NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 13, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 13, 2022

The Leafs honor Borje Salming, the Devils remain red hot, Cale Makar approaches a league record, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Toronto Maple Leafs rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2. Jordie Benn completed the Leafs’ three-goal rally in the second period while Erik Kallgren made 27 saves to improve their record to 8-5-3. Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller scored for the Canucks as they fall to 4-8-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs honored Hall-of-Fame defenseman Borje Salming in a pregame ceremony. The 71-year-old Salming, who is battling ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), made the ceremonial puck drop assisted by his family following a video retrospective of his trailblazing 17-season NHL career, all but one of which was spent with the Leafs.

This was a touching, beautiful and heartfelt tribute by the Leafs to one of their greatest players. They also started the game with five of Salming’s Swedish countrymen – Kallgren, Timothy Liljegren, Rasmus Sandin, William Nylander, Pierre Engvall and Calle Jarnkrok – on the ice. That’s a testament to his legacy as a pioneer for Swedish (and European) players in the NHL.

Second-period goals by Jesper Boqvist and Dougie Hamilton lifted the New Jersey Devils to a 4-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes to extend their win streak to nine games. Tomas Tatar had a goal and an assist for the 12-3-0 Devils while Dylan Guenther and Clayton Keller replied for the 6-7-1 Coyotes.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (NHL Images).

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar scored two goals while teammate Mikko Rantanen had a goal and three assists to down the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1. The Avalanche’s record sits at 8-4-1. Jordan Staal scored for the 9-5-1 Hurricanes, who placed sidelined winger Teuvo Teravainan in injured reserve with an upper-body injury retroactive to Nov. 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Makar is closing in on a potential NHL record. With 196 career points in 191 games, he is poised to become the fastest defenseman in league history to reach 200 points, a record currently held by Sergei Zubov with 207 games played.

Edmonton Oilers superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each collected an assist as their club doubled up the Florida Panthers 4-2. Stuart Skinner picked up the win by kicking out 42 shots for the Oilers (9-7-0) while McDavid and Draisaitl extended their points streaks to 10 and 11 games respectively. Sam Bennett scored twice for the Panthers (8-6-1) while defenseman Aaron Ekblad returned to the lineup for the first time since suffering a groin pull on Oct. 17.

Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron scored twice and Keith Kinkaid stopped 30 shots in a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Brad Marchand collected two assists for the Bruins as their record improves to 13-2-0. Tage Thompson had the only goal for the 7-8-0 Sabres, who played without captain Kyle Okposo due to what was described as “general soreness.”

The Ottawa Senators’ Claude Giroux collected three assists as his club snapped a seven-game winless skid by dropping the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1. Alex DeBrincat scored twice for the 5-8-1 Senators while Kevin Hayes netted the only goal for the 7-5-2 Flyers, who also lost defenseman Wade Allison in the second period with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was Giroux’s first game in Philadelphia since they traded him last March to the Florida Panthers. The Flyers honored their former captain with a pregame video tribute.

An overtime goal by Mike Hoffman lifted the Montreal Canadiens over the Pittsburgh Penguins by a score of 5-4. Nick Suzuki, Kirby Dach and Kaiden Guhle each collected two points as the Canadiens improved to 8-6-1. Jason Zucker collected three assists and former Hab Jeff Petry had two points for the Penguins, who drop to 6-6-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The rebuilding Canadiens continue to exceed expectations over a month into this season. They’ll likely return to earth as the season wears on but young players like Suzuki, Dach and Guhle continue to provide Habs fans with the hope that a better future might not be as far away as originally thought.

The New York Islanders nipped the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 on an overtime goal by Zach Parise. Brock Nelson tallied twice for the Islanders (10-6-0) while Joonas Korpisalo made 42 saves to help the injury-ravaged Jackets (4-9-1) steal a point.

Two unanswered third-period goals by Ivan Barbashev and Ryan O’Reilly lifted the St. Louis Blues over the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2, improving their record to 5-8-0. Jordan Binnington made 34 saves (22 of those in the third period) for the win. Reilly Smith and Phil Kessel replied for the 13-3-0 Golden Knights.

