Sunday, December 5, 2010

Leafs stun Bruins; Plenty of extra hockey

Bruins earn fall-from-ahead loss against Toronto
Boston was 42 seconds away from earning its third straight win. Toronto, with four straight losses, decided it was time to end its losing.

Kris Versteeg scored a power play goal to force overtime and the Maple Leafs went on to pick up a 3-2 shootout victory over Boston. Nazem Kadri and Phil Kessel both scored in the shootout for Toronto. Carl Gunnarson also scored in regulation for the Maple Leafs. Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 25 saves. Thomas finished with 38.

Double shutout, what does it mean?
We haven't had a dual shutout in a while so Buffalo and Ottawa decided to treat us to one. Ryan Miller (32 saves) and Brian Elliott (31 saves) put on a show, and even in the shootout, Thomas Vanek was the only person to get a puck past a goalie to give Buffalo a 1-0 victory. The Senators have lost three straight, having scored only one goal total in those games.

Must be the uniforms
I don't know in how many games Columbus has worn its third jersey, but I do know that in the last two, the Blue Jackets have lost by a combined 12-2 margin.

This is on the heels of Paul Martin and Sidney Crosby both scoring a pair of goals as Pittsburgh routed Columbus, 7-2. The Penguins led 4-0 inside of 16 minutes; Steve Mason didn't have a prayer. Kris Letang and Mark Letestu each posted two assists. Marc-Andre Fleury needed to make just 21 saves.

Pittsburgh has won nine straight; Columbus has now dropped five in a row.

Other late games
--Stephane Robidas scored a power play goal in overtime and Dallas squeaked past Minnesota, 4-3. Steve Ott had a goal and assist and Kari Lehtonen made 28 saves for the Stars.
--Scott Clemmensen's 40 saves and Michal Frolik's goals in regulation and shootout gave Florida a 2-1 win over Phoenix.
--Taylor Hall quickly ended Edmonton's 2-1 win over St. Louis, scoring 23 seconds into overtime. Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 31 shots.
--Anze Kopitar scored late in overtime and snapped Detroit's four-game winning streak. He also had an assist as Los Angeles came away a 3-2 victor. Justin Williams had a goal and assist and Jonathan Quick made 27 saves.

Not going away
We're still trying to figure out if the Thrashers are for real or not, but it appears their goalie is.

Ondrej Pavelec made 45 saves and Atlanta became just the second team to win a regulation game in Washington this season, 3-1. Rich Peverley and Andrew Ladd each had a goal and assist. Nik Antropov had two assists and Alexander Burmistrov scored.

Alex Ovechkin ended his nine-game goalless streak.

By the skin of their teeth
Two goals late in the third period gave Tampa Bay a seemingly comfortable 6-3 lead before a late surge by Colorado made things interesting, but the Lightning held on for a 6-5 win. Martin St. Louis and Simon Gagne each had a goal and two assists. Steven Stamkos somehow managed not to record a point. Dan Ellis had 19 saves for the win.

Out of the basement
Nashville's 5-2 win over Carolina, paired with the loss by St. Louis, meant the Predators climbed out of last place in the Central Division. Now the Blues, once the cream of the league, are in the basement and only four points ahead of the Flames and Oilers. Martin Erat had three assists as Nashville had five different goal scorers. Anders Lindback had 28 saves.

I can't think of anything interesting to say
--Carey Price made 26 saves in Montreal's 3-1 win over San Jose.
--Three goals in the third period allowed Philadelphia to get past New Jersey, 5-3. Mike Richards had a goal and assist and Jeff Carter tallied three points. Sergei Bobrovsky made 23 saves.

--I'm starting to think the Sharks won't get a chance to perform a standard playoff choke-job. They might not make it to the postseason. Or am I crazy?

--The funny thing about how bad the Senators are offensively is their power play is a respectable 12th in the NHL. Yet Ottawa ranks 27th in total offense.

--Does T.J. Oshie mean that much to the Blues? He must. His last game was Nov. 10; St. Louis was 9-2-2 at the time. Since he's been out of the lineup with an injury, the Blues are 3-7-2. It surely has to be something else though; Oshie has only one goal (back on Oct. 14) and 10 points.

--Maybe it has more to do with David Perron (five goals, seven points in 10 games) being out of the lineup since Nov. 4.

--Maybe it's both. Those are two of St. Louis' more talented individuals.

--Just like that, LA is back up to fourth in the West. Should be a fun playoff race and it's only December 5.

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