Before carrying on with any jokes or snarky comments, here's hoping nothing's wrong with Ondrej Pavelec, the Thrashers goalie who inexplicably collapsed just before a faceoff in the Atlanta-Washington game. Sounds like it was a sickening sight. I didn't see it, as I was working, but according to Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley, Pavelec is alert, in stable condition but will be held overnight at a hospital for observation.
Mason, Kane lead Atlanta past Washington
Pavelec didn't face a shot before his collapse, but his backup Chris Mason, despite allowing a quick goal upon his entrance, fended off Washington, making 29 saves as Atlanta perhaps rallied around its fallen goalie with a 4-2 victory.
Hot-shot stud-in-the-making Evander Kane scored twice, including on the first penalty shot of the season (sorry, Martin Havlat, should've been the second), and newcomers Fredrik Modin and Andrew Ladd also scored.
Brooks Laich and Mike Knuble scored for the Capitals.
Like I said, the Stars could be in for a long season
No one remembers I said that, right? Good.
Loui Eriksson's second goal of the game early in overtime finished off a Dallas comeback from deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 to shock New Jersey, 4-3. Usually a team gets behind against the Devils and it's lights out.
Instead, Brenden Morrow, Eriksson's first and Brad Richards scored to cancel tallies by Zach Parise, Travis Zajac and Jason Arnott. $100 million gets you two assists from Ilya Kovalchuk, which is what James Neal provided Dallas for about 5% of the price.
Applause to Kari Lehtonen, for making it through the game healthy. Oh, and he made 27 saves for the win.
Masonry not at its finest
Chris Mason good. Steve Mason bad.
Logan Couture's power play goal midway through the third period snapped a 2-2 tie, capping a series of poor penalty calls (there was no trip or dive earlier in the period, for instance, but two wrongs maybe made a right) and San Jose defeated Columbus, 3-2 in Sweden.
Mason stopped 25 shots but allowed a somewhat unforgivable goal 2:11 into the game to Torrey Mitchell on a wraparound. Joe Thornton scored a power play goal in his first game as Sharks captain but Kristian Huselius and R.J. Umberger scored within 15 seconds of each other before the first period ended to get the Blue Jackets even.
Antti Niemi made 30 saves.
Stop me if you've heard this before
But there were fisticuffs in a game involving Anaheim.
Not that that's surprising, since the Ducks stunk it up, managing only 21 shots on Jimmy Howard, who fended off each one in Detroit's 4-0 victory. Pavel Datsyuk had his first and probably last Gordie Howe hat trick (I'm assuming it's his first) and Daniel Cleary had a goal and helper for the Red Wings. Johan Franzen and Mike Modano also scored.
Props to Corey Perry, who got his fantasy owners 15 PIMs. Woo! (Also, PIMs is now a stupid fantasy stat, IMO.)
What else happened?
Well, Ryan Miller picked up where he left off, stopping 25 shots in support of Derek Roy's two goals as Buffalo defeated Ottawa, 2-1. Chris Kelly scored for the Senators, who got 34 saves from Pascal Leclaire.
Elsewhere, the Wild got hosed of a penalty shot in overtime in their 2-1 shootout loss to Carolina, in which Cam Ward made 41 saves. Niklas Backstrom fended off 36 shots. Tuomo Ruutu and Andrew Brunette scored in regulation and rookie Jeff Skinner had the only goal in the shootout.
At this point, I'm freaking beat. Bad mistake running up those bleacher steps at the end of the night. I think I strained something.