The New York Rangers bounced back from a 4-1 loss against their rival Philadelphia Flyers to beat the snakebitten New Jersey Devils 3-0.
This win proved especially important for the team as they not only avoided back-to-back losses but they also stayed within range of the first place Flyers. Even more interesting was the two goals from center-turned-left wing Brandon Dubinsky, who now ties with Steven Stamkos and Patrick Sharp for the League lead in goals after his two last night. Over his career, Dubinsky has been a fast starter but never has he had such a flair for goal scoring; previously topping out at 20 goals last year.
Brian Boyle also scored for the Rangers, who are now without Vinny Prospal, Chris Drury, Marian Gaborik and most recently Ryan Callahan. In addition, Henrik Lundqvist now has two shutouts on the year, stopping all 33 Devils shots.
In Washington, the Capitals finally broke past the unbreakable Tim Thomas with three second period goals. After earning the hook, Tuukka Rask would take the loss, allowing the the Bruins to tie the game before letting in the game winner to rookie John Carlson.
Alexander Ovechkin, Mike Green and Nicklas Backstrom all had multi-point nights for the Caps as they scraped together their third straight win. Rookie Braden Holtby also earned his first career win stopping four shots in relief and keeping the game tied long enough for his team to grab the lead. Expect Holtby to get a start sometime in the near future as Michal Neuvirth could use a rest.
The beleaguered Buffalo Sabres took another loss last night, this time at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens. Without Tomas Plekanec in the lineup the Habs managed to score all three goals with their fourth line of Mathieu Darche, Jeff Halpern and Benoit Pouliot. Of course, all of those goals went past backup Patrick Lalime as starting goalie Ryan Miller will not play this weekend.
For the second straight game, the Florida Panthers fired at least 50 shots on goal. This game, however, they actually won; despite Tomas Vokoun getting the pull after only seven shots. Perhaps the most alarming part of their victory was the penalties for both sides. Neither team would connect for a powerplay goal, meaning that Florida scored seven even strength markers and Carolina put four on the scoreboard without a man advantage.
Bryan Allen, Radek Dvorak, Michael Frolik, David Booth, Rostislav Olesz, Marty Reasoner and Stephen Weiss all had multi-point games for the Cats as they travel back to Carolina for a rematch tonight. By contrast, Jay Harrison and Jussi Jokinen were the only Canes to contribute to more than one goal.
Another injury laden team, the Minnesota Wild, found a way to win last night. Without Guillaume Latendress, Antti Miettinen and now Chuck Kobasew the team found Cal Clutterbuck to be a suitable replacement on the top line; scoring a first period goal which effectively erased Rene Bourque’s seventh goal of the year and the Calgary Flames’ lead. Disgruntled winger Martin Havlat won the game in the third period with his first marker on the young season.
Both Finnish netminders, Niklas Backstrom and Miikka Kiprusoff, brought their A-games last night with Kipper taking a hard loss– his third in his last three games.
In Dallas, the powerhouse Stars continue their winning ways with a 6-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes. Their top line of Brad Richards, Loui Eriksson and James Neal continues to stay hot, combining for eight points between them. Mike Ribeiro, Matt Niskanen and Stephane Robidas all added to the scoring festivities as the team chased star netminder Ilya Bryzgalov.
Despite winning last year, the Coyotes are quickly realizing how hard it is to stay on top. Their offensive lines have had trouble clicking all season with their more talented players like Kyle Turris and Wojtek Wolski finding themselves either on the fourth line or scratched completely.
Danny Cleary certainly got his groove back last night, adding three points against his former team and leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. One of the few weaknesses in the Red Wings’ lineup has been their third line, which because of Cleary became a strength last night. As usual Jimmy Howard won, turning aside 29 of 30 and keeping his regulation winning streak alive.
Our final contest of the evening brings us to sunny California, where the Anaheim Ducks hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Ducks would jump out to a 3-0 lead on the Pens and struggling starter Marc-Andre Fleury, a lead the team would not recover from. Despite two goals from Sidney Crosby, the Pens still fell short 3-2. Furthermore, the Ducks’ top two lines combined for all three goals as they have shown in the past they can put up goals in bunches.
That wraps up an action-packed night of hockey. Be sure to check us all day as we bring you the most relevant fantasy hockey news possible. You can follow us on twitter @dailyfaceoff as we continue to bring you information on starting goalies, team lineups and major injury updates as well as provide in-depth injury updates and player rankings in the future.