Game recaps, Thornton and Kessel reach milestones and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.com: Rookie Danton Heinen scored twice and Anton Khudobin made 36 saves as the Boston Bruins edged the San Jose Sharks 2-1. Joe Thornton scored the Sharks’ only goal. It was his 1,398th career point, moving him into a tie with Hall of Famer Jurri Kurri for 20th on the all-time points list.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering Thornton played a significant portion (seven seasons) of his 20 NHL seasons in the Dead Puck Era, joining the top 20 all-time points leaders is a remarkable achievement.
Phil Kessel scored in overtime as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Winnipeg Jets 2-1. It was Kessel’s 300th career NHL goal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For all the talk of how streaky Kessel can be he’s tallied at least 20 goals and 50 points in each of the last nine seasons. With 11 points in as many games this season, he’s on pace to reach those marks again.
Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov each scored a goal to extend their points streaks to 11 games as the Tampa Bay Lightning nipped the Detroit Red Wings 3-2, handing the latter their sixth straight loss.
Radim Vrbata tallied a hat trick, Evgenii Dadonov scored twice and rookie Owen Tippett netted his first career NHL goal as the Florida Panthers crushed the injury-ravaged Anaheim Ducks 8-3. Earlier in the day, the Ducks announced defenseman Kevin Bieksa is out indefinitely with a hand injury.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau had a goal and two assists as the Ottawa Senators hung on for a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. The Sens were playing without first-line center Kyle Turris (viral infection) while Flyers rookie Nolan Patrick is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice and Leon Draisaitl had three assists as the Edmonton Oilers squeaked past the Dallas Stars 5-4. James Benn had two goals and Alexander Radulov tallied a goal and two assists for the Stars.
Sven Baertschi netted two power-play goals and Brock Boeser had three assists to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 6-2 victory over the Washington Capitals, who lost winger Brett Connolly to an upper-body injury in this game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks are among the surprising clubs off to a strong start (6-3-1) this season. They exploited a Capitals defense that’s still struggling to adjust to the departures of Kevin Shattenkirk, Karl Alzner and Nate Schmidt in the offseason and the sidelining of Matt Niskanen to an early-season injury.
Josh Jooris scored twice and Teuvo Teravainen collected three points to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 6-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Meanwhile, there’s concern complications have arisen in the negotiations regarding a possible sale of the Carolina Hurricanes to a group headed by business Chuck Greenberg. Current Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. is apparently concerned the negotiations aren’t progressing quicker. However, the two sides “have not turned their backs on each other.”
Pavel Buchnevich and Michael Grabner each scored twice to give the New York Rangers a 5-2 win over the hapless Arizona Coyotes, leaving the latter winless (0-9-1) in their opening 10 games of the season.
Luke Kunin and Zack Mitchell each netted their first NHL goals as the Minnesota Wild downed the New York Islanders 6-4. Josh Bailey collected three assists for the Isles. The Wild also learned sidelined winger Nino Niederreiter (high ankle sprain) could return to action next week.
Jonathan Quick turned in a 40-save shutout performance backstopping the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-0 win over the floundering Montreal Canadiens. Earlier in the day, NHLPA agent Dan Milstein created a stir by alleging Canadiens coach Claude Julien doesn’t like Russian players, believing that’s the reason behind Alex Galchenyuk’s struggles this season and the offseason departures of Alexei Emelin, Mikhail Sergachev, Alexander Radulov and Alexei Emelin.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For a player agent, Milstein is quite ill-informed regarding the Canadiens. Galchenyuk’s offensive difficulties began long before Julien took over as coach. The Habs attempted to get Emelin back via trade after he was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft. Sergachev was used to acquire Jonathan Drouin in a bid to improve the Canadiens offense. The Habs tried to match the contract offer Radulov received (and ultimately signed) with the Dallas Stars. They also wanted to re-sign Markov to a one-year contract but his insistence on two years led to his departure to the KHL.