Thursday, January 21, 2010

NHL Recap 1-20-10: Hey, I was right; Living up to the pressure

Old school goalie duel
Go me. I said the Florida-New Jersey game should be a good goaltending affair, and it turns out even I'm right sometimes. Well, sort of.

Martin Brodeur stopped all 22 shots he faced and Tomas Vokoun only allowed one shot slip past him in New Jersey's 2-0 win over the Panthers. Travis Zajac scored late in the second period then Dean McAmmond scored a shorthanded empty net goal with less than a second to play for the Devils.

Brodeur wasn't tested much, as the Devils played a tight, defensive game, in earning his seventh shutout of the season and 108th of his career. And, naturally, he found another record to tie, becoming the second goalie, along with Patrick Roy, to have 13 seasons of 30 or more victories. Sheesh.

Vokoun made 30 saves. The win snapped Florida's three-game winning streak and ended New Jersey's three-game losing streak.

So far, so good
I'm sure that Montreal article calling Benoit Pouliot Montreal's next greatest center centre has already made its rounds among the Wild blogosphere. He's living up to the hype so far. Too bad his teammates aren't.

Pouliot scored a pair of goals, his ninth and 10th of the season, to help Montreal overcome a two-goal deficit, but Andy McDonald's goal in overtime gave St. Louis a 4-3 road victory.

Paul Kariya and Alexander Steen had a goal and assist each for the Blues, who led 2-0 and 3-1. Both times when they were ahead by two, Pouliot scored to cut the gap in half. Someone tied the game at 3-3 for the Canadiens with 33 seconds remaining in regulation. The box score says it was Mike Cammalleri, the AP recap says it was Scott Gomez.

David Perron had scored in the first period for St. Louis, which got 35 saves from Ty Conklin.

Carey Price made 24 saves for Montreal.

Of course, Pouliot's been listed as a left winger for Montreal, and was 0-1 on faceoffs, so I guess he's not really the next franchise center centre for the Habs.

Whatever they're called, they're also good
I don't really get the "brain eaters" or whatever nickname it is that Wild fans have for the Sedin twins. I do get that, in addition to whatever cuisine they enjoy, they're not all that bad as hockey players.

Henrik and Daniel Sedin combined for six points, with Daniel scoring the overtime winner on a power play, for Vancouver in a 3-2 comeback victory over Edmonton.

Sedin's goal came after teammate Sami Salo forced the extra period by tying the game at 2-2 on the power play with 4:06 remaining in regulation. Henrik Sedin had three assists and has a league-best 70 points, and Daniel had two. Alex Burrows also scored for the Canucks, who got 31 saves from Bob Luongo.

Sam Gagner and Sheldon Souray scored for the Oilers, who still managed to get two of the game's three stars, including the top two. It was Edmonton's ninth straight loss.

Stat of the night
80 - Percentage of effectiveness Devils coach Jacques Lemaire thought his team played at after out-shooting their opponent 32-22 and conceding almost no prime scoring chances

Pat Quinn-ism of the night
"You want me to get into my kids' inheritance again? It's not a good call. There's no penalty, no action that would warrant a call. But I am not wearing the black and white."

Quinn was asked about the overtime penalty on Denis Grebeshkov that led to the Sedin winner. What's funny is Gary Bettman was at the game.

Quote of the night
"I think he was trying to challenge me and I couldn't stop laughing. Whatever, if he wants to challenge me then we'll see what happens the next game we play but big [Montreal enforcer] Georges [Laraque] might be in the lineup for that one. Maybe I'll try to get a goal off him instead."
Blues enforcer Cam Janssen, discussing Price throwing punches at Janssen after the latter bowled over the former

Notable games
Thursday, Jan. 21 (13 games)
Good night of hockey.

-N.Y. Rangers (24-19-7) at Philadelphia (24-21-3), 7 p.m. ET. Two teams with suddenly high octane offenses.

-Washington (31-12-6) at Pittsburgh (31-19-1), 7:30 p.m. From the sound of things, 28 NHL teams should study what Detroit did on Tuesday to learn how to properly defend Alex Ovechkin - who was held without a shot on goal - and the rest of the Capitals. But the Penguins don't really play defense these days, so this game could be a slaughter.

-Nashville (29-17-3) at Phoenix (28-17-5), 9 p.m. Two teams the rest of us are still trying to figure out if they're for real or not.

-Chicago (34-12-4) at Calgary (26-18-6), 9:30 p.m. The funny thing is, if there is one team that could hand Calgary a worse loss than 9-1, it's Chicago.

-Anaheim (23-20-7) at San Jose (33-10-8), 10:30 p.m. The Ducks have beaten some good teams lately, and is a letdown after that 9-1 win coming?

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