Pavelec stymies Caps with shutout
The last time we saw Ondrej Pavelec start against Washington, he ended up fainting, suffered a concussion and was out of action for some time. Now he's joined Ryan Miller in a fairly exclusive club.
Pavelec became just the second goalie to shut out Washington since the start of the 2009-10 season, making 29 saves as Atlanta earned an impressive 5-0 victory. The Capitals hadn't been blanked since last Dec. 9, when Miller stopped 35 shots in a 3-0 victory.
The Thrashers used some of Washington's typical magic. They got an early goal from Ben Eager less than three minutes into the game, then later in the first period struck twice in 15 seconds on goals by Nik Antropov and Evander Kane. All three players also had an assist. Dustin Byfuglien and Alexander Burmistrov scored as well.
I'm not dead yet
Anyone else know the "Bring out your dead!" scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail? Just when we were about to put Jarome Iginla on the cart, he pipes up and claims he's not dead. Unfortunately I'm sure one of the Sutter boys or Olli Jokinen will club him back to suckdom.
Iginla netted a hat trick, doubling his goal total for the season in the process, and led Calgary to a 7-2 rout of Chicago. Iginla scored twice in the second period to turn a 2-1 Flames lead into 4-1. His third goal came with 1:50 remaining.
Miikka Kiprusoff made 31 saves. David Moss had a goal and two assists, Alex Tanguay posted three helpers, and Curtis Glencross, Niklas Hagman and Brendan Morrison each had a goal and assist.
OK, so I was way wrong
I theorized that Minnesota starting backup Jose Theodore against Detroit was basically waving a white flag of surrender. I might have miscalculated.
Theodore made 41 saves - apparently easy ones, since he wasn't one of the Three Stars - and John Madden scored late in overtime to give Minnesota a 4-3 comeback win over the Red Wings. Mikko Koivu scored with 1:23 to play to force the extra frame. Brent Burns and my boy Cal Clutterbuck also scored and Nick Schultz and Martin Havlat posted two assists each.
Craig Anderson returned to Colorado's lineup and stopped 25 shots as the Avalanche knocked off the Rangers, 5-1. Matt Duchene had a goal and two assists.
Back on track?
--After a rough go of things, St. Louis tightened up its game defensively, allowing only 20 shots through to Ty Conklin, who fended off 18 of them, and the Blues defeated Ottawa, 5-2. Patrik Berglund, Brad Boyes and Carlo Colaiacovo had a goal and assist each.
--Buffalo won its fifth game in the last seven thanks in large part to Ryan Miller's 34 saves against Los Angeles in a 4-2 win. Tim Connolly and Thomas Vanek had a goal and assist.
Steve Mason bounced back from a bad outing and stopped a whopping 47 shots as Columbus hung on to defeat Anaheim, 4-3. Chris freaking Clark and Mike Commodore had a goal and assist each for the Blue Jackets.
--Sidney Crosby had a goal, three assists and shootout goal to lift Pittsburgh to a 5-4 win over Carolina. The Hurricanes got Jussi Jokinen's second goal and fourth point of the night with 52 seconds left to force extra hockey. Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves, Chris Kunitz scored twice and Evgeni Malkin had three assists for Pittsburgh.
--In yet another late-tying goal-finish, Wojtek Wolski forced overtime by scoring with 35 seconds left and Phoenix defeated Edmonton in the shootout, 4-3. Radim Vrbata had a goal and two assists and Ray Whitney three helpers. Eric Belanger won the shootout in round five and Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 27 shots.
--I can't take Columbus seriously until that team gets more consistency, especially Mason. The BJs are starting to put the puck in the net more regularly but they'll go as Mason goes.
--I don't know what was more surprising Friday, the Wild winning in Detroit or Iginla scoring a goal, let alone three.
--OK, Atlanta blanking Washington is in the discussion too. The Capitals are nearly unbeatable at home but they're a bit different on the road.
--I met Alyssa Milano. Bam. Thank heaven the Penguins won though; crazy crap going on in the city nearly led to some road-rage incidents after. If they'd lost, especially after giving up that late goal, I might be in prison right now.
--Critical win for the Blues. Their season wasn't in danger of falling to pieces just yet but they needed to stop that horrid slide quick.
--Should we make anything of LA's 4-5-0 record on the road? They're like the Caps in that sense.
Minnesota beating Detroit surprised me because the skaters didn't seem interested in shooting during the 2nd period and in part of the 3rd. Theo had stolen the game against Detroit last year for the Caps, so I don't think the Wings thought starting him was running up the white flag.
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