and Brock Nelson replied for the 23-20-14 Islanders.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield missed this contest with a lower-body injury and is considered day-to-day.
The Dallas Stars downed the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 on goals by Jason Robertson and Wyatt Johnston. Joel Oettinger turned aside 20 shots as the Stars improved to 35-16-8 and sit atop the Central Division with 78 points. Sebastian Aho scored for the Hurricanes (34-18-5) as they’re perched in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 73 points.
An overtime goal by Gustav Forsling gave the Florida Panthers a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals. Aleksander Barkov scored the tying goal late in the third period for the Panthers (38-16-4) as they sit second in the Atlantic Division and fourth in the overall standings with 80 points. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin played his 1,400th career NHL game but saw his 10-game points streak come to an end as his club’s record dropped to 26-21-9.
A four-goal first period carried the Detroit Red Wings over the St. Louis Blues by a score of 6-1. Alex DeBrincat led the way with two goals and an assist while Patrick Kane and Michael Rasmussen each had a goal and an assist for the 31-20-6 Red Wings, who sit one point above the Lightning in the first Eastern wild-card spot with 68 points. Blues rookie Zachary Bolduc scored his first career NHL goal as his club dropped to 30-25-2 (62 points) and sit two points out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Red Wings are on a roll of late, winning four straight and seven of their last 10 games. They’re looking like a playoff contender for the first time since 2015-16.
Speaking of the final Western wild-card spot, the Nashville Predators took over that spot with a 4-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. Kiefer Sherwood tallied twice while Juuse Saros made 23 stops for the 31-25-2 Predators (64 points) as they picked up their fourth straight victory. Mikael Granlund and Filip Zadina replied for the 15-36-5 Sharks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic suffered an upper-body injury during practice on Friday and missed this game as a result.
The Calgary Flames kept their playoff hopes alive by dropping the Edmonton Oilers 6-3 in their ongoing Battle of Alberta. Noah Hanifin scored twice and collected an assist while Jonathan Huberdeau and Connor Zary each had two assists for the 28-25-5 Flames (61 points) as they’ve won three straight and sit three points behind the Predators. Zach Hyman scored two goals for the Oilers (33-20-2) as they sit third in the Pacific Division with 68 points but have won just four of their last 10 contests.
A shootout goal by Trevor Moore gave the Los Angeles Kings a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Drew Doughty and Kevin Fiala each had a goal and an assist for the Kings (29-17-10) as they hold the first Western wild-card spot with 68 points and have won seven of their last 10 games. Goaltender John Gibson kicked out 48 shots for the 20-34-3 Ducks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before this game, the Kings placed winger Viktor Arvidsson (lower body) on long-term injury reserve and announced that defenseman Mikey Anderson is week-to-week with an upper-body injury.
Another team keeping their postseason chances alive is the Minnesota Wild as they defeated the Seattle Kraken by a score of 5-2. Kirill Kaprizov has two goals and an assist while Mats Zuccarello collected four assists for the 28-24-6 Wild (62 points) as they sit two points behind the Predators. Vince Dunn and Jordan Eberle replied for the Kraken (24-22-11), who are five points back of the Predators.
The Ottawa Senators upset the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 on a shootout goal by Tim Stutzle. Josh Norris and Thomas Chabot each had a goal and an assist for the 25-27-3 Senators, who are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games. Chandler Stephenson scored two goals for the Golden Knights (32-19-7) as they sit second in the Pacific Division with 71 points.
New Jersey Devils winger Timo Meier had a goal and an assist in a 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Tyler Toffoli collected two assists for the 29-24-4 Devils (62 points), who sit five points behind the Lightning for that final Eastern wild-card berth. Nick Suzuki scored twice for the 22-28-8 Canadiens as their losing streak reached a season-high five games.