Sunday, March 7, 2010

NHL Recap 3-6-10: Stewart powers Avs; Sharks crack Mason

Hat trick, assist from Stewart leads Colorado
One player who has stepped up in a big way for Colorado this season is Chris Stewart. If his name isn't known yet in NHL circles, it probably won't take long.

Stewart's first career hat trick, capped off with a penalty shot goal, and assist powered Colorado to a 7-3 rout over St. Louis. A budding power forward who will thrown down the gloves if necessary, Stewart now has 24 goals and 51 points on the season.

Milan Hejduk scored twice for Colorado, which also got goals from T.J. Galiardi and Matt Hendricks into an empty net. (Yeah, St. Louis pulled its goalie down by three. Puzzling.) Galiardi also had two assists, as did Paul Stastny, Wojtek Wolski and Ryan Wilson. Craig Anderson made 39 saves.

Alexander Steen scored twice and David Perron once for the Blues. Chris Mason was pulled after giving up four goals.

Third period rally lifts San Jose past Columbus
Steve Mason was working on a second straight shutout over San Jose. But the persistent Sharks wouldn't let that happen.

San Jose fired 44 pucks on Mason and two goals in the third period gave the Sharks a 2-1 win over Columbus. Dany Heatley scored his 16th power play goal eight minutes into the third to tie the score, then Joe Pavelski took advantage of a chaotic scene around Mason's net to fire home the eventual winner with just 4:40 to play.

Mason finished with 42 saves. Evgeni Nabokov made 21, allowing just Andrew Murray's goal.

The 40 Club
--Steven Stamkos scored two goals, including a highlight-reel one, to become the third NHL player this season to reach the 40-goal mark in Tampa Bay's 6-2 victory over Atlanta. He had an assist in addition to goals 39 and 40 and Martin St. Louis posted a goal and two assists.
--Sidney Crosby scored twice, once shorthanded, to give him a league-best 44 goals and added an assist as Pittsburgh doubled up Dallas, 6-3. Alexei Ponikarovsky scored in his Penguins debut.

Clean sheets
--Jose Theodore made 30 saves and Washington blanked the Rangers, 2-0. Erics Fehr and Belanger scored for the Caps.
--Ilya Bryzgalov fended off 32 shots, Wojtek Wolski had a goal and assist and Phoenix shut out Anaheim, 4-0. Bryzgalov set a franchise record with his 34th win and moved into a tie for the league lead with his seventh shutout.

Costly loss
A victory would've returned first place in the Northeast Division to Ottawa. Instead, a 2-1 shootout loss to Toronto leaves the Senators tied with Buffalo, which has three games in hand. Phil Kessel scored in regulation and the shootout and Jonas Gustavsson made 22 saves.

One not dead yet, one in critical condition
Tomas Vokoun's 31 saves and two goals by Kamil Kreps gave Florida a 4-1 win over Carolina, snapping the Hurricanes' seven-game win streak. Bryan McCabe had three assists for the Panthers, who are six points out of a playoff spot. Carolina falls nine points back.

Hangin' on
--Tim Thomas made 37 saves and Boston held on to defeat the Islanders, 3-2. The Bruins are seventh.
--Benoit Pouliot and Brian Gionta each had a goal and assist and Montreal sits eighth in the East after a 4-2 win over Los Angeles.

Stat of the night
10 - Michael Cammalleri missed his 10th straight game for Montreal. He is the 10th Canadien to miss at least 10 consecutive games this season.

Quote of the night
"He was actually gloating about that pass."
A laughing Boston coach Claude Julien, talking about Patrice Bergeron's shot that caromed off the glass behind the New York net that led to teammate Marc Savard's goal.

Notable games
Sunday, March 7 (9 games)
-Detroit (30-22-12) at Chicago (43-16-5), 12:30 p.m. ET, NBC. This should've been a game to help decide the division title. Now the Red Wings are clinging to their playoff lives but are again a dangerous opponent.

-Calgary (31-24-9) at Minnesota (31-27-5), 3 p.m. The Flames seek revenge for being blanked at home as the Wild's push continues.

-Vancouver (39-23-2) at Nashville (35-24-5), 3 p.m. At this point, it's fun to watch and see which Canucks team shows up, the one that gets blown out or the one that does the blowing out. Plus the Predators try to create some separation in the standings.

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