Friday, December 11, 2009

NHL Recap 12-10-09

Stars of the night
--Tuukka Rask, 32 saves in The Saga of Kessel 2: The Re-Return. Otherwise known as Boston 5, Toronto 2, in Boston. Mark Recchi scored twice late to extend a 3-2 lead and Phil Kessel was again held off the scoresheet by his old mates. Kessel gets soundly booed in Boston, but I hope that's directed at ownership; once again, would you rather pay Milan Lucic $4 million or Kessel $5 million? Still can't wrap my brain around that.
--Brian Elliott, 23 saves for Ottawa in a 2-0 road win over Philadelphia. Nick Foligno broke the scoreless tie with 8:29 left in the third period and Jesse Winchester scored into an empty net.
--Sergei Gonchar and Pascal Dupuis, one goal and assist each in Pittsburgh's 3-2 win over Montreal.

Working extra late
--It took five shootout rounds before Nashville earned a 4-3 victory over Columbus. Jason Arnott's tiebreaker goal canceled out Fedor Tyutin's in round four, Antoine Vermette failed on his attempt and Steve Sullivan's goal earned the Predators the extra point. Arnott also scored in regulation, as did Martin Erat, and Pekka Rinne made 28 saves for the win. Mathieu Garon made 36 saves and Rick Nash broke a five-game goalless drought for Columbus.
--The Kings and Coyotes spat on the previous item, requiring eight rounds to decide a winner. In a rather thrilling shootout, Los Angeles came away the victor, 3-2, when Justin Williams squeaked a shot past Ilya Bryzgalov and Scottie Upshall's attempt was stopped by Jonathan Quick. It was the fourth chance for LA to win, after taking leads of 1-0 (in round 2), 2-1 (round five) and 3-2 (round seven) in the tiebreaker. Yes, there were more goals in the shootout (4-3) than in regulation (2-2).

Quick finished with 29 saves and Jack Johnson and Oscar Moller scored in regulation for the Kings. Upshall and Radim Vrbata scored for Phoenix.

In Soviet Russia, we score much in third period
But in Canada, the Atlanta Thrashers can't get a whole lot of offense going.

Daniel Sedin doubled his goal total for the season with a hat trick, Mason Raymond added a goal and Bob Luongo (22 saves) slammed the door on Ilya Kovalchuk and his brethren in Vancouver's 4-2 victory.

The Thrashers, who got goals from Nik Antropov and Colby Armstrong, have lost three straight, all in Canada, scoring just five goals in that time.

Henrik Sedin and Alex Burrows had two assists each for the Canucks.

Non-3 Stars Selection of the night
Rask. Recchi was the third star, Derek Morris (one goal; Boston) was second and Boston's David Krejci (one goal, one assist) was No. 1.

Quote of the night
"I actually like shooting these pucks because you don't know where it's going, so obviously he doesn't know. The puck makes funny little moves out there."
Dupuis, who hasn't met a shot he doesn't like, talking about his knucklepuck shot that deflected off Carey Price's glove and behind him for the eventual game-winner

Marquee matchup
Friday, Dec. 11 (8 games)
Minnesota (14-13-1) at Calgary (19-8-3), 9 p.m. ET. That's right. Two of the hottest teams in the league right now, both 7-2-1 over its last 10 games.

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