NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 20, 2023

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

GAME RECAPS

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.

Buffalo Sabres raise Ryan Miller’s banner (NHL.com).

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.

HEADLINES

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.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 18, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 18, 2023

The Hurricanes are linked to Bo Horvat and the Bruins to Luke Schenn, more speculation about the Jets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois joining the Canadiens plus the latest on the Blue Jackets, Wild and Sabres in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

THE LATEST ON THE CANUCKS

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Vancouver Canucks have been in contact with pretty much every contender regarding their captain Bo Horvat. One of those clubs is the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Canucks are said to be seeking a young center as part of a multi-asset return for Horvat. That’s too steep for Carolina at this point, who won’t part with Martin Necas. LeBrun pointed out that the Hurricanes usually don’t spend high on rental players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes need a reliable second-line center if they hope to win the Stanley Cup this season. They have other options to choose from to address that need if the Canucks’ asking price for Horvat remains high. Chicago’s Jonathan Toews, St. Louis’ Ryan O’Reilly, and Montreal’s Sean Monahan could also be available.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss cited LeBrun’s recent column in The Athletic reporting the Bruins have called the Canucks to inquire about Luke Schenn. Like Horvat, the 33-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun suggested the Bruins’ interest in Schenn may be exploratory at this point. He carries an affordable $850K cap hit and has considerable playoff experience as a shutdown blueliner, which would make him enticing for a cap-strapped club like the Bruins.

MORE SPECULATION TYING DUBOIS TO THE CANADIENS

SPORTSNET: Eric Engels wondered if Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois’ next game in Montreal following Tuesday’s game will be with the Canadiens. The 25-year-old center is a restricted free agent this summer. Engels suggests the possibility of him suiting up with the Habs remains a possibility as long as he remains noncommittal about a long-term deal with the Jets.

Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois (NHL Images).

The Canadiens attempted to acquire Dubois from Columbus before he was shipped to Winnipeg in 2021. Last summer, his agent created waves when he mentioned that Montreal was a city his client might like to play in one day.

On Monday, Dubois told the Montreal media he was relaunching his takeover of Vincent Lecavalier’s charity to help underprivileged children in Rimouski, where the Jets forward grew up. He indicated that playing for the Canadiens one day wasn’t what he was thinking about when he started this philanthropic effort.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubois once again downplayed the notion of joining the Canadiens. Meanwhile, Jets coach Rick Bowness sang his praises and said he’d do all he could to convince the center to stay in Winnipeg.

The Jets hoped to sign Dubois last summer to a long-term deal but he preferred a one-year extension. If he opts for a similar deal this summer, they could put him on the trade block as he’ll be a year away from UFA eligibility. Whether the rebuilding Canadiens would meet the expensive asking price to acquire him from the Jets is another matter.

UPDATE ON THE BLUE JACKETS

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Brian Hedger recently reported that Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen could receive plenty of phone calls leading up to the March 3 trade deadline.

The Jackets have three potential rental players to offer up in pending UFAs like Vladislav Gavrikov, winger Gustav Nyquist and goaltender Joonas Korpisalo. Hedger also speculated that other clubs could target players such as Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic.

TSN: LeBrun reported the Blue Jackets will seek more than a first-round pick for Vladislav Gavrikov. He pointed out that they got a first- and a third-rounder for David Savard at the 2021 trade deadline. LeBrun also indicated the Blue Jackets still hope to re-sign Gavrikov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Teams can ask about Laine but I don’t see the Jackets moving him. Roslovic, however, is another story. He’s had a disappointing performance this season and has a year remaining on his contract with a $4 million cap hit. Perhaps they’d consider shipping him elsewhere for the right offer.

WILL THE WILD BECOME BUYERS AT THE TRADE DEADLINE?

