Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bruins roll again; Conference leaders not so much

Double trouble
Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand both scored a pair of goals, with Marchand adding two assists, and Boston routed Colorado, 6-2. Mark Recchi and Patrice Bergeron each scored once with two helpers. Tim Thomas made 32 saves. Kevin Shattenkirk led Colorado with a goal and assist.

Fallen titans
--Patrik Elias scored twice, once into an empty net, and New Jersey handed Philadelphia a rare regulation loss, 3-1. Johan Hedberg made 26 saves and Henrik Tallinder netted a goal and assist.
--Corey Crawford made 36 saves - 20 in the third period - and Tomas Kopecky had a pair of goals to lead Chicago past Detroit, 4-1.

Empty trick
Alex Ovechkin capped a hat trick with an empty net goal in Washington's 4-1 win over Toronto. Braden Holtby made 35 saves and Nicklas Backstrom posted two helpers. True fact: That was Ovechkin's first multi-goal game since OCTOBER 30. Wow. That was 38 games ago and just his third multi-goal outing of the season.

Special play
The Penguins figured out that to score without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, four skaters must be on the ice for at least one team. Dustin Jeffrey scored four-on-four, Mark Letestu netted a power play goal and a shorthanded goal by Pascal Dupuis proved to be the winner as Pittsburgh hung on to defeat Carolina, 3-2. Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves, conceding two late goals that made things interesting.

Getting it done late
Columbus scored three times in the third period, including two late strikes in the final 3:28, to leave St. Louis with a 5-2 victory. Five different Blue Jackets scored, including Rick Nash, and Derrick Brassard and Jakub Voracek both had two assists. Steve Mason made 19 saves.

Los Angeles let a 3-0 lead vanish but Jarret Stoll's goal early in the third period allowed the Kings to grab a 4-3 win over Phoenix. Jonathan Quick made 23 saves. Lee Stempniak scored twice for the Coyotes.

One-third of Devin Setoguchi's goals this season have come against Minnesota. Setoguchi scored twice, his first points since Jan. 1 (10 games ago), upping his goal total to nine as San Jose hung on to edge the Wild, 4-3. Patrick Marleau posted two assists and Antti Niemi made 23 saves. Mikko Koivu had a pair of power play goals and Brent Burns tallied three points, including a late goal, for Minnesota.

In the shootout
--Anaheim conceded two goals in the final four minutes, including the tying goal with 13 ticks to play, but still edged Montreal, 4-3. Bobby Ryan had a regulation goal and the only shootout tally and Jonas Hiller made 37 saves. Max Pacioretty scored twice for the Habs.
--Brian Boyle scored late in regulation and Mats Zuccarello's tiebreaker goal gave the Rangers a 3-2 win over Atlanta. Henrik Lundqvist made 20 saves.
--Calgary gave up a tying shorthanded goal and two strikes to Alexander Edler but got by Vancouver, 4-3. Alex Tanguay's shootout goal looked to be stopped by Roberto Luongo but roughly 80 percent of Luongo's body slid over the goal line and video review determined it was a goal after a no-goal call on the ice. Miikka Kiprusoff made 41 saves.

--If Boston has a legitimate offense, the Bruins will be somewhat scary come playoff time.

--Kind of a curious call in the Calgary-Vancouver game. Logic says Tanguay's shootout attempt was a goal but I for one never saw the puck relative to the goal line. The linesman dug the puck out of Luongo's pad, which was fully across the line but the officials declared it no goal. So I dunno. I think the call was correct but I'm not sure how they determined that it was.

--We don't hear much about Colorado's high-scoring offense these days, but the Avs sure give up a lot of goals too, don't they? Yet they want to add Peter Forsberg, not a defenseman. I get they lost Tomas Fleischmann but you have to stop the puck too.

--Know what I think? I think there's going to be some good teams left out of the Western playoff picture. Right now, it's the Avs and Kings. In a few days, it might be the Blackhawks and Sharks.

--I don't think the same will be true of the East.

--I guess we know why Detroit wanted Evgeni Nabokov. Jimmy Howard doesn't look like he'll get it done. Not that Nabokov's track record is much more impressive.

--And by the way, what were the Islanders thinking? Did they claim Nabokov just to screw Detroit? Not like New York's going anywhere, except maybe Kansas City or Quebec.

--I think if the Islanders want a washed-up, has-been goalie, they should just sign Garth Snow to a contract.

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