Some exciting games took place in the NHL last night with dominating performances, last-ditch wins, and even an odd sequence of events for a certain Swedish netminder…
The Night that Was:
If you missed it, Henrik Lundqvist had a pretty interesting night. In the New York Rangers’ game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Lundqvist gave goals to Chris Kunitz and Matt Cooke just over 30 seconds apart. Annoyed at the fact his team looked to be on the wrong end of a 2-1 final, Lundqvist smashed his stick on the crossbar and flung it down the ice. He ended up with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty (Ironic that it was served by Sean Avery) on which Marc Staal scored the game-tier. Ryan Callahan then won it for the Rangers in OT, giving Lundqvist is seventh win of the season as he stopped 37 of 39 shots.
Outside of a bad goal by Jason Spezza in the first, the Philadelphia Flyers controlled the Ottawa Senators all game long. Mike Richards finished with two goals (one shorthanded) and an assist, while Claude Giroux logged a goal and two assists. The up-and-down season for Erik Karlsson continued as he was held pointless for just the second time in five games, but took three consecutive minors in the second period.
Tim Thomas’ preposterous season continued last night. Thomas stopped all 28 shots that he faced to record his fourth shutout of the season and move to 9-1 as the Bruins beat the New Jersey Devils 3-1. Nathan Horton put home his team-leading eighth while Mark Recchi recorded two assists.
The Los Angeles Kings’ win streak has come to an end. Coming in to Monday night having won six-straight, the Kings were hoping to roll over their division rival, the San Jose Sharks. Patrick Marleau had other ideas though. One goal and three assists later for the former-WHL standout, San Jose picked apart Los Angeles 6-3. The Sharks trailed once the entire game, and it wasn’t for long. The Kings opened the scoring at 16:33 of the first, but Ryan Clowe tied it at 18:05 and Torrey Mitchell scored at 19:20 for the 2-1 lead—one they would never relinquish. From the “I can’t believe he scored” file, Scott Nichol earned his second goal of the year mid-way through the second period.
What’s on Tonight?
Hopefully you’ve got something else to do tonight. I’d suggest Christmas decorating, but my Scrooge-like spirit says it’s way too early. Three games this evening as Philadelphia finishes up a back-to-back set against Canadian teams, this in Montreal against the Canadiens. No one else is playing on short rest though. Anaheim plays Dallas and Nashville visits Toronto.
The Injury Bug:
Craig Rivet, who we talked about yesterday possibly playing, didn’t suit up because of the flu (We’re also hearing food poisoning), while Patrick Kaleta left the game with an upper-body injury. Kaleta didn’t return and Rivet was officially listed as a healthy scratch.
Although he didn’t play last night, David Koci was taken off of injured reserve by the Colorado Avlanche. Koci broke his jaw in the pre-season and Coach Joe Sacco now feels comfortable enough to play him.
Still nothing official on the Andrei Markov front, just that he won’t play tonight. Silence doesn’t seem promising though, at least in my opinion.
Dan Girardi left Monday’s game against the Penguins after being hit in the face by a dump in. Girardi was bleeding pretty badly. He didn’t return but there’s no word on any structural damage. If it’s only stitches he should be back fairly quickly.
Also, here’s a direct post from James Cybulski’s Twitter: Leafs coach Ron Wilson says Phaneuf had staples removed and hopes to see the Leaf Captain back on the ice within the next week.
In minor news: Carlo Colaicovo was activated and played for St. Louis last night with Derek Joslin in the same boat, and Brendan Morrow is questionable today with a creaky groin.
Rumours Around the League:
Troy Bodie news could be forthcoming. Just after I posted yesterday, he was placed on waivers by Anaheim (9am Pacific), so he’s someone to watch. If he’s not claimed though, he’s staying with the Ducks.
People are pushing the “Montreal is going to trade for a defenseman from a cap-casualty” bandwagon again. You can look around at the rumours, but I won’t be posting anything. After all, they’ve survived without Markov for long periods of time before, and that was before PK Subban. Personally, I would look but don’t touch (the rumours that is).
After Sunday’s brawl against the Oilers, amazingly Brandon Dubinsky was the only one to get any kind of reprimand. Dubinsky grabbed Colin Fraser from the Rangers bench during the line brawl and he’ll get fined for it. Sean Avery meanwhile, who punched Ladislav Smid when he wasn’t looking, gets nothing, and the Oilers are furious (and confused) about that.
The Overlooked Fantasy Line of the Night:
Patrick Berglund and Alexander Steen each put up two points and were a plus-two in a losing effort for St. Louis last night. Berglund had five points over his last three games and Steen has 11 in 16 games this season.
All photos courtesy of YardBarker images.