Sunday, February 7, 2010

NHL Recap 2-6-10: Ilya who?; Sens not Giggy with it

Who needs him?
With Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey is 1-1. Without Kovalchuk, Atlanta is 1-1. And Kovalchuk affected the end-game of both teams' recent contests.

Niclas Bergfors, one of the players traded for Kovalchuk, scored his first goal as a Thrasher with 4:26 left in the third period to snap a 2-2 tie in Atlanta's 4-2 win over Florida. Nik Antropov had three assists.

Heading up the coast to New York, Kovalchuk got tangled up with Sean Avery and both players received double minors for roughing. The Devils trailed by two at the time and there was just 2:15 left in regulation, so Kovalchuk wasn't on the ice for New Jersey's failed comeback attempt, and the Rangers knocked off the Devils, 3-1.

Henrik Lundqvist made 41 saves and Ryan Callahan had a goal and an assist.

Streaking Sens stopped hardcore
Ottawa's 11-game win streak had to end sometime. And it ended in historic fashion.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere became the first Toronto goalie to post shutouts in his first two games as a Maple Leaf, making 30 saves as Toronto stomped all over its Canadian friends, 5-0. Phil Kessel and Luke Schenn each picked up two goals and an assist.

Clean sheets
--Marty Turco made 34 saves, Jamie Benn scored twice and Dallas blanked Phoenix, 4-0. James Neal and Loui Eriksson each had a goal and assist.
--Buffalo's slide continues after Steve Mason's 28 saves led Columbus to a 4-0 win over the Sabres, who have lost four straight games in regulation. Jakub Voracek had three assists and Anton Stralman scored a goal and assist.
--Craig Anderson had little to do, needing to make just 20 saves in Colorado's 3-0 whitewash of Edmonton.

Working late
--Bob Luongo made 41 saves and Vancouver erased a 2-0 deficit to defeat Boston, 3-2 in a shootout, handing the Bruins their 10th straight loss. Pavol Demitra's first goal of the season tied the game late in regulation and he had the only goal in the tiebreaker.
--Andrej Meszaros snuck a shot through Miikka Kiprusoff early in overtime and Tampa defeated Calgary, 2-1.

In other action
--Brian Gionta's two goals and one assist powered Montreal past Pittsburgh, 5-3.
--Michal Handzus scored the game-winning goal with 2:21 left in the third, finishing with two goals and an assist, and Los Angeles erased a 3-0 first period deficit to stun Detroit, 4-3, for a club-record ninth straight win.
--Carolina goalie Justin Peters made 34 saves in his NHL debut and the Hurricanes downed the Islanders, 3-1.
--Antti freaking Niemi stopped 34 shots, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp had a goal and assist each and Chicago hung on to defeat St. Louis, 2-1.
--Dany Heatley's two goals and an assist helped San Jose edge Nashville, 4-3.
--Anton Khudobin stopped 38 shots in his first NHL start to earn his second win for Minnesota, who held off Philadelphia, 2-1.

Pat Quinn-ism of the night
"We compete well with some teams for a while then we disappear. As a coach you start thinking we should have 15, 16 more wins based on how we've played some nights, but we don't. That margin between winning and losing is eluding us right now. We find ways to lose, not ways to win."

That's all tonight. Internet's been flaky so signing off now.

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