NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 26, 2023
The Leafs, Hurricanes and Blues Jackets each collect 3-2 overtime wins, the surging Kraken take over first place in the Pacific Division, the Avalanche and Sharks make a four-player trade, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner scored 19 seconds into overtime in a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers after teammate Timothy Liljegren tied it late in the third period. The Leafs improved their record to 30-11-8 and are tied with the Carolina Hurricanes with 68 points. Filip Chytil tallied twice for the 26-14-8 Rangers as they sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 60 points.
Speaking of the Hurricanes, they got an overtime goal from Martin Necas to beat the Dallas Stars by a score of 3-2. Sebastian Aho scored his 200th career NHL goal as they extended their points streak to six games. The Hurricanes (30-9-8) sit second overall in the overall standings with two games in hand over the Maple Leafs. Jason Robertson scored his 33rd goal of the season for the 28-13-9 Stars as they hold a two-point lead over the Winnipeg Jets for first place in the Western Conference with 65 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen left this game following the first period with an upper-body injury. There was no post-game update as to the severity of his injury. He was activated off long-term injury reserve on Jan. 11 after missing over two months with a lower-body injury.
The Columbus Blue Jackets also picked up 3-2 overtime victory by downing the Edmonton Oilers thanks to Kent Johnson’s winning goal. Joonas Korpisalo made 34 saves as the Blue Jackets improved to 15-30-3 on the season. Zach Hyman tallied his 25th goal of the season for the 27-18-4 Oilers, who hold the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 58 points.
Seattle Kraken winger Oliver Bjorkstrand scored twice and Jared McCann collected three points to crush the Vancouver Canucks 6-1 and move into first place in the Pacific Division with 61 points. It was the first loss for Rick Tocchet since taking over as Vancouver’s head coach on Sunday. The Canucks slipped to 19-26-3.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kraken rookie Matty Beniers left the game with an upper-body injury. No update was provided as to his condition.
The Ottawa Senators got goals by Shane Pinto and Claude Giroux to hold off the New York Islanders 2-1, handing the latter their sixth straight loss. Brock Nelson replied for the Islanders (23-22-5) as they sit five points out of the final Eastern wild-card spot with 51 points. The Senators improved to 21-23-3.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello shouldered the blame for his club’s struggles this season. He also expressed confidence in his coaching staff. Meanwhile, Senators goaltender Cam Talbot left the game midway through the second period with a leg injury. The club is expected to have an update on his condition on Thursday.
COLORADO HOCKEY NOW/SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: The Colorado Avalanche acquired defenseman Ryan Merkley and forward Matt Nieto from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for defenseman Jacob MacDonald and forward Martin Kaut.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nieto previously played for Colorado from 2016-17 to 2019-20 and is being brought in to improve the Avalanche’s penalty kill. Merkley and Kaut are two young players in need of a fresh start after struggling to stick with their former clubs. Evan Rawal of Colorado Hockey Now believes MacDonald’s inclusion in this swap suggests sidelined defensemen Bowen Byram and Josh Manson could be returning to the Avs’ lineup soon.
PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry will be sidelined with an undisclosed injury until after the upcoming All-Star break. The club recalled goalie Dustin Tokarski.
CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Flames defenseman Chris Tanev (upper-body injury) is also sidelined until the All-Star break.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes signed defenseman Juuso Valimaki to a one-year contract extension worth $1 million. He was also fined $4,189.19 by the NHL department of player safety for slashing Anaheim Ducks forward Max Jones.