Early deficit no problem for Chicago
If you want to beat Chicago, you're probably going to have to score at least five or six goals. Boston needed six. But it got only two.
The Bruins scored the game's first two goals only to see the Blackhawks strike for the next five en route to a 5-2 victory in Boston, Chicago's fifth straight win and all by a margin of at least three goals.
Blake Wheeler continued his impressive recent hot streak with a goal and an assist on teammate Miroslav Satan's first of the season in the first eight minutes, and Beantown was jumping. Goals by Duncan Keith and Tomas Kopecky equalized the score before the first period was over.
Andrew Ladd netted the eventual game-winner and Keith tallied his second of the game, chasing Tim Thomas. Patrick Kane extended his points streak to 10 with his 19th goal in the third and Antti freaking Niemi made 19 saves for the win.
Making things worse for Boston was it lost star center Marc Savard to an apparent knee injury. He was scheduled to have an MRI Friday.
Yeah, those reins have been passed
I've maintained that Chris Osgood is a good goalie. Certainly not in the conversation of Patrick Roy or Martin Brodeur, but he's no chopped liver either. He's not the best ever, just underrated. He's also old news in Detroit now.
Jimmy Howard stopped a career-best 51 shots, carrying Detroit to a 2-1 win over Los Angeles. Howard has started 22 of the past 28 Red Wings games. Osgood, by the way, needs four wins to reach 400, but those four won't come any time soon. Even if Howard still thinks that Howard is the backup.
Darren Helm scored with 18 seconds left in regulation for the winning margin after the Kings tied it on Ryan Smyth's power play goal with 4:22 remaining. Los Angeles didn't record another shot on goal after that.
Daniel Cleary also had a goal, with 0.2 showing on the first period clock, for Detroit in his return. Henrik Zetterberg also returned to the lineup, but Tomas Holmstrom was subsequently lost for three to four weeks with a foot injury.
Stars of the night
--Nicklas Backstrom had two goals and an assist and Alex Ovechkin scored his 27th with two helpers in Washington's 5-2 win over Ottawa.
--Johan Hedberg made 29 saves and Atlanta won a five-round shootout over the Rangers, 2-1.
--James van Riemsdyk and Jeff Carter had two goals each and Matt Carle had a goal and two assists to lead Philadelphia past Pittsburgh, 7-4. The Flyers are 6-1-1 in their past eight. Sidney Crosby scored twice, giving him 26 goals.
--Patric Hornqvist scored twice and added an assist and Nashville defeated Carolina, 4-2.
--Teammates Kristian Huselius and R.J. Umberger had a goal and assist each in Columbus' 4-2 win over Edmonton.
--Saku Koivu's two assists helped Anaheim double up St. Louis, 4-2.
--Jaroslav Halak continues to create a logjam in the Montreal net, making 38 saves in a 2-0 win over Florida. Benoit Pouliot scored his fourth goal in the last six games for the Canadiens and Brian Gionta had an empty-netter.
--Bob Luongo made 31 saves and Alex Burrows netted a second-straight hat trick to power Vancouver past Phoenix, 4-0. Henrik Sedin's three assists put him back on top the NHL leaderboard with 61 points.
Stat of the night
1986-87 - The year that a Canucks player last scored hat tricks in two straight games, when Petri Skriko pulled off the feat.
Quote of the night
"We're not playing like we have skill. We're not playing like we have drive and work ethic. We're not playing like we really care what our occupation is. And we're in 15th place."
Edmonton coach Pat Quinn. God I love him. He should always have a job as NHL head coach.
Friday, Jan. 8 (5 games)
Um. Ye gods. I suggest finding something else to do other than watch hockey on Friday. In four of the five games, the teams are separated by at least 14 points. The other is the Islanders (18-18-8) at Dallas (18-14-11) at 8:30 p.m. ET, which might be OK to watch to see John Tavares, though he hasn't just hit the rookie wall, he's careened into it at 70 MPH.
Oh, I know. Watch to see if Rick DiPietro makes it through his second straight game without suffering an injury. (Note: He just sat on the bench in the first game, but it's still notable that he's still healthy.)