THE ATHLETIC: Joe Smith reports the Minnesota Wild’s re-signing Matt Boldy to a seven-year, $49 million contract extension leaves them with just $9 million remaining of their $83 million salary-cap payroll for 2023-24. Goaltender Filip Gustavsson, defenseman Calen Addison and center Sam Steel are among their notable restricted free agents while their noteworthy UFAs include Matt Dumba and Frederick Gaudreau.

According to Smith, Dumba is playing his final season with the Wild. He also suggested winger Jordan Greenway could become a cost-cutting casualty if the club decides to shed some salary to re-sign other players for next season. Smith wondered if Addison might price himself out of Minnesota.

For this season, the Wild have the cap space to make additions at the trade deadline. GM Bill Guerin said how aggressive he’ll be in the trade market will depend on the club’s performance.

Smith claims Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun and Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat aren’t on the Wild’s radar. However, he wouldn’t be surprised if Guerin kicked tires on Chicago’s Jonathan Toews or Patrick Kane.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski reports a source informed him that the Penguins have had trade discussions with the Wild. The focus of those talks wasn’t readily available.

Kingerski suggested the Wild could help the Penguins free up some salary-cap room. Given the Pens’ depth in right-side defensemen, he doesn’t see them being interested in Dumba. The Wild could use some help at center plus they need left-side defensemen that can provide mobility and offense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild have a projected $16.5 million in trade deadline cap space. I expect Guerin will be a buyer if his club is still in the thick of the playoff race.

With that much cap room heading toward March 3, it will be his best opportunity to add one or two rental players to bolster his club’s Stanley Cup hopes. It also wouldn’t surprise me if he tried to move a depth player under contract for next season to provide himself with some much-needed cap room for 2023-24.

SABRES SHOPPING HINOSTROZA

THE ATHLETIC: Matthew Fairburn reports the Buffalo Sabres have been calling around trying to move winger Vinnie Hinostroza. He’s been scratched in 19 of the last 21 games. The Sabres are hoping to move him and his $1.7 million salary to free up a roster spot.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 18, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 18, 2023

Ivan Provorov cites religious reasons for his refusal to wear Pride Night jersey during warm-ups before the Ducks-Flyers game, Mitch Marner sets a Leafs points record and Evander Kane returns to the Oilers lineup. Details and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers’ 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks was overshadowed by Ivan Provorov citing his religious beliefs for his refusal to participate in pregame warmups when the Flyers were wearing jerseys to commemorate Pride Night in support of the LGBTQ+ community. Kevin Hayes had a hat trick as the Flyers improved to 19-19-7 on the season while the Ducks fell to 12-28-5.

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov (NHL Images).

Provorov, who is Russian Orthodox, said he respected everyone and their choices during a post-game press conference. “My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion.” Flyers head coach John Tortorella also spoke to reporters following the game. “It’s one thing I respect about Provy, he’s always true to himself,” said Tortorella.

The Flyers released a statement following warmups indicating they are committed to inclusivity and proudly support the LGBTQ+ community and would continue to do so. They pointed out that a number of their players support their local LGBTQ+ communities.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Provorov’s stand earned him condemnation and support on social media. Meanwhile, Flyers forwards Scott Laughton and James van Riemsdyk met with around 50 people in the LGBTQ+ community following the game. Laughton said that overall the Flyers had a “great, great night that brings a lot of awareness.” He expects there will be more conversations with Provorov. “I don’t hold anything against anyone,” he said.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner collected two assists to extend his home points streak to a franchise-record 19 games in a 5-4 overtime victory over the Florida Panthers. William Nylander scored the tying and winning goals as the Leafs (27-11-7) sit in second place in the Atlantic Division with 61 points. Aleksander Barkov had a goal and an assist for the 21-20-5 Panthers as they sit three points out of a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference with 47 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs overcame a 4-1 deficit after replacing starting goalie Matt Murray with Ilya Samsonov. Murray has struggled of late, allowing at least four goals in four of his last seven games.

