Notes from Sunday, Oct. 11
Stars of the night
--Rangers backup Stephen Valiquette had little to do but made 18 saves in his first start of the season to blank the Ducks, 3-0.
--Ryan Kesler scored a power play goal and had the clincher in the shootout as Vancouver won its second game in a row, 4-3 over Dallas. Roberto Luongo made 32 saves.
Guys, a little help please
The reason why Valiquette wasn't busy was because his Rangers teammates pelted Anaheim netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere for 37 shots. Giguere held them off as long as he could, making 35 saves, but power play goals by Ales Kotalik and Artem Anisimov in the third period got past him to give New York the win, its fourth straight.
May I look inside your purse please, sir?
Fashion expert and top agitator Sean Avery made his debut for the Rangers. The little pest missed the first four games with a knee injury. His first game back was successful, as he goaded Ryan Whitney into a roughing penalty that led to Kotalik's goal. Avery also had an assist.
They add up eventually... right?
All three of the Stars losses have come in a shootout. Dallas, the Islanders and Buffalo are the only teams to not lose in regulation so far.
Quote of the night
"We've got to get the shootout figured out. We've worked at it, we've filmed it, we've actually done a lot of work with it. It's a big part of the game now. It's the difference between somebody making the playoffs and not making the playoffs and 0-for-3 is not a stat we like."
Dallas coach Marc Crawford
Monday, Oct. 12 (9 games)
Pittsburgh (4-1-0) at Ottawa (3-1-0), 7:30 p.m. ET. Playoff series in consecutive years helped create an intense dislike between these two teams, and it will be a strong test for the Senators to see where they are. Their one loss was to the Rangers and their three wins came against three of last year's worst teams, Toronto, the Islanders and Atlanta. They routinely give the Penguins a tough game each time. Pittsburgh looks to continue its early road success (3-0).