Friday, January 14, 2011

King Henrik beheads Canucks; Sharks in freefall

Lundqvist, Rangers hand Vancouver rare loss
Does anyone want to take a guess the last time Vancouver failed to record a point from a game? If you give up, well, it was December 5. The Canucks were 14-0-3 since then. Yikes.

And now they are 14-1-3 since then.

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 31 shots he saw and recent newcomer Wojtek Wolski scored the game's only goal as the Rangers knocked off Vancouver, 1-0. Wolski's goal came on the power play and was his first point in his second game with New York.

Cory Schneider made 35 saves in the loss.

Sharks lose again
I think it was former Shark Jeremy Roenick who Twittered an Amber Alert for the missing general manager of San Jose. I'll second the sentiment.

Devan Dubnyk made 41 saves and Taylor Hall tallied three points as Edmonton handed San Jose its sixth straight loss, 5-2. Hall scored twice and Ales Hemsky posted four assists.

The Sharks were playing their fifth home game in a span of six home games out of seven yet have not scored more than two goals in a game for five straight. This homestand was supposed to be the time they'd make their move in the West; while they're hardly out of the picture, just three points behind, this opportunity in the schedule was one they couldn't miss.

Joe Thornton had a goal and assist for San Jose, which played without leading goal scorer Logan Couture.

Third-period masters
The Bruins are getting into a habit of making Keystone State teams wish games were only 40 minutes long.

Boston scored five times in the third period, twice erasing one-goal deficits, and stunned Philadelphia, 7-5. To be fair, the Bruins blew a couple of their own leads, but didn't have enough time to blow the last one when Steve Kampfer scored with 1:14 left in regulation of a 5-5 game.

Perhaps the best part of the game? There were 12 different goal scorers. Patrice Bergeron, Gregory Campbell, Zdeno Chara and Mark Recchi each had a goal and assist and Blake Wheeler posted two helpers. Tim Thomas struggled his way to 30 saves.

Nikolay Zherdev and Danny Briere each had a goal and assist for the Flyers.

Second period disaster
Ottawa scored four times in the second period en route to a 6-4 victory over the Islanders. The Senators had six different scorers. Chris Kelly, Milan Michalek and Jesse Winchester each had a goal and assist. Robin Lehner made 20 saves.

3-2 scores of the night
--Florida scored twice in a 2:14 span to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 win over Nashville. Rostislav Olesz had a goal and assist and Scott Clemmensen stopped 27 shots.
--Ryan Miller made 27 saves and Buffalo held off Carolina, 3-2. Drew Stafford had the winner and Thomas Vanek had two assists.

Elusive 11s
That makes no sense, but "elusive" was the first word I thought of that kind of goes with "eleven" and I didn't feel like thinking any more. Anyway, Shane Doan, Taylor Pyatt and Lauri Korpikoski each scored their 11th goal of the season to turn a close game into a rout as Phoenix downed Toronto, 5-1. Keith Yandle had a goal and two assists and Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 28 shots.

Snapped, for one team at least
St. Louis stopped a five-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over Los Angeles. The Kings have now lost seven of their last eight games, all in regulation. Nine different Blues recorded a point and Jaroslav Halak needed to make just 24 saves.

--Bad times for LA and San Jose. Not sure what's wrong with the Sharks, they just can't score. That Thornton-Marleau-Heatley connection is no longer working out. Joe Pavelski has struggled and also missed some games with an injury. Like I said above, it's way too early to write them off as a playoff team but they sure don't have the look of a team that's going to make any noise.

--Maybe that's what they need to do to get to the final as opposed to being the team that everyone's picking to go far.

--Ha, yeah, I don't believe that.

--The Kings have run into a problem the Penguins have: When they lose, they don't even get a loser point. LA has lost 20 games, 19 in regulation. Its one OTL is the lowest in the league.

--Bad loss for Carolina. Buffalo's made a little bit of noise in Derek Roy's absence, but that's a game the Hurricanes needed to win.

--The latest soap opera turn for Philadelphia goalies did not go well for Brian Boucher, on the heels of a rare start, and an even rarer good start, for Sergei Bobrovsky. One assumes Bobrovsky gets the next spin.

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