On Friday night, we saw three different players register hat tricks. Last night we saw the same thing but with three (almost four) separate goalies putting up a shutout.
In Ottawa, often criticized netminder Carey Price put up a zero against the Sens, stopping all 19 shots he faced. He was able to take advantage of a two goal night from Andrei Kostitsyn as the Habs won 3-0. For the Senators, this game represented the second in as many nights after a hard-fought victory with Buffalo. They also had the task of facing a fresh and motivated team without their number one center Jason Spezza.
Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators played a similar game but defeated the surprising Dallas Stars 1-0, thanks to Cal O’Reilly and his first goal of the season. Prior to the game the Stars had been averaging an incredible 3.6 goals-per-game so this 30-save shutout is a thing of beauty. Kari Lehtonen turned aside 23 shots but took his second loss of the season.
The St. Louis Blues held on to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in overtime, with both netminders putting up regulation shutouts. Erik Johnson broke the tie as former Blues goalie Brent Johnson took the hard-luck loss for his first loss of the young season.
However, not all of the games came by low-scoring shutouts. There were a number of lopsided contests.
No longer remotely undefeated, the Toronto Maple Leafs lost their third consecutive game. Both Phil Kessel and Clarke MacArthur scored for the team, which seemed to be a recipe for success in the past, but the Flyers were too strong and defeated them 5-2. Captain Mike Richards scored his first goal of the season and added two assists of his own as he led the Flyers to a much-needed victory.
Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres took full advantage of backup Johan Hedberg in nets. Pulled in the second period after already allowing four goals, Hedberg and the Devils lost again falling to the bottom of the Eastern Conference. The questionable move to scratch Ilya Kovalchuk simply did not work on the scorecard as the Devils eventually lost 6-1.
In Edmonton, the young Oilers struck first with an excellent shorthanded goal by Jordan Eberle before allowing six unanswered goals to the San Jose Sharks. Starting goalie Nikolai Khabibulin has started every game thus far for his team which is a trend that should eventually change– his save percentage could fall under .900 for the first time this year as it buoys at .901. Six different Sharks scored in the contest with Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton putting up three points each.
Meanwhile, one game put up simply a lot of goals on both ends.
Brad Richardson came out of nowhere for the Los Angeles Kings, putting up a hat trick against the Colorado Avalanche and helping his team win 6-4. Playing mostly on the fourth line, the hard-working forward managed to be the only King to put in multiple points. The Avs, by comparison, got two goals from both Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk and two assists from Matt Duchene. Winning goaltender Jonathan Quick got another win, despite raising his peripherals by letting in four.
And then there was one… the one goal win that is.
The most popular trend of the evening was certainly the one goal win. The New York Rangers defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2; Washington Capitals over the Atlanta Thrashers 4-3; Florida Panthers over John Tavares, errr the New York Islanders 4-3; Detroit Red Wings over the Anaheim Ducks 5-4; Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2; Carolina Hurricanes beat the Phoenix Coyotes 4-3.
Be sure to vote for last night’s three stars as we prepare you for the games to come.