Wednesday, December 23, 2009

NHL Recap 12-22-09: Sharks Revenge; Avs buried

We meet again, Mr. Hossa
The last time Chicago and San Jose shared the ice, Marian Hossa made his Blackhawks debut and scored two goals. Chicago scored three times while shorthanded in a 7-2 rout in San Jose.

This time, the upper glove was on the other foot as Joe Thornton's shorthanded goal in the second period helped the Sharks fend off the Hawks, 3-2.

Jason Demers gave San Jose a 3-1 lead, after Dany Heatley scored the only goal in the first period, and Hossa scored late in a 4-on-4 situation with Cristobal Huet was pulled (so a 5-on-4 but not a power play situation), but Evgeni Nabokov and the Sharks defense held strong.

Well, Nabokov did. Chicago out-shot San Jose by a whopping 47-14 margin, including 21-7 in the third. Patrick Kane had the other Chicago goal. Both he and Hossa had an assist, as did Thornton and Heatley for the Sharks.

Swarmed under
The Sharks might have fought off a late push by the Blackhawks, but Colorado couldn't say the same in its game against Anaheim.

Trailing 2-0 going into the third period, the Ducks out-shot the hosts 15-7 in the third period and 43-17 overall, and the pressure paid off in the form of four goals in the final period for a 4-2 Anaheim victory.

The first goal was debatable: At the time Scott Niedermayer slammed the puck home, teammate Bobby Ryan was in the crease, seemingly preventing Craig Anderson from getting into position to make a play on Niedermayer's shot. The play stood with 7:34 remaining, and Dan Sexton tied the score 2:39 later.

Anaheim then struck twice in the final 30 seconds, getting the game-winner from Ryan Getzlaf and an empty net goal by Todd Marchant. Jonas Hiller earned the win for the Ducks. Rookie Brandon Yip netted his first career goal and Paul Stastny scored for Colorado.

Here a Sedin, there a Sedin, everywhere a Sedin Sedin
The Sedin twins combined for six points and Vancouver ended Nashville's four-game winning streak, 4-1.

Both Henrik and Daniel Sedin had a goal and two assists, and Steve Bernier and Sami Salo scored for the Canucks. Bob Luongo made 20 saves, losing his shutout with 5:24 remaining on a goal by Patric Hornqvist.

Dan Ellis made 32 saves in the loss.

Non-3 Stars Selection
Heatley, though there was nothing wrong with the selections: Thornton third, Kane second and Nabokov first.

Stat of the night
109.1, 67.6, 102.1 - Percentages of arena attendance capacity Tuesday (Chicago, Colorado, Vancouver.)

Quote of the night
"We basically robbed one here tonight and we can chalk that one up to Nabby."
San Jose coach Todd McLellan

Notable games
Wednesday, Dec. 23 (12 games)
Last day before the Christmas break. Games of note:

-Buffalo (22-10-3) at Washington (22-8-6), 7 p.m. ET

-Chicago (23-9-3) at Detroit (18-13-5), 7:30 p.m.

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