The Edmonton Oilers extended their wins streak to four games by defeating the Seattle Kraken 5-2. Zach Hyman had a goal and two assists while Connor McDavid tallied his league-leading 38th goal of the season. The Oilers improved to 25-18-3 and hold the first Western Conference wild-card spot with 53 points. The Kraken (26-14-4) remain two points behind the first-place Vegas Golden Knights in the Pacific Division with 56 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Evander Kane returned to the Oilers lineup for the first time since suffering a gruesome wrist injury on Nov. 8. He was held scoreless but led all skaters in this game with seven shots on goal. To accommodate Kane’s return, the cap-strapped Oilers placed defenseman Ryan Murray and winger Kailer Yamamoto on long-term injury reserve.

Minnesota Wild captain Jared Spurgeon tallied twice as his club doubled up the Washington Capitals 4-2. Filip Gustavsson stopped 34 shots for the Wild (25-14-4) as they sit third in the Central Division with 54 points. Alex Ovechkin collected two assists as the Capitals dropped to 24-17-6, holding the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 54 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Capitals announced forward Nic Dowd remains sidelined by a lower-body injury suffered on Monday against the New York Islanders. He’s likely to be listed as day-to-day.

The Montreal Canadiens got two goals from Evgeni Dadonov to upset the Winnipeg Jets by a score of 4-1. Sam Montembeault stopped 25 shots as the Canadiens improved to 19-23-3. Kyle Connor tallied his 200th career NHL goal as the Jets (29-15-1) remain in second place in the Central Division with 59 points. The Dallas Stars have the same number of points but hold first place on the basis of regulation wins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens defenseman Mike Matheson collected an assist in his first game since being sidelined by a lower-body injury on Dec. 17. Meanwhile, the Habs announced forwards Joel Armia (upper body), Jake Evans (lower body) and Juraj Slavkovsky (lower body) were placed on injured reserve.

Nashville Predators goalie Kevin Lankinen made 39 saves to hold off the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1. Cody Glass and Yakov Trenin scored in the second period for the Predators as they boosted their record to 21-17-6. With 48 points, they’re three behind the Calgary Flames for the final Western wild-card berth. Gustav Nyquist replied for the 13-29-2 Blue Jackets, who’ve dropped 14 of their last 17 games.

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Seth Jones scored the tying and winning goals in a 4-3 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres. Philipp Kurashev had a goal and two assists for the Blackhawks (12-26-4). Tage Thompson tallied his 32nd goal of the season for Sabres as they fell to 21-19-3 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before this game, the Sabres recalled forward Peyton Krebs from their AHL affiliate and loaned goalie Ukka-Pekka Luukkonen to Rochester. Meanwhile, Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock entered concussion protocol on Tuesday following a collision in practice on Monday.

The Arizona Coyotes snapped a nine-game losing skid by downing the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 on shootout goals by Nick Schmaltz and Nick Bjugstad. Lawson Crouse collected three assists while Connor Ingram picked up the win with a 37-save performance for the Coyotes (14-25-5). The Red Wings slipped to 18-17-8.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 15, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 15, 2023

The Kraken set a league record for consecutive road wins, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin ties another scoring record, the Blue Jackets’ Patrik Laine nets a notable hat trick, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Seattle Kraken became the first team in NHL history to sweep a seven-game road trip by downing the Chicago Blackhawks 8-5. Jared McCann scored three times while Matty Beniers had a goal and an assist as the Kraken (26-12-4) moved into second place in the Pacific Division with 56 points. Seth Jones had three assists and Taylor Raddysh had a goal and two assists for the 11-26-4 Blackhawks as they sink to the bottom of the overall standings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken are riding an eight-game win streak. Seattle winger Jordan Eberle collected an assist in what was his 900th career NHL game. Teammate Jaden Schwartz missed this game and is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tied an NHL record for the most 30-goal seasons but his club dropped a 3-1 decision to the Philadelphia Flyers. Ovechkin and Mike Gartner each have 17 30-goal seasons. Carter Hart made 39 saves and Scott Laughton had a goal and an assist for the Flyers as they improved to 18-18-7. The Capitals (23-16-6) hold the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 52 points.

