Friday, November 12, 2010

Thursday: The good get better, the worst get worse

Well, I can remember writing that there were some pretty good goaltending performances of late. Not Thursday. Well, there were some. But there were a lot of big offensive games too.

The growing powers
--Jeff Carter netted a hat trick and Danny Briere potted two goals with an assist as Philadelphia blew past the Hurricanes, 8-1. Sergei "Bob" (dumbest nickname ever) Bobrovsky made 35 saves.
--Instead of Stamkos v. Ovechkin, it was Alexander Semin who stole the show, tallying a hat trick and two helpers as Washington doubled up Tampa Bay, 6-3.
--Dan Cleary and Tomas Holmstrom each scored twice as Detroit routed Edmonton, 6-2. Jimmy Howard made 23 saves.
--Power play goals by Justin Williams and Jack Johnson in the third period broke a 1-1 tie and Los Angeles edged Dallas, 3-1. Jon Quick made 27 saves.

Extra hockey
--Artem Anisimov's second goal of the game came early in overtime and the Rangers dealt Buffalo another loss, 3-2. Martin Biron made 29 saves for the win.
--J.P. Dumont scored with under seven minutes remaining in regulation to force overtime and Nashville knocked off St. Louis, 3-2 in a shootout. Pekka Rinne stopped 21 shots. The loss was the first at home for the Blues.
--Dwayne Roloson made 37 saves but Dan Boyle's power play strike and goal in the shootout gave San Jose a 2-1 win over the Islanders. Antero Niittymaki stopped 24 shots.

Kipa Jinx of the night
Remember how I said the Wild were playing well? Sorry about that.

Goals by noted sharpshooters Ben Eager and Jim Slater in the first period helped propel Atlanta past the Wild, 5-1. Fredrik Modin, Nik Antropov and Andrew Ladd also scored and Ondrej Pavelec made 32 saves for his first win of the year.

Remember when Martin Havlat was good? Me neither.

Penalty killing killed the Bruins
Boston entered the night with the league's top-ranked penalty killing unit at over 90 percent. It'll be a little lower now.

Montreal converted two of five power play chances, including rookie P.K. Subban's first goal, and knocked off Boston, 3-1. Carey Price made 34 saves. Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez also scored. Tuukka Rask made 38 saves.

And finally
Ryan Kesler scored twice, Daniel Sedin and Alex Burrows had a goal and assist each, Henrik Sedin posted two helpers, Roberto Luongo made 33 saves and Vancouver crushed Ottawa, 6-2.

--So much for the Lightning being a division title contender.

--Early struggles aside, Philadelphia and Washington are emerging along with Los Angeles and Detroit as the league's top four teams. The Blues are in the conversation, probably fifth, but their staying power remains to be seen. Ditto Montreal.

--Vancouver's in the mix but needs to perform better on the road, Thursday's win excepted. Ditto the Bruins except for at home, where they're 2-3-1.

--Big win for the Predators, both because it was at St. Louis and simply two points. The season wasn't about to spiral out of control, thanks to Nashville's strong start, but the Preds needed to end that long losing streak.

--Not a good audition for Pascal Leclaire as he tries to win back the #1 job in Ottawa.

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