Friday, October 22, 2010

Backups to the rescue

What do struggling teams do when they're, well, struggling? Sure, replace the goalie. Seemed to work for a few teams.

--Two first-period goals but mainly 40 saves from Curtis McElhinney, making his first start of the season, helped Anaheim knock off Philadelphia, 3-2. Ryan Getzlaf scored with 1:46 left in the third to snap a 2-2 tie.
--Also starting for the first time was Rangers backup Martin Biron, and he responded by stopping 24 shots and earning First Star honors as New York handed Toronto its first regulation loss of the season, 2-1.
--Antero Niittymaki made his first start since the second game of the season, and aided by Joe Pavelski's two goals, guided San Jose past Colorado, 4-2. Niittymaki made 29 saves.

So nice he did it twice
I don't know what got into Boston goalie Tim Thomas, but the Bruins are loving it. For the second straight game, Thomas held high-powered Washington to one goal, making 38 saves as the Bruins earned a 4-1 victory. Boston's power play went 3-for-4.

Thomas has now allowed just three goals in four games, stopping 133 of 136 shots, including 73 of 75 against Washington.

What's up with all the 4-2 scores?
Counting the above San Jose game, four of 11 games Thursday ended in a 4-2 score.

--Jimmy Howard made 34 saves, Johan Franzen scored in his return to the lineup and Detroit defeated Calgary, 4-2. Mikael Backlund scored twice for the Flames.
--Kyle Brodziak scored twice in the game's opening 5:34 and Minnesota beat the Oilers, 4-2. Niklas Backstrom stopped 34 shots.
--Lee Stempniak hadn't scored in four games for Phoenix but fixed that by netting a hat trick in the Coyotes' 4-2 win over Los Angeles. Ed Jovanovski had three assists and Ilya Bryzgalov made 28 saves.

Working late
--Matt Moulson scored just under two minutes into overtime and the Islanders improved to 4-1-2 after a 3-2 victory over Tampa Bay. Rick DiPietro made 28 saves.
--Kris Letang capped a three-point night by scoring late in overtime and lifting Pittsburgh over Nashville, 4-3. Sidney Crosby also had three points, scoring twice.

Not dead yet
Given New Jersey's struggling offense, the only way the Devils can win games is if Martin Brodeur pitches a shutout. Well, 29 saves and no goals later, New Jersey offed Montreal, 3-0, behind goals by Zach Parise, Jason Arnott and Matt Taormina.

Speaking of shutouts
Tomas Vokoun's scoreless streak ended badly, giving up four goals and being replaced after two periods as Dallas beat Florida, 4-1. The Stars are now 5-1-0 on the season. Tom Wandell scored twice and Kari Lehtonen stopped 27 shots, giving up just Stephen Weiss's goal with 3:06 left in the third period.

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