Oilers Fire McLellan, Name Hitchcock Coach – The underachieving Edmonton Oilers fired coach Todd McLellan on Tuesday and will replace him with Ken Hitchcock. It was the fourth NHL head coach firing of the season and the second within the past 12 hours, with the St. Louis Blues having dismissed coach Mike Yeo late Monday night. Last season, there were no head-coaching firings during the regular season, a first since Original Six expansion. Through the quarter mark of the season, the Oilers are 9-10-1 and in sixth place in the Pacific Division. At .475, they have the sixth-lowest point percentage in the league. McLellan had been behind the bench in Edmonton since the 2015-16 season after spending seven seasons as the San Jose Sharks‘ coach. The Oilers had a terrific 2016-17, campaign and expectations were high that their Stanley Cup window was near with generational center Connor McDavid not yet having reached his prime. But Edmonton missed the playoffs the next season, stumbling to a 36-40-6 record (78 points) that put it sixth in the Pacific Division, despite the fact that McDavid led the league with 108 points. Hitchcock, 66, has the third-most wins in NHL history with 823, trailing Joel Quenneville (890), who was fired by the Chicago Blackhawks earlier this season, and Scotty Bowman (1,244). Hitchcock has spent 22 seasons as a head coach with Dallas, Philadelphia, Columbus and St. Louis. Hitchcock, who had two stints at the helm in Dallas, stepped away from his job with the Stars at the conclusion of last season despite having signed a multiyear contract one year earlier.
- Columbus Blue Jackets 2- Toronto Maple Leafs 4
- Dallas Stars 1 – New York Rangers 2
- Buffalo Sabres 5 – Pittsburgh Penguins 4
- Washington Capitals 5 – Montreal Canadiens 4
- Florida Panthers 7 – Ottawa Senators 5
- Los Angeles Kings 2 – St. Louis Blues 0
- Tampa Bay Lightning 2 – Nashville Predators 3
- Vegas Golden Knights 2 – Calgary Flames 7
- Winnipeg Jets 6 – Vancouver Canucks 3
Chicago Blackhawks 3 – Minnesota Wild 1
Highlights: Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad scored first-period goals, Corey Crawford made 39 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks held on to defeat the Minnesota Wild 3-1 on Sunday night. Dominik Kahun added an empty-netter with 58.5 second left as the Blackhawks improved to 2-2-2 under coach Jeremy Colliton, who replaced Joel Quenneville on Nov. 6. Patrick Kane had two assists for Chicago, 2-0-1 in its last three games. Zach Parise scored for Minnesota, which lost its second straight game and for the third time in four games. The Wild controlled the game after Parise’s goal made it 2-1 midway through the second, but Crawford was sharp and preserved the lead. Backup Alex Stalock stopped 25 shots for Minnesota as usual starter Devan Dubnyk got the night off in the second of back-to-back games. Parise has six goals in his last nine games and has scored in two straight. His goal in a 3-2 loss to Buffalo on Saturday was the 341st of his career and made him the highest-scoring Minnesota-born NHL player. Wild forward Marcus Foligno left the game at 7:13 of the second period after getting hit in the right leg by a shot by Chicago’s Brent Seabrook. Foligno crumpled to the ice and had to be helped off.
