Sunday, November 28, 2010

Double the Patrick, double the good

Hawks edge Kings in Western duel
Patricks Kane and Sharp each had a goal and assist and Chicago held off a late Los Angeles charge to earn a 2-1 victory. Corey Crawford made 21 saves, allowing just a late 5-on-3 goal by Anze Kopitar.

The Kings' slide continues. They've lost three straight, scoring only four goals in those three games, and have dropped six of their last seven.

Mad hatter
Sidney Crosby completed his hat trick - including his 200th career goal - with a shorthanded empty net goal and Pittsburgh won its sixth straight game, 4-1 over Calgary. Brent Johnson made 30 saves and Kris Letang tallied three assists.

So close
Carey Price was just 73 seconds away from his fifth shutout of the season when Jordan Leopold's sneaky wrist shot got through traffic to ruin it, but Montreal still came away a 3-1 winner over Buffalo. Brian Gionta showed up, scoring twice and notching an assist and Andrei Kostitsyn had a goal and assist.

KiPA Call-out of the night
Remember when I wrote, "Mike Fisher might have a hot wife but he has only eight points" in the preview? Well, now Fisher has 11 points. You're welcome, Sens fans.

Fisher scored twice and set up a third as Ottawa earned a 3-0 victory over Toronto. Brian Elliott made 29 saves. Alexei Kovalev had a goal and assist and Milan Michalek recorded two helpers.

The Maple Leafs have scored 16 goals in 10 road games. It gets better when you learn that eight of those goals came in their first two road games, and they have a third game where they scored four. So in the other seven road games, they have four goals.

If you're a fan of Minnesota
Skip to the next section.

Greg Mauldin, who has played 15 NHL games spread out over three NHL seasons since debuting in 2003-04, scored twice and set up two others as Colorado smashed Minnesota, 7-4. In those first 15 games, Mauldin had one goal and two assists, all this season.

Kevin Shattenkirk had a goal and two assists and Milan Hejduk and Paul Stastny each had a goal and assist for the Avalanche. Peter Budaj made 28 saves.

Kyle Brodziak (two), Matt Cullen and Mittens scored for the Wild. Niklas Backstrom gave up all seven, seeing his GAA balloon from under 2.00 to 2.66 and his save percentage plummet from .938 to .916 in his last three games. Dear God.

If there's a silver lining for the Wild, it's this: Mauldin didn't get a hat trick and Chris Stewart screwed himself and his team when he gave all good players a valuable lesson in why not to fight after fracturing his hand on Brodziak's head.

The KiPA Good Call of the night
Streaks meant nothing as Anaheim ended both its six-game losing streak and Phoenix's seven-game winning streak by earning a 6-4 victory in Arizona. Bobby Ryan did the bulk of the damage, netting a hat trick as the Ducks turned a 3-1 deficit into a 6-3 lead. Ryan Getzlaf had four assists and Corey Perry notched three points, including his 11th goal which turned out to be the game-winner. Jonas Hiller made 30 saves.

How the hell did this happen?
Remember when Dallas lost three straight games and five out of seven at one point this month? The Stars are in first place in the Pacific Division now.

Kari Lehtonen stopped 35 shots and third-period goals by Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson lifted Dallas past St. Louis, 2-1. The loss was the Blues' first in regulation at home. With losses by Phoenix and Los Angeles, Dallas is atop the division.

Hanging on
San Jose seemed in full control before two Edmonton goals in 57 seconds late in the game made things interesting but the Sharks held on for a 4-3 victory. Dany Heatley had two goals and an assist and Antero Niittymaki made 22 saves.

In the shootout
--Goals by Jason Arnott and Travis Zajac in the bottom of the third and fourth rounds canceled Nikolay Zherdev's strike and New Jersey knocked off Philadelphia, 2-1. Johan Hedberg made 40 saves.
--Florida overcame both a 2-0 deficit and blowing a 3-2 third-period lead to upend Tampa Bay, 4-3, on Stephen Weiss' goal in the fourth round. Tomas Vokoun made 34 saves.
--Ryan Callahan scored with just under seven minutes left in regulation and the Rangers went on to earn a 2-1 win over Nashville. Erik Christensen had the only shootout goal and Henrik Lundqvist made 29 saves.

--I'm really liking how the Penguins are playing right now. Um, not to rub it in. They're on fire and looking very impressive. Still need guys who can finish though. These last couple of games could've gone easier.

--Which is it worse to be these days, an Islanders fan or a Leafs fan? Probably New York but it's close, isn't it?

--I threw my hands up trying to figure if Carolina was good or bad. Dallas has joined the list.

--The Blues did win three straight games a week ago, but they're still 3-6-1 in their last 10.

--I half-jokingly Tweeted asking if this was the game that would end Todd Richards' coaching career. I don't necessarily think he will or deserves to get canned but the Wild have had some pretty bad performances of late, haven't they? I know he doesn't have a whole lot to work with, but still...the season is turning rapidly ugly.

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