New York Rangers 5 Pittsburgh Penguins 2
It was Artem Anisimov of the New York Rangers who scored first in the heat game between division rivals. The hometown Penguins would not head into the intermission losing to the Rangers. Jordan Staal put a wrist shot past Rangers Henrik Lundqvist; whom was not sure to even be in the game after suffering with a stiff neck after the game with the Montreal Canadiens.
The second period went by without a goal and only one penalty given to New York’s Michael Sauer for tripping. It was the third period that left the hockey world talking.
It took less than five minutes into the third period for Penguin’s Matt Cooke to put an elbow into the head of Ranger’s Ryan McDonagh. Cooke was given an elbowing major (5 minutes) and a game misconduct. It was the Penguins that took control of the game for a brief moment as Chris Kunitz scored short handed.
Rangers Marin Gaborik came back to tie the game minutes later, and then Ryan Callahan with the go ahead goal just a minute after that. The Rangers held onto the lead and late in the third Derek Stepan scored to make it a two goal lead over the Penguins. The Penguins fought until the end and even pulled goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury at the end for the extra skater. It was Brandon Dubinsky with the empty net goal in the final minute of play that put the Rangers up 5-2 over the division rivals and went home with the much needed two points.
Lundqvist had 19 saves alone in the third to backstop the Rangers to a much needed win.
Nashville Predators 4 Buffalo Sabres 3 (OT)
He wont the Hobey Baker last year as the best Collegiate player, he became the firest ever native Tennessean to be drafted into the NHL, and when he played his first NHL game this season he became the first ever 4th generation player. Now he can add his first NHL hat trick to is already mounting resume. Blake Geoffrion is a force to watch with the Predators.
Geoffrion had the only goal in the first period of the game against Buffalo then saw his hard earned lead get washed away with a goal from Nathan Gerbe, the Tim Connolly score seconds later give the Sabres a 2-1 lead. It was a power play goal with a minute left to play that saw the Sabres take a 3-1 lead into the second intermission.
Buffalo kept the lead until late in the third when Geoffrion scored un assisted at the 17:33 mark to cut the down to one. In just over a minute Geofrion tipped in a shot from Cody Franson to tie the game and earn his first NHL hat trick.
The Geoffrion hat trick forced the game into overtime where Martin Erat scored only 27 seconds in to give the Predators the extra point.
New Jersey Devils 3 Columbus Blue Jackets 0
If you are going to beat a surging team it is best to put more than 13 shots on goal. Devils Martin Brodeur had no problem turning aside all 13 shots he faced from the Blue Jackets last night and earned the second star of the game for his shutout performance.
David Clarkson scored the game winner in the first period when he tipped in a shot from Jacob Josefson near the halfway point in the period. It was Clarkson again in the second who put one past Columbus net minder Steve Mason for the 2-0 lead. His two goals would earn him the top star honor.
The third star went to Nick Palmieri whom scored the third goal for the Devils early in the third period.
Well at least Columbus still has Ohio State University going strong in NCAA basketball’s March Madness.
Montreal Canadiens 8 Minnesota Wild 1
In a more even shots on goal game (Canadiens with 32 SOG and the Wild with 31) the score was even more further apart.
Montreal took an early lead with a goal from Ryan White just 31 seconds into the game. Exactly six minute later a fight broke out between White and Minnesota’s Clayton Stoner.
The fight spurred on the Canadiens as Andrei Kostitsyn put the Habs up 2-0 heading into the second while in the second the Canadiens score four more. P.K. Subban scored the first of the second less than a minute in followed by a goal from defenseman James Wisniewski five minutes later. Travis Moen would score two minutes after Wisniewski and Subban would make it 6-0 after 40 minutes of play with a power play goal.
The third period saw Subban score early for a hat trick and to make it 7-0.
At the 7:51 mark of the third Montreal’s Paul Mara and Minnesota’s Cal Clutterbuck were each given an unsportsmanlike conduct and a 10 minute misconduct.
It was Tom Pyatt who scored the 7th for the Canadiens to walk away with two much needed points and put a large dent in the Wild’s playoff hopes.
Chicago Blackhawks 2 Phoenix Coyotes 1
They may have lost the game but Phoenix’s goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov took first star honors with his 0.929 save percentage while Chicaog’s rookie senesation goaltender Corey Crawford was the second star with is 0.957 save percentage; It was penalty trouble that got the best of the Coyotes.
It was a late first period penalty to Eric Belanger that saw the Blackhawks score a power play goal with 30 seconds left in the period.
Belanger would come back in the second and score in the final few minutes to tie the game back up only to see Coyotes captain Shane Doan take a penalty in the third and for Chicago’s Chris Campoli capitalize on the man advantage for the 2-1 win.
Calgary Flames 4 Anaheim Ducks 5 (OT)
In a late game that went even later into extra time the Ducks snagged the extra point over the Flames.
Anaheim started the game off dominating Calgary. Within the first six minutes the Ducks saw captain Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Francois Beauchemin score. Calgary got on the score board late with a goal from Tom Kostopoulos to make it 3-1 heading into intermission.
The second period saw the Flames tie the Ducks with a goal from Rene Bourque early in the period and then another late period goal from Kostopoulos.
Third period saw Flames captain Jarome Iginla get the go ahead goal on the power play after Ducks’ rookie defenseman Cam Fowler was called for cross checking. It was the Finnish Flash that took advantage of a Rene Bourque interference penalty. Teemu Selanne scored his 22nd of the season to tie the game and force overtime.
Just over two and a half minutes into overtime Ducks’ Corey Perry scored the overtime winner just four seconds after Bobby Ryan had been given another penalty shot in overtime (Ryan was awarded a penalty short against the Detroit Red Wings on March 2nd that ended up being the game winner).
Up into the Netting
The United States’ Environmental Protection Agency will be honoring four NHL teams for their commitment to donating all prepared (but untouched) game day food. The food donation is part of the National Hockey League’s partnership with ‘Rock and Wrap It Up!’ to fight hunger.
Children with special needs are no longer forced to sit on the sidelines in Ottawa thanks to Matt Carker and the Capital City Condors.
The Phoenix Coyotes deal could be imminent as Hulsizer makes concessions.
Is your March Madness bracket broken? Check out the 2011 NHL Entry Draft Rankings top 100 for some real madness.