Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Caps grind down Devils; Quick blanks Avs

Devils continue to suck as muckers run amok
Hey, that kind of rhymed. That was inadvertent.

Anyway, New Jersey's season continues its downward spiral by letting Washington's role players wreak havoc in a 5-1 Capitals rout. Washington's first three goals came by noted goal scorers Andrew Gordon (the first of his career), Jay Beagle (his first of the season and second in 14 career games) and Jason Chimera, whose career-high for goals in a season is 17.

Atta Devils! Atta Martin Brodeur.

John Carlson had a goal and assist and Mike Knuble also scored for the Caps. Gordon added an assist and Michal Neuvirth made 35 saves.

That's the funny thing. New Jersey out-shot the Caps, 36-28. A good showing again.

Quick, Kings shut down potent Avalanche
Currently cracking up over the Stargate SG-1 episode "Urgo" so no clever lead-in to this game. Just the facts, ma'am.

Los Angeles held Colorado, the league's top scoring offense, to 23 shots, with Jonathan Quick stopping each one, and Dustin Brown recorded four points as the Kings easily handled the Avalanche, 5-0.

Brown scored twice and set up two others. Rob Scuderi scored his first goal as a King, his first goal in 108 games, and also had an assist. Drew Doughty posted two helpers and Brad Richardson and Justin Williams each had a goal.

Coming back to Earth
Well, after a nifty win in Boston, the Ducks were flying fairly high. It didn't take long for them to come crashing back down.

Buffalo scored three first-period goals, out-shooting visiting Anaheim 17-4 in the opening frame, en route to a comfortable 5-2 victory. Two of the Sabres' early goals were on the power play. Tyler Ennis scored twice, Drew Stafford and Nathan Gerbe scored and Craig Rivet had a goal and assist. Derek Roy and Jordan Leopold each had two assists.

Ryan Miller made 21 saves, allowing two power play goals to Corey Perry. Teemu Selanne assisted on both goals.

Yeah, this was expected
Surging Atlanta or tumbling St. Louis? Yeah, I'd have picked the Blues to win too. *eye roll*

Alex Pietrangelo's goal early in the third period proved to be the game-winner as St. Louis got three goals past Atlanta backup Chris Mason to earn a 4-2 victory. Vladimir Sobotka added an empty net goal. Both players also had one assist.

Brad Boyes and Alexander Steen also scored for the Blues, who got 37 saves from Ty Conklin.

More bang for their buck
Dallas didn't get many shots on goal against Montreal but made them count.

The Stars, despite having only 17 shots on goal, got goals from five different players and knocked off Montreal, 5-2. Loui Eriksson had a goal and assist. Jamie Benn, Adam Burish, Brad Richards and Karlis Skratins each scored. Stephane Robidas tallied three assists and Steve Ott two. Kari Lehtonen made 27 saves.

Mathieu Darche and Brian Gionta scored for the Canadiens.

The bottom-feeders
--Mathieu Garon made 29 saves and Columbus defeated Calgary, 3-1. Jakub Voracek, Jared Boll and Rostislav Klesla scored for the Blue Jackets.
--Logan Couture and Dan Boyle scored, helping San Jose down Edmonton, 2-1. Antero Niittymaki came within 1:59 of a shutout before allowing a goal to Dustin Penner. He finished with 29 saves.

Thoughts
--Poor Ryan Whitney. He has 25 points but they're all assists after having Tuesday's goal taken from him and credited to Penner. TV replays showed him saying, "Oh my God" after apparently scoring, finally.

--Probably time to take the Stars for real, eh?

--Garon continues to impress for Columbus. If the Blue Jackets want to make the playoffs, they're going to have to ride him for a while. He gives them a chance to win each night. Steve Mason is a 50-50 proposition at best.

--I just did the math. If the Devils win 70 percent of their remaining games, they'll finish with about 88 points, which was good enough for two teams in the East to qualify for the playoffs last season. Considering New Jersey has won 27 percent of its games so far, things are looking, well, let's just say bleak.

--One wonders how much a healthy Zach Parise would've changed New Jersey's season. By the time he returns, sometime in February, the Devils' season is likely to be all but over.

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