The Columbus Blue Jackets snapped a 10-game road losing skid by holding off the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 4-3. Patrik Laine netted the 10th hat trick of his career while Johnny Gaudreau collected two assists for the 13-27-3 Blue Jackets. Olli Maatta, Jake Walman and Lucas Raymond scored third-period goals for the Red Wings as they slipped to 18-16-7.

A late goal by Matt Grzelcyk lifted the Boston Bruins to a 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. David Pastrnak scored his 33rd goal of the season as the league-league Bruins (33-5-4) maintained a nine-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes with 70 points. Mitch Marner and Michael Bunting each had two points for the 26-11-7 Maple Leafs, who sit in second place in the Atlantic Division with 59 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Following the game, the Bruins announced they reached an agreement with winger Pavel Zacha on a four-year contract worth an average annual value of $4.75 million. Zacha, 25, was acquired from the New Jersey Devils last summer and has five goals and 25 points in 42 games this season as the Bruins’ third-line left winger. He’s completing a one-year, $3.5 million deal.

As for the Hurricanes, they got a 34-save performance from Frederik Andersen to nip the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1. Brady Skjei and Jalen Chatfield scored for the Hurricanes as they improved to 27-9-7 and sit atop the Metropolitan Division with 61 points. Rickard Rakell replied for the Penguins (21-15-6) as they’ve dropped eight of their last 10 contests. With 48 points, they’ve fallen one point of the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hurricanes winger Max Pacioretty missed this game with a lower-body injury and will likely miss Sunday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. He could return for Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Wild. Meanwhile, Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson remains sidelined by illness.

Speaking of road records, the New Jersey Devils became the first team in league history to win 17 of their first 20 road games in a season with a 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Jack Hughes, Ryan Graves and Yegor Sherangovich each had two points while MacKenzie Blackwood stopped 35 shots as the Devils (28-12-3) sit two points back of the Hurricanes in the Metro Division. Kevin Fiala and Anze Kopitar replied for the Kings (25-15-6) as they slipped to third place in the Pacific Division with 56 points.

The New York Islanders, meanwhile, vaulted one point ahead of the Penguins into that wild-card spot by holding off the Montreal Canadiens by a 2-1 score. Casey Cizikas and Anthony Beauvillier scored first-period goals for the 23-18-3 Islanders. Sam Montembeault turned aside 36 shots while Nick Suzuki scored for the 17-23-3 Canadiens, who also lost forward Jake Evans in the first period to an apparent knee injury.

Colorado Avalanche goalie Pavel Francouz turned in a 29-save shutout in a 7-0 drubbing of the Ottawa Senators. Mikko Rantanen, Artturi Lehkonen and Alex Newhook each had two goals as the Avalanche improved to 21-17-3. With 45 points, they’re six back of the Edmonton Oilers for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The Senators slide to 19-20-3 and also lost defenseman Artum Zub in the second period to a lower-body injury.

The Edmonton Oilers picked up their third straight win by dropping the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3. Leon Draisaitl scored twice while Zach Hyman collected two assists and Mattias Janmark had a goal and an assist. The Oilers (24-18-3) are tied in points with the Calgary Flames but the latter has a game in hand. Logan Thompson made 33 saves for the Golden Knights (28-14-2), who lead the Western Conference with 58 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other Golden Knights news, Robin Lehner filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy due to his ownership of an exotic snake farm in Missouri. The 31-year-old goaltender underwent hip surgery in August and is sidelined for the season.

Speaking of the Flames, they took a 6-1 lead over the Dallas Stars and held on for a 6-5 victory. Jonathan Huberdeau, Nazem Kadri, and MacKenzie Weegar were among five Flames to collect two points in this contest. The Flames maintained their hold on the first Western Conference wild-card spot with a record of 21-14-9. Joe Pavelski scored two third-period goals for the Stars (25-12-7) as they slipped to second place in the Central Division with 57 points.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point scored twice and collected an assist in a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. Lightning defenseman Nick Perbix left the game in the second period with an undisclosed injury. The Bolts (27-13-1) sit third in the Atlantic Division with 55 points while the Blues (21-20-3) slipped to 45 points and six points out of a Western wild-card spot.

