Saturday, January 30, 2010

NHL Recap 1-29-10: Devils escape; Preds fading

It took longer, but New Jersey back on track
Two-goal third period lead. Martin Brodeur in goal. Against Toronto. No way that lead's falling, right?

Not quite. The Maple Leafs scored twice in the final five minutes to force a 4-4 tie, but Travis Zajac's power play goal late in overtime allowed New Jersey to escape with a 5-4 victory. Zajac also had three assists for a four-point night.

Zach Parise's pass set up Zajac's one-timer and the winger also scored two goals. Dainius Zubrus had a goal and two assists and Patrick Davis scored his first NHL goal for the Devils, who had lost two straight and were 2-5-1 in their last eight. Brodeur finished with 25 saves.

Alexei Ponikarovsky scored his 19th goal and helped set up Matt Stajan's equalizing goal in the third period, and the Maple Leafs also got goals from Carl Gunnarsson - his first in the NHL - and Colton Orr.

Red Wings benefit from Nashville's skid
I can remember writing that the Predators were competing for the fourth spot in the Western Conference. Now they're barely clinging onto eighth.

Jimmy Howard made 46 saves in a nice bounceback effort and Detroit hung on for a 4-2 victory over Nashville that puts the Red Wings even with the Predators at 61 points, one more than No. 9 Calgary.

Howard had conceded 14 goals in his previous four starts but it was a save he didn't need to make that changed the fortune of this one. Nashville's Cal O'Reilly rang a shot off the crossbar from six feet away with a completely wide-open cage available with the Predators trailing 3-2, and Henrik Zetterberg scored a few minutes later to double Detroit's lead.

Jason Williams, Nicklas Lidstrom and Drew Miller also scored for the Red Wings. Pavel Datsyuk and Valtteri Filppula had two assists each.

Francis Bouillon and Shea Weber scored for Nashville, which is on a five-game losing streak, all in regulation and all by one or two goals.

Stars of the night
--Mike Knuble had two goals and an assist, Michael Neuvirth made 35 saves and Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and two helpers in Washington's 4-1 win over Florida.
--Ryan Miller made 30 saves and Buffalo held off Boston, 2-1.
--James Wisniewski's power play goal tied the score at 1-1, then his shootout goal gave Anaheim a 2-1 win over Tampa Bay. Jonas Hiller made 30 saves.
--Mike Modano scored two goals, including the game-winner, for Dallas in a 3-2 win over Colorado.

Stat of the night
8 - In eight days, New Jersey and Toronto will play three times.

Quotes of the night
"Miracles happen."
Anaheim right winger Teemu Selanne, on Wisniewski's shootout winner

"Thanks Teemu. I would say something else, but you have 595 goals."
Wisniewski's response

Notable games
Saturday, Jan. 30 (10 games)
-Edmonton (16-30-6) at Calgary (26-20-8), 10 p.m. ET. Whose losing streak ends, Calgary's nine-gamer or Edmonton's 12? Also, can the Oilers win their first - and only - game in January?

-Minnesota (27-23-4) at San Jose (35-10-9), 10:30 p.m. Two hot teams with the Sharks trying to maintain first in the NHL and the Wild trying to get to within a point of the playoffs, depending on other results.

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