Saturday, December 12, 2009

NHL Recap 12-11-09

Stars of the night
--Michael Frolik, two goals for Florida in its 4-2 win at New Jersey. Scott Clemmensen made 26 saves against his former team.
--Patrick Lalime, 39 saves for Buffalo in a 2-1 victory over Chicago. Probably the shocker of the night. The Sabres payed their backup and still the Blackhawks couldn't score. Thomas Vanek and Clarke MacArthur scored for Buffalo.

Working late
--Mike Green's goal 1:16 into overtime gave Washington a 4-3 win over Carolina, erasing an early 2-0 deficit. Alexander Semin scored twice. Eric Staal netted his first goal in ages (Oct. 21 to be exact) and Tim Gleason's shorthanded goal with 6:30 remaining forced the tie. Cam Ward (36 saves) played about as well as one could expect when his team was out-shot 40-19.
--Craig Anderson backstopped Colorado to a 2-1 shootout win over Tampa Bay in his first game since goalie assassin Keith Ballard injured Anderson on Dec. 2. Wojtek Wolski's goal with 7:49 to play tied the score at 1-1, and he followed that up with the only goal of the tiebreaker. Anderson made 21 saves and Lightning goalie Antero Niittymaki stopped 33 shots.
--San Jose and Dallas staged a thrilling 11-round shootout, won eventually by the stick of Stars defenseman Matt Niskanen and a Marty Turco save, 3-2. Only three players scored in the shootout. Dany Heatley scored his 20th goal of the season. Brad Richards tied the game at 2-2 in the third period with his 10th. Turco finished with 33 saves and Evgeni Nabokov made 42.
--Wild-Flames details below.

House of horrors
Minnesota wasn't the only team playing in an arena it hates. Anaheim entered Joe Louis Arena last night carrying a 3-22-3 (with three ties) record in Detroit.

And now the Ducks are 3-22-4 (with three ties.)

The Red Wings overcame a 2-0 deficit, aided by a whopping 10 power plays, and defeated Anaheim, 3-2 in overtime. Todd Bertuzzi scored twice, including the winner with the man-advantage in the extra frame. Tomas Holmstrom also scored on the power play and Jimmy Howard made 25 saves.

Saku Koivu and Dan Sexton scored in the second period for Anaheim.

It just gets worse and worse
I believe I saw a tidbit from an article that said the Blues' current home winning percentage would rank 41st all-time in St. Louis history, out of 42 seasons. That's bad.

And it won't improve after the Blues gave up four third-period goals as Edmonton overcame a 3-0 deficit to come away a 5-3 winner. Dustin Penner had four points, a goal and three assists. Three of those points came in that third period. Gilbert Brule scored twice, Sam Gagner tied the game and Shawn Horcoff put Edmonton ahead, 4-3, before Penner's goal closed out the scoring.

David Backes scored twice for the Blues.

Non-3 Stars Selection of the night
Turco, who was stellar in the shootout. Third star was Steve Ott of Dallas, with seven shots and 11 hits, second was Nabokov and Niskanen was first.

Quote of the night
"As defensemen, we always joke around that we'll be the last used in a shootout."

Marquee matchup
Saturday, Dec. 12 (12 games)
San Jose (19-7-7) at Phoenix (18-11-2), 8 p.m. ET.

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