Friday, January 29, 2010

NHL Recap 1-28-10: 'Canes figuring it out; Hawks rule the bay

But is it enough?
It took a couple months. OK, more like a few months. Several months. But Carolina seems to have rediscovered its form that got the team to the conference semifinals. However, the hole the Hurricanes dug for themselves is big enough that it might not matter.

Matt Cullen and Eric Staal had a goal and assist each and Carolina earned its third straight win and fourth in its last five, 4-1 over the Islanders.

Cullen and Staal struck in the first period before Stephane Yelle gave Carolina a 3-0 lead on a shorthanded goal in the third period. Matt Moulson ruined Cam Ward's shutout bid with 4:31 remaining, then Jussi Jokinen's empty netter closed out the scoring. Ward finished with 26 saves.

Despite the recent splurge of points, Carolina is still last in the Eastern Conference and 12 points out of the No. 8 spot with 29 games remaining.

Fast start, slow collapse, strong finish
That's the recipe Chicago used to win its third game of the season against San Jose and take the season series. Here's hoping they meet in the playoffs.

The Blackhawks jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead only to see San Jose slowly whittle the lead down until the Sharks forced overtime, but Troy Brouwer's second goal of the game gave Chicago a 4-3 win.

Dustin Byfuglien and Brouwer scored 48 seconds apart early in the first period, then Andrew Ladd made it 3-0 less than three minutes later. San Jose weathered the storm and Joe Pavelski's goal before the period ended got the Sharks back into the game. Pavelski scored again in the second period, then Manny Malhotra tipped Rob Blake's shot for the tying goal five minutes into the third.

After the tying goal though, Chicago grabbed momentum back and dictated the pace from there, and eventually it paid off in the form of Brouwer's winner. Cristobal Huet made 34 saves. Evgeni Nabokov had 35 for San Jose.

Stars of the night
--Jim Slater scored two goals, including the go-ahead tally with 6:32 to play, and Atlanta erased a 3-1 deficit by scoring thrice in the third period and knocking off Philadelphia, 4-3.
--Brian Elliott made 30 saves and Ottawa tied its franchise record with its eighth straight win, 4-1 over Pittsburgh.
--Anze Kopitar scored twice, his 100th and 101st of his career, and Jon Quick stopped 29 shots - seven in the game's first 50 seconds - to lead Los Angeles past Columbus, 4-1.
--Josh Harding gritted out a 29-save shutout, his first of the season, and Martin Havlat's goal was the only one in Minnesota's 1-0 win over Colorado.
--Phoenix blew a 2-0 lead but rebounded to defeat Calgary, 3-2 in a shootout, getting 24 saves from Ilya Bryzgalov and tiebreaker goals by Robert Lang and Lauri Korpikoski.
--Chris Mason stopped 24 shots and St. Louis edged Edmonton, 2-1, for the Oilers' 12th straight loss and 19th in the last 20. Edmonton has one more game in January and must win it to avoid going winless for the month. The Oilers play the Flames, who have lost nine straight. Someone's streak will end.

Pat Quinn-ism of the night
"We only give up that one shot and it happens to be a goal. It's those types of situations that have prolonged this. There isn't a soul in our room that doesn't hate this. You'd almost think the odds would eventually work in your favor."

St. Louis had one shot in the third period. It was Alexander Steen's go-ahead goal.

Stat of the night
31 - Wins for Phoenix in 54 games, the fastest the franchise has reached that mark in its 30-year history

Quote of the night
"The mistakes we made the first 5 minutes of the game, that's not a characteristic of ours and is unacceptable. Yeah we fought back and we are proud of that but you're not going to win many games against good teams in this league with that kind of start."
San Jose coach Todd McLellan

Notable games
Friday, Jan. 29 (6 games)
-Nashville (29-20-3) at Detroit (25-19-9), 7:30 p.m. ET. After a nice spell for a while, the Predators are hanging onto a playoff spot. The Red Wings try to claw their way back in.

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