The Minnesota Wild got a 27-save effort from Marc-Andre Fleury to defeat the Arizona Coyotes 2-1. Mats Zuccarello and Frederick Gaudreau scored for the Wild (24-14-4) as they sit in third place in the Central Division with 52 points. Lawson Crouse replied for the Coyotes as they dropped their eighth straight and fell to 13-24-5 on the season.

Florida Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 35 saves (including 14 in the third period) in a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Aleksander Barkov scored what proved to be the game-winner while Aaron Ekblad had a goal and an assist for the 20-20-4 Panthers. Bo Horvat tallied his 30th goal of the season as his Canucks fell to 17-22-3.

Third-period goals by Kyle Okposo and Jack Quinn lifted the Buffalo Sabres over the Nashville Predators by a score of 5-3. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen kicked out 38 shots as the Sabres improved to 21-18-2. Ryan Johansen had a goal and an assist as the Predators slipped to 19-17-6.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 8, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 8, 2023

Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin matches a franchise record with five points, the Leafs’ Mitch Marner reaches the 500-point plateau, Jack Hughes sparks a Devils comeback over the Rangers, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Buffalo Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin matched a franchise record for most points in a game by a defenseman with five points (two goals, three assists) as his club rallied to defeat the Minnesota Wild 6-5. Dahlin collected an assist on Victor Olofsson’s overtime winner as the Sabres (20-15-2) moved to within four points of the New York Islanders (46 points) for the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. Joel Eriksson Ek and Ryan Hartman each had a goal and an assist for the Wild (22-13-3) as they sit third in the Central Division with 47 points.

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Sabres paid tribute to Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin as he recovers from cardiac arrest in hospital following a hit on the field during a game last week against the Cincinnati Bengals.

This is the point in the schedule when in recent years the Sabres would usually be in the midst of a free-fall in the standings. It’s a different story this season as they’ve won eight of their last 10 games and have moved into the Eastern Conference playoff chase.

Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury will be on temporary leave starting Sunday through Tuesday as he journeys to Montreal for personal reasons.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner had a goal and an assist to reach 500 career points in a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. John Tavares scored two goals for the Leafs (24-9-7), who sit in third place in the Eastern Conference with 55 points. Jake Walman replied for the Red Wings (16-15-7), who sit seven points out of an Eastern wild-card spot with 39 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Red Wings’ promising season is being undone by its recent slump. They’ve won only three of their last 10 and are slipping out of the playoff race.

The New Jersey Devils got two goals and an assist from Jack Hughes to overcome a 3-1 deficit and beat the New York Rangers 4-3 on an overtime goal by Damon Severson. The Devils (25-12-3) hold a two-point lead over the Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division with 53 points. Igor Shesterkin made 39 saves for the 22-12-7 Rangers.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak tallied twice to double up the San Jose Sharks 4-2. The Bruins (31-4-4, 66 points) extended their win streak to three games and hold a nine-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes for first overall in the league standings. With a record of 12-21-8, the Sharks (32 points) finished with their worst record for the first half of a season in 27 years.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they dropped a 4-3 decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Rookie winger Kirill Marchenko collected his first career NHL hat trick for the Jackets (12-24-2) while Kent Johnson tallied the game-winning goal in the shootout. Max Pacioretty scored his first two goals of the season for the 25-8-7 Hurricanes.

An overtime goal by Cale Makar lifted the Colorado Avalanche over the Edmonton Oilers by a score of 3-2. Nathan MacKinnon and Brad Hunt scored for the Avalanche (20-15-3) as they overcame a two-goal deficit on goals by Oilers winger Zach Hyman. The Oilers (21-17-3) hold the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference with 45 points while the Avs are two points behind them.

