Dan Ellis held the lead for about 10 minutes tonight.
After his new team got him off to a 1-0 start he would allow four straight goals to his former team. Ellis has now lost his third straight game and could be watching his grip on a NHL starting goalie position slip away. Shea Weber, Sergei Kostitsyn, Cody Franson and Colin Wilson all scored for the Preds as Ellis’ replacement, Anders Lindback, cruised to his third win of the season. Lindback also remains undefeated in regulation but is stuck behind the borderline-elite Pekka Rinne.
Superstar center Steven Stamkos failed to score for only the third time this year but managed an assist on a second period Martin St. Louis tally. Only one time this season has Stamkos not at least put up a point; Tomas Vokoun made him the victim that night.
The New York Rangers won their third straight game, defeating Ilya Kovalchuk and the New Jersey Devils. Thanks to two second period goals the Rangers were able to take the lead and hold onto it with a 3-1 victory. Michal Rozsival, Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan all scored as the team spreads out their scoring without Marian Gaborik, Chris Drury or Vinny Prospal.
Starting goalies Martin Brodeur and Henrik Lundqvist played a very tight game and combined for 58 saves. However, for the majority of the game the Devils found themselves on the defensive side of the puck, only managing to score late in the game thanks to Kovalchuk and a nifty pass from Dainus Zubrus.
The Devils continue to lose, staying in dead last in the Eastern Conference.
Although their decision was somewhat delayed, the San Jose Sharks decided to go with Antti Niemi on the second of back-to-back nights. That choice– which probably was to take pressure off front-runner Antero Niittymaki– blew up promptly in coach Todd McLellan’s face. Niemi saved only two of his first five shots and was lifted with over 50 minutes left in the game.
Rene Bourque scored two goals in the first period, which gives him six over his past four games. After a 27-goal campaign last year Bourque should be primed to top 30 goals for the first time in his career. His return has certainly sparked a Flames team that needs to keep pressure off captain Jarome Iginla. Craig Conroy and Iginla also scored for Calgary as Miikka Kiprusoff cruised to his fourth victory and second shutout of the year.