Johnson, Perry, Eriksson Among Notable On The NHL Waiver Wire
Alex Ovechkin discusses his future, the Rangers avoid arbitration with Ryan Strome, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE SCORE: Alexander Ovechkin told Russian Television International he’d like to finish his playing career with KHL club Dynamo Moscow. However, he still intends to finish his NHL career with the Washington Capitals. “It is clear, in two, three, four years, maybe five, I will end my career in Washington,” he said.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin is due to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He is still motivated to win another Stanley Cup, but he’s also chasing Wayne Gretzky’s goal-scoring record. Ovechkin sits 188 goals behind Gretzky’s 894. He’s also one season shy of tying Gretzky and Mike Bossy for the most 50-goal seasons (10).
NEW YORK POST: The Rangers avoided arbitration with Ryan Strome, signing the 27-year-old center to a two-year, $9 million contract. The annual average value is $4.5 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a nice pay raise for Strome over the $3.1 million AAV of his previous contract. Larry Brooks noted the move also provides stability at center for the Rangers, though they could leave Strome unprotected in next year’s expansion draft. Cap Friendly indicates the Blueshirts have over $6.3 million in projected cap space with Brendan Lemieux left to sign. He’s slated for arbitration today.
TSN: The Columbus Blue Jackets signed defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov to a three-year, $8.4 million contract. The annual average value is $2.8 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gavrikov, 24, had a solid NHL debut with 18 points in 69 games while averaging almost 19 minutes per game. His contract leaves the Blue Jackets with $9.225 million in cap space with Pierre-Luc Dubois to sign.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks signed prospect winger Jacob Perreault to a three-year, entry-level contract. Perreault was selected 27th overall in the 2020 NHL Draft.
WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets signed winger Marko Dano to a one-year, two-way contract worth $700K at the NHL level.
Driving a January start for the NHL is the ability to execute their national sponsor deals, including television.
Don’t forget the league, and the clubs will also get an injection of expansion money from Seattle early in 2021, that would help teams get through some tough times.
— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) November 5, 2020
Recaps of Tuesday’s games plus the latest on Jake Muzzin, Steven Stamkos, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes are the first team to advance past the qualifying round, defeating the New York Rangers 4-1 to sweep their best-of-five series. The Hurricanes scored four unanswered goals, including two by Sebastian Aho, while James Reimer made 38 saves for the win. Chris Kreider tallied the only goal for the Rangers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This series saw dominant performances by Aho and linemate Andrei Svechnikov. The young Hurricanes forwards proved too much for the Rangers to contain. Aho leads all playoff scorers with eight points, while Svechnikov has three goals and five points in three games.
— NHL (@NHL) August 5, 2020
Auston Matthews’s second-period goal was the game-winner and Frederik Andersen had a 20-save shutout as the Toronto Maple Leafs blanked the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0, tying their qualifying round series at a game apiece. John Tavares and Morgan Rielly also tallied for the Leafs. The Maple Leafs win was overshadowed by Jake Muzzin being stretchered from the ice late in the game with a suspected head/neck injury after a cross-check by Jackets center Pierre-Luc Dubois sent the defenseman colliding awkwardly with Jackets winger Oliver Bjorkstand. Muzzin was taken to a local hospital and was reportedly able to move his limbs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Muzzin will be ok. It remains to be seen how long he’ll be at the hospital and if he’ll have to undergo the mandatory four-day quarantine before rejoining his teammates. The Leafs had the better of the play in this game, outshooting the Jackets 39-20.
Sean Monahan had a goal and two assists as the Calgary Flames downed the Winnipeg 6-2 to take a 2-1 series lead. Monahan’s linemates Johnny Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm each had a goal and an assist, as the Flames went three-for-four on the power play. The injury-depleted Jets suffered another casualty as Mathieu Perreault left the game following a big hit from Flames forward Sam Bennett. Winnipeg defenseman Tucker Poolman left the game briefly left the game for stitches after taking a puck to the face.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a very physical game that left both sides battered, but the Jets got the worst of it. Already down two players with stars Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine sidelined, they cannot afford to lose more regulars. They also need more production from first-liners Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor, who’ve both been held to just one point in this series.
The New York Islanders tallied three unanswered goals to double up the Florida Panthers 4-2 and take a 2-0 series lead. Jordan Eberle tallied twice as the Isles overcame 1-0 and 2-1 deficits. Mike Hoffman and Keith Yandle each had two points for the Panthers. The Islanders can wrap it up in Game 3 later today. Following the game, Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson was fined $2,500.00 for high-sticking Isles center Brock Nelson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders showed lots of poise in this game. They didn’t get rattled when they fell behind and garnered momentum after Matt Martin made it 2-2. It was a disappointing outcome for the Panthers, who played much better in this game but couldn’t hold the lead.
J.T. Miller and Bo Horvat each had a goal and an assist as the Vancouver Canucks held on to edge the Minnesota Wild 4-3 and tie their series at a game apiece. Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom turned in a 34-save performance. Kevin Fiala scored two late goals for the Wild. The Canucks successfully killed off six penalties in this contest but also lost winger Micheal Ferland to an undisclosed injury in the first period.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A strong bounce-back effort for the Canucks, who looked flat in Game 1. They also tweaked their roster, with Jake Virtanen and Loui Eriksson entering the lineup for this one. Tyler Toffoli missed this game with an injured foot suffered in Game 1.
