Stars of the night
--Tim Thomas, 28 saves; Boston edges Nashville, 3-2.
--Mikko Koivu, 1 goal, 1 assist, lone shootout goal; Minnesota beats Colorado, 3-2. Good debut for sure in his first game as captain, but did he really need the 'C' to play like this?
--Mikael Samuelsson, 1 goal, 1 assist; Vancouver beats Chicago, 3-2. Questionable star of the night: Antti Niemi was the second star despite losing, and the game-winner he gave up to Samuelsson was a very soft goal.
And then there was one
John Tavares' goal in the shootout - the third in three attempts for the Islanders - sealed New York's first win of the season, 4-3 over Carolina, leaving Toronto as the lone winless team in the NHL. Andy Sutton had two points, including a goal, and Dwayne Roloson made 35 saves. The Islanders avoided their worst start in franchise history.
Hope you didn't miss the start
Buffalo beat Florida, 5-2, but the fun part is six goals were scored in the first period, including all five Sabres tallies. They chased backup Scott Clemmensen with two goals on three shots in the first 1:56, added a third less than three minutes later, and were up by four halfway through the first. Steve Reinprecht stopped the blood flow by scoring for Florida, but Thomas Vanek - who is NOT out for "weeks" as originally feared - got a fluke goal to make it 5-1. Ryan Miller made a whopping 41 saves for Buffalo.
I once made it a nightly habit to check box scores and look for the worst (statistically speaking) Three Stars selection of the night. I say I judge based on stats because unless I watched the game, I might've missed the player's contribution. But here's a curious call: Dallas defeated Anaheim, in California, 4-2, but the Ducks still came away with two of the three stars, including No. 1 James Wisniewski, a defenseman who had one assist.
Loui Eriksson and Steve Ott had one goal and assist each, James Neal had two assists for Dallas, and was part of a nifty passing play to set up the eventual winning goal, and Marty Turco made 24 saves.
Quote of the night
"Obviously, nothing's going to bring back what happened last year. They still won the series; we just won a game. But it's nice to be able to come in here and show we can win and just start moving on."
Bob Luongo, after the win in Chicago
Thursday, Oct. 22 (9 games)
Washington (4-2-2) at Atlanta (4-1-1), 7 p.m. ET, a Southeast Division game pitting Alex Ovechkin against one of the surprise goalies of the young season, Ondrej Pavelec, and Ilya Kovalchuk against goalies who haven't established themselves this season, either Jose Theodore (if healthy) or Semyon Varlamov (who hasn't shown his 2009 playoff form yet.)