NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 5, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 5, 2021

Alex Ovechkin reaches more scoring milestones, the Wild and Rangers extend their points streaks, plus updates on Igor Shesterkin, Mitch Marner, Charlie McAvoy and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Alex Ovechkin scored his 750th career goal and his 118th game-winner as the Washington Capitals downed the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1. He’s now 16 goals behind Jaromir Jagr for third place on the all-time goal-scoring list, tied for third with Phil Esposito for the most game-winning goals, and tied with Jagr, Marcel Dionne, Brett Hull and Mats Sundin for the third-most consecutive 20-goal seasons. The Capitals played without Trevor van Riemsdyk, joining teammate Nic Dowd in COVID protocol.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

Kirill Kaprizov’s shootout goal lifted the Minnesota Wild over the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3, extending their winning streak to six games while snapping the Leafs’ five-game streak. The Wild (35 points) hold a seven-point lead over the St. Louis Blues for first place in the Central Division. Jason Spezza scored twice and added an assist as the Leafs overcame a 3-0 deficit. Leafs winger Mitch Marner missed this game following a collision in practice with teammate Jake Muzzin. He’s also expected to miss Sunday’s contest with the Winnipeg Jets.

The New York Rangers picked up their sixth straight victory by holding off the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2. Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome each had a goal and two assists while Alexandar Georgiev picked up the win with a 25-save performance. Earlier in the day, the Rangers placed goaltender Igor Shesterkin (lower body) on injured reserve. Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane and Seth Jones each had two points.

Florida Panthers forward Sam Reinhart’s shootout goal gave his club a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Blues, marking the third straight game the Panthers overcame a deficit to claim victory. Maxim Mamin tallied twice for the Panthers while Blues goalie Ville Husso made 48 saves. With 37 points, the Panthers return to first place in the overall standings.

Jake Guentzel extended his points streak to 12 games with a hat trick and an assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-1. Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists and Kris Letang chipped in three helpers. The Canucks sit at the bottom of the Pacific Division with 18 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canucks fans expressed their displeasure late in the game by calling for general manager Jim Benning to be fired. Whether the club’s ownership takes them up on their suggestion remains to be seen.

The Tampa Bay Lightning nipped the Boston Bruins 3-2 on an overtime goal by Steven Stamkos. Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy kicked out 37 shots for the win. The Bruins forced the extra frame on goals by Charlie Coyle and Curtis Lazar. Boston defenseman Charlie McAvoy missed the game with a non-COVID-related illness.

An overtime goal by Moritz Seider lifted the Detroit Red Wings over the New York Islanders 4-3, leaving the latter winless in 10 straight games. Oliver Wahlstrom tallied twice for the Isles while the Wings have won five straight.

The Ottawa Senators blew a 5-2 lead but an overtime goal by Brady Tkachuk gave them a 6-5 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Tkachuk and Tim Stutzle each scored twice and added an assist.

Carolina Hurricanes winger Teuvo Teravainen scored twice and Vincent Trocheck had a goal and two assists in a 6-2 drubbing of the Buffalo Sabres. Sebastian Aho collected three assists for the Hurricanes as they snapped a three-game losing skid. Carolina winger Andrei Svechnikov was a late scratch with an injured finger.

Filip Forsberg’s overtime goal gave the Nashville Predators a 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Predator forward Luke Kunin had a goal and an assist. Canadiens goalie Jake Allen stopped 40 shots while teammate Cole Caufield had two assists. Earlier in the day, the Canadiens claimed defenseman Kale Clague off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings. They’re also rumored to have player agent Kent Hughes on their radar as a potential general manager candidate though they haven’t yet contacted him about the job.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes is a bilingual Montreal native whose clients include Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron and Penguins defenseman Kris Letang.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 4, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 4, 2021

A hat-trick performance for Mark Scheifele, Igor Shesterkin injury clouds Rangers win, Canadiens’ hockey ops VP Jeff Gorton meets the Montreal media and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Mark Scheifele tallied a hat track to lead the Winnipeg Jets over the New Jersey Devils 8-4. The Devils overcame a 3-0 deficit to take a 4-3 lead before the Jets put them away with five unanswered goals. Nikolaj Ehlers also scored twice for the Jets to hand the Devils their third straight loss.

Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele (NHL Images).

