NHL Morning Coffee Headline – March 23, 2022
Tyler Seguin reaches a career milestone, the Evgenii Dadonov trade remains in limbo, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Tyler Seguin became the first player from the 2010 NHL Draft to reach 300 career goals as his Dallas Stars overcame a 3-2 deficit with three straight third-period goals to defeat the Edmonton Oilers 5-3. Seguin, Roope Hintz and Jason Robertson each finished the game with a goal and an assist as the Stars (73 points) vaulted over the Vegas Golden Knights by one point for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The Oilers (75 points) sit three points behind the second-place Los Angeles Kings in the Central Division.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers captain Connor McDavid collected two assists and sits atop the NHL scoring race with 93 points, holding a five-point lead over teammate Leon Draisaitl, who scored a goal against the Stars.
The Golden Knights, meanwhile, were blanked 4-0 by the Winnipeg Jets. Connor Hellebuyck turned in a 42-save shutout performance while Kyle Connor and Blake Wheeler each collected two assists and Nikolaj Ehlers scored for the fifth straight game. The Jets have won six of their last eight games to move within three points of the Stars while the Golden Knights have dropped seven of their last ten contests.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights have been in free fall for weeks. Injuries to key players such as Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Alec Martinez and Robin Lehner have contributed to the slide. If they don’t reverse their skid soon, they could miss the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
Los Angeles Kings rookie Quinton Byfield scored two goals and collected an assist to lead his club to a 6-1 thrashing of the Nashville Predators. Adrian Kempe also scored twice while Jonathan Quick made 24 saves for the win. The Predators hold the first Western Conference wild-card spot with 78 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was also the first multi-point NHL game for the much-touted Byfield, who was the second-overall selection in the 2020 Draft.
The Carolina Hurricanes snapped a four-game losing skid by holding off the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2. Carolina goalie Frederik Andersen kicked out 27 shots while Sebastian Aho scored what proved to be the game-winning goal. The Hurricanes sit in second place in the Eastern Conference with 90 points while the Lightning (84 points) remain one point ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs for second place in the Atlantic Division.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tempers flared at the end of the game after Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov hit Aho late in the third period. The two clubs face each other again on March 29.
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby collected three assists while linemate Jake Guentzel scored twice in a 5-1 romp over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Rickard Rakell was held scoreless in his first game with the Penguins since being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks at the trade deadline. The Penguins (87 points) remain three points behind the Hurricanes.
The New York Rangers dropped two points behind the Penguins by blowing a 2-0 lead to fall 7-4 to the New Jersey Devils. New Jersey center Jack Hughes scored twice to reach 20 goals for the first time in his NHL career. Rangers winger Chris Kreider netted his 42nd goal of the season and move into second place in the league goal-scoring race, four goals back of Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews.
Two unanswered third-period goals by Alexander Barabanov and Logan Couture lifted the San Jose Sharks to a 4-3 upset of the Calgary Flames. Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk each had two points for the Flames, who hold a six-point lead over the Kings for first place in the Pacific Division with 84 points.
St. Louis Blues winger David Perron scored to extend his goal streak to seven games as his club downed the Washington Capitals 5-2. Brayden Schenn had a goal and two assists for the Blues as they move one point ahead of the Minnesota Wild for second place in the Central Division with 79 points. The Capitals hold the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 80 points, three back of the Boston Bruins.
The Detroit Red Wings rolled to a 6-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, handing the latter their 13th straight road loss. Jakub Vrana scored twice, Tyler Bertuzzi had three points and Oskar Sundqvist picked up two points in his first game with the Wings since being acquired from the Blues at the trade deadline.
New York Islanders netminder Semyon Varlamov stopped 24 shots to shut out the Ottawa Senators 3-0. Scott Mayfield, Anders Lee and Zach Parise scored in the third period to give the Isles the win.
The Seattle Kraken got two goals from Carson Soucy to double up the Arizona Coyotes 4-2. Daniel Sprong scored in his first game with the Kraken since being acquired from the Capitals at the trade deadline.
IN OTHER NEWS…
SPORTSNET: The Vegas Golden Knights’ efforts to trade Evgenii Dadonov to the Anaheim Ducks remains under investigation by NHL Central Registry. Evidence emerged yesterday indicating Dadonov’s no-trade paperwork was submitted correctly and on time last June while he was a member of the Ottawa Senators. The Ducks were on that list.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights claimed they were under the impression Dadonov’s no-trade had expired because they believed it hadn’t been filed on time, something the winger’s camp denied. Sportsnet indicates Vegas will face a salary-cap crunch if the trade is voided as the Dadonov trade was made to clear salary-cap space to activate defenseman Alec Martinez off long-term injury reserve.
THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ryan Murray is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury (a fractured hand or forearm) suffered during Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.
TSN: The Winnipeg Jets signed forward Kristian Reichel to a two-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level.
The Calgary Flames are suing its insurers alleging $125 million in losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.