NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 26, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 26, 2019

Game recaps, stars of the week, Golden Knights to re-sign Mark Stone, Roberto Luongo reaches another milestone, Wild re-sign Eric Staal, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: A four-goal second period carried the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Leafs center Auston Matthews tallied his 30th goal of the season while Sabres center Jack Eichel scored twice. The Sabres (66 points) sit six points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference while the Leafs (80 points) sit one back of the Boston Bruins for second in the Atlantic Division.

The Montreal Canadiens (73 points) failed to widen their lead in the standings over the Carolina Hurricanes and Pittsburgh Penguins, falling 2-1 to the New Jersey Devils. Cory Schneider made 34 saves and Connor Carrick collected two assists for the Devils. The Canadiens sit one point ahead of the Hurricanes and Penguins in the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth. 

Victor Hedman’s shootout goal enabled the Tampa Bay Lightning to edge the Los Angeles Kings 4-3. The Bolts are the first team this season to reach 100 points.  

Shootout goals by Filip Forsberg and Brian Boyle gave the Nashville Predators a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Predators defenseman P.K. Subban had a goal and an assist while Leon Draisaitl tallied twice for the Oilers. The Predators (79 points) move one point ahead of the Winnipeg Jets into first in the Central Division. 

Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo moved into third on the all-time wins list (Photo via NHL Images)

Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo picked up his 485th career win in a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Luongo moves into third on the all-time wins list. Teammate Mike Hoffman had a three-point performance. With the loss, the Avalanche (66 points) fall out of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Avs were playing without forward Matt Nieto, who’s sidelined six-to-eight weeks with a lower-body injury

Jacob Markstrom had a 29-save shutout performance and Bo Horvat scored twice as the Vancouver Canucks blanked the Anaheim Ducks 4-0. The Canucks (62 points) sit four points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. 

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov, Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov, and Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Feb. 24. 

SPORTSNET: Mark Stone has agreed to an eight-year contract extension with the Vegas Golden Knights shortly after being acquired from the Ottawa Senators yesterday. The deal, expected to be worth over $9 million annually, cannot be officially signed until March 1. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will be a significant new contract for Stone, who’s on a one-year, $7.35-million deal this season and was slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. With 62 points in 59 games, the 26-year-old Stone is among the league’s best two-way players and would’ve been among the top free agents in the 2019 UFA market. It’s a big commitment by the Golden Knights, signaling their intent to continue building upon their early success and remain a legitimate playoff contender. 

TSN: The Minnesota Wild re-signed center Eric Staal to a two-year, $6-million contract extension. Staal was slated to become a UFA in July

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staal stated his intent to stay with the Wild before the trade deadline. They’ve rewarded him for his loyalty and see him as an experienced leader who’ll help guide them through their current roster retool. 

NHL.COM: Dallas Stars winger Mats Zuccarello will undergo surgery today to repair a broken arm and will be sidelined four weeks. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks have activated goaltender Corey Crawford off injured reserve and assigned Collin Delia to Rockford.

CBS SPORTS: Winnipeg Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey (upper body) could be sidelined longer than expected after suffering an apparent left arm injury during Sunday’s game against the Arizona Coyles. Teammate Ben Chiarot, meanwhile, was fined over $3,700.00 for cross-checking Coyotes forward Nick Cousins.