NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 26, 2012.

Lightning pay for angering Evgeni Malkin…Coyotes atop Pacific Division….Dustin Brown’s hat trick powers Kings over struggling Blackhawks….Rangers edge Sabres in OT…Red Wings lose third straight….Wojtek Wolski has memorable debut with Panthers…Capitals win consecutive games…Predators down Sharks…Ducks forget woeful first half…Sabre daunting task…Ruslan Salei’s family copes with aftermath of his tragic death.

 

Malkin would make Roloson pay for this.

PITTSBURGHLIVE.COM: Evgeni Malkin made sure Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson paid for punching him, as the angered Malkin netted a hat trick powering the Pens to an 8-1 win over the Bolts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don Cherry once said the dumbest move in hockey was angering Canadiens legend Larry Robinson. The same rule applies for Malkin. Don’t get him angry. You won’t like him when he’s angry.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The Phoenix Coyotes downed the Edmonton Oilers 3-1, moving into first in the Pacific Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We can now officially put an end to those stupid, baseless Shane Doan and Ray Whitney trade rumors.

LOS ANGELES TIMES:  Dustin Brown hopes his hat-trick effort in downing the Chicago Blackhawks (who are struggling on the PP) 4-0 isn’t his final game with the Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That was a statement game by Brown, but what will be management’s reaction? That it proves Brown is too valuable to move? Or that it improves his value in the trade market? We’ll find out for sure by 3 pm ET Monday!

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Ryan Callahan scored the OT winner as the Rangers downed the Buffalo Sabres (who face an uphill task trying to climb into the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference) 3-2.

DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings lost their third straight game (for the first time since late October), falling to the Colorado Avalanche 4-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Could be due to an emotional let down after rattling off 23 consecutive home wins. They should snap out of it soon.

MIAMI HERALD: New Florida Panther Wojtek Wolski had a memorable debut, scoring to force overtime as the Panthers went on to down the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in a shoot-out. Wolski had been dealt to the Panthers from the NY Rangers just hours before the game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wolski must build on this if he hopes to salvage his NHL career.

WASHINGTON TIMES: In downing the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2, the Capitals won consecutive games for the first time since late-January.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wasn’t that long ago when they were winning consecutive games as regularly as I eat Rice Krispies…which is a lot.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators downed the San Jose Sharks 6-2 for their third win in four games.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Anaheim Ducks have forgotten about their woeful first half, continuing to focus upon making the playoffs.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Bethan Salei, widow of former NHL defenseman Ruslan Salei, and her children adjust to life in the aftermath of his tragic death in the Lokomotiv air crash.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If you’re not moved by this story, you have no heart.