NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2023
The Lightning set a franchise record, the Panthers rally to upset the Bruins, the Oilers’ emergency backup gets to live the dream, reaction to the Rangers’ reversal on Pride Night warmup jerseys and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning picked up a franchise-record 12th consecutive home win by downing the Los Angeles Kings 5-2. Steven Stamkos collected an assist to extend his points streak to 11 games while Nick Perbix collected three assists as the Lightning (32-15-1) moves to within three points of the second-place Toronto Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division with 65 points. The Kings (28-18-6) sit in third place in the Pacific Division with 62 points.
An overtime goal by Sam Reinhart lifted the Florida Panthers to a 4-3 upset of the Boston Bruins. Aleksander Barkov tied the game with three seconds remaining in the third period just 46 seconds after David Pastrnak gave the Bruins the lead. Barkov finished the game with three points while Alex Lyon stopped 38 shots for the 24-22-6 Panthers, who sit three points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth with 54 points. The Bruins (38-6-5) remain atop the overall standings with 81 points.
The Edmonton Oilers got three-point performances from Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Zach Hyman and Darnell Nurse to thump the Chicago Blackhawks 7-3. Tyson Barrie also scored twice for the Oilers (28-18-4), who hold the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference with 60 points. Patrick Kane collected two assists for the Blackhawks, who slipped to 15-29-4.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: University of Alberta goaltender Matt Berlin was the Oilers’ emergency backup with Stuart Skinner feeling under the weather. He got to live the NHL dream when he replaced Jack Campbell for the final 2:26 in the game and the Oilers leading 7-3, making one save in his appearance.
Oilers winger Evander Kane returned to the lineup after being in San Jose during the week dealing with his bankruptcy case.
San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture scored twice and collected three assists in a 6-4 upset of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Alexander Barbashev had a goal and two assists for the 15-25-11 Sharks. Evgeni Malkin tallied two goals and picked up an assist for the Penguins, who dropped to 24-16-9 as they cling to the final Eastern wild-card spot with 57 points.
The Minnesota Wild snapped the Buffalo Sabres’ five-game win streak with a 3-2 victory on a shootout goal by Frederick Gaudreau. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots for the Wild (27-17-4) as they sit in third place in the Central Division with 58 points. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen turned aside 33 shots for the 26-19-4 Sabres as they moved to within one point of the Penguins.
Colorado Avalanche netminder Alexandar Georgiev made 26 saves as his club doubled up the St. Louis Blues by a score of 4-2. Logan O’Connor collected two assists for the 27-18-3 Avalanche, who’ve won seven of their last eight games and hold the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 57 points. The Blues dropped to 23-24-3 as they’ve lost four straight and sit eight points behind the Avalanche.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche and Flames each have 57 points but the Avs hold two games in hand over the idle Flames.
The Seattle Kraken (29-15-5) hold first place in the Pacific Division with 63 points following a 3-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Alex Wennberg scored in his 600th career game while Eeli Tolvonan scored for the third straight game. Kent Johnson replied for the Jackets as they dropped to 15-32-3.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Blue Jackets claimed forward Lane Pederson off waivers from the Vancouver Canucks and placed winger Gustav Nyquist (upper body) on injured reserve.
An overtime goal by Mathew Barzal gave the New York Islanders a 2-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Semyon Varlamov kicked out 44 shots for the Isles as they improved to 25-22-5 and moved within two points behind the Penguins with 55 points. Logan Thompson stopped 33 shots for the Golden Knights (29-18-4) as they dropped one point behind the Kraken in the Pacific Division.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights are mired in a slump right now with a record of 2-6-2 in their last 10 contests.
Philadelphia Flyers goalie Carter Hart made 40 saves to shut out the Winnipeg Jets 4-0. Noah Cates and Owen Tippett each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers (21-21-9) as they sit six back of the Penguins with 51 points. The Jets (31-19-1) are tied in points with the Kraken (63) but the latter holds second overall in the Western Conference with two games in hand.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Flyers announced winger Zack MacEwen will be sidelined for five weeks following surgery to repair a fractured jaw. Meanwhile, Jets defenseman Dylan DeMelo missed this game with a lower-body injury and will be sidelined for their next game as well.
Speaking of shutouts, the Ottawa Senators’ Anton Forsberg stopped 28 shots to blank the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 5-0. Claude Giroux tallied twice and picked up an assist for the 23-23-3 Senators, who sit eight points out of wild-card contention with 49 points. The Canadiens fell to 20-26-4 on the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens prospect Owen Beck made his NHL debut on an emergency call-up basis and was returned to his OHL team following this game.
Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras scored in overtime in a 2-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. The Ducks improved to 16-29-5. Connor Ingram made 43 saves for the 16-28-6 Coyotes.
NEW YORK POST: The Rangers are facing criticism over the club’s decision not to wear rainbow jerseys or tape during warm-ups as promoted prior to Friday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights as part of their scheduled Pride Night. Two Rangers players told the Post that there was no team discussion over the decision and they don’t know why they didn’t wear them, prompting speculation that the choice was made higher up in the organization.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The decision came over a week after Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov opted not to wear a rainbow jersey during warm-ups as part of his club’s Pride Night game.
It appears the Rangers ownership may have been rattled by the fallout from Provorov’s actions. Maybe they were afraid of one of their own players doing the same thing. If they felt it would help them avoid a backlash, they were wrong.
WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals winger Tom Wilson remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury and will miss the club’s next two games before the upcoming All-Star break.
DAILY FACEOFF: Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Matt Murray is dealing with an ankle injury and will be undergoing further tests to determine its severity. Murray missed his scheduled start on Friday against the Ottawa Senators.