The Calgary Flames ended a seven-game winless skid with a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Elias Lindholm and Adam Ruzicka each had a goal and an assist for the Flames to boost their record to 6-6-2. Connor Hellebuyck made 32 stops for the 8-4-1 Jets.

Nashville Predators netminder Juuse Saros kicked out 34 shots as his club held off the New York Rangers 2-1. Juuso Parssinen and Mark Jankowski tallied for the Predators while Filip Chytil scored for the Rangers. Nashville’s record now sits at 6-8-1 while the Rangers are 7-6-3. Predators forward Yakov Trenin missed this contest with a lower-body injury.

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Sean Durzi tallied twice in a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, improving the Kings’ record to 10-6-1. Dominik Kubalik and Filip Hronek each had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings, who fall to 7-5-3.

A goal by Jarred Tinordi late in the third period lifted the Chicago Blackhawks over the Anaheim Ducks 3-2. Tinordi had two goals on the night while Arvid Soderblom got the wing for the 6-5-3 Blackhawks with a 39-save performance. Troy Terry had a goal and an assist for the 4-10-1 Ducks.

IN OTHER NEWS…

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals winger Nicolas Aube-Kubel received a three-game suspension from the NHL department of player safety for an illegal check to the head of Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Cal Foote on Friday.

TSN: Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway and Lightning forward Pat Maroon were both fined for unsportsmanlike conduct stemming from Aube-Kubel’s hit on Foote. Hathaway was tagged for over $4,000.00 while Maroon will pay over $2,700.00

DAILY FACEOFF: Speaking of the Lightning, they claimed forward Rudolfs Balcers off waivers from the Florida Panthers.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 9, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 9, 2022

Recaps of Saturday’s preseason games, the Flames extend coach Darryl Sutter’s contract, Kyle Okposo is the Sabres’ new captain, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

PRESEASON GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Nashville Predators defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-2 to sweep their two-game NHL Global Series in Prague, Czechia. Second-period goals by Filip Forsberg and Nino Niederreiter lifted the Predators past the Sharks while Kevin Lankinen made 31 saves for the win.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

Auston Matthews and William Nylander each scored twice while Mitch Marner and Morgan Rielly each picked up three assists as the Toronto Maple Leafs rolled to a 5-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

A hat trick by Vladislav Namestnikov carried the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers. Corey Perry collected three assists while Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside 27 shots for the Lightning.

The Los Angeles Kings beat the Anaheim Ducks 6-3. Arthur Kaliyev led the way with a goal and two assists. Ducks netminder John Gibson left the game after the first period with an upper-body injury after taking a shot off his mask. An update on his condition is expected on Sunday.

Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello each had three-point performances to lead the Minnesota Wild over the Dallas Stars 5-1. Marc-Andre Fleury picked up the win by stopping 22 shots.

St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington made 24 saves to shut out the Chicago Blackhawks 6-0. Ivan Barbashev tallied twice for the Blues.

The Ottawa Senators swept their two-game Kraft Hockeyville series with the Montreal Canadiens with a 3-2 win thanks to an overtime goal by Drake Batherson. The Canadiens were winless in preseason play with an 0-6-2 record.

An overtime goal by Dylan Strome lifted the Washington Capitals over the Columbus Blue Jackets by a score of 4-3. Capitals goaltender Darcy Kuemper got the win with a 36-save effort while teammate John Carlson collected three assists.

The New Jersey Devils got two-point performances from Jack Hughes and Alexander Holtz to top the Boston Bruins 5-3. David Krejci picked up two assists for the Bruins.

A 28-save performance by Ilya Sorokin helped the New York Islanders defeat the New York Rangers 3-1. Josh Bailey had two assists for the Isles. Rangers winger Sammy Blais left the game in the first period and didn’t return but head coach Gerard Gallant said Blais “should be fine.”

The Vegas Golden Knights downed the Arizona Coyotes 5-1. Reilly Smith and Paul Cotter both had two assists on the night.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those were the final games of the 2022 preseason. The regular season opens on Tuesday, Oct. 11 with the Tampa Bay Lightning facing off against the New York Rangers while the Vegas Golden Knights visit the Los Angeles Kings.

