NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 28, 2023
NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 28, 2023
Oilers Stars Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid reach scoring milestones, Matt Boldy nets his second hat trick of the month, the three stars of the week are revealed, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers nipped the Arizona Coyotes 5-4 as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins snapped a 4-4 tie in the third period. Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl and Evan Bouchard each had a goal and an assist for the 42-23-9 Oilers as they hold third place in the Pacific Division with 93 points. Barrett Hayton and Mattias Macelli each scored two goals while Lawson Crouse collected three assists for the 27-36-13 Coyotes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Draisaitl became the fourth-fastest active player to reach 300 career goals. Teammate Connor McDavid collected his career-best 80th assist of the season and is the first player to reach 140 points in a season since Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr in 1995-96.
Minnesota Wild winger Matt Boldy collected his second hat trick of the month and his first natural one of his career in a 5-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 35 shots as the Wild (43-22-9) hold a one-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche for first place in the Central Division with 95 points. Jaden Schwartz tallied for the Kraken as they hold the first Western Conference wild-card spot with 88 points.
The Colorado Avalanche remained one point back of the Wild by defeating the Anaheim Ducks 5-1. Nathan MacKinnon and Bowen Byram each had a goal and an assist for the 44-23-6 Avalanche. Doug Grant replied for the 23-41-10 Ducks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ducks center Trevor Zegras left this game with a lower-body injury in the second period. The Ducks were already playing without Troy Terry as he was out of this contest for personal reasons.
New York Islanders winger Kyle Palmieri tallied twice and collected an assist in a 5-1 win over the New Jersey Devils. Ilya Sorokin stopped 30 shots as the Islanders improved to 38-28-9 and hold a three-point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 85 points. Erik Haula replied for the Devils (46-20-8) as they remain three points back of the first-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division with 100 points.
The Ottawa Senators kept their playoff hopes alive while dealing a blow to the Florida Panthers with a 5-2 victory. Brady Tkachuk had a goal and an assist while Mads Sogaard turned aside 32 shots as the Senators (36-33-5) sit five points behind Pittsburgh with 77 points. Gustav Forsling scored both goals for the 36-31-7 Panthers as they remain three points behind the Penguins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers forward Sam Bennett missed his fourth straight game with an undisclosed injury.
A shootout goal by Michael Pezzetta lifted the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-3 upset of the Buffalo Sabres. Brendan Gallagher’s game-tying goal was also the 200th goal of his career for the 30-38-6 Canadiens. Rookie Lukas Rousek scored his first goal and collected his first assist in his first NHL game for the 35-31-7 Sabres, who set five points behind the Penguins for that final Eastern wild-card spot.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pezzetta delighted Canadiens fans by riding his stick “Tiger Williams style” to celebrate his game-winner. The Sabres played without Tage Thompson as he’s listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Ilya Lybushkin was the only Sabre who declined to take part in the club’s Pride Night warmups.
NHL.COM: The New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t play on Monday night but both clubs clinched playoff berths. The Rangers secured their spot due to Monday’s losses by the Panthers and Sabres while the Leafs are in due to the Panthers’ loss.
Los Angeles Kings winger Viktor Arvidsson, Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki, and Minnesota Wild goaltender Filip Gustavsson are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending March 26.
VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Golden Knights set an NHL record following their win against the Edmonton Oilers by becoming the first team to win four straight games with four different goaltenders. Jiri Patera, Jonathan Quick, Logan Thompson and Laurent Brossoit gained those respective wins.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings goaltender Ville Husso and forward Robby Fabbri are sidelined by injuries for the rest of the season.
TSN: Columbus Blue Jackets defensemen Nick Blankenburg and Erik Gudbranson and forward Mathieu Olivier are also done for the season due to injuries.
PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: The front office changes continue for the Flyers as Dave Scott is stepping down as chairman of the club’s parent company (Comcast Spectacor) and governor of the franchise. Dan Hilferty will take over as Scott’s successor.
OTTAWA SUN: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said he’ll leave it up to the Senators’ new owner where, and if, they’ll build a new arena for the franchise. He stressed that the club won’t be leaving Ottawa. “If this team is going to move, the only move that will be permitted is to downtown,” he said. Bettman doesn’t want to back the new owner into a corner regarding a new arena.
The Senators signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Capital Commission to build a new arena at LeBreton Flats which is as close to the downtown core. However, Ottawa mayor Mark Sutcliffe last week said it wasn’t the only possible site for an arena.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bettman also said there are six ownership groups bidding for the Senators. The new owner could be announced by late April at the earliest.
SPORTSNET: Hockey Hall of Famer Igor Larionov suggests Russia should withdraw from the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) in order to negotiate directly with the NHL for the release of its players to represent their country in international tournaments. The IIHF has suspended Russia over its ongoing war with Ukraine.
TSN: Speaking of international competition, Hockey Canada has deemed all players from Canada’s 2018 World Junior Team will be ineligible to participate in the 2023 World Hockey Championship until an investigation into an alleged group sexual assault is completed.