NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 1, 2023
Kick off 2023 with recaps of the final games of 2022 – featuring hat tricks by Alex Ovechkin and Filip Forsberg – in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied a hat trick as his club crushed the Montreal Canadiens 9-2. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Erik Gustafsson each had three points as the Capitals (21-13-5) are 11-1-1 in their last 13 games. Cole Caufield tallied twice to reach the 20- goal plateau as his Canadiens (15-19-3) have lost five in a row.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals (47) sit one behind the second-place New Jersey Devils in the Metropolitan Division. Caufield, meanwhile, joined Guy Lafleur and Stephane Richer as the only Canadiens with consecutive 20-goal seasons before the age of 22. The Canadiens also announced that defenseman Kaiden Guhle (lower-body injury) will miss their upcoming game against the Nashville Predators.
Speaking of the Predators, they got a hat trick performance from Filip Forsberg but fell 5-4 to the Vegas Golden Knights on an overtime goal by Nicolas Hague. Mark Stone collected three assists and Chandler Stephenson had a goal and two assists for the Golden Knights (25-12-2), who are tied with the Dallas Stars with 52 points but sit second in the Western Conference. The Predators (15-14-6) played without winger Cole Smith, who is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
The Dallas Stars, meanwhile, got a three-point performance from Joe Pavelski in a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Jason Robertson collected two points to move into sole possession of third place in the NHL scoring race with 54 points while his Stars (23-9-2) hold first place in the Western Conference with a game in hand. Erik Karlsson collected an assist to extend his point streak to 12 games but his Sharks drop to 11-20-7 on the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks defenseman Radim Simek left this game with an undisclosed injury. There was no postgame update regarding his status.
Buffalo Sabres winger Alex Tuch scored twice, including the winner in overtime, in a four-point performance to upset the Boston Bruins by a score of 4-3. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 37 shots for the win as the Sabres improved to 18-14-2 with their sixth straight win. David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand each had two points as the league-leading Bruins (28-4-4) extended their home points streak to 21 games.
The Toronto Maple Leafs got two goals from Michael Bunting in a 6-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche (19-13-3). Auston Matthews, William Nylander and John Tavares each had two points for the Maple Leafs (23-8-6), who sit two points behind the second-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference with 52 points. Nathan MacKinnon was held scoreless in his return to the Avalanche roster after missing the last 11 games with an upper-body injury.
Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos tallied his 498th career NHL goal as his club downed the Arizona Coyotes 5-3. Stamkos and Brayden Point each had two points while Victor Hedman collected three assists as the Lightning improved to 23-11-1. The Coyotes (13-17-5) played without forward Nick Schmaltz, who’s listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
The Winnipeg Jets nipped the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 on a third-period goal by Kyle Connor to finish the night with two points. Teammate Neal Pionk also had a goal and an assist as the Jets improved to 23-13-1. Klim Kostin replied for the Oilers (20-16-2) while teammate Connor McDavid had his point streak end at 17 games.
Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Hartman tallied twice in a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. Marc-Andre Fleury got the win with a 29-save effort for the Wild (21-13-2). Jordan Kyrou collected two assists for the Blues (17-17-3), who also lost winger Vladimir Tarasenko to an injured hand suffered in the first period after blocking a shot by Matt Dumba. An update was not provided on his status following the game.
Calgary Flames defenseman MacKenzie Weegar’s first goal of the season proved to be the game-winner as his club held on for a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Elias Lindholm also scored for the Flames (18-13-7) in his 700th career NHL game. Sheldon Dries and Elias Pettersson replied for the Canucks, who fell to 16-17-3.
The Detroit Red Wings got three unanswered third-period goals from Lucas Raymond, Elmer Soderblom and Michael Rasmussen to double up the Ottawa Senators 4-2. Raymond finished with two points as the Red Wings move to 16-12-7 while the Senators dropped to 16-17-3.
Two unanswered third-period goals by Noah Cates and Travis Konecny lifted the Philadelphia Flyers (13-17-7) to a 4-2 upset of the Los Angeles Kings. Cates, Owen Tippett and Scott Laughton each had two points for the Flyers. Adrian Kempe and Phillip Danault replied for the 21-13-6 Kings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kings defenseman Alex Edler skated in his 1,000th career NHL game.
The Columbus Blue Jackets snapped a seven-game losing skid by downing the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2. Gustav Nyquist scored twice for the Blue Jackets (11-22-2) while Johnny Gaudreau collected two assists. Andreas Athanasiou replied for the Blackhawks, who sit at the bottom of the overall standings with a record of 8-23-4.