HEADLINES

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: The Flames yesterday announced that head coach Darryl Sutter had agreed to a two-year contract extension that begins next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise there. The Flames made significant improvement after Sutter took over as head coach during the 2020-21 season. Management sees this team as a Stanley Cup contender and wants an experienced, steady hand behind the bench.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres named Kyle Okposo as their new team captain with Zemgus Girgensons and Rasmus Dahlin as their alternate captains. Okposo is the 20th captain in Sabres history and the first since Jack Eichel was stripped of the captaincy prior to trading him last November to the Vegas Golden Knights.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

DAILY FACEOFF: Calgary Flames defenseman Juuso Valimaki, Detroit Red Wings center Austin Czarnik and Pittsburgh Penguins blueliner Mark Friedman are among those placed on waivers on Saturday. Teams have until noon ET on Sunday to claim them.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The Canadiens claimed defenseman Jonathan Kovacevic off waivers Saturday from the Winnipeg Jets.

TSN: Andrea Skinner has stepped down as interim chair of Hockey Canada’s board of directors. The organization has been losing sponsors and support from provincial organizations over its mishandling of sexual assault allegations leveled against several players on Canada’s 2003 and 2018 World Junior teams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Skinner’s departure is a start but there needs to be a complete overhaul of Hockey Canada’s leadership.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 26, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 26, 2022

The Blackhawks down the Flyers, the three stars of the week and the Masterton Trophy nominees are revealed, Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner to undergo season-ending surgery, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist and Alex DeBrincat matched his career-high with his 41st goal of the season as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in the only game on the NHL schedule last night.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Blackhawks announced center Kirby Dach is expected to miss their remaining games of this season due to a shoulder injury.

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala and Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick are the three stars for the week ending April 24.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel and Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf are among the 32 nominees for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. It is awarded annually to the player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

Other noteworthy nominees include Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin, Florida Panthers winger Anthony Duclair, New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier, New York Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara, New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider, St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko, San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns, and Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom.

The full list can be seen at this link. Three finalists will be chosen with the winner announced between Games 3 and 4 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to all the nominees. Each of them are worthy candidates for the Masterton Trophy.

The eight Eastern Conference clubs that qualified for the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs made history. It’s the first time eight teams in the same conference each reached 100 points in a single season.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Vegas Golden Knights announced goaltender Robin Lehner will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. Frank Seravalli first reported on Lehner’s injury and his requirement for surgery over two months ago. The Golden Knights denied Seravalli’s report, as they did with a recent report by ESPN.com’s Emily Kaplan claiming the 30-year-old Lehner would require a surgical procedure.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights’ handling of this situation was very puzzling. It was apparent Lehner was struggling over the past two months and had missed some games likely because of his injury. They did themselves no favors with their public denials. It’ll be interesting to see if there will be any fallout from this story in the coming months.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. He was hurt during Sunday’s loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs when he crashed awkwardly into the boards following a failed scoring attempt.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: By the sound of things, Ovechkin is expected to return to action in time for the start of the playoffs next week.

THE ATHLETIC: Sara Civian cited sources reporting sidelined Carolina Hurricanes goalies Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta are expected to return in time for the playoffs starting next week. Andersen is out day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Raanta left the club’s previous game but that was due to a cramping issue. He’s expected to suit up as the backup for Tuesday’s game against the New York Rangers.

NEW YORK POST: Speaking of the Rangers, sidelined forwards Andrew Copp, Filip Chytil and Kaapo Kakko are considered game-day decisions for tonight’s match with the Hurricanes.

CBS SPORTS: Buffalo Sabres winger Kyle Okposo is being evaluated for a leg injury suffered during practice on Monday.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The NHL department of player safety levied a one-game suspension on Panthers forward Ryan Lomberg for instigating a fight with Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak on Sunday. Panthers coach Andrew Brunette received a $10,000.00 fine for a game misconduct in the aftermath of the Lomberg-Cernak scuffle.

TSN: Los Angeles Kings forward Arthur Kaliyev was fined over $2,245 for cross-checking Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Mahura on Saturday.

Sidelined Ottawa Senators forwards Shane Pinto, Connor Brown and Colin White are expected to remain out of the lineup for the remainder of the season.

