Monday, December 13, 2010

Wackiness ensues on Sunday

OK, pop quiz: If I told you Washington would lose a game 7-0, then told you that a player would score a goal using a stick from a player on the other team (plus the stick was of the opposite handedness), which would you say was more likely to happen? Well, if you chose C) Both, congratulations, you are a winner!

Four-goal second period spurs Rangers' rout
Mark this date down: It's probably not too common that a city's hockey team out-scores its football team on a given day. Congratulations, New York!

The Rangers scored four times in the second period - three in a span of 3:31 in the first five minutes - and Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves as New York beat down Washington, 7-0. Factoring in Brandon Prust's goal late in the first period, New York scored five times in 6:33.

New York fired only 20 shots on Semyon Varlamov, who gave up all seven goals. The Rangers got them in a variety of ways. Artem Anisimov had an unassisted goal, Marian Gaborik scored on the power play, and Marc Staal made the score 5-0 with a shorthanded tally.

Ryan Callahan scored twice in the third period, once unassisted on a 2-on-1. Anisimov, Staal, Prust and Brandon Dubinsky each had a goal and assist, with Brian Boyle and Dan Girardi each getting two assists.

Notable from this one was Alex Ovechkin dropped the gloves with Dubinsky midway through the second period. The Capitals have now dropped six straight games.

I also feel like pointing out Boyle, a center, blocked seven shots in the game. That's an awful lot for a forward in one game.

The New York Jets, by the way, scored six points Sunday in losing to Miami.

Perry's first hat trick boosts Anaheim
I'm not sure what was more memorable from Anaheim's 6-2 rout of Minnesota: Corey Perry's first career hat trick or Bobby Ryan's rare achievement. I'm betting it was Ryan.

I don't remember how it happened, but Minnesota's Mikko Koivu lost his stick with the puck in Anaheim's end. Ryan, a right-handed shooter, literally had his stick ripped out of his hands by Koivu. Ryan then picked up Koivu's left-handed stick, then a rebound came to him and he one-timed the puck home for a 5-2 lead.

Earlier, Perry and Ryan Getzlaf each scored two goals, with one of Perry's being a shorthanded penalty shot. Perry completed his hat trick on the power play with 4:13 left in the game. He also had two assists, as did Ryan and Lubomir Visnovsky. Getzlaf finished with three points. Jonas Hiller made 20 saves.

Defensemen Brent Burns and Marek Zidlicky scored for the Wild. Koivu had two assists, presumably with his own stick.

No sweat for Vancouver
Where did all those good vibes go for Edmonton, who had won five of six games? Roberto Luongo didn't even work up a sweat against the Oilers.

Vancouver limited Edmonton to 12 shots on goal - one in the third period - in earning a 2-1 victory. Alex Burrows and Henrik Sedin both scored for the Canucks, who nearly went the entire third period without allowing a shot on goal. It wasn't until Jordan Eberle scored a rather meaningless - but shutout-ruining - power play goal with 4.5 seconds remaining that Edmonton got its first shot against Luongo in the third period. Luongo stopped the other 11.

Sedin had one assist and brother Daniel - did you know they were brothers? Rumor is they're twins - had two helpers.

--Ryan says he wasn't taunting Koivu after his goal, but it would've been effing awesome if he was.

--Excepting his two previous games, when he allowed only four total goals, does anyone have any theories on where Niklas Backstrom's game has gone? Did Russo make eye-contact with him again on game day? All of those game days?

--I don't expect it to happen, but Washington's slide opens the door for Tampa Bay, maybe even Atlanta, to claim the top spot in the Southeast Division.

--When it's all said and done though, the Caps will be fine and have a top-three seed.

--Anaheim's a tough team to get a read on, and most likely the Ducks aren't good and will miss the playoffs. But if they play more like they did Sunday - and play Minnesota another 30 times - then they'll be a dangerous team.

--I would not have guessed Perry didn't have a hat trick before Sunday.

--Egad, that was actually the second game in a row Edmonton had only one shot on goal in the third period. That calls for this.

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