Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tampa knocks off Philly; Canucks benefit

Roloson shuts down Philadelphia
Tampa Bay's a good team and all, alright? But honestly, who saw this coming?

Dwayne Roloson stopped all 38 shots he saw and two goals in the first 81 seconds by Teddy Purcell catapulted Tampa Bay to a stunning 4-0 victory over Philadelphia. Purcell scored just 19 seconds into the game and again 1:02 later against Sergei Bobrovsky, who was pulled with eight seconds left in the first period. Which was weird, since the last goal he gave up came over five minutes earlier. I didn't watch the game, maybe he was pulled for an extra attacker.

Steve Downie and Steven Stamkos also scored for the Lightning, who got two assists each from Simon Gagne and Martin St. Louis. Tampa Bay, which has won six straight, mustered just 22 shots on goal but that proved to be plenty.

The loss, coupled with Vancouver's win later, knocked the Flyers from the top overall spot in the league. The Lightning now lead the Southeast Division by five points over Washington.

Special victory for Canucks
They might as well rename American Airlines Center in Dallas to Vancouver Airlines Center, because the Canucks own the Stars.

For the third time this season, Vancouver held Dallas to one goal and downed the Stars, 4-1, for its third victory over Dallas. The Canucks have out-scored the Stars by a 15-3 margin in three games.

Vancouver killed off all five disadvantages it faced, including three in the first period, then got a power play goal and assist each from Mikael Samuelsson and Christian Ehrhoff early in the second period. Daniel Sedin assisted on both man-advantage goals then Ryan Kesler scored while down a man to cancel out a Loui Eriksson strike. Alex Burrows put the final nail in the coffin with five minutes left in the third period.

Cory Schneider made 25 saves for the Canucks.

Double shutout, what does it mean?
Is that joke still funny? If not, I don't care, I'm still using it.

Sixty five minutes of hockey and five shootout attempts still resulted in just one goal and Minnesota earned a crucial 1-0 victory over Los Angeles. Niklas Backstrom foiled all 27 attempts fired on him by the Kings and three players in the shootout, including a nifty skate save that had whoever the Minnesota color guy is experiencing an orgasm on-air. Pierre-Marc Bouchard had the only shootout goal.

Jonathan Bernier made 25 saves in defeat.

Other shootouts
--Toronto conceded a late tying goal but rebounded to earn a 4-3 victory over Florida on Colby Armstrong's shootout goal. Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin each had a goal and assist and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 30 saves. Stephen Weiss and Cory Stillman both had one and one for the Panthers.
--Brian Gionta scored twice in the second period and had the only shootout goal as Montreal erased a two-goal deficit to knock off Washington, 3-2. Carey Price made 27 saves. Mathieu Perreault led the Capitals with a goal and assist.
--Dustin Jeffrey had a power play goal and was the only one of 14 shooters to score in Pittsburgh's 4-3 win over the Rangers. Chris Kunitz had a goal and assist and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 shots. The Penguins lost Arron Asham to injury and Jordan Staal to an ejection after one of the dumber reactions you'll see a player have.
--Miikka Kiprusoff made 25 saves plus three in the tiebreaker and Rene Bourque scored to give Calgary a 3-2 win over Nashville.

Other action
--Seven different players scored and Jonathan Toews had three points to lead Chicago over Columbus, 7-4. Steve Mason gave up five goals in two periods.
--Tim Thomas made 24 saves in Boston's 3-2 win over Carolina.
--Ottawa lost its seventh straight game, managing just 16 shots on Martin Brodeur in losing 2-1 to New Jersey.
--Kyle Okposo, who has missed much of the season with an injury, scored his first two goals and set up another as the Islanders knocked off a fading Atlanta team, 4-1. The Thrashers have won just two of their last 10 games.
--Paul Bissonnette scored and frankly, nothing else mattered in San Jose's 5-3 win over Phoenix. (OK, Joe Pavelski scored twice and Patrick Marleau had a shorthanded game-winning goal as the Sharks scored five unanswered goals after being down 3-0. Alex Stalock made his NHL debut in relief of Antti Niemi and stopped all nine shots he saw in 30 minutes.)

Thoughts
--I won't toot my own horn, but funny how that works out, huh? I blog about Jeffrey needing more playing time and he responds with a goal and the shootout winner. He also cleanly won a faceoff that led to another goal.

--I think the Penguins played for a shootout the minute Ryan Callahan scored his power play goal with 12.5 seconds left in the second period to tie the game at 3-3. They'd already lost Asham and Staal - who deserved a major penalty but hopefully won't be suspended - and were without three other centers.

--I still say the Penguins need more overall offensive talent but they've been able to adjust their style of play and find ways to win without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. They've won six of their last seven. It's not against scrub teams either. Four of the wins were against playoff teams and a fifth was against a feisty Carolina team that could end up knocking Atlanta out.

--So, the Wild. They're knocking on the playoff door. How about that?

--I was all set to essentially write off the Sharks after their horrid effort through two periods, then they made a stunning comeback in the third period.

--If you're Columbus, what the hell's going through your mind in regards to Steve Mason? Yuck.

--How great would it have been if Bissonnette had Tweeted from the bench after scoring?

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