Sunday, January 17, 2010

NHL Recap 1-16-10: More Wings controversy; DiPietro gets first win

Maybe there is a conspiracy
Another day, another bad call for Detroit.

For those who missed it, the Stars' Steve Ott's shootout goal in round six seemed to be stopped by Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard just before it slid over the goal line. The referee closest to the play ruled no-goal. To my understanding, he was overruled by the other on-ice officials and a video replay confirmed what the other officials said. Either that, or a video review overturned the original call of no goal despite the replays not seeming to be conclusive.

Regardless, the goal counted, and Patrick Eaves failed to score on his chance and Dallas won the game, 3-2, overcoming an early 2-0 deficit. Brad Richards and Loui Eriksson scored for the Stars, who got 26 saves from Alex Auld.

Brian Rafalski and Todd Bertuzzi had Detroit's regulation goals.

Worth the wait
It took a while, in more ways than one, but the improbable has happened: Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro has returned to the "Win" column.

DiPietro, making his first home appearance in over a year, stopped 31 shots and Patrick Kaleta in the eighth round of the shootout to lead New York past Buffalo, 3-2. It was the former Team USA goalie's first victory since Dec. 26, 2008, when he made 28 saves to defeat Toronto, 4-1.

John Tavares and Sean Bergenheim staked DiPietro to a 2-0 lead before Mike Grier and Drew Stafford countered for the Sabres. For Tavares, it was his first goal since Dec. 23 and just his second since Dec. 9.

Trent Hunter was one of three Islanders to score in the shootout. His was the deciding tally.

The bad news? DiPietro's three-game assists streak, spread out over three calendar years, was snapped. For shame, Ricky. For. SHAME.

Stars of the night
--Jonathan Toews scored two power play goals in the third period and added an assist, Patrick Kane posted three helpers and Chicago squeaked by Columbus, 6-5. Rick Nash scored twice, breaking an 11-game goalless streak, and Kristian Huselius had a goal and two assists for the BJs.
--Craig Anderson made 37 saves and Colorado knocked off New Jersey, 3-1.
--Dustin Brown scored once in regulation and again in the shootout to lead Los Angeles to a 4-3 comeback victory over Boston. The Kings trailed 3-1 going into the third before goals by Brown and Anze Kopitar, who also scored in the shootout.
--Devin Setoguchi found the back of the net twice, Patrick Marleau did so for the 32nd time, and San Jose doubled up Edmonton, 4-2.
--Daniel Alfredsson had a goal and two assists in his return to the lineup to carry Ottawa past Montreal, 4-2. Benoit Pouliot scored his eighth for Montreal.
--Tomas Vokoun made 47 saves, Cory Stillman scored twice with an assist and Rostislav Olesz also had two goals for Florida in a 5-2 win over Tampa Bay.
--Ilya Kovalchuk scored a tiebreaking goal less than a minute after that tie was forced, and also had one assist, and Atlanta recovered to defeat Carolina, 5-3, and spoiling Jussi Jokinen's two-goal, three-point night.
--Roman Polak had a goal and assist to help St. Louis earn another home win, this one a 4-1 victory over the Rangers.
--Ed Jovanovski's four assists and Petr Prucha's two goals carried Phoenix past Minnesota, 6-4, despite Guillaume Latrendresse's first career hat trick.
--NHL scoring leader Henrik Sedin had a goal and two assists for Vancouver in a 6-2 walloping of Pittsburgh, which was forced to turn to junior goalie Alexander Pechurski, who was signed to a one-day amateur tryout contract, doesn't speak a word of English and whose name might be Pechursky. That's how unknown this guy is. He's 19 years old and was the backup because of injuries to regular goalies Marc-Andre Fleury and Brent Johnson, and was put into the game after third-stringer John Curry was hung out to dry and was the victim of some weird bounces.

Pechurski, who played in a WHL game Friday, was even named the third star after making 12 saves and allowing one goal which he was helpless on. He wore Fleury's pads during the game because his junior pads don't meet NHL criteria ("No, it wasn't comfortable," he said through a translator) and had a generic, all-white mask that had several Penguins decals on it.

Pat Quinn-ism of the night
"... if you play with a little bit of fear you are really in trouble."

Stat of the night
7 - Losses when leading after two periods for Columbus

Quote of the night
"I was trying not to cry on the ice. That's the one thing I told myself. I wouldn't cry. It's an emotional time for me. It's been a long time coming, been a rough road. Just to get the win was amazing."

Notable games
Sunday, Jan. 17 (4 games)
-Chicago (33-11-4) at Detroit (24-16-7), 12:30 p.m. ET.

-Philadelphia (23-20-3) at Washington (29-12-6), 3 p.m.

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