NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 9, 2023
Hat-trick performances by the Bruins’ David Pastrnak and the Jets’ Kyle Connor, Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson return to the Capitals, the Blackhawks’ Lukas Reichel nets his first three NHL points and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak tallied a hat trick and collected an assist to crush the Anaheim Ducks 7-1. David Krejci collected three points and Jeremy Swayman stopped 28 shots as the league-leading Bruins (32-4-4, 68 points) extended their points streak to 14 games (11-0-3). Trevor Zegras replied for the Ducks as they dropped to 12-25-4.
Spurred by Kyle Connor’s hat trick and a four-assist performance by Pierre-Luc Dubois, the Winnipeg Jets rolled to a 7-4 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Nikolaj Ehlers enjoyed a three-point performance for the Jets (26-13-1) as they remain one point behind the Pacific Division-leading Dallas Stars with 53 points. J.T. Miller had a goal and two assists for the Canucks as they fell to 17-19-3.
Speaking of the Stars (24-11-6), they dropped the Florida Panthers by a score of 5-1. Jason Robertson scored two goals while Jake Oettinger made 27 saves for the win. Carter Verhaeghe replied for the 18-19-4 Panthers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Stars as center Roope Hintz left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury. He is expected to be evaluated on Monday.
Washington Capitals forwards Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson made their season debuts in a 1-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Darcy Kuemper kicked out 38 shots for the shutout while Erik Gustafsson tallied the only goal for the Capitals (23-14-6) as they sit one point behind the second-place New Jersey Devils in the Metropolitan Division with 52 points. Elvis Merzlikins made 18 saves for the 12-25-2 Blue Jackets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals are 13-2-2 in their last 17 games. Backstrom and Wilson were held scoreless in this contest.
The Toronto Maple Leafs downed the Philadelphia Flyers 6-2 to snap the latter’s four-game win streak. John Tavares and Calle Jarnkrok each had a goal and two assists, Auston Matthews scored his 20th goal of the season and Matt Murray made 34 saves for the Leafs (25-9-7), who hold second place in the Atlantic Division with 57 points. Travis Konecny netted his 21st of the season for the 15-18-7 Flyers.
St. Louis Blues goalie Thomas Greiss made 35 saves to shut out the Minnesota Wild 3-0. Brayden Schenn tallied two goals as the Blues improved to 20-18-3 (43 points) to sit two points behind the Edmonton Oilers for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The Wild (22-14-3) played without winger Jordan Greenway due to a non-COVID illness (flu). They are in third place in the Central Division with 47 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo missed this game to an undisclosed injury suffered on Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens.
The Pittsburgh Penguins got two goals from Jake Guentzel and two assists from Sidney Crosby en route to a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. The Penguins (20-13-6) hold the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 46 points and hold two games in hand over the New York Islanders, who also have 46 points. Barrett Hayton scored for the Coyotes (13-21-6) as they’ve now lost five games in a row.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The win snapped a six-game winless skid (0-4-2) for the Penguins.
Chicago Blackhawks rookie Lukas Reichel scored his first NHL goal and collected two assists (the latter on Max Domi’s game-winner) in a 4-3 overtime upset of the Calgary Flames. Alex Stalock stopped 44 shots for the 10-25-4 Blackhawks. Flames netminder Jacob Markstrom was pulled after giving up three goals on 11 shots as his club’s record dropped to 19-14-8. With 46 points, they hold the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: On Saturday, the Flames placed forward Brett Ritchie on injured reserve. He last played on Dec. 29.