Chicago Bears 25 – Minnesota Vikings 20
Highlights: Khalil Mack had a sack and fumble recovery, Eddie Jackson returned an interception for a touchdown and Chicago tightened its grip on the division with a 25-20 victory over the second-place Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night. Mack and Jackson led a dominant effort by the defense. And Chicago (7-3) took a big step toward its first division championship since 2010. The Bears won their fourth in a row, their longest streak since a six-game run in 2012. Chicago finished 10-6 that year, missed the playoffs and fired coach Lovie Smith after that season. Chicago suffocated the Vikings (5-4-1), with big advantages in total yards (308-268) and time of possession (34:29-25:31) even though quarter- back Mitchell Trubisky had his difficulties. The Bears were leading by eight midway through the fourth quarter when Jackson picked off a pass from Kirk Cousins that was intended for Laquon Treadwell. His 27-yard TD return and a 2-point conversion pass from Trubisky to Adam Shaheen made it 22-6. Cousins then threw a 13-yard TD to Aldrick Robsinon and a 2-point conversion to Adam Thielen, making it 22-14. But Cody Parkey kicked to 48-yard field goal with 2:48 left. And the Bears hung on from there. Trubisky was 20 of 31 for 165 yards and a touchdown. But he was intercepted two times by Anthony Harris. Cousins was consistently under pressure and finished 30 of 46 for 262 yards. He threw two touchdowns in the final 4:51 and got intercepted two times. Stefon Diggs had 13 catches for 126 yards and a TD. But the Vikings came up short after winning four of five.
- Dallas Stars 6 – New York Islanders 2
- New Jersey Devils 1 – Carolina Hurricanes 2
- Minnesota Wild 1 – Chicago Blackhawks 3 (See Chicago Sports News)
- Vegas Golden Knights 6 – Edmonton Oilers 3
- Colorado Avalanche 4 – Anaheim Ducks 3
- Detroit Red Wings 3 – New Jersey Devils 2
- Tampa Bay Lightning 6 – Philadelphia Flyers 3
- Buffalo Sabres 3 – Minnesota Wild 2
- Pittsburgh Penguins 4 – Ottawa Senators 6
- Florida Panthers 2 – New York Rangers 4
- Columbus Blue Jackets 4 – Carolina Hurricanes 1
- Montreal Canadiens 3 – Vancouver Canucks 2
- Los Angeles Kings 3 – Nashville Predators 5
- Boston Bruins 2 – Arizona Coyotes 1
- Edmonton Oilers 2 – Calgary Flames 4
- St. Louis Blues 0 – San Jose Sharks 4
Chicago Blackhawks 1 – Los Angeles Kings 2
Highlights: Cal Petersen made 34 saves and stopped Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in a shootout, leading the Los Angeles Kings to a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night. Ilya Kovalchuk and Anze Kopitar converted the Kings’ first two attempts in the tiebreaker against Corey Crawford as Los Angeles ended a three-game losing streak. Tyler Toffoli scored his fifth goal in the second period for the Kings, who have the worst record in the league (6-11-1) and had been outscored 9-2 during their three-game skid. The Kings are without their two top goalies, Jonathan Quick and Jack Campbell. Both are recovering from surgery to repair meniscus tears in one of their knees. Crawford blocked 31 shots through overtime, but the struggling Blackhawks lost for the ninth time in their last 10 games (1-6-3).
Chicago Bulls 104 – Milwaukee Bucks 123
Highlights: Eric Bledsoe scored 25 points, Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo each added 23 points and the Milwaukee Bucks erased a 22-point deficit and beat the Chicago Bulls 123-104. It was the Bucks’ largest comeback win of the season and they tied the second-largest halftime deficit overcome in franchise history. Down 63-45 at the half, the Bucks outscored the Bulls 46-17 in the third quarter. Antetokounmpo’s dunk capped a 31-11 surge and gave the Bucks their first lead since the opening minute at 76-74 with 3:22 left in the quarter. Bledsoe had 14 points, Middleton 11 and Antetokounmpo nine to help Milwaukee take a 91-80 lead into the fourth. Jabari Parker and Justin Holiday, who led the Bulls to the big first-half lead, went cold in the third. Each had a basket and nobody else stepped up to stop the blowout. Parker scored 17 of his season-high 21 points, and Holiday added 18 of his season-high 20 in the first half.
- Boston Bruins 0 – Dallas Stars 1
- Buffalo Sabres 2 – Winnipeg Jets 1
- Los Angeles Kings 2 – Chicago Blackhawks 1 (See Chicago Sports News)
- Washington Capitals 3 – Colorado Avalanche 2
- St. Louis Blues 4 – Vegas Golden Knights 1
- Toronto Maple Leafs 2 – Anaheim Ducks 1