Sunday, December 6, 2009

NHL Recap 12-5-09

(OK, so it's a little late. Sue me.)

Stars of the night
--Erik Cole, hat trick in Carolina's 5-3 win over Vancouver.
--Marc Savard, hat trick in Boston's 7-2 rout of Toronto. For one night at least, Savard > Kessel.
--Henrik Lundqvist, 36 saves in New York's 2-1 win over Buffalo.
--Peter Budaj, 29 saves as Colorado edged Columbus, 3-2.
--Mike Smith made 30 saves for Tampa Bay to blank the Islanders, 4-0.
--Andrew Brunette, a goal and assist in Minnesota's 5-3 win over Nashville. Good balanced scoring again from the Wild.
--Miikka Kiprusoff, 35 saves as Calgary edged San Jose, 2-1. One of those saves was a nifty kick save as Kiprusoff brought his foot back towards his body.
--Ilya Bryzgalov, 26 saves as Phoenix hung on to defeat Ottawa, 3-2.

Working late
--The Oilers overcame a 2-0 first period deficit, getting the tying goal from Ladislav Smid - his first in 152 games - with 3:07 remaining and then defeated Dallas in the shootout, 3-2.
--St. Louis overcame giving up the tying goal with 34 seconds left and rebounded to defeat the Kings, 5-4 in a shootout. Paul Kariya scored twice in regulation.
--New Jersey saw a 3-1 lead slip away but still got the two points after knocking off Detroit in a shootout, 4-3.
--Tomas Vokoun, in his first game since Keith Ballard played "Whack-A-Goalie" on his head, nearly shut out Florida, but allowed Ilya Kovalchuk's goal with 1:04 left, and the Thrashers went on a 2-1 shootout victory.
--Antti Niemi was stellar in stopping 32 shots and Kris Versteeg's goal in overtime gave Chicago a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh after Jordan Staal tied the game with 1:32 remaining. Very entertaining game and a tantalizing preview if indeed it ends up being the Stanley Cup Final, and the Penguins didn't have Sidney Crosby. Pretty chippy too considering the teams don't see each other very often.

Welcome aboard, Peter
In Peter Laviolette's first game as the new Flyers coach, Philadelphia put forth a stellar effort, giving up a goal to Tomas Fleischmann 57 seconds in, saw Daniel Carcillo lose his mind (it was inevitable) and give Washington a nine-minute power play en route to an 8-2 thrashing by the Capitals.

Fleischmann scored twice but Washington's stars were Nicklas Backstrom with a goal and four assists and Mike Green, with two goals and two assists.

Alex who? Even Alexander Semin was "limited" to two assists.

Non-3 Stars Selection of the night
Johan Hedberg, 30 saves for Atlanta. Third star was Kovalchuk, second was Florida's Stephen Weiss (goal) and No. 1 was Rich Peverley (shootout winner.)

Quote of the night
"I think we were trying to ensure Bryzy got first star because we kept giving them good chances. We did enough good things to win, but let's not kid ourselves. Bryzy was really good."
Phoenix coach Dave Tippett, talking about Bryzgalov, who was the No. 1 Star

Marquee matchup
Sunday, Dec. 6 (2 games)
Detroit (13-10-5) at the Rangers (14-13-1), 7 p.m. ET.

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