Wednesday, March 3, 2010

NHL Recap 3-2-10: Isles get key win; Olympic hangover

Hat trick spurs Isles' upset of Hawks
So Antti freaking Niemi was this close to completely wresting the No. 1 reins away from Cristobal Huet in Chicago's net. He made his fifth straight start for the Blackhawks. Then he gave up a hat trick to Blake Comeau. Yes, THAT Blake Comeau.

New York's four-goal second period, begun with Comeau's second and finished with his third, catapulted the Islanders to a 5-3 upset of Chicago for a sorely-needed win. The Islanders sit five points out of a playoff spot with time running out.

Dwayne Roloson made 41 saves for the Islanders, who got goals from Richard Park and Jon Sim.

Chicago is probably wondering about its goaltending. Niemi won the first four of his last five starts, but has given up 14 goals in his last four outings. He was pulled after giving up the first three Tuesday, and Huet surrendered the next two.

Patrick Kane had three points, including a goal, and Brian Campbell and Dustin Byfuglien also scored for the Blackhawks. Jonathan Toews had two assists.

Showing Olympic form not always a good thing
So, Martin Brodeur (Canada) and Evgeni Nabokov (Russia) didn't exactly have stellar performances in the Olympics. That trend is continuing into the NHL season.

Nabokov spotted New Jersey a four-goal lead before Brodeur allowed three goals in under three minutes in the third period, but the Devils hung on to defeat San Jose, 4-3.

Goals 35 seconds apart in the second period by Dainius Zubrus and Mark Fraser broke a scoreless tie, then Ilya Kovalchuk scored late in the period on a power play. Travis Zajac's goal turned the score into a laugher until Devin Setoguchi made things interesting.

His first goal broke the shutout bid with 11:14 to play in the third. Less than two minutes later, Setoguchi scored again on a power play. Joe Pavelski made it 4-3 just 57 seconds later. But that was it for the Sharks, who had only 20 shots on goal. Nabokov faced just 25 shots.

Nice debut
Dennis Grebeshkov had a goal and assist and was named the game's No. 1 star in his first game as a Predator. Nashville defeated Edmonton, 4-3.

--A goal and assist each by Glen Metropolit and Mathieu Darche spurred a four-goal third period and Montreal downed Boston, 4-1. Benoit Pouliot scored his 14th goal after missing five games with an injury.
--Rookie goalie Justin Peters continues to impress, making 32 saves in Carolina's 5-1 win over Toronto. Chad LaRose had a goal and two assists.
--Rich Peverley's goal and assist and Johan Hedberg's 34 saves lifted Atlanta over Florida, 4-2. Cheers for David Booth, who scored his first goal since Oct. 24 and added an assist.
--Alex Burrows scored and helped set up Christian Ehrhoff's overtime winner as Vancouver came back to defeat Columbus, 4-3. Grant Clitsome (giggle) had two assists for the, um, BJs. (Giggle.)
--Ryan Callahan's two goals spurred the Rangers' 4-1 win at Ottawa.
--Ruslan Fedotenko had a goal and assist for Pittsburgh in a 3-2 win over Buffalo.
--Four points from Mike Richards (one goal) and three each from Simon Gagne (two goals) and Claude Giroux (one) played the key roles in Philadelphia's 7-2 beatdown of Tampa Bay, which got two goals from Steven Stamkos.
--Alexander Frolov had a goal and two assists, Drew Doughty tallied three helpers and Jonathan Quick made 31 saves for Los Angeles in a 5-1 rout of Dallas.
--Chris Mason stopped 37 shots and St. Louis took it to Phoenix, 5-2.

Pat Quinn-ism of the night
"We've seen those a lot this year, we're not handling the front of the net. We don't get those kinds of goals at the other end. We're too busy with the drop passes and the lateral plays, all that pretty stuff that doesn't end up in the net."

Jason Arnott's winning goal deflected off an Oilers skate after Arnott threw it in front from behind the net.

Stats of the night
500, 5 - Stars goalie Marty Turco appeared in his 500th career game, becoming the 57th goalie to do so. He's only the fifth of those 57 to play all 500 with one team.

Quote of the night
"My stock rose, I guess. Maybe they can get a seventh-rounder for me now. A bag of pucks and a seventh-rounder. Are there still seven rounds?"

Bonus quote
"It was like the old Aqua Velva commercial -- the slap across the face and like, 'back to reality.'"
Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson on going from coaching Team USA to, well, the Maple Leafs

Notable games
Wednesday, March 3 (6 games)
-Washington (41-13-8) at Buffalo (33-19-9), 7 p.m. ET. Alex Ovechkin, et al, v. Ryan Miller.

-Vancouver (38-22-2) at Detroit (29-21-12), 7:30 p.m. A healthy Detroit team = scary.

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