Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Penguins extend streak; Sharks knock off Wings

Pittsburgh not pretty but gets 10th consecutive win
The Penguins have had finer efforts over the last month but managed to eke out another victory.

Sidney Crosby broke a 1-1 tie midway through the second period and also had an assist in Pittsburgh's 2-1 win over New Jersey. The Penguins have won 10 straight games and are 12-0-1 since a horrific third-period collapse in a 7-4 loss to Boston on Nov. 10. Pittsburgh has jumped to the top of the NHL standings.

Chris Kunitz also had a goal and assist and Marc-Andre Fleury fended off 27 shots to win his career-best ninth straight win.

The Devils got a power play goal from Brian Rolston but have lost four of their last five games, including three straight.

Sharks manage upset of Detroit
It's not been that good a year for San Jose. With a handful of exceptions, the Sharks have beaten the bad teams but aren't establishing themselves as a quality hockey team. Now they have a key win that maybe spurs their season on.

Two goals in eight seconds in the second period sparked San Jose to an eventual 5-2 victory in Detroit. The Sharks got two goals from Logan Couture, one coming eight seconds after teammate Niclas Wallin tied the score at 2-2.

Dany Heatley had a goal and assisted on Joe Thornton's shorthanded score for San Jose. Antti Niemi made 25 saves.

Johan Franzen and Tomas Holmstrom scored power play goals for Detroit. Brian Rafalski had two assists. Holmstrom also had an assist.

Working late
--In one of the big shockers of the season, Toronto scored three times in the third period, including twice in the final 2:23, and knocked off host Washington, 5-4 in a shootout. Clarke MacArthur scored twice and teammate Mikhail Grabovski had a goal, assist and the only shootout goal. Jonas Gustavsson made 32 saves.
--Zach Bogosian's strike midway through overtime gave Atlanta a 3-2 comeback win over Nashville. The Thrashers trailed 2-0 early before goals by Jim Slater and Andrew Ladd tied the score. Ondrej Pavelec made 27 saves.
--Rick Nash scored a power play goal with 47 seconds remaining in regulation and also tallied in the shootout to lead Columbus past Dallas, 3-2. Nash also had an assist. Mathieu Garon needed to make just 16 saves.

--Didn't think that was a good game by Pittsburgh. I guess it might've been expected after the easy victory Saturday to have a bit of a letdown. The Penguins didn't get their forecheck established and didn't really test Johan Hedberg, who did keep his team in the game. The power play was OK; it had solid attack zone time but didn't get any big scoring chances. Fleury was shaky. He battled the puck a lot, but made the saves he needed to. He was "good enough" rather than "good."

--Good bounceback effort by the Blue Jackets. After two embarrassing efforts, it was impressive holding Dallas to under 20 shots.

--Stunner by the Leafs.

--I forget who I saw say this, but the Thrashers don't really have any first-line talent but a bunch of second-liners. They're getting back to being impressive.

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