TORONTO SUN: 2022 Hobey Baker Award winner Dryden McKay signed a two-year AHL contract with the Maple Leafs’ farm team, the Marlies.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings have signed top prospect Simon Edvinsson to a three-year entry-level contract.










NHL Rumor Mill – April 23, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – April 23, 2021

Check out the latest Sabres speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, John Vogl was asked if Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula intend to sell the franchise. He said the club isn’t for sale but that hasn’t stop prospective buyers from calling. He doesn’t think the Pegulas have any plans to sell.

Could Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel get traded this summer? (NHL Images)

Asked about Jack Eichel’s contract, Vogl said the captain’s no-movement clause kicks in with the 2022-23 season. That would limit where the Sabres could trade Eichel if things reached the point where he had to be moved.

Asked if Eichel’s played his final game with the Sabres, Vogl guesses no. The clock isn’t ticking this summer on trading their captain. They can take this summer if they wish to weigh offers, see what happens with Eichel and the team next season, and decide his fate after that.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wouldn’t surprise me if some clubs make inquiries this summer about Eichel’s availability and the asking price. Perhaps one of them will make a pitch too good to pass up. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t assume it’s a certainty Eichel will be traded unless the Sabres captain wants out.

Vogl believes the Sabres will do everything they can to re-sign Linus Ullmark. The 27-year-old goaltender is due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Doing so could cost $5 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whether they re-sign Ullmark or look elsewhere for a starter they better find a reliable backup. Carter Hutton is a UFA and won’t be back. Dustin Tokarski is signed through next season at $725 and has looked ok in an emergency call-up role but can they depend on him over a full season? Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, 22, is in their system but might not be NHL-ready yet.

Vogl doubts there’s a viable way for the Sabres to shed the expensive contracts of Jeff Skinner and Kyle Okposo. No club except the Seattle Kraken can afford Skinner’s long-term cap space. Buying out Okposo wouldn’t make sense until 2022.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Skinner’s signed through 2026-27 with a $9 million annual average value and a full no-movement clause. Okposo’s got two more seasons left at $6 million annually and a 15-team no-trade list.

I don’t see the Kraken having any interest in Skinner even if he agreed to waive his NMC and I doubt they’ll take Okposo off the Sabres’ hands unless there’s a significant sweetener involved.

Maybe the Sabres can get creative by working out a three-way trade where they absorb half of Skinner’s or Okposo’s cap hit to facilitate a trade. However, that would still leave some significant dead cap space on the Sabres books for a long time, especially where Skinner’s contract is concerned.

The Sabres could use a skilled tough guy similar to Washington’s Tom Wilson or the Tkachuk brothers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Calgary Flames might be willing to entertain offers for Matthew Tkachuk if they decide to make significant changes to their underachieving roster.

Matthew, however, is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer and I believe he’ll be only a year away from UFA eligibility. Any team interested in acquiring him this summer will want to know if he’d be interested in a contract extension. Otherwise, you risk losing him for nothing in two years’ time if he’s unwilling to accept more than a one-year contract next summer.

The Sabres could use a good right-winger. That would allow Victor Olofsson to move to his natural left side.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 18, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 18, 2021

Patrick Marleau ties Gordie Howe’s games-played record, Alex Ovechkin moves closer to another scoring milestone, Connor McDavid hits new scoring heights for this season and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Patrick Marleau tied Gordie Howe’s record of 1,767 NHL games played as his San Jose Sharks fell to the Minnesota Wild 5-2. Marleau can break Howe’s record when the Sharks face the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday. Minnesota’s Mats Zuccarello had a goal and an assist while Zach Parise tallied the game-winner as the Wild (57 points) moved to within five points of the second-place Golden Knights in the Honda West Division.

San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau (NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a remarkable streak of longevity on Marleau’s part. His NHL career began in October 1997, spending over 20 of his 23 seasons with the Sharks. This season, however, is likely to be his last as the 41-year-old has just 8 points in 44 games. We should take the time to appreciate his career while he’s still playing.