The Seattle Kraken rolled to an 8-4 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Jordan Eberle and Andre Burakovsky each had a goal and two assists as the Kraken improved to 22-14-4 to sit in third place in the Pacific Division with 48 points. Senators forward Tim Stutzle had a hat trick and collected an assist for the Senators (18-18-3).

Los Angeles Kings winger Kevin Fiala’s hat trick powered his club over the Vegas Golden Knights 5-1. Gabriel Vilardi collected three assists for the Kings (23-14-6), who hold a four-point lead over the Kraken for second place in the Pacific Division. Golden Knights goaltender Logan Thompson was pulled following the second period after giving up three goals on 19 shots. His club still sits atop the Pacific with a record of 27-13-2 and 56 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights activated forward Jonathan Marchessault and defenseman Alec Martinez off injured reserve for this contest. They also moved blueliner Shea Theodore (lower body) on IR.

The Montreal Canadiens snapped a seven-game slide by nipping the St. Louis Blues 5-4. Joel Armia tallied two goals and Josh Anderson got the winner to break a 4-4 tie. The Canadiens now sit at 16-21-3 on the season while the Blues (19-18-3) sit four points behind the Oilers for the final Western wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blues defenseman Nick Leddy missed this game with an upper-body injury. As yet, there is no timetable for his return.

IN OTHER NEWS…

SPORTSNET: Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom and winger Tom Wilson are scheduled to make their season debuts on Sunday against the Blue Jackets. Both players had been sidelined since the offseason as Backstrom underwent resurfacing surgery on his left hip while Wilson had surgery on his left knee.

CBS SPORTS: Pittsburgh Penguins forward Ryan Poehling is likely unavailable for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes with an upper-body injury.

Speaking of the Coyotes, they’ve sent Michael Carcone back to their AHL affiliate in Tucson as Dylan Guenther returns to their lineup from his stint with Team Canada in the 2023 World Junior Championship.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 4, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 4, 2023

Hat-trick performances by the Sabres’ Tage Thompson and the Panthers’ Matthew Tkachuk while Auston Matthews sets a Leafs franchise record. Details and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson tallied in overtime for his third hat trick of the season in a 5-4 win over the Washington Capitals. Thompson finished the night with four points while Alex Tuch had a goal and two assists for the Sabres, who improve to 19-15-2. Alex Ovechkin tallied twice for the 21-13-6 Capitals.

Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thompson has 30 goals on the season and sits three back of Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid for the goal-scoring lead. The Sabres, meanwhile, have won seven of their last 10 games. With 40 points, they’re six back of the New York Islanders for the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.

Before the game, the Sabres entered Capital One Center in Washington wearing t-shirts that read, “Love for 3” to honor Buffalo Bill safety Damar Hamlin, who remains hospitalized in critical condition after collapsing during Monday’s NFL game against the Bengals. Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams released a statement in support of Hamlin and the Bills’ organization.

Matthew Tkachuk tallied his first hat trick with the Florida Panthers as they downed the Arizona Coyotes 5-3. Eric Staal also scored twice for the Panthers (17-18-4) while Clayton Keller had two points for the 13-18-5 Coyotes, who’ve lost 10 straight road games.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews collected two points to become the fastest player in franchise history to reach 500 points (445 games) but his club fell 6-5 to the St. Louis Blues. Brayden Schenn tallied the winner in the shootout while Brandon Saad scored two goals for the Blues, who improved to 18-17-3. Michael Bunting scored twice and William Nylander had a three-point performance for the 23-8-7 Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of Bunting, the Leafs have reportedly opened preliminary talks about a contract extension for the winger, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

The Tampa Bay Lightning picked up their fourth straight victory by defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1. Former Blackhawk Brandon Hagel had a goal and an assist in the third period against his former club as the Lightning rose to 24-11-1 on the season. Seth Jones replied for the Blackhawks, who dropped to 8-25-4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane left this game in the second period with a lower-body injury. An update on his condition is expected on Wednesday.

