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While You Were Sleeping
Welcome to Colorado Semyon Varlamov. In his first showing in the NHL not with the Washington Capitals Varlamov managed to shutout the defending Stanley Cup Champions – though Tuukka Rask did not do to bad in net either as he only allowed in one shot from the 36 he faced from the Avalanche.
For a battle of young goaltending talent it was a great day game for those off of work for Thanksgiving (Canada)/ Columbus Day (US) yesterday.
The lone goal of the game came at 7:57 of the third period when Milan Hejduk put a wrist shot past Rask.
Captain Zach Parise came up big for the Devils yesterday as he opened the scoring with a tip-in off of a shot from Patrik Elias just under four minutes into the game.
The second period would be a little tit-for-tat as Carolina would tie the game just before the halfway point with a goal from Alexei Ponikarovsky. Less than a minute later Mark Fayne would give the Devils the lead again just to see Chad LaRose take it back for the Hurricanes before heading into the second intermission.
In a show of dominance the Devils came out in the third and saw Ilya Kovalchuk score his first of the season to regain the lead. It would be Parise with an empty-net-power-play goal late in the third that would wrap up the scoring.
At 19:16 in the third New Jersey’s Bradley Mills would take a roughing penalty as Carolina’s Justin Faulk would take a double minor for roughing.
Coming off of a strong win in their first game the Wild struggled as they headed to New York.
The Islanders came out ready to win as they netted their two goals of the game within the first period. First Islanders goal came from Andrew MacDonlad on New York’s first power play as Minnesota’s Captain Mikko Koivu was called for tripping. With Pierre-Marc Bouchard sitting out his first game of his two-game suspension the Wild were only able to score in the third when Matt Cullen scored his second of the season.
On the positive note for the Wild – their defensive play has picked up even with the loss of Brent Burns to the Sharks this past summer as they allowed the fewest shots on goal in a road game in franchise history.
Calgary Flames 2; St. Louis Blues 5
Is this the return of the St. Louis Blues? After a set back the with their youth development it looks as though the Blues are back and mean business this season.
The first period would see Flames captain Jarome Iginla take two separate hi-sticking penalties though the Blues were unable to capitalize on the power play. It would be Flames Curtis Glencross with his second of the season that would open the flood gate of goals in the game.
Blues’ Alexander Steen would tie the game in the final minutes of the first to send it to intermission.
Fresh off the intermission it would be Kevin Shattenkirk with his first of the season as the Blues took the lead and then Alex Pietrangelo would get an insurance goal before Iginla would score on the power play to bring the Flames within one.
St. Louis held the lead heading into the third where Chris Stewart would put a backhander past Flames netminder Henrik Karlsson within the first minutes of play. It would be Jason Arnott with the fifth Blues goal late in the period that would see the end scoring in this game.
Flames Glencross would take a slashing penalty at the 20:00 mark in the third.
It took a shootout but Mike Smith.
But in a battle of worse attendance the Stars may have won that battle as there were reports of only 1,500 people in the stands yesterday.
There was no scoring in the game until 5:55 of the third period when Coyotes Radim Vrbata would put a wrist shot past Kari Lehtonen. The Stars would not see the back of the net until 19:32 of the third when Loui Eriksson netted his first of the season to send the game into overtime.
The shootout would see Eriksson score again along with Mike Ribeiro for the Stars as only Shane Doan would net on for the Coyotes to settle the game.
Tampa Bay Lightning 5; Washington Capitals 6 (SO)
Remember a few days ago when Capitals new veteran goaltender Tomas Vokoun had a mini tantrum when he went public about his disappointment in not getting to start in net on opening night? Well Vokoun had his shot last night and boy-o-boy look at that score!
THW’s own Angie Lewis has a look at The Good, The Bad and the Ugly in Vokoun’s first win as a Capital.
If you wanted high intensity and high scoring you needed to be at the Verizon Center last night in Washington D.C. as the Capitals hosted Southeast Division rival Tampa Bay Lightning.
In a back-and-fourth game for the ages between two teams out to prove themselves the atmosphere was playoff material and it is only the first week of the regular season.
Lightning stuck first as Teddy Purcell put a wrist shot past Vokoun 2:22 into the game.
Before the five minute mark Capitals Marcus Johansson would get his first of the season as he put a wrap-around in past Dwayne Roloson to tie the game.
And the pace was set.
Bruno Gervais would regain the Lightning’s lead with a wrist shot only to have Dennis Wideman tip-on a shot from Jeff Halpern to make it a tie game at two heading into the first intermission.
Second period would see Tampa Bay center Dominic Moore score in 56 seconds to give the Lightning the lead again only to have Washington’s Troy Brouwer erase that lead minutes later.
With the game tied at three heading into the third Jason Chimera would score four minutes in and give the Capitals their first lead of the game. Minutes later Nate Thompson would tie it back up for the Lightning and see Brett Clark then take the lead for Tampa with just over seven minutes left in the game.
Minutes left in the game with Tampa in the lead it would be Jason Cimera again to tie the game and force an over time.
It took extra time (with three called penalties) and then the shootout to decide the winner of this battle.
Canucks spoil Columbus Day in Columbus as they beat the Blue Jackets by a goal.
The Blue Jackets would scored first as Cam Atkinson netted his first of the season nearly that halfway point in the first period only to see Canucks Chris Higgins erase the lead before heading off for the first intermission.
At 8:37 of the second Canucks’s Alexandre Burrows would be called for interference on the goalkeeper and a roughing call (served by Cody Hodgson) while Blue Jackets’ Kris Russell would sit for a two minute roughing.
Columbus would score the only goal of the second as Vinny Prospal put in a wrap-around past Cory Schneider. It would not be enough as Vancouver came out in the third and saw Cody Hodgson (maybe motivated for having to sit for Burrows) score unassisted less than two minutes into play to tie the game up at two.
It would be a power play goal from Alexandre Burrows after Blue Jackets Grant Clitsome was called for hi-sticking that would see Vancouver take the lead.
Up into the Netting
Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby will meet with the medical team today to reevaluate his condition and see if he is any closer to returning to play. Crosby has been sidelined from games since January 5th but has been practicing (no contact) since the start of training camp. The Penguins play their home opener tonight versus the Florida Panthers after starting the season on a three game road trip.
Love him or hate him Don Cherry will get everyone talking. Now it looks like lawyers are talking as everyone in an uproar over what Cherry had to say about former hockey fighters who are now questioning its place in the game.
Planning the Parade. You know how it goes as teams win their first game of the season and fans already start planning for a Stanley Cup parade in June. Thoughts on the Debut of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the Edmonton Oilers’S eason Opener.
Points: Phil Kessel – Toronto (5)
Goals: Phil Kessel – Toronto (3)
Assist: Kris Letang – Pittsburgh (4)
Plus-Minus: Jakub Kindl – Detroit (5)
GAA: Ty Conklin – Detroit (0.00)
Save Percentage: Jose Theodore – Florida (1.00)
Wins: James Reimer – Toronto (2)
Shutouts: James Reimer – Toronto (1)
Florida Panthers; Pittsburgh Penguins 7:30 p.m. EST on Versus
Minnesota Wild; Ottawa Senators 7:30 p.m. EST