Saturday, January 23, 2010

NHL Recap 1-22-10: No-goal costs Preds; Dallas ekes out a rare road win

Tying goal waived off, Avalanche win by one
Nashville's flight from Colorado to Columbus won't be pleasant.

The Predators appeared to score the game-tying goal late in the third period on a power play only to have the goal immediately washed out and Patric Hornqvist sent to the penalty box for goaltender interference with 7:31 remaining. That helped the Avalanche hang on to defeat Nashville, 2-1.

There was definite contact between Hornqvist and Craig Anderson at the top of the crease. One of the 19 replays the Nashville telecast showed the rest of the game seemed to show Anderson's skate making the initial contact with Hornqvist's, but Hornqvist's elbow and shoulder appeared to knock Anderson, who made 29 saves, off-balance a second or two before the puck went into the net.

The opinion here is the goal should've been waived off but Hornqvist not given a penalty. That call has been made before.

Nashville also won't be happy with being shorthanded nine times in the game. Colorado scored both goals on the power play, with Matt Duchene scoring a 5-on-3 goal and Brandon Yip netting the game-winner.

Cody Franson scored Nashville's goal, also on a power play. The Predators were 1-for-5, getting another man-advantage in the final 21 seconds.

Stars find someone they can beat on the road... barely
Pop quiz: What is the significance of Nov. 18, 2009? Answer: The last road regulation win for Dallas. Until Friday. But the Stars nearly blew it.

Dallas twice held two-goal leads only to see Edmonton tie the score at 3-3 on Sam Gagner's second goal of the game with 1:02 left in regulation before James Neal pounced on a loose puck and slammed it past Devan Dubnyk with 23 seconds remaining to allow the Stars to escape with a 4-3 win.

Even then, it was a close call. The Oilers charged into the attacking zone and Marty Turco needed to make a big save off Dustin Penner with about five seconds remaining, though Penner might have kicked the puck.

Trevor Daley, Mike Modano and Jamie Benn also scored and Steve Ott had two assists for Dallas. Turco made 35 saves. Ryan Potulny had Edmonton's other goal and Penner picked up two assists.

Dallas had been 1-10-3 on the road since Nov. 18 when the Stars won in Joe Louis Arena of all places, 3-1. The one win after that was in a shootout over San Jose. Under the new math, that's a bad record.

This is Jacques Lemaire's team alright
Wild fans can maybe thank their lucky stars they have a new coach. Minnesota has shown it can score goals in bunches, especially when trailing in the third period. Right now, New Jersey can barely score at all. (See below for details.)

Mathieu Darche, veteran of 102 games over seven seasons, had a goal and an assist, and Jaroslav Halak made 31 saves as Montreal out-Deviled the Devils, 3-1. New Jersey has lost four of its last five games.

Zach Parise's 21st goal opened the scoring for the Devils but was canceled out by Benoit Pouliot's ninth goal with Montreal and 11th overall. Darche deflected Brian Gionta's shot for the eventual winner in the second period and Mike Cammalleri essentially sealed the win with his 24th goal of the season midway through the third period.

Pat Quinn-ism of the night
"That was a bad way to finish, for sure. It's disappointing. I hate it. I can't stand it. Tonight should have been a better feeling. It makes me sick to think of how we give games up.

"This started 13 or 14 games into the season, where we started finding ways not to win. They worked very hard to have a good result, and that's what makes this one so distasteful and so disappointing. I knew in my heart when we scored that late goal that we were going to win that hockey game. Unfortunately it didn't grab my heart, it grabbed my guts. We still haven't found a way to stop losing."

Stat of the night
10 - Number of goals past a goalie for New Jersey in its last eight games. The Devils, 3-5-0 in that stretch, scored more than two goals just once (three). One game was a 1-0 shootout win (thus zero goals in regulation/overtime) and one goal of a 2-0 win was into an empty net with one second left.

Quote of the night
"I looked at it again, and to me it's a good goal. At worst it's incidental contact and no penalty. But obviously I'm not a referee and there's not a whole hell of a lot I can do about it right now."
Predators coach Barry Trotz on the disallowed goal

Notable games
Saturday, Jan. 23 (12 games)
-Los Angeles (28-19-3) at Detroit (25-17-8), 7 p.m. ET. Two teams clinging to a playoff spot. Both are in right now (Kings No. 7, Wings 8) and if the playoffs started today, one of these teams would have Calgary's massive slump to thank for being in the postseason.

-Phoenix (29-17-5) at Washington (32-12-6), 7 p.m. Big test for the Coyotes' defensive system.

-Chicago (35-12-4) at Vancouver (30-18-2), 10 p.m. Playoff rematch between two of the current top teams in the West. The Canucks are an impressive 20-7-1 at home.

-Buffalo (30-12-7) at San Jose (34-10-8), 10:30 p.m. The Sabres are just 1-1-1 on their current West Coast trip, beating Phoenix, losing to Anaheim and then a shootout defeat to the Kings. The Sharks are 6-0-1 over their last seven to take over the NHL lead, though they've played one more game than the Blackhawks, who are two points behind.

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