NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 20, 2023
The Sabres retire Ryan Miller’s No. 30, milestone games for the Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron and the Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov, the final 12 players are named to the 2023 All-Star Game, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines
NHL.COM: The Buffalo Sabres retired Ryan Miller’s No. 30 in a pregame ceremony before downing the New York Islanders 3-2 on an overtime goal by Dylan Cozens. Rasmus Dahlen collected two assists for the Sabres (22-19-3) as they sit four points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 47 points. Ilya Sorokin stopped 42 shots for the Islanders (23-19-6), who remain tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins with 51 points. The Penguins, however, hold the last wild-card spot with three games in hand over the Isles.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller played 11 seasons with the Sabres from 2002 to 2014. He’s their all-time goaltending leader with 284 wins, 540 games played, 14, 847 saves and single-season wins with 41. He won the Vezina Trophy in 2009-10 and was named to that season’s First All-Star Team. He retired in 2021 after 18 NHL seasons.
Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron scored the game-winning goal and Jeremy Swayman made 31 saves in a 3-1 win over the New York Rangers. Bergeron surpassed Phil Esposito to move into second place among Bruins scorers with 78 game-winning goals. Boston (35-5-4) maintains a 12-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the overall standings with 76 points. The 25-14-7 Rangers sit third in the Metropolitan Division with 57 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: John Bucyk is Boston’s all-time leader in game-winning goals with 88. Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo left this game after blocking a shot with his left leg.
Speaking of the Hurricanes, they defeated the Minnesota Wild by a score of 5-2. Frederik Andersen turned aside 29 shots while Martin Necas had a goal and an assist for the 28-9-8 Hurricanes. Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov scored his 100th career goal, becoming the third-fastest active skater to reach that milestone by doing it in his 180th career NHL game. The Wild (25-14-4) remain in third place in the Central Division.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly loss for the Hurricanes as winger Max Pacioretty left the game in the third period after suffering an injury to the same leg that sidelined him for all but five games this season. It remains to be seen if he reinjured the Achilles tendon.
The Dallas Stars got a 34-save shutout from Scott Wedgewood to blank the Los Angeles Kings 4-0. Tyler Seguin scored twice and collected an assist as the Stars (27-13-7) took over sole possession of first place in the Western Conference with 61 points. The Kings slipped to 25-16-6 and hold third place in the Pacific Division.
Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews scored twice and Ilya Samsonov kicked out 37 shots in a 4-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Mitch Marner scored to extend his home points streak record to 20 games as the Leafs (28-11-7) sit in second place in the Atlantic Division with 63 points. Kyle Connor replied for the Jets (29-16-1) as they slipped two points behind the Stars in the Western Conference standings.
The Edmonton Oilers picked up their fifth straight win by downing the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3. Connor McDavid netted his league-leading 39 goal of the season to snap a 3-3 in the third period while Zach Hyman tallied twice for the 26-18-3 Oilers, who hold the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 55 points. Brayden Point had a goal and an assist for the Lightning (29-14-1) as their five-game win streak came to an end, leaving them four points behind the Leafs in third place in the Atlantic Division.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers winger Evander Kane faces two trials next week in a San Jose courtroom after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy two years ago. The two creditors hope to block a discharge that would allow Kane to walk away from his remaining debts. His trial briefs revealed he borrowed $48 million between 2014 and 2019.
An overtime goal by Andre Burakovsky lifted the Seattle Kraken over the New Jersey Devils 4-3, snapping the latter’s five-game win streak. Ryan Donato scored two goals and added an assist for the 27-14-4 Kraken, who moved ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights into first place in the Pacific Division with 58 points. Devils captain Nico Hischier tallied his 21st goal of the season as they sit two points behind the Metropolitan Division-leading Hurricanes with 62 points (29-12-4).
Speaking of the Golden Knights (28-16-2), they fell 3-2 to the Detroit Red Wings. Ville Husso made 33 saves while Joe Veleno scored what proved to be the game-winning goal. Reilly Smith collected two assists for the Golden Knights, who have the same number of points as the Kraken (58) but the latter hold first in the Pacific with a game in hand. The Wings, meanwhile, improved to 19-17-8 on the season.
Washington Capitals goalie Darcy Kuemper made 26 saves to pick up his league-leading fifth shutout of the season to beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-0. Dylan Strome scored twice for the Capitals (25-17-6) as they opened a five-point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins for the first Eastern wild-card spot with 56 points. The Coyotes (14-26-5) played without leading goal scorer Lawson Crouse (16 goals) as he’s listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
St. Louis Blues forwards Brandon Saad and Robert Thomas each had a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators. The Blues improved to 23-20-3 (49 points) to sit two points behind the Calgary Flames for the final Western wild-card spot. The Predators (21-18-6) sit one point back of the Blues.
The Florida Panthers (22-20-5, 49 points) moved to within two points of the Penguins for the final Eastern wild-card spot with a 6-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Matthew Tkachuk scored twice and Aleksander Barkov collected two assists for the Panthers. The Canadiens fell to 19-24-3.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and forward Eric Staal left this game with injuries. Backup netminder Alex Lyon made 23 saves for the win. Earlier in the day, Panthers coach Paul Maurice was fined $25,000 by the NHL for making comments about the officiating in their game against the Leafs on Jan. 17.
Five unanswered goals rallied the Anaheim Ducks over the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3. Trevor Zegras, Cam Fowler and Adam Henrique each had a goal and an assist for the 13-28-5 Ducks as they snapped a five-game losing skid. The Jackets dropped to 13-20-2.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks activated forward Isac Lundestrom off injured reserve but forward Mason McTavish missed this contest with a lower-body injury.
The Chicago Blackhawks ended a 17-game regular-season road winless skid against the Philadelphia Flyers with a 4-1 victory. Petr Mrazek stopped 37 shots while Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist for the 13-26-4 Blackhawks. The Flyers fell to 19-20-7.
NHL.COM: The final 12 players were named to the 2023 NHL All-Star Game. Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl, Leafs center Auston Matthews, Bruins winger David Pastrnak and Rangers winger Artemi Panarin were among the notables chosen by fan voting.
Speaking of the All-Star game, the jerseys for the event were also unveiled yesterday.
PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers head coach John Tortorella continued to support Ivan Provorov after the defenseman declined to participate in a warm-up skate before Tuesday’s game against Anaheim wearing an LGBTQ+-themed jersey during Pride Night citing his religious beliefs. “Prov did nothing wrong,” said Tortorella. “Just because you don’t agree with his decision doesn’t mean he did anything wrong.”
DAILY FACEOFF: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman weighed in on the situation to put the focus on the 700 players who supported LGBTQ+ Pride and embrace inclusivity.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those comments did little to quell the wave of criticism from a number of fans and pundits on social media over Provorov’s stance and Tortorella’s support of his decision.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Mathieu Joseph was scratched from the lineup for Wednesday’s game against the Penguins for breaking a team rule. Neither he or the club elaborated on the situation but Joseph is keen to return to action for Friday’s rematch in Pittsburgh.