Friday, March 12, 2010

NHL Recap 3-11-10: The Angry Edition

Seriously, few losses piss me off more than when the Penguins score two quick goals, enjoy a tremendous shot and territorial advantage, get a lot of scoring chances, particularly good ones, and somehow find a way to lose. Bonus points if the team played in overtime the previous night and the Penguins didn't. Both teams this blog roots for suck.

Stepping up
Patrice Bergeron scored a goal with two assists, Tuukka Rask made 31 saves and the Bruins downed Philadelphia, 5-1. David Krejci had a goal and an assist. Bergeron and Krejci both need to carry Boston's offense the rest of the way. The Bruins lead No. 9 New York by five points.

Clean sheets
--Craig Anderson made 27 saves and Paul Stastny scored twice to lead Colorado past Florida, 3-0.
--Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 33 shots and Calgary blanked Ottawa, 2-0, to keep pace with Detroit, a 5-1 winner over Minnesota behind two Johan Franzen goals and a goal and two assists by Henrik Zetterberg.

Not so clean sheet
Holy crap. Nashville took a 4-2 lead after two periods against San Jose, then promptly gave up six freaking goals in the final 20 minutes of a zany 8-5 San Jose victory. Joe Pavelski had two goals and two assists, Dany Heatley potted a pair of goals with one helper, and Manny Malhotra had three points including one goal for the Sharks. Patric Hornqvist and J.P. Dumont each had two goals for the Predators.

In overtime
--Brian Pothier's goal 23 seconds in allowed Carolina to squeak out a 4-3 victory over Pittsburgh, a game in which the Penguins led 2-0 less than six minutes in and out-shot Carolina, 40-21. Justin Peters made 37 saves. Ray "Penguin Killer" Whitney had a goal and assist as did Eric Staal.

--The future seems to look good for Toronto. Phil Kessel scored in overtime to give the Maple Leafs a 4-3 win over Tampa Bay. Viktor Stalberg scored twice, set up both times by Luca Caputi, and Tyler Bozak also had a goal for Toronto. Steven Stamkos scored his 42nd goal and had a helper for the Lightning, who aren't helping their playoff hopes.

In a shootout
--Andrei Kostitsyn scored the only tiebreaker goal in round five and Montreal got by Edmonton, 5-4. Sergei Kostitsyn had a goal and assist and Andrei Markov posted two helpers for the Canadiens.

--Chris Mason's 29 saves and shootout goals by T.J. Oshie and Brad "The only place I can score these days is in shootouts" Boyes gave St. Louis a 2-1 win over the Islanders. Fucking Matt Moulson scored for the Islanders after I benched him for Claude "No Points" Giroux.

With Tampa Bay's loss and Atlanta's 2-1 regulation loss to Columbus, Washington clinched the Southeast Division and didn't even need to play. What a piss-poor division. Kristian Huselius had a goal and assist and Mathieu Garon made 28 saves for the Blue Jackets.

Marquee matchup
Friday, March 12 (6 games)
Pittsburgh (40-22-5) at New Jersey (39-23-3), 7 p.m. ET. The Penguins can open a six-point division lead or the Devils can close to within two having won the first five matchups. Frankly I'll be stunned if this outcome is anything but New Jersey 5, Pittsburgh 0.

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