From Abdelkader to Zuccarello – 5 Feb 2011

Florida Panthers 4; New Jersey Devils 3 (OT)
One night after narrowly defeating the rival New York Rangers the Devils were topped by the Panthers in overtime. The Panthers are now 5 points out of an Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Buffalo Sabres 2; Pittsburgh Penguins 3
Penguins saw the return of Evgeni Malkin to their line up if only for a short time as he took a lower body injury in his first shift of the game. The Penguins rallied behind their once again fallen teammate and saw Matt Cooke take first star honors.

Columbus Blue Jackets 3; Detroit Red Wings 0
Fresh off of a five-goal game by Johan Franzen it looks as though the Red Wings had used up all of their offense as they could not get it past the Blue Jackets Steve Mason. Mason stopped all 34 shots he faced bringing the give-game winning streak of the Red Wings to a screaming halt in the MotorCity. In some maybe good news is the Red Wings may gain Pavel Datsyuk (out 18 games with broken right hand) and Tomas Holmstrom (missed last 7 games with broken right hand) in the game today in Nashville.

Washington Capitals 5; Tampa Bay Lightning 2
How Swede it is – well for the Capitals anyway. Nicklas Backstrom is looking to be coming back into form with a 2 goal 2 assist night against the Lightning. Along with Backstrom the much debated Alex Ovechkin showed up with a goal and three assist along with ten shots on goal. Last month the Lightning had shutout the Capitals twice after they acquired goaltender Dwayne Roloson from the Islanders. Tampa had a good early start to the game with a goal from Teddy Purcell but Backstrom, Brooks Laich, and Ovechkin each scored before Tampa found the back of the net again.

Edmonton Oilers 3; St. Louis Blues 5
In a night of returns the Blues saw the return of Andy McDonald – unlike Penguins Evgeni Malkin he did not get injured his first shift out – in fact he took first star honors. McDonland had been the Blues scoring leader before he went down for 24 games with a concussion (still no word on when the Blues will see David Perron back from his concussion).

Chicago Blackhawks 3; Vancouver Canucks 4

Playoff rivals meet in the regular season and finally the Canucks get by the Blackhawks. The last two seasons the Blackhawks have taken the Canucks out of the playoffs and maybe that sparked something with the league leading Canucks going against the current Stanley Cup Champions. Roberto Luongo stopped 42 of 45 shots he faced. Reunited – Daniel Sedin became big man on campus as he took the NHL scoring lead with a pass from none-other than his twin brother Henrik.

Up into the Netting

Vancouver Canucks Sami Salo is doing a conditioning stint with their AHL affiliate Manitoba Moose – Salo scored twice to lead the Moose over the Penguins. Looks like things might be getting even better on the blueline soon for the league leading Canucks.

If great things come from great people then many are going to need to rethink their feelings for known agitator Sean Avery. The Rangers forward is http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/02/04/Sean_Avery_Gay_Support_System// more than happy to take on the role of support for gay players; and has come out to say that if there is any kid, anywhere who is worried about announcing he is gay to his teammates to give him a call and he will be there to stand beside him in the locker room.

The New York Islanders announced that Rick DiPietro would be out 4-6 weeks with facial fractures and a bad knee.

Tonight the SM-liiga (Finland) will have their outdoor game between Helsinki rivals Jokerit and HIFK at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium (6:30 pm local time).

The Hockey Writers have announced a partnership with TiqIQ.

It was one year ago yesterday that Ilya Kovalchuk was traded to the Devils does anyone remember that Anssi Salmela came with him from the Thrashers?

Lastly – Is the NHL starting to turn into the NFL?

Monica McAlister
An avid hockey lover that grew up in Michigan and lived in the Washington D.C. area while going school for Sports Management. Volunteer with the American Special Hockey Association (ASHA); and follows as much SM-liiga and Elitserien as possible along with the vast array of North American leagues.

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