The Montreal Canadiens, Washington Capitals and Atlanta Thrashers all mounted comebacks after finding themselves down by two goals last night.
At the Bell Centre, the fans stayed in the game despite being down 3-1 early into the second period thanks to two goals from Milan Michalek and the first of the year from Erik Karlsson. However, the Habs came roaring back with two late second period tallies of their own– a gritty effort from veteran Jeff Halpern and a beautiful tally by the enigmatic Andrei Kostitsyn. Before the game coach Jacques Martin called out his team and claimed that Tomas Plekanec and Carey Price were their best players. Well, neither disappointed as Plekanec’s third period marker led the team to a 4-3 victory.
In Nashville, the Preds just seemed to run out of gas at the worst time possible: the third period. After dominating the play and capitalizing on their opponents mistakes, rookie Anders Lindback allowed third period goals to Alexander Semin and Tomas Fleischmann before letting in the eventual overtime game winner to Brooks Laich. This start likely marked the last one for Lindback as Pekka Rinne now feels 110 percent healthy.
San Jose squandered a 2-0 lead as the Sharks fell to the Thrashers. Anthony Stewart scored for the fourth time in two nights and Evander Kane, Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd all added markers of their own. Perhaps the team would have done better had they started Antero Niittymaki, who completely pwns the Thrashers.
For the second time this week the Buffalo Sabres blew a 2-1 first period lead against the Chicago Blackhawks. Fresh off a two goal, 13-shot night Patrick Sharp scored two more helping his team overcome their newest rival. Marian Hossa also added a goal, tying him with Sharp for the team lead and the League lead. In addition, Derek Roy was held off the scorecard for only the second time this year, as he also shares the League lead with five goals.
If a team wasn’t losing the lead last night, they were losing by hefty margins.
Tomas Vokoun recorded his second shutout in a row as the Florida Panthers cruised to a 6-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. David Booth scored his first two of the year while captain Bryan McCabe put four assists on the board, remember to vote for them all here. Both Dan Ellis and Mike Smith were especially terrible, splitting the three goals amongst themselves.
Pittsburgh steamrolled their stately rivals last night, to the tune of 5-1. Playing without Marc-Andre Fleury on back-to-back nights seemed like the right decision as Brent Johnson cruised into his third win in as many games. Sidney Crosby had a three point night as the Pens not only exacted revenge on the Philadelphia Flyers but they got the better end of the rematch against rookie Sergei Bobrovsky– who had his first rough NHL start.
In New Jersey, the Devils fell once again after deciding to start a tired Martin Brodeur. Why sign Johan Hedberg for over a million dollars when he doesn’t play when backups usually start. All four lines for the Boston Bruins managed to score even strength goals and they did it all in the second period, effectively taking their opponents out of the game. Just one year after being drafted rookie Jordan Caron put in his first NHL goal. Similarly, center Jacob Josefson played in his second NHL game and even centered Ilya Kovalchuk briefly, but has yet to register his first point.
Across the river former first overall pick John Tavares returned from a concussion. His team however never missed a beat led by Josh Bailey, who would add another two points to his season totals. Dwayne Roloson continued his dominance on the Colorado Avalanche, only allowing two goals on 30 shots as the Isles cruised to a 5-2 victory. Chris Stewart and TJ Galiardi scored for the Avs as they fell short after an emotional overtime victory the night before.
Last night held a full schedule, which due to time constraints we were not able to fully cover. In the rest of the League, Detroit beat Phoenix 2-1; Columbus scraped by Minnesota 3-2; Dallas beat St. Louis and Ty Conklin 3-2 and Calgary won the rematch of the Battle of Alberta.
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