Three unanswered third-period goals by Artemi Panarin, K’Andre Miller and Filip Chytil gave the New York Rangers a 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, snapping the latter’s 11-game win streak. Paul Stastny collected two assists for Carolina (25-7-6) while the Rangers improved to 21-12-6. With 56 points, the Hurricanes remain six back of the league-leading Boston Bruins.

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Pheonix Copley stopped 28 shots to backstop his club over the Dallas Stars by a score of 3-2. Adrian Kempe snapped a 2-2 tie in the third period as the Kings (22-13-6) reach the 50-point plateau, sitting four points behind the Pacific Division-leading Vegas Golden Knights. Roope Hintz collected two assists for the 23-10-6 Stars as their four-game win streak came to an end. With 52 points, they’re two back of the Golden Knights for first overall in the Western Conference.

The Winnipeg Jets got a 33-save performance from Connor Hellebuyck in a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames. Sam Gagner tallied the tie-breaker in the third period as the Jets improved to 24-13-1 and sit three points behind the first-place Stars in the Central Division. The Flames’ record fell to 18-14-7 on the season.

Four straight second-period goals carried the Seattle Kraken over the Edmonton Oilers 5-2. Jaden Schwartz had a goal and two assists for the Kraken (20-12-4) as they sit in third place in the Pacific Division with 44 points, one up on the Flames and two ahead of the Oilers. Connor McDavid netted his league-leading 33rd goal of the season for the Oilers (20-17-2) as they dropped their fifth straight home game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leon Draisaitl returned to the Oilers lineup after being sidelined for two games with what was believed to be a core muscle strain.

A three-point night by Mathew Barzal carried the New York Islanders to a 6-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored twice for the Isles, who improved to 22-15-2 and hold the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference with 46 points. Bo Horvat scored twice for the Canucks as they dropped to 16-18-3.

Ottawa Senators goalie Anton Forsberg turned in a 22-save shutout to blank the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0. Tim Stutzle and Claude Giroux each had two points for the Senators (18-17-3) while the Blue Jackets slide to 11-23-2 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of the Senators, a source told the Ottawa Sun that it could take until March to determine who the club’s new owner will be. Even then, the paperwork to complete the sale might not be done until June.

The Nashville Predators downed the Montreal Canadiens 6-3, handing the latter their fifth straight loss and leaving them with just one win in their last 10 games. Nino Niederreiter had three assists for the 16-14-6 Predators. Cole Caufield netted his 22nd goal of the season for the 15-20-3 Canadiens.

IN OTHER NEWS…

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings placed winger Jakub Vrana on waivers yesterday. The move comes as the club attempts to create roster space for sidelined players such as Robby Fabbri, Tyler Bertuzzi and Filip Zadina slated to return soon to their lineup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vrana missed most of this season in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program and is currently with the Wings’ AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids on a conditioning stint.

A rival club interested in bolstering their scoring could pluck Vrana off waivers today by the noon ET deadline. He’s under contract through next season but also carries a $5.25 million annual average value. Given the high number of teams that Cap Friendly indicates have less than that in cap space, it’ll be interesting to see if he gets plucked off the waiver wire later today.

The Red Wings are carrying three goaltenders. However, they decided against putting Alex Nedeljkovic or the well-traveled Magnus Hellberg on waivers for the purpose of sending one of them to the minors for the time being.

LAS VEGAS SUN’s Danny Webster took to Twitter yesterday to report the Golden Knights have taken center Jack Eichel off injured reserve.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: The Flyers activated promising winger Bobby Brink off injured reserve and have sent him to their AHL affiliate in Lehigh Valley.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Penguins have recalled goalie Dustin Tokarski from the AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. They’ve also placed defenseman Kris Letang on their non-roster list as he’s joined his family in Montreal following the recent death of his father.