From Abdelkader to Zuccarello – 27 Feb 2011

Nashville Predators 2; Dallas Stars 3
The Battle of the Finns yesterday afternoon as Kari Lehtonen and the Stars defeated Pekka Rinne and the Predators. Rinne managed to turn away 22 of the 25 shots on goal he faced; but that was not enough as Lehtonon with a 0.926 save percentage stopped 25 of the 27 shots he faced.

The game started off on the wrong foot for the Predators as Kevin Klein was sent to the penalty box only 1:04 into the game. The first period went scoreless until the final few minutes when Stars’ Tom Wandell scored un assisted.

Going into intermission down 1-0 the Predators returned to the ice fired up. Five minutes into the second Ryan Suter tied the game and then Colin Wilson put the Predators up by one.

Funny thing about being motivated when you’re down – it works both ways.

The Stars came out in the third and tied the game little over six minutes into it and then when Predators Shea Weber took a boarding call giving the Stars the man advantage Loui Eriksson took full advantage and put the Stars back on top.

Colorado Avalanche 3; Los Angeles Kings 4
Kings claim two points in the much heated western conference play off position race.

Starting the game off in the first five minutes Colorado’s David Koci and LA’s Kevin Westgarth were assessed fighting majors.

The Kings were up 4-0 by the time the Avalanche got their first puck in the net. David Jones scored a power play goal at 12:42 of the third; then turned around and scored again at even strength less than a minute later cutting the Kings lead in half.

There were ten penalties called in the third from coincidental roughing calls to Kings’ Ryan Smyth and Avalanche’s Erik Johnson to a late hooking call on Johnson. With 30 seconds left in the game Paul Stastny brought the game within one trying desperately to force the game into over time for that extra point.

Detroit Red Wings 3; Buffalo Sabres 2 (SO)
What was looking to be Miller vs. Miller as Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller was set to play against brother Drew Miller; but the Red Wings opted to scratch him.

Sabres head into the game 2-0 with their new owner and head into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead over the Red Wings.

Pavel Datsyuk brings the Red Wings within one as he finally solves Ryan Miller. Just a few minutes later Jiri Hudler got a breakaway just to be robbed by Miller. Fittingly it was Hudler who came off the bench when Detroit pulled Joey MacDonald for the extra man to score with 57.9 left in the game to tie it at two.

Pittsburgh Penguins 6; Toronto Maple Leafs 5 (SO)
Joffery Lupel is making his mark on Toronto and not jut by causing a Twitter stir when trying to locate a lost cell phone. Last night Lupel scored twice against Pittsburgh.

Lupul’s first goal came on the power play as James Neal was sent to the box for hooking. Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel assisted on the goal. Pittsburgh’s Alex Kovalev was not about to end the period down on the score board so in the final seconds he tied the game.

Coming back form intermission Jay Rosehill (Toronto) and Michael Rupp (Pittsburgh) were quick to drop the gloves. It took until halfway though the period before a lamp was lit – this time by Toronto’s Colby Armstrong to Put the Maple Leafs up 2-1; however the next two goals went to the Penguins as did the lead.

Just as Pittsburgh had scored twice to steal the lead Toronto scored twice early in the third to take it back; then special teams came into play. At the 6:34 mark Maxime Talbot scored a short handed goal to tie the game. Less than a minute later Dion Phaneuf took the lead back for the Maple Leafs to once again lose it to a tie game from a goal by Michael Rupp to head into extra time.

Shoot out:
TOR – Joffory Lupul – Save
PIT – Kris Letang – Save
TOR – Phil Kessel – Save
PIT- Alex Kovalev – Goal
TOR – Mikhail Grabovski – Save

Carolina Hurricanes 3; Montreal Canadiens 4
In a low penalty game (four totally and only one to Carolina) it is only fitting that the game was decided late in the third by a power play goal.

Montreal’s Andrei Kostitsyn scored on the man advantage as Carolina’s Jeff Skinner was sent to the box for holding.

What lead up to that? An early 1-0 lead for Carolina when Jussi Jokinen scored in the first only to fall 2-1 to Montreal by the first intermission as Michael Cammalleri and Lars Eller took advantage of situations and beat Cam Ward.