The New York Rangers’ 1-0 win over the San Jose Sharks was overshadowed by Igor Shesterkin’s lower-body injury that forced the Blueshirts goaltender from the game in the third period. Ryan Strome netted the only goal. Alexandar Georgiev made nine saves to preserve the shutout.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shesterkin has been stellar this season for the Rangers, ranking among the early favorites for the Vezina Trophy. Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant said the training staff indicated his injury wasn’t as serious as it looked when he had to be helped from the ice. He’s listed as day-to-day but there’s concern among some observers that this could be a prolonged absence.

Max Pacioretty scored two goals as the Vegas Golden Knights trounced the Arizona Coyotes 7-1. Shea Theodore and Reilly Smith each collected two points and Laurent Brossoit kicked out 29 shots.

The Seattle Kraken picked up their third straight home victory by holding off the Edmonton Oilers 4-3. Alex Wennberg’s second-period goal proved to be the game-winner while teammate Adam Larsson scored against his former club. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each had a goal and an assist for the Oilers. The Kraken played without Jaden Schwartz, Jordan Eberle and Calle Jarnkrok as all three are listed as day-to-day.

Shootout goals by Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk gave the Calgary Flames a 4-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Sean Monahan had a goal and an assist while Dan Vladar made 31 saves in regulation and overtime. Earlier in the day, the Ducks learned captain Ryan Getzlaf is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Getzlaf was having a strong start to this season. With 20 points in 23 games, he already exceeded the 17 points he had in 48 contests last season.

HEADLINES

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Jeff Gorton, the Canadiens’ new executive VP of hockey operations, had his first press conference with the Montreal media yesterday. He said he’s looking at all options for the club’s next general manager and acknowledged former Canadiens star Patrick Roy’s interest in the job. However, Stu Cowan believes two other former Habs – Mathieu Darche and Daniel Briere – are the leading candidates for the job.

Gorton indicated head coach Dominique Ducharme will remain in his job for the rest of the season. He also said he intends to improve the club’s player development and analytics departments.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gorton made it very clear he and whoever becomes the next GM will be looking at everything with regards to improving the team and its direction. That also includes examining where several players on long-term contracts might fit into their plans. His intention to improve player development is long overdue given how poorly the Canadiens have drafted and developed talent in recent years. 

Speaking of the Canadiens, defenseman Jeff Petry is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks forward Tyler Johnson will be sidelined for three months following neck surgery. He underwent artificial disc-replacement surgery, the same procedure Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel had last month. The Blackhawks also placed defenseman Connor Murphy on concussion protocol. There is no timetable for his return.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 10, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 10, 2021

New deals for Igor Shesterkin and Carter Hart top yesterday’s notable contract signings and the contract standoff between Kirill Kaprizov and the Wild intensifies. Details on these and other stories in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers signed goaltender Igor Shesterkin to a four-year contract worth just over $5.66 million annually. It’s the largest second NHL contract signed by a goaltender.

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a reasonable deal for both sides. The Rangers kept Shesterkin’s annual cap hit under $6 million and the 25-year-old goaltender qualifies for UFA status in four years times. He’s shown considerable promise as an elite netminder in his brief NHL career. This contract will look quite affordable if he reaches his full potential.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers signed goalie Carter Hart to a three-year contract worth an annual average value of $3.95 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hart might’ve earned himself a deal comparable to Shesterkin’s had it not been for his struggles last season. That worked in favor of the Flyers, inking the 23-year-old to a cost-effective bridge contract. He’ll be in line for a considerable raise in three years’ time if he regains his promising form from 2019-20.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: The Capitals re-signed netminder Ilya Samsonov to a one-year, $2 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like Hart, Samsonov’s inconsistent performance last season hurt his efforts for a more lucrative deal. The 24-year-old also displayed some immaturity by testing positive twice for COVID-19 and getting scratched for disciplinary reasons late in the season for missing a team function.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports Kirill Kaprizov has a tentative agreement with KHL club CSKA Moscow for a one-year deal worth 8 figures in US dollars if a new deal with the Minnesota Wild doesn’t materialize.

The Wild initially sought a seven- or eight-year deal for the Calder Trophy winner. They’re willing to discuss a medium-range deal but the Kaprizov camp claims no offer has been made since April.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An interesting development in the contract standoff between Kaprizov and the Wild. I’ll have more in today’s Rumor Mill update.

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings and Jakub Vrana are reportedly far apart in contract negotiations as his Wednesday arbitration hearing approaches. Acquired from the Capitals at last season’s trade deadline, the 25-year-old winger seeks $5.7 million annually while the Red Wings are offering $3.65 million. He’s completing a two-year contract valued at $3.35 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The two sides could agree to something around $4.4 million before tomorrow’s arbitration hearing.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks signed Max Comtois, Max Jones and Joshua Mahura to new contracts. Comtois got a two-year, $4.075 million deal, Jones agreed to a three-year, $3.885 million contract, and Mahura a two-year, $1.5 million deal.

SPORTSNET: The New Jersey Devils re-signed winger Janne Kuokkanen to a two-year, $3.65 million contract.

TSN: The Tampa Bay Lightning inked forward Ross Colton to a two-year deal worth $1.125 million annually.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks signed defenseman Olli Juolevi to a one-year, $750K extension.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames signed blueliner Oliver Kylington to a one-year, two-way deal worth $750K at the NHL level.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Tampa Bay Lightning bench boss Jon Cooper was named head coach of Canada’s Men’s Olympic hockey team for the 2022 Beijing Games in February. His assistant coaches will be the New York Islanders’ Barry Trotz, the Vegas Golden Knights’ Peter DeBoer and the Boston Bruins’ Bruce Cassidy.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Former Blackhawks center and current radio analyst Troy Murray has been diagnosed with cancer. He intends to continue calling games while battling this disease.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Murray for a speedy and full recovery.

TRIBLIVE.COM: After 46 seasons in the broadcast booth, Mike Lange has called his last game for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 73-year-old is stepping down from play-by-play duties, though he’ll continue to provide commentary and voiceover work for the club’s radio network.

Famous for his colorful style and signature catchphrases, Lange has been scaling back his broadcasting duties since 2017. In 2001, he received the Foster Hewitt Award for broadcasting from the Hockey Hall of Fame.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Listening to Penguins’ games will never be the same. Best wishes to Lange in his retirement.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 3, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 3, 2021

Kevin Fiala and Travis Sanheim headed to club-selected arbitration, an update on Igor Shesterkin’s contract talks, the Avalanche sign Ryan Murray, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE SCORE: Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala and Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim are being taken to salary arbitration by their respective teams. Arbitration hearings will be scheduled between August 11-26.

Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As when a player files for arbitration, the players and teams in these cases can continue to work toward new contracts before their scheduled arbitration hearings. In most instances, the arbitration date is used as a deadline to working out a new deal, avoiding negotiations dragging on for weeks.

NEW YORK POST: Mollie Walker reports Igor Shesterkin’s decision not to file for salary arbitration suggests he and the New York Rangers are making progress toward a new contract. The 25-year-old goaltender is two years away from qualifying for unrestricted free agent status.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Walker indicated Rangers general manager Chris Drury could attempt to sign Shesterkin to a cost-effective four-to-six year deal. Shesterkin is projected to cost between $5 million and $6 million annually. She speculates a new deal for the netminder could come in closer to $5.75 million.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche signed defenseman Ryan Murray to a one-year, $2 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray’s signing shrinks an already shallow pool of decent free-agent talent.

ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski reports the NHL and the International Olympic Committee failed to secure an expanded media rights agreement for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Nevertheless, the league still intends to send players to those Games. Talks are reportedly ongoing between the league, IOC, NHL Players Association and the International Ice Hockey Federation.

The NHL apparently lost leverage for a bigger media rights deal when it left NBC, which hosts the Winter Olympics, to sign new broadcasting agreements with ESPN and Turner Sports.

THE MERCURY NEWS: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league’s probe into gambling allegations leveled at Evander Kane will be done before the start of training camp next month. Kane’s estranged wife took to social media accusing the 30-year-old San Jose Sharks winger of betting on NHL games, including throwing games to win money.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks intend to publicly release the findings of its investigation into sexual assault allegations against the team’s former video coach. The investigation has been ongoing since June.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 6, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 6, 2021

Recaps of Friday’s games, Brent Seabrook retires, Sabres GM speaks about his club’s poor performance and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Brad Marchand scored twice and set up another to lead the Boston Bruins over the Washington Capitals 5-1. Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom collected an assist to give him 700 for his career. Capitals winger Tom Wilson could face supplemental discipline after he drilled Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo in the head during the first period. Wilson was unpenalized on the play while Carlo left the game and was taken to hospital for his injury.

Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wilson has a history of questionable hits stretching back to 2015. His previous antics earned him four fines and three suspensions totaling 23 games.

A shootout goal by Philipp Kurashev lifted the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Alex DeBrincat scored twice, Patrick Kane collected two helpers and Malcolm Subban made 39 saves for the win.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks have proven to be a handful for the Lightning in this series compared to their previous one earlier in the season. It’s indicative of how much the Hawks have improved since the opening weeks of the schedule.

David Perron’s game-tying goal late in the third period set the stage for Mike Hoffman’s overtime winner as the St. Louis Blues edged the Los Angeles Kings 3-2. Perron scored twice while Ryan O’Reilly assisted on every Blues goal. The Kings have dropped four straight.

The Colorado Avalanche got an overtime goal by Valeri Nichushkin to nip the Anaheim Ducks 3-2. Avs center Nathan MacKinnon remained sidelined by an apparent head injury suffered during Wednesday’s game against San Jose. He received clearance to play but was a late scratch to avoid further injury. Head coach Jared Bednar believes MacKinnon could miss a couple of more games.

A three-goal first period powered the Minnesota Wild to a 5-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Jordan Greenway and Mats Zuccarello each had a goal and an assist while Kirill Kaprizov and Marcus Foligno both collected two assists.

Max Pacioretty scored in overtime as the Vegas Golden Knights downed the San Jose Sharks 5-4. Pacioretty scored twice and added an assist. Vegas goalie Oscar Dansk made 24 saves to pick up his first win since 2017.

HEADLINES

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook announced his playing career is over due to injuries. The 35-year-old blueliner’s last game was Dec. 15, 2019, after which he underwent surgery on both of his hips and right shoulder. He then suffered a back injury during the opening day of training camp in January. Seabrook finishes his career with three Stanley Cups (2010, 2013, 2015), an Olympic Gold Medal (2010) and 464 points in 1,114 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seabrook spent his entire 15-year NHL career with the Blackhawks and played a crucial role in their rise from league laughingstock to three-time Stanley Cup champion. He hasn’t officially retired, however, as he has three years and $15 million in actual salary remaining on his contract. He’ll remain on long-term injury reserve, which will provide the Blackhawks with a measure of salary-cap relief.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams expressed his unhappiness yesterday over his club’s poor performance. He called where the team was at this time “unacceptable”, criticized what he called a lack of competitiveness by the players, emphasized he has “full authority on hockey decisions,” indicated “everything is being evaluated” when asked about head coach Ralph Krueger’s status and claimed team captain Jack Eichel has not requested a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Adams’ statement seemed to be the club’s attempt to mollify Sabres fans upset with the club’s lack of progress. Talk is one thing, action is another. The fans are more interested in what, if anything, the current management intends to do to end this team’s decade of mediocrity.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Former Canadiens goaltending coach Stephane Waite said the club expected starting goalie Carey Price would struggle in January and February as he adjusted to sharing his workload this season with backup Jake Allen. Price was expected to improve as the season wore on and saw more starts.

Waite also said the long-time Habs netminder isn’t at 100 percent physically but he can still play. “He’s not hurt but he has some stiffness. He has to learn to play with the pain and that’s why we need a very good backup and that’s what we have in Montreal right now.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This will further stoke debate among Canadiens fans over whether Price will ever regain his once-dominant form on a consistent basis.

THE SCORE: Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning said he’s not looking to make a coaching change. Bench boss Travis Green is in the final season of his contract but Benning believes Green and his staff “have done a good job with our group”. As for trades, the Canucks GM said his struggling team has to figure this out from within as new players would have to quarantine for two weeks and regain their conditioning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So, no Jake Virtanen to the Anaheim Ducks for Danton Heinen as rumored a week ago?

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers are breathing a sigh of relief as they learned goaltender Igor Shesterkin suffered a mild groin strain during Thursday’s win over the New Jersey Devils. He had to be helped off the ice at the end of the third period when he was unable to put weight on his right leg. He’s listed as day-to-day.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Former 1980 Team USA forward Mark Pavelich, 63, was found dead in a Minnesota treatment facility. Pavelich helped Team USA upset the powerful Soviet Union squad on route to winning Olympic gold in 1980. He went on to spend six seasons in the NHL with the New York Rangers, Minnesota North Stars and San Jose Sharks, tallying 329 points in 355 games.

Pavelich was arrested in 2019 and charged with a violent assault on his neighbor but was found mentally incompetent to stand trial. Family and friends believe his condition was linked to head trauma suffered during his playing career. He was receiving treatment for his condition and was believed to be making progress at the time of his death.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Pavelich’s family, friends and former teammates.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 5, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 5, 2021

Walter Gretzky, the father of Wayne Gretzky, passed away at 82, the Flames replace head coach Geoff Ward with Darryl Sutter, plus recaps of Thursday’s games and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Walter Gretzky, father of Wayne Gretzky, passed away at age 82 after battling several illnesses including Parkinson’s disease. The world’s most famous hockey dad, Walter’s guidance and tutelage helped develop Wayne into the greatest player in NHL history.

