Monday, January 3, 2011

Flyers win clash of titans, but Canucks slip ahead

Philly heaps more trouble on Howard, Detroit
Suddenly, the Red Wings might have goalie concerns.

Jimmy Howard continued his struggles, conceding three goals in the second period and was replaced prior to the third period in what became a 3-2 Philadelphia victory over Detroit. The Flyers' goalie carousel, meanwhile, spun to Brian Boucher, who made 25 saves. The win was Philadelphia's first in Detroit in 22 years since Nov. 4, 1988. The Flyers had been 0-14-2 since then.

James van Riemsdyk, Daniel Carcillo and Scott Hartnell scored for Philadelphia. Valtteri Filppula and Henrik Zetterberg had third-period goals for the Red Wings.

Canucks hang on to beat Avs, take over top spot in NHL
Pittsburgh and Detroit sucking have opened the door for Vancouver.

Following a solid 2-1 victory at Colorado, the Canucks technically took over the top overall spot in the NHL. Vancouver, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia all have 53 points but the Canucks, on account of having fewer games played, get the "tiebreaker."

Alexandre Bolduc scored and assisted on Mason Raymond's goal. Roberto Luongo made 31 saves, conceding just Paul Stastny's late goal.

So much for that
Steve Mason was doing so good.

After getting the opening goal 37 seconds in from R.J. Umberger, Columbus dropped a 4-1 decision to Nashville. The Blue Jackets haven't won in Tennessee since 2006. Shea Weber had a goal and two assists for the Predators. Pekka Rinne needed to make just 19 saves. Mason finished with 22 saves in his fourth straight start.

Shutout of the night
Tomas Vokoun made 32 saves and Florida blanked the Rangers, 3-0. David Booth, Christopher Higgins and Stephen Weiss scored for the Panthers.

Coming back
Dallas scored thrice in the third period, turning a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 victory over St. Louis. Brenden Morrow scored twice, Brad Richards scored the go-ahead goal and added two assists, and James Neal's late strike all but secured the win. Kari Lehtonen made 28 saves.

Hanging on
Jonas Hiller made 39 saves, including 19 in the third period, and Anaheim edged Chicago, 2-1. Andreas Lilja and Corey Perry scored for the Ducks, who are without Ryan Getzlaf for a while. Bryan Bickell scored for the Blackhawks.

Overtime strikes
--Dustin Byfuglien scored on the power play, his third overtime goal this season, to give Atlanta a 4-3 win over Montreal. Tobias Enstrom had three assists and Ondrej Pavelec made 47 saves for the Thrashers.
--Cam Barker's slapper somehow squeaked through Jason LaBarbera to give Minnesota a crazy 6-5 win over Phoenix. Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored with 25 seconds remaining to force overtime after the Wild blew leads of 3-1 and 4-3 in the third period. Andrew Brunette scored twice with an assist and Mikko Koivu tallied four helpers for Minnesota. Brent Burns had a goal and two assists and Jose Theodore made 39 saves. Ray Whitney scored twice for the Coyotes.

--So, does this mean Boucher gets to start two games in a row for the Flyers? Rumor is they're looking to trade Michael Leighton. Gee, what have you done for them lately, Michael?

--Maybe Detroit would be interested in Leighton? Where the heck has Jimmy Howard's game gone? I can't stop asking questions again? Anyway, Howard's given up at least three goals in five of his last six outings.

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