NHL (Late) Morning Coffee Headline – Sunday, February 5, 2012.

Martin St. Louis, Todd Bertuzzi reach notable career milestones…Red Wings Jimmy Howard sidelined longer than anticipated…Penguins on a roll… Three key Rangers forwards struggling offensively…Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford battles inconsistency…Coyotes snap Sharks win streak…Stars gain ground in standings while honoring former goalie Ed Belfour…Avalanche drop fifth straight…Flyers Zac Rinaldo receives double fine.

 

St. Louis has big night on his 900th career NHL game.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Martin St. Louis potted a hat trick in his 900th NHL career game, powering the Lightning to a 6-3 win over the Florida Panthers.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi scored his 300th and 301st career goals as his club fell 5-4 in a shootout to the Edmonton Oilers.

DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings will be without goalie Jimmy Howard (broken right index finger) longer than anticipated, as he could be out between two games, two weeks, or four-to-six weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Red Wings won’t be in danger of missing the playoffs without Howard, but they’ll need Ty Conklin to perform better than he did against the Oilers Saturday night if they wish to avoid dropping in the standings during Howard’s absence.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: The Penguins downed the Boston Bruins 2-1 for their ninth win in their last ten games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  It wasn’t that long ago when the Penguins had dropped six straight games and were in danger of falling out of the playoffs. What a difference a month can make, as well as a healthier lineup, a rock-solid Marc-Andre Fleury in goal, and Evgeni Malkin playing some of the best hockey of his NHL career.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Rangers forwards Brad Richards, Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov have been struggling offensively in recent weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers have been winning despite the lack of production from those forwards, but they’ll need them to regain their scoring touches as they progress down the stretch and into the playoffs, especially in the latter if they hope to be serious Cup contenders.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford has been battling with inconsistency this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s led to some Blackhawks fans to call on management to bring in an experienced starting goalie, but GM Stan Bowman remains confident in Crawford.

MERCURYNEWS.COM: The Phoenix Coyotes snapped the San Jose Sharks three-game winning streak, defeating the Sharks 5-3.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: On the night when the Dallas Stars honored Ed Belfour, the Stars defeated the Minnesota Wild 2-1.

DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche lost their fifth straight game, falling to the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in a shootout.

CSNPHILLY.COM: Flyers center Zac Rinaldo was fined $5,000.00 for two separate incidents against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll leave it to a certain beloved animated rabbit to respond to Rinaldo’s actions.