Thursday, March 4, 2010

NHL Recap 3-3-10: Booth's Revenge; Persistent Blackhawks

Booth throttles Flyers
If I'm Florida coach Pete DeBoer or GM Randy Sexton, I wasn't too thrilled with what I saw Wednesday. At the same time, I was.

David Booth recorded a Gordie Howe Hat Trick, avenging his concussion by fighting Mike Richards less than three minutes into his first game against the Flyers since returning, and totaled four points in Florida's 7-4 victory over Philadelphia. Not sure it was a good idea for Booth to be in a position to receive blows to the head, even if he was looking for personal retribution (Bryan McCabe fought Richards last meeting) but...those four points suggest it wasn't a big deal.

Since it was a game involving Philadelphia, naturally there were multiple fights. The Booth-Richards tilt was actually the third of four. Reminder: It came not even three minutes into the game. Ian Laperriere and Gregory Campbell fought three seconds into the game, then two seconds later, Aaron Asham and Nick Tarnasky went mano-a-mano.

Asham and Tarnasky fought again late in the first period.

In between, Steve Reinprecht and Michael Frolik staked the Panthers to a 2-0 lead. Daniel Briere got the Flyers on the board in the second period before Booth scored in his second straight game. He added two assists in the period, in which Florida scored four times, including a second by Frolik.

James Garrison, Stephen Weiss and Bryan McCabe also scored for Florida. McCabe recorded three assists. Tomas Vokoun made 38 saves. Jeff Carter, Ville Leino and Ryan Parent had goals for the Flyers.

Try, try, try, try, try again
It took quite a while, but Chicago eventually cracked and knocked down the mighty wall known as Devan Dubnyk.

The Blackhawks launched 47 shots on Dubnyk but actually trailed 2-1 before four unanswered goals sparked a 5-2 victory over Edmonton.

Marian Hossa and Dave Bolland had a goal and assist each, and Patrick Kane helped set up two goals in the third period by Niklas Hjalmarsson and Dustin Byfuglien that put the Blackhawks ahead 4-2. Jonathan Toews added a goal late for his second point of the night. Duncan Keith had two assists.

Edmonton mustered just 14 shots on Cristobal Huet.

In other action
--Jeff Schultz had two assists, including one on Mike Green's tiebreaking goal halfway through the third period, and Washington edged Buffalo, 3-1. Ryan Miller made 37 saves and was basically left helpless in his first start since winning the silver medal.
--Ryan Kesler scored twice, Danrik Sedin had six points (all assists, three each) and Vancouver took it to Detroit, 6-3.
--Niklas Backstrom made 29 saves and Minnesota blanked Calgary, 4-0. If the Red Wings finish 8th, they owe Calgary a thank you card.
--Chris Stewart had a goal and two assists, Paul Stastny notched three helpers and Colorado beat Anaheim, 4-3. Peter Mueller scored in his debut for the Avs.

Pat Quinn-ism of the night
"We didn't put the puck at the net enough and once that turnover game starts going it accentuates with the players who were playing in the minors and still learning their craft."

The Oilers had four defensemen who were recently recalled from the AHL after the slew of trades Edmonton made.

Stat of the night
8 - Fights in the last two meetings between Florida and Philadelphia.

Quote of the night
"We were poor. We were poor in goal. We were poor in the back end. We were poor up front. We were poor in the work ethic department. The bottom line was we didn't look like a team that was dying to be in the playoffs tonight in anyway or shape of form."
Detroit coach Mike Babcock. I think the Red Wings had a poor game.

Notable games
Thursday, March 4 (9 games)
-St. Louis (29-25-9) at Dallas (28-22-12), 8:30 p.m. ET. A Stars win ties them with Detroit for eighth place. If the Blues win, they'll be a point back of Detroit.

-Colorado (31-26-6) at Phoenix (37-22-5), 9 p.m. Mueller and Wojtek Wolski face off against each other.

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