Monday, October 25, 2010

Benching works, kind of; Sharks routed

Kovalchuk returns, scores, Devils still lose
Well, John MacLean returned Ilya Kovalchuk to New Jersey's lineup. It didn't matter.

Two second-period goals by Michal Roszival and Ryan Callahan proved to be enough for the Rangers, who defeated the Devils, 3-1, to drop New Jersey to 2-6-1. Kovalchuk scored with 5:52 remaining in the third period to cut the deficit in half but Henrik Lundqvist kept New Jersey off the scoreboard after that. Brandon Dubinsky scored an empty net goal with one second remaining.

New Jersey posted just 16 shots on goal through two periods but turned it on in the third, recording 12 to New York's five as the Rangers turned to defense to protect the lead. Lundqvist finished with 31 saves. Each of New York's goal scorers also had one assist.

Another shutout involving Calgary
That Antti Niemi signing is not working out for San Jose. The good news is it's only October.

Niemi gave up three goals on five shots in less than nine minutes and was pulled, and counterpart Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 27 San Jose shots to lead Calgary over the Sharks, 4-0. Rene Bourque might be turning into the next star, scoring two goals on the heels of his hat trick in his previous outing. Bourque's biggest obstacle on the road to greatness is injuries, having played an average of just 59 games over the last four seasons.

Jarome Iginla also found his way onto the scoresheet with his second goal of the year and Craig Conroy also scored. Alex Tanguay posted two assists.

Half of Calgary's eight games now have been shutouts: two for the Flames and two against. Calgary has won four of its last five.

Lindback holds back Lightning's storm
Get it? Light- never mind.

Nashville jumped out to a 4-1 lead over Tampa Bay, then had to prevent a late collapse in a 4-3 victory. Anders Lindback made 42 saves, including 14 in the third period. Tampa Bay scored twice in 57 seconds with under five minutes remaining but couldn't find the tying goal.

Sean Bergenheim staked the Lightning to a 1-0 lead before the Predators rattled off the next four goals, from Shea Weber, Sergei Kostitsyn, Cody Franson and Colin Wilson. Twelve different players recorded points for Nashville.

Adam Hall and Martin St. Louis also scored for the Lightning, whose goaltending woes (Dan Ellis made 22 saves) continue. Steven Stamkos was held to one assist and was also on the receiving end of a cross checking penalty into the boards that left him dazed.

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