Friday, January 7, 2011

Flyers overcome early struggle; Wild stay hot

Double trouble
Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere both scored a pair of goals and Philadelphia twice overcame a one-goal deficit in defeating New Jersey, 4-2. Brian Boucher made 18 saves. Ville Leino tallied three assists and Matt Carle had two. The Devils lost their third straight game, ninth in the last 10 and 14th of the last 16.

Might as well call it Cal-town
Cal Clutterbuck picked off a poor clearing attempt and laced the puck behind Tuukka Rask seconds later for what proved to be the winner in Minnesota's 3-1 victory over Boston. Clutterbuck also made a good defensive play late to help set up Mikko Koivu's empty net goal. Jose Theodore made 35 saves. The Wild, 7-2-1 in the last 10, has never lost in Boston.

Nashville scored five unanswered goals after falling behind by two and handed Los Angeles its fifth straight loss, 5-2. Patric Hornqvist scored twice, Sergei Kostitsyn and Colin Wilson each had a goal and three points and Anders Lindback made 24 saves.

Edmonton got goals from Gilbert Brule and Dustin Penner shorthanded in the first 5:17 then hung on to defeat the Islanders, 2-1, and end its seven-game losing streak. Devan Dubnyk made 30 saves.

In the shootout
--Benoit Pouliot scored in regulation and had the only tiebreaker goal in round five as Montreal knocked off Pittsburgh, 2-1. Carey Price made 31 saves. Sidney Crosby missed the game with a concussion.
--Toronto blew a three-goal lead with 14 minutes to play but rebounded to beat St. Louis, 6-5. Phil Kessel scored twice and Jonas Gustavsson made 39 saves. Tyler Bozak had the shootout winner.

Clean sheets
--Taylor Pyatt scored twice, one an empty netter, and Jason LaBarbera made 34 saves as Phoenix blanked Colorado, 2-0.
--Ryan Miller made 36 saves to lead Buffalo over San Jose, 3-0.

--I propose a new rule to be used retroactively: When you beat a team by seven goals, you can carry over a goal or two to the next game as needed.

--At least the Penguins got a point. They're shaping up to be frontrunners: Can beat the teams they should, can't beat the teams equal to or superior in skill level. Same thing happened last season.

--The Kings have some problems, don't they? No one can stop a puck for them any more. They've given up 23 goals in the five-game losing streak (the last four coming at home), with four games being four-goal or more outings.

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