The second period saw Tuomo Ruutu tie the game back up early only for Carolina see it slip from their grasp as Tomas Plekanec scored just minutes later on a feed from Cammalleri. The Hurricanes would not go gently into the good night – not yet anyway – as Corey Stillman tired the game back up before the second intermission.

Philadelphia Flyers 1; Ottawa Senators 4
It was a long time before the first goal of the game was score. Well 19:40 into the first – which can feel like a life time to players and fans. When Scott Hartnell scored in the final minute of the first Flyers fans had to feel a little more relaxed – I mean we all do when our team scores first right? Well that only lasted until halfway though the second when Nick Foligno scored on the power play to tie the game.

Just minutes after Foligno’s goal Erik Condra gave the Senators the lead and they never looked back. In the third period the Flyers still were unable to score and Chris Phillips and Erik Condra (power play goal) increased the lead.

The third period got a little rough as four roughing penalties were assessed (two to Erik Gustafsson and two to Colin Greening) at the 17:17 mark along with a charging to Scott Hartnell.

Washington Capitals 3; New York Islanders 2
The Capitals had to come out big after a 6-0 rumble with the New York Rangers and it took playing all 60 minutes of the game but they did over though the Islanders.

The Islanders had a 2-0 lead mere seconds into the second period. Kyle Okposo scored the only goal in the first and Travis Hamonic scored just 33 seconds into the second period. Things were looking to be a long night for Capitals rookie goalie Michael Neuvirth – who went on to stop 29 of the 31 shots he faced. Not as much could be said for Islanders goalie Al Montoya who stopped only 19 of the 22 he faced.

Less than 3 minutes into the second Islanders Zenon Konopka and Capitals Matt Hendricks dropped the gloves and shortly there after Brooks Laich decided that he was not about to fall to a second team from New York in as many days. Laich cut the lead in half halfway though the second from a pass from defenseman John Carlson.

A fire was lit within the Capitals dressing room as by the six minute mark in the third they had taken the lead. Mike Knuble and Alexander Semin both got past Montoya just minutes apart.

Boston Bruins 3; Vancouver Canucks 1

Looked like just another game for the home team Canucks last night as they grabbed the lead in the first with a backhander from Manny Malhotra.

It was a rematch in a city a year earlier saw Team USA and Team Canada battle it out in the Olympics. Canucks Roberto Luongo won the gold medal while Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas went home with silver (though Ryan Miller was in net for the Olympic game and saw Canucks Ryan Kesler facing Luongo not playing in front of him). Last night the goalies battled it back out. Luongo turned away 22 of the 24 shots he faced while Thomas made 27 saves on the night for a 0.964 save percentage that earned him the 2nd star honors.

With the points race reving up every point matters and both teams wanted them badly, but just maybe Bruins’ Milan Lucic wanted the points the most. Lucic was awarded the first star of the game; and for good reason, he assisted or scored three of the four goals by the Bruins last night.

Up into the Netting

Looks like Bryan McCabe is heading to Broadway as the New York Rangers trade forward Tim Kennedy and a 3rd round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft to the Florida Panthers for defenseman McCabe.

Thoughts and prayers going out to Red Wings Alumni Association President Shawn Burr and his friends and family as he has been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.

Speaking of the Rangers – goaltender Henrik Ludqvist is making a case for the Vezina.

Even with set backs to stars on the tem the Pittsburgh Penguins ownership group shows commitment to Stanley Cup vision.

The Washington Capitals 6-0 loss to the New York Rangers the other night was had on many fans but it / made an 8 year old fan cry.

What’s in a name? Well for recent Nashville Predators call up Blake Geoffrion a lot. Geoffrion became the first 4th generation NHL player yesterday as the Predators fell to the Dallas Stars. Howie Morenz, Geoffrion’s great-grandfather was part of the first class to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. His grandfather is Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion, and his father, Danny Geoffrion, played for both Winnipeg and Montreal. Blake has already made quiet the name for himself after winning the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s most outstanding player (Washington Capital’s General Manager George McPhee and Buffalo Sabres / Team USA goalie Yran Miller have also won the award when he played college hockey).

Some things will never go away. “Dan Ellis Problems” is here to stay. Another thing that will never go away… the use of screen shots.