Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sens lose big again; So do Stars

Tick tock, tick tock
That sound you hear is the time on Cory Clouston's coaching career grinding to a halt. But honestly, what has Bryan Murray done to save his ass? Shouldn't his head be on the chopping block too?

Tomas Plekanec scored twice and Carey Price made 33 saves as Montreal ripped Ottawa apart, 7-1. Andrei Kostitsyn had a goal and assist as did Max Pacioretty. Scott Gomez and James Wisniewski both had two helpers.

The Senators have lost five straight games - the last two by a 13-3 margin - and 11 of their last 12.

Quick hook
Ryan Miller's 24th consecutive start for Buffalo didn't last long.

Two goals three minutes apart in the opening 10 minutes prompted Lindy Ruff to give his team a swift kick in the collective ass by removing Miller from the game but the move failed to work as the Islanders cruised to a 5-2 win over Buffalo.

Neither goal was really Miller's fault but the Sabres were playing like gahbage. New York opened a 4-0 lead before Nathan Gerbe - who is so short he makes Martin St. Louis look like Zdeno Chara - scored twice in five seconds with just over three minutes left in the third period.

However, the Sabres took two penalties in the final minutes and Michael Grabner's second goal of the game was into an empty net to seal the win. Rob Schremp had two assists as 10 different Islanders recorded points. Kevin Poulin made 26 saves in relief of injured starter Nathan Lawson.

Wild West shootout
Dallas and Calgary did a rare thing: Neither team played with a goalie Friday.

The teams combined for just 40 shots yet 11 made it past the goalies as Calgary ended Dallas' eight-game road winning streak in impressive fashion, 7-4. David Moss led the charge with two goals and an assist and four Flames - Jarome Iginla, Brendan Morrison, Olli Jokinen and Alex Tanguay - each had a goal and assist. Henrik Karlsson ended up the winning goalie, stopping all of 17 shots.

Mike Ribeiro led the Stars with three assists. Brad Richards had a goal and a helper. Andrew Raycroft, who has been very good for the Stars backing up Kari Lehtonen, had a brutal game, giving up all seven goals on just 19 shots.

Lucky roll helps Lightning to SO win
Dominic Moore: Shootout specialist.

For the second time in two nights, Moore scored the shootout winner, this time giving Tampa Bay a 2-1 win over Florida. Moore's goal was slightly controversial. His initial shot appeared to be stopped by the pad of Tomas Vokoun but the puck never quite left Moore's stick and it rolled off the stick with enough momentum to carry it into the net for the winner. The goal was reviewed and upheld as the winner.

Dan Ellis made 29 saves. Steven Stamkos assisted on Steve Downie's goal, finally tying him with Sidney Crosby for the NHL points lead. Crosby has missed seven games and is likely to miss at least two more.

--Given the current directions of New Jersey and Ottawa, will it surprise anyone if the Senators are in the NHL's cellar in a few weeks?

--The Sabres are in a bit of a tough spot. They desperately need points, so on the one hand, Lindy Ruff has to start Miller a lot. On the other, 24 in a row is going to catch up with him at some point. It didn't tonight, not really - one goal was kicked in by his own defenseman and the other was a deflection off a faceoff win - but I guess they figure with the upcoming all-star break, he can rest then.

No comments: