From Abdelkader to Zuccarello – 25 Feb 2011

First off it is part of our namesakes birthday so a special Happy Brithday shout out to the Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader.

Now onto the games…

Detroit Red Wings 1; Dallas Stars 4

With Mike Modano looking to get back in the line up the Red Wings are playing host to host former team.

It took over halfway though the first but Mike Ribeiro got the Stars on the score board first and with less than a minute left in the period Loui Eriksson backhanded a short handed goal past Jimmy Howard.

The Red Wings were booed at the end of the first when they were down 2-0 at home; but came out swinging in the second. Brian Rafalski scored in the second only to have it waived off claiming goal tender incidental contact on Tomas Holmstrom. At the 9:16 mark Dallas’ Mike Ribeiro was given a Roughing while Adam Burish was giving a roughing and a 10 minute misconduct. Red Wings Johan Franzen was given a roughing and a 10 minute misconduct along with Jimmy Howard receiving a roughing penalty (served by Jan Mursak).

Even Detroit’s own “Perfect Human” Nicklas Lidstrom saw time in the penalty box last night for holding. The most shocking stat of the night: Lidstrom was a -3 for the night.

Early in the third period Detroit’s Jonathan Ericsson dropped the gloves with Dallas’ Steve Ott.

After being the reason for the first Red Wings’ goal being waived off it is only fitting that Tomas Holmstrom scored a power play goal in the third; but no come back was sparked as a few minutes later Dallas went up 4-1 with an empty net goal from Jamie Langenbrunner.

New York Islanders 3; Philadelphia Flyers 4 (OT)
Extra time was needed but in the end the Flyers made it 12 wins in a row against the Islanders at home in the Wells Fargo Center. Might not have thought that would be the outcome with the Islanders taking an early lead.

Islanders Frans Nielsen scored the only goal in the first period and sent the Flyers to intermission down 1-0. Can only speculate what went on in the locker room to fire up the Flyers…. (insert Ville Leino punch in the head video here)

….but the Flyers came out and Mike Richards tied the game up within the first two minutes of the second; and then James van Riemsdyk had a late period goal to give the Flyers the lead heading into the third.

Jeff Carter scored early to put the Flyers up 3-1 then less than a minute and a half later Matt Martin brought the Islanders within one. Islanders Blake Comeau took the only penalty in the third and the Flyers were unable to connect to put distance between them and the Islanders. It took until the 19:32 mark but Matt Martin was able to capitalize on a chance and tied the game seconds away from the end of regulation time.

Less than 20 seconds away from heading into a shoot out Philadelphia’s Andrej Meszaros got past Al Montoya to secure the two points for the Flyers and the first star of the night; while the Islanders head home with only one additional point.

Toronto Maple Leafs 5; Montreal Canadiens 4
He may have been last picked in the NHL All-Star Fantasy draft (hey he got a car and a donation to charity in his name!) but Phil Kessel is getting the last laugh with two goals and two assist last night verses the Canadiens.

Kessel scored two power play goals in the first after the Canadiens got an early lead off of a goal from Jeff Halpern. The most shocking event came 59 seconds after Kessel’s second goal when defenseman Brett Lebda scored to take the Maple Leafs up 3-1 over the home team Canadiens.

Alex Auld started the game in net for Montreal. A strange start seeing as how Carey Price had pulled out shut outs in the last two games he placed Toronto. Auld was pulled from the game after he allowed three goals in nine shots.

Special teams came up huge in the second as Montreal came out ready and saw both Michael Cammalleri and James Wisniewski score power play goals within the first five minutes of the period to tie the game at three. It was only a few minutes later when Tyler Bozak scored a go ahead goal for Toronto to take them into intermission up 4-3 over Montreal.

Knowing it was going to be a hard fought third period (three penalties in the first five minutes) Tyler Bozak scored (Kessel and Lebda getting the assist) to give the Leafs the 5-3 lead. The Canadiens were not able to score until the 17:23 mark to bring it within one. The Leafs walked away with two points and slowly inching their way towards the top eight.

Chicago Blackhawks 3; Nashville Predators 0

It was a big night for the two Slovakian’s on the Blackhawk roster as Marian Hossa and Tomas Kopecky each had a goal and earned second and third star honors for the night.

It was the end of the first period when Kopecky scored what ended up being the game winner from a feed from Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews. The second period saw no scoring but two penatlies (one to each team). The third period got off right for the visiting Blackhawks as Marian Hossa got passed Pekka Rinne in the first three minutes. In an attempt to at least tie it up to take the game into over time for a much needed point the Predators pulled Rinne and saw Patrick Sharp end all hopes of extra time with an empty net goal with 31 seconds left in regulation.

Blackhawks rookie goaltender Corey Crawford earned his third shutout as the Predators fall to the current Stanley Cup champions.

St. Louis Blues 2; Vancouver Canucks 3
It’s a hard fought battle in the west and every point is needed. The Vancouver Canucks not only sit atop of the conference; but also the league and grabbed two more points in a win over the Blues.

The game got off to a quick fight. Just over two minutes into the game St. Louis’ BJ Crombeen and Vancouver’s Tanner Glass were each given five for fighting.

How Swede it is – it was almost halfway though the first when Mikael Samuelsson scored on a feed from fellow Swedes Henrik and Daniel Sedin to give Vancouver an early advantage. Late in the period defenseman Sami Salo put the Canucks up 2-0 to head into intermission.

It was the Blues who came back in the second with saddles blazing as Alex Pietrangelo got a power play goal and just over a minute later David Backes tied the game up at two.

It was Manny Malhotra that came to the rescue with the final goal of the game just over a minute into the third. St. Louis’ Ty Conklin stopped 24 of 27 shots he faced for a 0.889 save percentage; while Vancouver’s Cory Schneider had 28 saves on 30 shots for a 0.933 save percentage and the first star of the game.

Minnesota Wild 2; Los Angeles Kings 4
After a ten game road trip the Kings headed home to the Staples Center and defeated the Minnesota Wild.

First star of the game Wayne Simmonds got the home team the lead with a power play goal in the first. From there it was all back and forth with the Wild’s Eric Bystrom scoring early in the second only to have Wayne Simmonds score mid way though the second to regain the lead. The 2-1 lead didn’t last long as All-Star defenseman Brent Burns tied the game back up at 2 with 5 seconds remaining in the second.

After taking a late penalty in the second that saw Burns score the power play goal to tie it late Drew Doughty came out fired up; he scored early for the Kings to regain their lead over the visiting Wild. When the Kings took another late goal, this time in the third the Wild had the change to tie it up and walk away with at least one point in the much heated point battle in the Western Conference; however, Anze Kopitar scored a short handed empty net goal to edge the lead to two goals for the two points.

Up into the Netting

Rick Gethin takes a look at the same players yet different mentality of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Minnesota Wild Camouflage jerseys are up for auction!

The Anaheim Ducks traded goaltender Curtis McElhinney to the Tampa Bay Lightning for goaltender Dan Ellis.

The Atlanta Thrashers traded forward Nigel Dawes and defenseman Brent Sopel to the Montreal Canadiens for forward Ben Maxwell and a 4th round NHL Entry Draft pick.

Carolina Hurricanes gain forward Cory Stillman from the Florida Panthers for forward Ryan Carter and a 5th round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Do you believe in “Millercles”?

Song of the Morning: