Sunday, October 4, 2009

NHL Recap 10-3-09

Notes from Saturday, Oct. 3

(Editor's note: There will be no mention of the Wild-Blue Jackets game nor will there be a quote due to the full NHL schedule on Saturday. The quote will return in Monday's recap. There are zero NHL games Sunday.)

Stars of the night
--Keith Tkachuk scored two goals and added an assist as St. Louis downed Detroit for the second straight day, 5-3. Five Blues had at least two points.
--Marc Savard notched three points, including his first goal, as Boston's offense erupted in a 7-2 win over Carolina.
--Carey Price picked up his second straight impressive overtime road victory, stopping 34 shots in Montreal's 2-1 win over Buffalo. Brian Gionta scored the winner.
--Sidney Crosby had a goal and assist, plus the shootout clincher, in Pittsburgh's 4-3 road win against the Islanders, ruining John Tavares' debut. Tavares scored his first goal and also had an assist.
--Brandon Dubinsky scored two goals and assisted on Marian Gaborik's second goal of the season as the Rangers defeated Ottawa, 5-2.
--Alexanders Semin and Ovechkin combined for three goals (two by Semin) and six points as Washington's offense rolled on, 6-4 over Toronto.
--Nashville netminder Dan Ellis added intrigue to the Predators goalie situation after making 38 saves plus three more in the shootout to help the Predators nip Dallas, 3-2. James Neal scored twice for the Stars in regulation.

Goaltending controversy
OK, maybe not, but Chicago backup Antti Niemi, the Blackhawks' only Finn, pitched his first career shutout (23 saves) to beat Florida, 4-0 in Finland, one day after starter Cristobal Huet allowed three goals and lost to the same team. Patricks Kane and Sharp, and Dustin Byfuglien, each had one goal and one assist.

Who saw this coming: the Avalanche followed up an impressive victory over San Jose by blanking Northwest champ Vancouver, 3-0, behind another strong outing by Craig Anderson, who made 35 saves. Wojtek Wolski netted his third goal of the year and Paul Stastny had two points.

Not such a great milestone
Devils goalie Martin Brodeur appeared in his 1,000th career game, just the second goaltender in league history to do so, but gave up five goals and lost 5-2 to Philadelphia.

Double trouble
Teammates Ilya Kovalchuk and Rich Peverley each had two goals and an assist as Atlanta opened the season in style, downing Tampa Bay, 6-3. Ondrej Pavelec made 36 saves for the win.

At least one person enjoys the desert
Radim Vrbata, who had 27 goals two seasons ago with the Coyotes but left the Lightning 18 games into the 2008-09 campaign, returned to Phoenix this year and almost immediately scored his team's first goal of the season. He added a second goal and a team-high six shots as the Coyotes beat the Kings, 6-3.

Earning some revenge
San Jose bounced back from a dreadful opening game by jumping out to a 4-0 lead over Anaheim en route to a 4-1 win against the team that upset the Sharks in the first round of the 2009 playoffs. Patrick Marleau scored his third goal of the year and Joe Thornton netted his first. Dany Heatley had two assists.

Getting a gift
David Moss scored twice for Calgary, the second coming after Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin misplayed a puck in front of his net. Moss poked the puck away from Khabibulin into the vacated Oilers cage for what proved to be the game-winning goal with 49 seconds remaining in regulation of a 4-3 victory.

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