A Day in the NHL: Tuesday January 4


A couple of streaks were in play last night, as two of the surprisingly streaky teams in the league looked to continue win streaks, while one of the top teams in the West tried to do the same. The Leafs also scored a whole goal. No waffles though.

The Night that Was:

The Los Angeles Kings continued on an unruly slide last night, losing their fourth-straight. This time the loss came at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks, who broke out of a three-game losing streak themselves with a 4-3 win. L.A’s only lead came when they scored the opening goal of the game, but Michal Handzus’ tally was quickly offset by Marian Hossa’s first in ten games. Patrick Sharp added two, giving him 23 on the season, while Jonathan Toews notched a goal and an assist. Corey Crawford added in on the festivities with his fourth win in five starts. On the bright side for L.A, Ryam Smyth finished with two goals and Jack Johnson’s career season continued as he recorded another two assists.

Florida looked to be in great position to score a win over Carolina last night, but the Hurricanes decided late that they wouldn’t go down easy. Florida scored in every period to take a 3-1 lead into the third, when Zach Boychuk and Jay Harrison tied it for Carolina, with both goals being set up by Erik Cole. In overtime, the Panthers were saved by a Carolina turnover that led to Bryan Allen wiring home the game winner. Allen has seven goals over the past two seasons, three of them game winners. Scott Clemmensen stood on his head making 34 stops in the 4-3 win.

San Jose saved all their scoring for the second period against the Canucks, but Vancouver had one more in’em as they notched a 4-3 win, their sixth in a row. Alexandre Burrows, Daniel Sedin, and Christian Ehrhoff all recorded two points in the Canucks win, as Corey Schneider still has yet to lose in regulation, winning his fourth-straight start. Dany Heatley was the only Shark to get multiples with two assists, and Patrick Marleau scored just his second goal in five games. Antti Niemi was strong as well (not something you often hear when a goalie gives up four goals), stopping 43 of 47 shots.

It was the night of twos in Calgary as David Moss had both of the Flames goals, while John Tavares and Matt Moulson each had a pair as well, as the Islanders snapped the Flames’ win streak, and extended their own to three. The Islanders led 3-2 after one period of play, but the Flames could do little about it. Even with 19 shots in the second, they scored just one goal on call-up Nathan Lawson, who took over after Rick DiPietro left with a (you guessed it) lower body injury. Tavares finished with three points, while PA Parenteau and Andrew MacDonald had two assists in the 5-2 win.

Quick Hits:

-In a lovely low-scoring affair, Mikhail Grabovski scored his team-leading 14th as the Toronto Maple Leafs dropped a 4-2 decision to the Boston Bruins.

What’s on Tonight?

In a matchup you can really get excited about, Minnesota takes on New Jersey. In other, more really exciting news, Tampa Bay takes on Washington for the rights to the Southeast Division, Buffalo visits Colorado, and Detroit visits the fiery Edmonton Oilers. Tying up a trio of 9:00 starts, Columbus also travels to Phoenix.

The Injury Bug:

-Jordan Eberle is still awaiting an MRI on his ankle thanks to an offset holiday. Eberle feels that his ankle is healing though and has already made progress, so he may not be out for too long.

-Remember earlier when we mentioned DiPietro got hurt last night? We weren’t kidding. He left partway through the second period with a lower-body injury during that 19-shot barrage that was the second period.

-It’s also being said that Sami Salo is still a “maybe” in terms of resuming his NHL career. The veteran defenseman ruptured his Achilles tendon in July has been skating lightly in optional team skates.

Rumours and News Around the League:

-Michael Leighton seems to be losing out in the battle of the ‘tenders in Philadelphia as he was placed on waivers yesterday. Leighton is in direct competition with Sergei Bobrovsky and Brian Boucher.

Update: Leighton, having now cleared waivers and has found his way to the AHL.

The Overlooked Fantasy Line of the Night:

We’ll give it to Jonathan Toews. In his return to the lineup, Toews had a goal, an assists, a plus-one rating, and two penalty minutes in just under 20 minutes of ice time.

All Star Starters:

The starters have also been named for the NHL All Star Game. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins were named alongside Stanley Cup champions Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews.

E-mail Bryan at bryanthiel74@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter at BryanThiel_88.