For the first time this season the New Jersey Devils simply dominated. Led by three first period goals, the team banded together and protected netminder Johan Hedberg well enough to earn their sixth game of the year and their third via shutout. Sad when a once-proud team in New Jersey has to let in zero goals to win half of their games.
Jason Arnott scored two goals and Mattias Tedenby, Andy Greene and Patrik Elias each finished with two points in the team’s rout. The Caps rookie backup Braden Holtby experienced another rough outing at the NHL level, surrendering five goals on 23 shots for his third consecutive loss.
In Columbus, the Blue Jackets won their second consecutive game via shutout as Steve Mason led the team to their fourth straight win. Rick Nash and Mike Commodore scored the only goals on starting goalie Pekka Rinne as the Nashville Predators continue to keep games tight without some key players in the lineup. Tough to fault a team playing without a top pairing defenseman and two pivotal centers.
Behind backup netminder Brian Boucher the Philadelphia Flyers came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2. The 33-year-old journeyman turned aside 29 shots which proved to be just good enough to beat Carey Price, who by contrast made a resounding 42 stops. Maxim Lapierre scored his third and fourth goals of the year before Ville Leino, Claude Giroux and the recently un-benched James van Riemsdyk fired back.
Another backup, Jonas Gustavsson, got the win with an effort that was just good enough. The Monster made 21 saves as Nikolai Kulemin scored two goals while Tyler Bozak and Kris Versteeg also scored for the Leafs as the team won their third in four games. Could Gustavsson have earned more playing time from this recent stretch?
Martin Biron of the New York Rangers has done just that with his inspiring play in front of an underdog team. Entering last night’s game Biron only allowed more than two goals one this season and did not disappoint by holding the Calgary Flames to one goal. Jarome Iginla scored the lone marker for the spiraling Flames while Dan Girardi and Brian Boyle countered in the 2-1 win.
The Los Angeles Kings have now lost four of their last five after dropping a game to Pascal Leclaire and the Ottawa Senators 3-2. Alexei Kovalev earned his 1000th point with a first period goal and an assist to Jason Spezza’s game winner as Jonathan Quick made only 16 saves in the match. The Sens simply had something to prove after dropping three straight games and remaining winless after the tragic death of assistant coach Luke Richardson’s daughter.
Marc-Andre Fleury seems to have countered his backup goalie nicely with his fifth win in six games. After only winning one game in the month of October, Fleury has rebounded with a 5-1-1 record in November. Last night was no different as the Pittsburgh Penguins played well enough to defeat the Florida Panthers 3-2. Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby got the Pens the lead before the Panthers came back with markers from Cory Stillman and Bryan McCabe. AHL veteran Chris Connor scored the game winner in the third to put another notch in the win column.
The last game in our packed schedule of backup netminders is a dual between Mike Smith of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins. Despite Rask making an excellent 33 saves, Smith came out the victor with the Lightning winning 3-1. Steven Stamkos scored his 20th of the year as the second and third line also contributed.
That wraps up an eventful 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.