Thursday, October 15, 2009

NHL Recap 10-14-09

Stars of the night
--Vaclav Prospal 2 goals (including his 200th career goal), 1 assist; Henrik Lundqvist 34 saves in New York's 4-2 win over Los Angeles.
--Patrick Sharp and Kris Versteeg, 1 goal and 1 assist each in Chicago's 4-3 win over Edmonton.
--Three Stars from their 6-0 blanking of Nashville: Loui Eriksson (2 goals 1 assist), Brad Richards (1 goal, 2 assists) and Brenden Morrow (2 goals). Oh, a fourth: Marty Turco, 29 saves.
--Corey Perry, 2 goals, Jonas Hiller 32 saves in Anaheim's 3-2 win over Minnesota.

Working extra late
Cam Ward made 36 saves, including a terrific one on Bill Guerin in the third period, and Ray Whitney scored twice in the third period to earn Carolina a point, but the Penguins won the six-round shootout, 3-2, on Chris Kunitz's goal. Kunitz hasn't scored a regulation goal since Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final and has just one in his last 36 games.

Evgeni Malkin had a goal and assist and Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves. The Penguins set a franchise-record for consecutive road wins to start the season (5-0.)

The jinx strikes again
Remember how I earlier wrote that Nashville goalies Dan Ellis and Pekka Rinne are early pleasant surprises? Yeah, sorry about that, guys. In his second start, Rinne gave up four goals on nine shots to Edmonton and was pulled. The next game, Ellis allowed goals to Dallas on its first three shots and was pulled.

Maybe there is a goalie controversy
Another thing I wrote was a joke about Chicago's goaltending "controversy" after Antti Niemi posted a shutout in Game #2. Well, Niemi replaced Cristobal Huet after Huet gave up three goals on five shots to Calgary and Niemi got the win in that incredible comeback. Niemi started Chicago's next game and beat Edmonton.

Quote of the night
"It really tears the heart out of your confidence and takes a little bit of your energy when they score on the first three shots."
Nashville coach Barry Trotz

Marquee matchup
Thursday, Oct. 15 (6 games)
Sharks (3-2-1) at Capitals (2-2-2), 7 p.m. ET. Depending which Evgeni Nabokov shows up, and which Washington goalie shows up (and I don't mean Semyon Varlamov or Jose Theodore; I mean good or bad Varlamov or good or bad Theodore), this game will be either a goal-fest or a battle of netminders.

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