Saturday, October 31, 2009

NHL Recap 10-30-09

Stars of the night
--Frans Nielsen, 2 goals; Islanders upend Washington in overtime, 4-3.
--Tim Connolly, 2 goals, 1 assist, Ryan Miller 33 saves; Buffalo beats Toronto, 3-2.
--Petr Sykora, 1 goal, 1 assist. He obviously read my blog post and that's what motivated him. You're welcome, Minnesota.
--Kris Versteeg, 1 goal, 1 assist; Chicago edges Montreal, 3-2.
--Steve Reinprecht, natural hat trick, 1 assist; Florida beats Dallas, 6-5. Who needs David Booth? Reinprecht scored his three goals in a span of 5:11 in the first period, including just 29 seconds between the second and third goals.
--Corey Perry, 2 goals, 1 assist; Anaheim kills Vancouver, 7-2. Bobby Ryan had the same stat line but didn't score until the third period when the Ducks were up two already, so he doesn't get a star.
--Ryane Clowe, 1 goal, 1 assist; San Jose puts a temporary end to the Colorado machine, 3-1.

Working late
--Mark Streit's goal in overtime gave the Islanders the win over the Caps.
--Connolly's second goal came on the power play in overtime for Buffalo. Mikhail Grabovsky had scored shorthanded on the same penalty kill with 38 seconds left to force overtime.
--Rostislav Olesz had the only goal in the shootout for Florida.

History repeated, with a twist
Pittsburgh scored twice in 39 seconds with under three minutes remaining to tie its game with Columbus, 3-3, then won in the shootout on Sidney Crosby's goal. It is the second straight season the Penguins had a big third-period rally in Columbus. Last year, they scored three times in 3:25 to erase a 3-0 deficit before losing in the shootout.

Crosby is 4-for-4 on shootouts this season with two game-deciding goals.

That Columbus arena was LOUD when Alex Goligoski scored with 2:17 left to tie the game at 3-3 and when Brent Johnson stopped Kristian Huselius to end the game.

Strong in defeat
--Tomas Fleischmann, in his second game back from recovering from having a blood clot in his leg, scored twice for Washington.
--Rick Nash netted two goals for Columbus.
--Craig Anderson made 43 saves for the Avalanche.

The Skoula Report
Competent, even quality performance from Martin Skoula Friday. He logged 18:19 of ice time, again more than Jay McKee, blocked two shots, registered one hit, and also had an assist on Ruslan Fedotenko's goal - that made the score 3-2 - when his shot from the point ricocheted off the end-boards to Fedotenko, who had an empty net at which to shoot.

Quote of the night
"We go back to work, there's no magic potion trying to get out of this here."
Rangers coach John Tortorella. New York is 1-4-1 after starting 7-1-0

Marquee matchup
Saturday, Oct. 31 (11 games)
Anaheim (4-6-1) at Phoenix (8-4-0), 9 p.m. ET. Two reasons to watch this one: First and foremost, count the heads in the stands. Do a shot for every 10 you see. You'll still have plenty of alcohol left over. (I'm not going to make the obvious and lame, "Lot of Phoenix fans dressed up as empty seats for Halloween" joke.)

Second, Anaheim just scored seven goals, and Ilya Bryzgalov has a league-high three shutouts. Something's gotta give.

Oh, and a special note that there's afternoon hockey. Two games at 1 p.m., one at 2 and one at 3, all times ET.

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