Nashville Predators’ goaltender Juuse Saros made 24 saves for his first career postseason win, backstopping his club to a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes to tie their series at a game apiece. Ryan Johansen had a goal and an assist as the Preds rolled to a 4-0 lead before the Coyotes tallied twice in the final minute of regulation.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After falling behind early in Game 1, it was the Predators’ turn to ride an early lead to victory. Apart from brief flurries from the Coyotes, the Preds largely controlled the play, especially when Calle Jarnkrok made it 3-0. Coyotes backup goalie Antti Raanta was declared “unfit to play” after leaving the bench mid-game and won’t suit up for Game 3 later today.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning captain Steven Stamkos won’t be in the lineup when his club faces off today in round-robin play against the Boston Bruins. Though he’s skated with his teammates in recent days, he’s still recovering from an injury suffered during Phase 2 training.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins winger Jack Studnicka will be a healthy scratch from today’s game against the Lightning. He’ll be replaced by Nick Ritchie.
STLTODAY.COM: Blues forward Ivan Barbashev is returning to St. Louis to attend the birth of his first child. He’s expected to rejoin his teammates for the first round of the playoffs.
THE SCORE: Former Washington Capitals winger Brendan Leipsic signed a one-year contract with KHL club CSKA Moscow. He was released from his contract in May when inappropriate comments he made on a group chat were leaked to social media.
Game recaps, stars and rookie of the month for January, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Connor McDavid scored twice and Leon Draisaitl picked up four assists as the Edmonton Oilers thumped the Calgary Flames 8-3. Draisaitl (83 points) sits four ahead of McDavid as the league’s points leader. A fight between Flames goalie Cam Talbot and Oilers netminder Mike Smith was the highlight of a line brawl late in the second period.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Battle of Alberta is always more fun when both clubs are battling for postseason spots. The next game between these two clubs is April 4. Hopefully, that will be a playoff preview.
Torey Krug’s four-point performance (two goals and two assists) led the Boston Bruins to a 6-1 drubbing of the Minnesota Wild. Winger David Pastrnak tallied his league-leading 38th goal of the season as the Bruins (74 points) moved within a point of the league-leading Washington Capitals.
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price made 29 saves to shut out the Florida Panthers 4-0. With 47 career shutouts, Price moved past Ken Dryden into third place among the club’s all-time leaders. Jeff Petry assisted on all four goals. It was a costly defeat for the Panthers. They slipped out of a playoff spot (61 points) and center Aleksander Barkov left the game with a lower-body injury. An update on his status is expected on Sunday.
Tampa Bay Lightning backup Curtis McElhinney turned in a 30-save shutout to down the San Jose Sharks 3-0. Steven Stamkos scored and chipped in an assist. Before the game, the Sharks honored Marc-Edouard Vlasic for becoming the second player and first defenseman in franchise history to reach 1,000 career games.
The Vancouver Canucks picked up their fifth straight win by edging the New York Islanders 4-3 in overtime. Quinn Hughes scored twice, including the game-winner. Isles center Brock Nelson had a goal and an assist. The Canucks (64 points) hold a two-point lead over the Edmonton Oilers in the Pacific Division.
New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist picked up his first shutout in two years by blanking the Detroit Red Wings 1-0. Mika Zibanejad tallied the only goal. Rangers winger Chris Kreider left the game in the second period after a collision with Zibanejad, but coach David Quinn said he didn’t suffer a concussion and felt better following the game.
Jack Roslovic scored twice and collected an assist as the Winnipeg Jets ended a five-game losing skid with 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck kicked out 38 shots. Winnipeg (56 points) sit three points out of a Western Conference wild-card spot. Earlier in the day, the Jets learned center Mathieu Perreault will miss at least two weeks with an upper-body injury. Blues forward Alexander Steen played in his 1,000th career game in the city where he was born and raised.
The Toronto Maple Leafs nipped the Ottawa Senators 2-1 on an overtime goal by Mitch Marner. With the win, the Leafs (63 points) climbed back into a playoff berth, sitting third in the Atlantic Division.
Joe Pavelski’s overtime goal gave the Dallas Stars a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils. Before the game, the Devils held a ceremony honoring their 2000 Stanley Cup championship team. Petr Sykora, who was injured during the Cup-winning game, finally got his opportunity to skate a lap with the trophy.
Two-goal performances by Kevin Hayes and Joel Farabee powered the Philadelphia Flyers over the Colorado Avalanche 6-3, handing the latter their first defeat in four games. Flyers center Sean Couturier picked up three assists.
Shootout goals by Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane gave the Chicago Blackhawks a 3-2 win over the slumping Arizona Coyotes. Kane extended his points streak to 12 games with assists on two goals by Brandon Saad. With 56 points, the Blackhawks sit three behind the Coyotes for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Vegas Golden Knights netminder Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 19 shots in a 3-0 shutout of the Nashville Predators. With the win, the Golden Knights (61 points) moved into third place in the Pacific Division.
Jack Eichel’s overtime goal lifted the Buffalo Sabres to a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets, snapping the latter’s six-game winning streak. The Sabres sit 10 points out of a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.
Ryan Miller made a season-high 46 saves to backstop the Anaheim Ducks over the Los Angeles Kings 3-1.
Washington captain Alex Ovechkin, Edmonton winger Leon Draisaitl, and Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy are the NHL’s three stars for January 2020. Chicago winger Dominik Kubalik was named rookie of the month.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Golden Knights will end their affiliation with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves at the end of this season.