For those of you unhappy over a supposedly “lesser player” breaking the great Howe’s NHL games record, console yourself with the fact that Howe’s record of playing five decades in the NHL remains intact. Factor in Howe’s 419 WHA games, and he remains the all-time leader in professional games played with 2,186.

The Arizona Coyotes overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat the St. Louis Blues 3-2. Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper made 20 saves and Michael Bunting netted the game-winner. With the win, the Coyotes (45 points) vault one point over the Blues into fourth in the West.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was an emotional win for the Coyotes as they inducted Leighton Accardo, a Coyotes fan who died last November at age 9 from cancer, into their Ring of Honor. With his team down by two goals, Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson guaranteed a win during a first-intermission interview. He and his teammates delivered on that promise.

Alex Ovechkin scored two goals and John Carlsson collected four assists to lead the Washington Capitals to a 6-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Ovechkin is now one goal behind Marcel Dionne (731) for fifth place on the all-time goal-scoring list. The Capitals sit in first place in the MassMutual East Division with 62 points while the Flyers (46 points) are eight points behind the fourth-place Boston Bruins. Flyers goaltender Carter Hart was scratched just prior to the game with a lower-body injury.

The Pittsburgh Penguins extended their points streak to five games by holding off the Buffalo Sabres 3-2. Tristan Jarry made 28 saves and Bryan Rust netted the game-winning goal as the Penguins (59 points) move one point ahead of the New York Islanders into second place in the East. The Sabres became the first team to be officially eliminated from the playoff race.

Pavel Buchnevich’s hat trick carried the New York Rangers over the New Jersey Devils 6-3. Artemi Panarin had a goal and three assists for the Rangers, who sit four points behind the Bruins. 

Connor McDavid became the first player to reach 70 points this season by collecting two assists in the Edmonton Oilers’ 3-0 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Mike Smith made 26 saves for the shutout as the Oilers (54 points) moved within three points of the second-place Jets in the Scotia North Division.

The Ottawa Senators ruined Carey Price’s return to the Montreal Canadiens net with a 4-0 victory. Price missed six games with a lower-body injury. Ottawa’s Matt Murray turned in a 23-save shutout performance while Drake Batherson scored twice. The Canadien (47 points) still hold a six-point lead over the Calgary Flames for fourth place in the North.

Third-period goals by Janne Hakanpaa and Andrei Svechnikov lifted the Carolina Hurricanes to a 3-1 win over the Nashville Predators. The Hurricanes sit in first place in the Discover Central Division with 62 points, one ahead of the Florida Panthers while the Predators (49 points) hold a two-point lead over the Chicago Blackhawks for fourth place.

The Panthers, meanwhile, defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 to hold a one-point lead over the latter. Sam Bennett collected two assists in his Florida debut while teammate Brandon Montour tallied his first goal with the Panthers.

A 29-save shutout by Malcolm Subban carried the Blackhawks over the Detroit Red Wings 4-0. Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist while Vinnie Hinostroza collected three helpers.

The Dallas Stars kept their playoff hopes alive by beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-1, extending the latter’s losing skid to five games. The Stars tallied four second-period goals, including two 20 seconds apart. They sit three points behind the Predators.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres winger Kyle Okposo underwent season-ending surgery on Saturday to repair a broken bone in his cheek.

CBS SPORTS: Columbus Blue Jackets forward Gustav Nyquist is officially done for the season. He’s been sidelined since undergoing shoulder surgery in November. He’s expected to be fully recovered for next season.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Former Bruins winger and broadcaster Johnny Peirson passed away at age 95. Peirson spent 11 seasons with the Bruins from 1946-47 to 1957-58. He went on to spend 20 seasons broadcasting Bruins games on WSBK-38 in the 1970s and 1980s.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Peirson’s family, friends, colleagues and former teammates.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 20, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 20, 2021

Recaps of Tuesday’s games, Hurricanes-Predators game postpone over COVID-19 concerns, Avalanche trade Ian Cole to Minnesota, Elias Pettersson fined, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Jack Hughes enjoyed his first two-goal game and added an assist as his New Jersey Devils held on for a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers. Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood made 47 saves for the win. Artemi Panarin collected two assists for the Rangers, who lost center Mika Zibanejad to an apparent upper-body injury after falling into the corner boards late in the third period.

