Friday, December 18, 2009

NHL Recap 12-17-09

Stars of the night
--Niklas Backstrom, 30 saves in Minnesota's 3-1 win over Montreal.
--Ryan Callahan, two goals and two helpers as the Rangers offense erupts to sink the Islanders, 5-2. Dwayne Roloson fantasy owners are unhappy.
--Jimmy Howard, 30 saves in Detroit's 3-0 win over Tampa Bay, a victory that saw yet another Red Wing fall to injury, this time Henrik Zetterberg.
--Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 34 shots and Calgary knocked off Los Angeles, 2-1. The Kings were hurt by Justin Williams taking two penalties in the final four minutes.
--Patric Hornqvist, two goals and one assist for Nashville in a 6-3 win over Edmonton. Pekka Rinne owners not happy with their guy being pulled after five minutes and giving up two goals on four shots.
--Joe Thornton, two goals and two assists in San Jose's 4-1 win over Anaheim. Thornton has a league-best 48 points.

Working late
--Sidney Crosby's power play goal tied the game at 2-2, then his shootout goal sealed Pittsburgh's 3-2 win over Philadelphia, sweeping the home-and-home series. Kris Letang also scored in the shootout and Bill Guerin had a regulation goal. Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves. Crosby is 5-for-5 in shootouts this season. This game featured a 3-on-3 for two minutes in overtime and it was one of most boring stretches of two minutes I've seen. It's also the second lackluster 3-on-3 I've seen in two weeks. For those who want to tack on a 3-on-3 overtime, it's a bad idea.
--Rich Peverley's second goal of the game lifted Atlanta to a 6-5 overtime win over Dallas. He also had an assist. Maxim Afinogenov had a goal and two assists and Ondrej Pavelec made 42 saves for the Thrashers. Stephane Robidas scored twice and added an assist for Dallas.
--Jason LaBarbera made 38 saves and Robert Lang's shootout goal guided Phoenix over Columbus, 2-1. Keith Yandle scored in regulation for the Coyotes and Rick Nash countered for the Blue Jackets.

Stat of the night
4-11 - Dallas' record in overtime/shootout games

Non-3 Stars Selections
3. Crosby
2. Robidas
1. Backstrom

Quote of the night
"It was a masterpiece, wasn't it? That was like a high-priced painting, that one. That wasn't pretty, but they can't all be pretty."
Coyotes coach Dave Tippett, with sarcasm dripping heavily

Marquee matchup
Friday, Dec. 18 (6 games)
Washington (21-7-6) at Vancouver (19-15-0), 10 p.m. ET.

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