Buffalo happy to be back East
After a trip out west that saw Buffalo go 1-3-1, the Sabres had to be happy being back home. Even if they had to face off against New Jersey, one of the best road teams in the league. But no problem there.
Ryan Miller made 39 saves during the run of play and another two in the shootout and Buffalo earned a 2-1 victory, snapping a four-game winless streak. Jochen Hecht and Jason Pominville scored in the tiebreaker for Buffalo, with Miller making saves on Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner.
Adam Mair scored his second goal in two games for the Sabres and Brian Rolston equalized for the Devils. Buffalo center Tim Connolly's 16-game points streak ended. Martin Brodeur made 30 saves.
I'm guessing they don't like each other...
I know Jean-Sebastien Giguere hasn't had a strong season. Or that he didn't have a strong 2008-09. But I have to wonder if something personal is going on here between Giguere and coach Randy Carlyle.
Giguere hasn't started a game since Jan. 3. So who does Carlyle choose to start against the league's best offense, on the road? Giguere, of course, not Jonas Hiller. About that...
Washington launched 49 shots on Giguere, and three goals in a span of 4:15 on consecutive shots to open the third period vaulted the Capitals to a 5-1 runaway. Giguere stood tall for a while, making 34 saves in the first 40 minutes - seriously - before the fateful third period. He was in for the duration and finished with 44 stops.
Alexander Semin scored twice, Alex Ovechkin had a goal and two assists, and Mike Knuble and Shaone Morrisonn had a goal and assist each. Dan Sexton scored for the Ducks, who shockingly gooned things up a bit in the third period. Michael Neuvirth made 30 saves for the win.
Stars of the night
--Eric Staal and Sergei Samsonov each scored twice, Cam Ward made 37 saves and Carolina routed the Rangers in New York, 5-1.
--Antero Niittymaki made 33 saves, Steve Downie had two assists and Vincent Lecavalier had a nifty goal and assist for Tampa Bay in a 3-0 win over Montreal. No word if Andrei Markov called out Carey Price again.
--Antti Miettinen had two goals and Minnesota took it to Detroit, 5-2. Pavel Datsyuk had a brace for the Red Wings.
--Loui Eriksson scored the only shootout goal and Dallas erased a 3-1 deficit to defeat Calgary, 4-3. Stephane Robidas had two assists for the Stars. Jarome Iginla broke his 11-game goalless streak and also had an assist.
--Mason Raymond had two goals to reach 20 for the season and Ryan Kesler had three assists in Vancouver's 3-2 win over St. Louis. The Canucks played their last home game until after the Olympic break. They will play eight road games before the break and six after.
Stat of the night
3 - Tampa Bay has its first three-game winning streak since January 2009. Holy monkeys. Coincidentally, the third win of their last streak was Jan. 27. Against Montreal. Eerie.
Quote of the night
"A hit a lot of times can be such a crowd-getter-into-er. (Pause.) That's not even English. You know what I'm talking about."
Caps coach Bruce Boudreau, who caught and laughed at his own words during the pause, talking about a hit by Ovechkin
Thursday, Jan. 28 (8 games)
-Ottawa (29-21-4) at Pittsburgh (33-20-1), 7 p.m. ET. Ottawa is on a seven-game win streak and is creeping up on Pittsburgh for the fourth spot in the East.
-Minnesota (26-23-4) at Colorado (30-15-6), 9 p.m. Wednesday's win over Detroit has the Wild creeping further up the standings. Big test against the Avalanche.
-Chicago (36-13-4) at San Jose (35-10-8), 10:30 p.m. Don't think I need to say anything about this one.