Monday, January 17, 2011

Bruins roll, Stars power past Kings

Carolina, thy name is Annihilated
If you told Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice before Monday's game that he would have to deal with either a Tim Thomas shutout or a Zdeno Chara hat trick, he would've had a massive headache. Unfortunately for Maurice, he had to face both.

Chara netted the first hat trick of his career and Thomas reclaimed the league lead in shutouts by making 31 saves as Boston romped over Carolina, 7-0. The Bruins moved into second place in the Eastern Conference.

Two of Chara's goals came on the power play, both assisted by David Krejci. Patrice Bergeron had a goal and assist and Adam McQuaid posted two helpers. Michael Ryder, Mark Stuart and Gregory Campbell also scored.

The shutout was the seventh for Thomas, one more than New York's Henrik Lundqvist.

Not busy, but...
Kari Lehtonen didn't have a great deal of action, but that's why sometimes numbers mean absolute ... well it rhymes with "chit."

Lehtonen stopped a penalty shot by Jack Johnson with 52.4 seconds remaining in regulation as one of his 23 saves and Dallas held off Los Angeles, 2-1. The Kings were given the penalty shot when Stars defenseman Jeff Woywitka covered (or swept depending how you want to look at it) the puck from off the goal line.

Dallas received two power play goals five minutes apart in the second period to cancel out a Justin Williams goal in the first period. Loui Eriksson had one and Jamie Langenbrunner got the winner, his first goal since being traded back to the Stars and it came in his 1,000th career game. Brad Richards assisted on both Dallas goals.

Los Angeles had won four straight games in Dallas.

Here come the Devils
Watch out, NHL: Here comes New Jersey.

The Devils jumped out to a three-goal lead behind a goal and assist from Mattias Tedenby and defeated the Islanders, 5-2, for their third win in the last four games.

OK, so New Jersey won't be making a late playoff push. But now that Martin Brodeur (27 saves) seems to be back in form, the Devils might not be a cakewalk victory any more. I can already see the Penguins losing the last four games to New Jersey, since we couldn't score against them even when they sucked. In fact, guess who we get on Thursday?! I'm already penciling in a Pittsburgh loss.

Rod Pelley also had a goal and helper and Ilya Kovalchuk scored. Jason Arnott had two assists.

Niemi leads San Jose to crucial win
You know who's playing pretty well these days? Antti Niemi.

The Sharks needed Niemi, who was particularly spectacular during a four-minute penalty kill with a number of big saves, to knock off Phoenix, 4-2. Niemi finished with 34 saves and has allowed just 10 goals in his last five games. Poor offensive support means he won only two of those.

Dany Heatley, Logan Couture and Joe Thornton each had a goal and assist for the Sharks. Patrick Marleau also scored in his 1,000th game.

Working late
--Montreal tried to give away its game with Calgary, letting a 4-0 lead evaporate, but P.K. Subban's goal in overtime resulted in a 5-4 Canadiens victory. Subban had two points, as did Mike Cammalleri and Jeff Halpern, who both scored. Carey Price stopped all four shots he saw in relief of Alex Auld to get the win, pissing off anyone who's playing against Price in fantasy this week. (Note: I don't know if I am or not, I play too many leagues to know who my opponents have, so that's not a personal comment.)

Jarome Iginla led the Flames with a goal and assist.

--Atlanta roared back from a 2-0 deficit to score twice in 44 seconds in the final two minutes en route to a 3-2 shootout victory over Florida. Bryan Little had a goal and assist and Chris Thorburn's deflection tied the game. Ondrej Pavelec made 38 saves and Alexander Burmistrov's goal was the difference in the shootout.

Stephen Weiss assisted on both Panthers goals, which came on the power play. After once converting at something like a negative-4 percent with the man-advantage, the Panthers have scored seven power play goals in the last four games. But Florida's PP remains the worst in the league.

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