Sunday, November 1, 2009

NHL Recap 10-31-09

Stars of the night
--Matt Carle and Scott Hartnell, 1 goal, 2 assists each; Philadelphia takes it to Carolina, 6-1.
--Ondrej Pavelec, 50 saves; Atlanta tops Ottawa, 3-1. Thrashers GM Don Waddell says to Kari Lehtonen, take all the time you need to recover.
--Jeff Tambellini, hat trick; Martin Biron 38 saves; the Islanders blank Buffalo, 5-0. It was Biron's 200th career NHL win.
--Niklas Backstrom, 34 saves; Minnesota edges Pittsburgh, 2-1. Good line I heard afterward: the Penguins got two points Friday they maybe didn't deserve, no points Saturday when maybe they did deserve two.
--Tomas Vokoun, 34 saves; Florida shuts down St. Louis, 4-0. The Blues are really bad at home. They've scored seven goals in six home games and are 1-5-0, including two straight shutouts.

Working late
--David Clarkson scored the only goal in the shootout and New Jersey defeated Tampa Bay, 2-1. Antero Niittymaki made 37 saves in the loss while Martin Brodeur needed to stop just 18 shots. Travis Zajac (NJ) and Steven Stamkos (TB) had the goals in regulation. Fun fact: The Lightning are 0-14 on shootout attempts this season.
--Tomas Kaberle scored in the final minute to force overtime, but Montreal earned the shootout victory over Toronto, 5-4. Kaberle also had three assists but his shootout miss secured the Canadiens' win after Mike Cammalleri and Scott Gomez scored.
--Ilya Bryzgalov made 32 saves and three more in the shootout to help Phoenix down Anaheim, 3-2. Radim Vrbata had the only goal in the shootout. Announced attendance at Phoenix: 6,495. I'll take the under.

All or nothing
One game after scoring five goals in a 6-5 shootout win, Edmonton was blanked by Boston backup Tuukka Rask, who made only 19 saves. He had so little to do he was named just the game's third star. Blake Wheeler and Vladimir Sobotka scored for the Bruins.

In Edmonton's last two wins, it scored 11 goals. Over the Oilers' last four losses, they have scored a total of two goals.

Figuring things out?
The much-maligned Nashville offense scored three times in the third period on goals by Steve Sullivan, Patric Hornqvist and Kevin Klein, and Pekka Rinne made 27 saves in his second consecutive start and third straight win as the Predators beat Dallas, 4-2.

Tightening it up
Didn't see much of the Detroit-Calgary game, but I assume the injuries to the Red Wings' forwards and their now-glaring weakness in goal has Mike Babcock preaching a tighter defensive system. If so, it's working, because Detroit allowed just 21 shots on goal to Calgary and Chris Osgood stopped 20 of them as the Wings won, 3-1, getting the game-winner from Tomas Holmstrom.

Quote of the night
"I could throw out all the cliches, but we still have to find a way to win. Which cliche do you want? We never say die, blah, blah, blah? We still need to win."
Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson

Marquee matchup
Sunday, Nov. 1 (4 games)
Columbus (6-5-1) at Washington (8-2-3), 5 p.m. ET. Steve Mason and the Blue Jackets have been giving up a lot of goals. Alex Ovechkin has been scoring a lot. More afternoon hockey with games at 1, 1:30 and 5 ET.

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