Walter Gretzky passed away at age 82 (NHL.com).

For my sister and my 3 brothers, Dad was our team captain – he guided, protected, and led our family every day, every step of the way,” wrote Wayne on Twitter in announcing Walter’s passing. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to the Gretzky family and Walter’s friends. He will be greatly missed. A kind, friendly man who devoted considerable time to charitable causes and always had time for a fan, Walter’s passing leaves a void in the hockey world.

 

The Calgary Flames’ 7-3 drubbing of the Ottawa Senators was overshadowed by their firing of head coach Geoff Ward following the game. His replacement is Darryl Sutter, who coached the Flames from 2002 to 2006 and was also their general manager from 2003 to 2010. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports the Flames signed Sutter to a three-year contract (this season plus two more).

Flames winger Dillon Dube tallied his first career NHL hat trick while Matthew Tkachuk collected three assists. Sam Bennett was made a healthy scratch from this contest as a “coach’s decision” by Ward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ward became the Flames’ interim head coach in November 2019 and was named their full-time head coach last September. The club’s inconsistency this season has threatened to derail their playoff hopes. It’ll be interesting to see how they perform under Sutter, a no-nonsense coach who guided the Flames to the 2004 Stanley Cup Final and went on to win two Cups with the Los Angeles Kings in 2012 and 2014.

The New York Islanders extended their home record to 8-0-2 by dropping the Buffalo Sabres 5-2. Matt Martin scored twice and Jordan Eberle had a goal and an assist. Sabres winger Taylor Hall tallied his first goal since the club’s season-opener on Jan. 14.

Chris Kreider tallied a hat trick to lead the New York Rangers over the New Jersey Devils 6-1. It was a costly win for the Rangers as goaltender Igor Shesterkin left the game in the third period with a lower-body injury. Struggling Blueshirts center Mika Zibanejad had his ice time reduced, including being bench for the first half of the second period. Earlier in the day, the Devils announced captain Nico Hischier is week-to-week with a sinus fracture after being hit in the face by the puck during Saturday’s loss to Washington.

Carolina Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov finally faced off against brother Evgeny Svechnikov in a 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Andrei had a goal and an assist while Evgeny picked up an assist for the Red Wings. Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce was fined $5,000.00 by the NHL department of player discipline for a dangerous slew foot on Wings forward Robby Fabbri.

The Philadelphia Flyers overcame a 3-0 deficit to edge the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3. Claude Giroux scored twice, including the game-winner. Flyers forward Joel Farabee missed the game as he was placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list. Penguin captain Sidney Crosby came off the list yesterday and picked up an assist.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Farabee is just one of three players on the protocol list, joining Boston’s Charlie Coyle and San Jose’s Tomas Hertl.

Paul Stastny scored twice and Pierre-Luc Dubois tallied in overtime as the Winnipeg Jets nipped the Montreal Canadiens 4-3. Corey Perry had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens, who’ve dropped six games in overtime this season and are 3-5-4 in their last 12 games. They hold a two-point over the Flames for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Scotia North Division.

The Tampa Bay Lightning overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 on an overtime goal by Alex Killorn. Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy’s shutout streak ended at three games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A tough loss for the Blackhawks as they outplayed the Lightning through the first two periods and carried a 2-0 lead into the third.

Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad had a career-best four-point performance (two goals, two assists) as his club held off the Nashville Predators 5-4. Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov collected three helpers. Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson each had a three-point game for the Predators.

The Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Dallas Stars 3-2, handing the latter their fourth straight loss. Boone Jenner had a goal and an assist for the Jackets.

A two-goal performance by Jake Virtanen lifted the Vancouver Canucks to a 3-1 upset of the league-leading Toronto Maple Leafs. Canucks center Elias Pettersson missed the game with an upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.

IN OTHER NEWS…

TSN: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was fined $5,000.00 by the league’s department of player discipline for spearing Boston Bruins forward Trent Frederic on Wednesday.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm will be sidelined for six weeks with a fractured wrist.

THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks forward Joachim Blichfeld received a two-game suspension by the league for an illegal hit to the head of Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon on Wednesday. MacKinnon’s status remains uncertain as the Avs have yet to release an update on his condition.