New Jersey Devils forward Jack Hughes (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes and Blackwood were the Devils’ stars in this contest. This was Hughes’ best game in his young NHL career, showing the skills that made him the first-overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. An update on Zibanejad’s status could be made later today.

The Philadelphia Flyers blanked the Buffalo Sabres 3-0 thanks to a 40-save performance by goalie Brian Elliott. Kevin Hayes had a goal and an assist for the Flyers, who lost defenseman Philippe Myers and center Morgan Frost to injuries during this contest. Both are slated for MRIs today. Sabres goalie Carter Hutton didn’t return for the third period following a collision in his crease in the second period. Earlier in the day, the Sabres moved winger Kyle Okposo (undisclosed) on injured reserve. He’s yet to play a game this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A big bounce-back win for the injury-depleted Flyers after getting drubbed 6-1 by the Sabres on Monday. The Sabres had plenty of opportunities to score but Elliott held them off the board.

An overtime goal by Frank Vatrano lifted the Florida Panthers over the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4. Panthers’ goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves, the most notable stopping Patrick Kane on a penalty shot. Patric Hornqvist and Carter Verhaeghe each scored twice for the Panthers while Dominik Kubalik tallied twice for the Blackhawks, who still seek their first win of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s going to be a long, painful season for the Blackhawks. They’ve given up five goals in each of their first four games.

The Pittsburgh Penguins swept their two-game series with the Washington Capitals with a 5-4 overtime victory. Sidney Crosby tallied the winner in the extra frame as the Penguins overcame a 4-2 deficit. Tom Wilson scored twice for the Capitals. Penguins defensemen Marcus Pettersson and Juuso Riikola left the game with undisclosed ailments and will be evaluated today.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby collected three points in this contest and is now the Penguins’ leading scorer with five points.

Nikolaj Ehlers scored in overtime as the Winnipeg Jets overcame a 3-1 deficit to edge the Ottawa Senators 4-3. Blake Wheeler had a goal and an assist and Mark Scheifele collected two assists for the Jets. Senators rookie Tim Stuetzle missed the game with what’s been called a minor injury but he isn’t expected to be sidelined for long.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A tough loss for the Senators, who out-shot the Jets 41-28 in this game.

Tyler Bertuzzi potted an overtime winner to give the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 decision over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Wings forward Bobby Ryan scored his fourth goal in his first three games of this season, becoming the first player in franchise history to achieve that feat.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A well-earned victory for the rebuilding Red Wings over a Blue Jackets team whose best players have been anything but through most of the first week of their season.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon collected two assists, including his 500th career point, in a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Anze Kopitar had two helpers for the Kings. The Avs were playing without goaltender Pavel Francouz and winger Andre Burakovsky as both remain sidelined by injuries suffered during practice on Monday.

The Carolina Hurricanes-Nashville Predators game was postponed after five Hurricanes players (Warren Foegele, Jordan Martinook, Jordan Staal, Teuvo Teravainen and Jaccob Slavin) were placed in COVID-19 protocol. The rescheduled game will be played at a later date.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This probably won’t be the last game to be rescheduled during this season. The Dallas Stars had their first four games postponed and rescheduled after several players were placed in COVID-19 protocol during the final days of training camp.

HEADLINES

THE DENVER POST: Prior to the Colorado Avalanche’s game with the Los Angeles Kings, they shipped defenseman Ian Cole to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for blueliner Greg Pateryn.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild made this swap because general manager Bill Guerin was looking for an experienced stay-at-home defenseman. He also knows Cole from their days with the Pittsburgh Penguins and likes what the blueliner could bring to his roster.

The Avs, meanwhile, shed all but $800K of Cole’s $4.25 million annual average value while taking on Pateryn’s $2.25 million AAV. It allows the to put Pateryn on the taxi squad if necessary to create room for promising blueliner Bowen Byram.

SPORTSNET: Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson was fined $3,987.07 for slashing Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan during a game on Monday night.

NHL.COM: The league will pause the use of pucks with embedded tracking technology because of performance issues. A new supply of tracking pucks will be received soon and put into service once quality-control testing is completed.