Friday, October 23, 2009

NHL Recap 10-22-09

Stars of the night
--Zach Parise, 2 goals, 1 assist (on the game-winner); New Jersey doubled up the Rangers, 4-2.
--Jeff Schultz, 1 goal from around his own net (check YouTube or, 2 assists; Washington edged Atlanta, 5-4. Crazy goal Schultz scored. Just fired it down the ice, it skipped, and Ondrej Pavelec couldn't stop it. Also, when's the last time the Caps had five goals and Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom had no points?
--Defense partners Shea Weber and Ryan Suter, 2 goals, 1 assist each, Weber with the winner in OT. J.P. Dumont had 1 goal and 4 assists for Nashville in a wild 6-5 win at Ottawa. This was a fun third period to watch. Nashville entered up 3-0, the Sens scored three straight, Nashville went up 4-3, then Ottawa tied it, Suter scored to make it 5-4 with a minute left, then Ottawa got a shorthanded goal with less than two seconds remaining to force overtime.
--Mike Smith, 32 saves; Tampa Bay beats San Jose, 5-2. Steven Stamkos scored twice. Consistency calling San Jose. Consistency calling San Jose. Come in, Sharks.
--Dustin Penner and Ales Hemsky, five points each. Penner had two goals, Hemsky one, the Oilers overcome a 4-1 deficit to beat the Blue Jackets, 6-4. Another wild one. Edmonton out-scored Columbus 3-0 in the third period.
--Anze Kopitar had a hat trick, the first of his career, in the Kings' 5-4 overtime win over Dallas. Yet another crazy third period. Dallas trailed 4-1 after two periods and struck three times in the third to salvage a point.

Strong in defeat
--Ilya Kovalchuk scored twice for Atlanta.
--Jason Spezza had three assists and won 15 faceoffs and was the best Senator on the ice.
--Kristian Huselius netted a pair of goals for Columbus.
--So did James Neal for Dallas.

Working late
--Claude Giroux scored the only goal in the shootout and Philadelphia defeated Boston, 4-3. Seen this mentioned a couple places, and I may have said it, but it bears repeating: This was Philadelphia's second game in 11 days. Why such a long break in this Olympic season? You really can't get anything right, can you, NHL?
--Weber's goal, his third of the season, came on the power play 2:11 into overtime. Ottawa fans not happy with the refs. Nashville had two power plays in the last three minutes of regulation, then another in overtime.
--The Cactus of Good Fortune continues to, um, smile upon the Coyotes, who got two lucky/fluke-ish type goals, including Adrian Aucoin's winner in overtime, to hand Detroit a 3-2 loss. Pavel Datsyuk had two assists after missing two games. Note: I don't know if there is such a thing as The Cactus of Good Fortune, but it sounded good.
--Michal Handzus scored 55 seconds into overtime to help the Kings avoid an embarrassing loss after blowing that three-goal lead.

There's that offense
Montreal scored a season-high five goals in routing the Islanders, 5-1. Five different players had goals, and for each player, it was either his first or second goal of the season: Scott Gomez, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Max Pacioretty, Michael Cammalleri and Max Lapierre. Jaroslav Halak started for the second straight game and made 21 saves. The five goals were the most the Canadiens (4-5-0) scored since the opener, when they had four, and the game marked their first two-goal lead of the season. It was also their first regulation win in 13 games.

Quote of the night
"Once again our start isn't the way it should be, so as a coach I'll have some questions to ask some of the leaders. We'll be looking for some answers."
San Jose coach Todd McLellan
(Whew! Looking for a new captain too? Again? Certainly can't be the coach's fault, right?)

Bonus quote
"After the game I went to give (Halak) a hug and he said, 'I don't like shutouts.' And I said, 'Well, you better like shutouts!'"
Cammalleri, after Halak missed a shutout only because Halak misplayed the puck behind his net for Josh Bailey's shorthanded goal

Marquee matchup
Friday, Oct. 23 (3 games)
This is not a fun schedule of games. I don't think there is a marquee matchup. I guess Florida (2-5-0) at Pittsburgh (8-1-0), 7:30 p.m. ET, to see how the Penguins look without Sergei Gonchar. The Panthers usually play the Penguins tough too so there's upset potential.

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