A Day in the NHL: Thursday January 13


There was another hat-trick in the NHL tonight, while Dwayne Roloson continues to dominate in Tampa Bay. Sidney Crosby doesn’t look to be any closer to coming back though.

The Night that Was:

Since coming to the Tampa Bay Lightning, Dwayne Roloson has been even better this year, and that’s all the Lightning could ask for. Roloson moved to 3-1 with his new team and recorded his second shutout in four games with them in a 3-0 win over the Capitals. Alexander Ovechkin was frustrated all night, breaking two sticks (Sidenote: It IS an official stat) while Sean Bergenheim recorded a goal and an assist. Two points away from 200 for his career, Steven Stamkos was held pointless as Tampa Bay jumped two points ahead of Washington in the race for the Southeast.

Pittsburgh got some revenge over the Montreal Canadiens last night, as they pulled off a 5-2 victory over the team that started their losing streak. It was the highest-scoring game for the Penguins since Sidney Crosby left the lineup, while it was also their first win. While bright sides were few for the Canadiens, David Desharnais did score his first NHL goal in this game and speaking of firsts, Jordan Staal had three points, giving him his first points since returning to the Pittsburgh lineup. Marc-Andre Fleury only had to contest with 22 shots on his way to a 19th win, while two other Penguins had three points: Alex Goligoski with two goals and one assist, and Kris Letang, whose three assists move him even deeper into the mid-season Norris Trophy conversation.

Corey Crawford has been the opposite of unstoppable lately, because that’s all he’s done: stop pucks. Crawford recorded his second-consecutive shutout against Colorado, making 24 saves for the 4-0 win. Crawford had a pretty tame night, never facing more than nine shots in a period, while David Bolland and Fernando Pisani each came up big for the ‘Hawks with one goal and one assist. It was the third loss in four for the Avalanche while Chicago has won four of their last five.

For the second straight night, NHL fans got to throw hats on the ice. Bobby Ryan had the hat-trick for the Ducks, while David Backes had two for the Blues as Anaheim beat St. Louis 7-4. Five Ducks had multiple points including rookie of the year candidate Cam Fowler and Lubomir Visnovsky as only five Ducks here held scoreless on the evening. Matt D’Agostini and Valdimir Sobotka each had two assists for the Blues as they lost their fifth-straight game. Anaheim moved within five points of Dallas for the lead in the Pacific Division.

What’s on Tonight?

The always-exciting Philadelphia/Boston rivalry takes another turn tonight, while both New York teams host Canadian teams: The Islanders host the floundering Senators, and Vancouver visits the Rangers. Carolina heads to Buffalo while Nashville hopes to stay warm in sunny Florida and win their seventh straight. Toronto wraps up a Western swing against Phoenix, St. Louis is in Los Angeles and Edmonton visits San Jose.

The Injury Bug:

-The only update on Sidney Crosby is that he’s getting another test. Dan Bylsma wouldn’t offer any more info, even on a return date for the superstar.

-Milan Lucic is doubtful for tonight’s game with an uppder body injury. If he does miss this game, Lucic will have missed two straight.

-Thomas Vanek will play through the injury to his right hand. There were some questions as to whether he would play or not, but with Derek Roy out of the lineup, Buffalo can’t afford it.

-Rick DiPietro may be ready to go for the Islanders tonight. Either that or Saturday. Hopefully he’ll be able to stay in the lineup once he gets healthy again.

Rumours and News Around the League:

-In a bit of a shocker to some, the Florida Panthers have entered into contract talks with Tomas Vokoun. Conversations have been described as “ongoing” between Vokoun and the Panthers, which is great news for Panthers fans.

-The Maple Leafs are in a bit of hot water over Ron Wilson’s motivational tool during their win against San Jose. Wilson put up a cash prize on the board to add a little more incentive for the players to get the win. Carl Gunnarsson, who had the winner, said he would put the money towards dinner for the players. The $600 cost the Leafs a little more though, as they were reportedly fined by the league and may have also crossed a line in the CBA.

The Overlooked Fantasy Line of the Night:

Jordan Staal gets the nod today. After having a less-than stellar return to the lineup for the first five games, a three-point night got him back on track. One goal, two assists and all three points coming with the man advantage.

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