Thursday, February 4, 2010

NHL Recap 2-3-10: Sens move into Caps' neighborhood; Backes braces Blues

Move over, Washington
There's a new team in town with the mystical "10-0-0" in the "Last 10" category of your NHL standings.

Daniel Alfredsson scored two goals in the final minute of regulation to snap a 2-2 tie and Ottawa extended its franchise record with its 10th straight win, 4-2 over Buffalo, in a matchup of the top two teams in the Northeast Division.

The Senators are three points behind both Buffalo and Pittsburgh, who are in third and fourth place in the Eastern Conference respectively. Jason Spezza had a three-point night, including the game's first two goals. His second goal came with 14:01 remaining in the third period.

Buffalo rebounded by scoring two goals in 27 seconds, the first coming 1:18 after Spezza's second goal. Andrej Sekera and Tim Connolly got the Sabres even. Connolly also had an assist. But Alfredsson received a slap-pass from Erik Karlsson at the Buffalo doorstep, behind Ryan Miller, for an easy tap-in goal with one minute remaining. He added an empty netter shortly after.

Brian Elliott made 34 saves for Ottawa, tying a team record of eight straight wins.

Blackhawks singing the Blues
St. Louis is such a weird team this season. So bad at home but so good on the road.

David Backes scored two goals seven minutes apart and St. Louis knocked off Chicago in the United Center, 3-2. Chris Mason stopped 32 shots, including 13 in the third period.

Patrick Kane opened the scoring in the first period before the Blues struck three times in the second. Backes tied the score before putting St. Louis ahead with 1:31 to play in the second. Just 69 seconds later, Roman Polak picked off a Chicago pass and his shot was deflected home by teammate Jay McClement.

A real pretty play by Jonathan Toews shorthanded set up a slam dunk goal for Marian Hossa early in the third, but Mason held off the Blackhawks from there. The Blues are now 16-8-4 on the road but just 9-14-5 at home.

In other action
--Curtis Glencross netted his first career hat trick and Calgary defeated Carolina, 4-1. Matt Stajan scored his first goal in a Flames uniform and Miikka Kiprusoff made 27 saves.
--Jeff Deslauriers made 33 saves and Ryan Potulny's power play goal with 16.1 seconds left gave Edmonton a 1-0 win over Philadelphia.
--Anaheim is spending wisely. Jonas Hiller made 46 saves and the Ducks downed Detroit, 3-1. Bobby Ryan had a goal and assist, Ryan Getzlaf two helpers and Ryan Whitney a goal for Anaheim.

Pat Quinn-ism of the night
"I hate that call. We should be able to determine a deliberate move on that, but not an automatic. But our guys rallied and did a pretty good job there."

Oilers defenseman Alex Plante took a delay-of-game penalty when he shot the puck over the glass from his own end with five minutes remaining.

Stat of the night
.982 - Hiller's save percentage in his last three games, all wins (109 saves on 111 shots)

Quote of the night
"I was surprised, I didn't even know the goalie was out. I thought I just had a breakaway."
Glencross, on his hat trick goal, into an empty net

Notable games
Thursday, Feb. 4 (9 games)
-Vancouver (34-19-2) at Ottawa (32-21-4), 7:30 p.m. ET. Two good Canadian teams on hot streaks.

-Edmonton (18-31-6) at Minnesota (27-25-4), 8 p.m. The Wild may be down to their third- or fourth-string goalie, but the Oilers come to town. Can't get a much better opponent than that for the situation. Sure, they've won two straight. That just means they're due for another L.

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