A Day in the NHL: Friday January 21


It seemed like low-scoring was the theme in the NHL last night. While not all of the teams were goal-impaired, 15 scored two or fewer goals last night and 11 of the 12 games featured at least one of those teams.

The Night that Was:

The Philadelphia Flyers inched closer to a franchise milestone with their 999th win at home, and it was one that was right up the home team’s alley. Ottawa and Philadelphia combined for 126 penalty minutes in a fight-filled affair. Of course this isn’t the first time these two teams have racked up a whole lot of penalty minutes, as they took part in one of the most memorable brawls before the lockout. Captain Mike Richards led the way with two goals and two assists, handing Brian Elliot his tenth-straight loss. It was the fourth-straight win for Philadelphia as the team has lost just once this month, 6-2 over the Senators.

Just one night after scoring seven goals, the New York Rangers could barley muster one goal against the Carolina Hurricanes as they lost 4-1. It wasn’t for lack of trying though: The Rangers fired 40 shots on goal against Cam Ward who won for the first time in three starts. Brandon Prust had the only goal for New York as Chad Larose, Jeff Skinner and Tuomo Ruutu each had two points. There was a bright spot for the Rangers though as both Ryan McDonagh and Chad Kolarik recorded his first NHL point, assisting on Prust’s goal.

There was another NHL first in Detroit last night as Jakub Kindl scored his first NHL goal. It was Kindl’s 22nd career NHL game and also his first point, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the injury-depleted Wings. Kindl’s was the goal that made it 3-0 Detroit, and without it those three-straight St. Louis goals would’ve marked the end for the Wings. Despite the near collapse, Darren Helm was able to score the winner two minutes into overtime to give Detroit their first win in two games. Although Patrik Berglund had two points, the 4-3 loss was tough to swallow for St. Louis who was looking for their third-straight win

You’d expect the Washington Capitals to score more than two goals against the New York Islanders, but with the odd way things have gone lately the 2-1 win was really the important thing. Nicklas Backstrom was in on both goals, including scoring his second game-winning goal of the season. Alexander Ovechkin had two assists as well while the Isles’ Michael Grabner extended his personal point streak to four games with the lone goal for New York. Washington moved to 4-2-3 this month with the win.

Quick Hits:

-There was no Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin for the Penguins as they fell 2-0 to the New Jersey Devils. It was Martin Brodeur’s fourth shutout this season.

Steven Stamkos scored his 36th and 37th goals of the season, moving five ahead of Sidney Crosby and ten ahead of Daniel Sedin. Tampa won 3-2 in a shootout over Atlanta.

Thomas Vanek and Tyler Ennis had two points each for Buffalo as Vanek scored the winner in Buffalo’s 4-2 win over Boston.

Mikhail Grabovski became the first Maple Leaf to score 20 goals this season and J.S. Giguere made 26 saves in the 5-2 win over the Ducks.

-Nashville got goals out of five different scorers as they won their eighth game this month 5-1 over Colorado.

Jeff Petry’s first NHL goal wasn’t enough for the Oilers as they got doubled-up by the Dallas Stars 4-2. The Stars have won five straight.

-Despite the disagreement from Kings’ management, Martin Hanzal opened the scoring as the Coyotes went on to win 2-0.

Kyle Wellwood made his Sharks debut as San Jose and Vancouver battled to a 1-1 draw through four periods. Joe Pavelski scored the shootout goal to give the Sharks a 2-1 win.

What’s on Tonight?

The New York Islanders take on the Sabres in Buffalo while Montreal visits Ottawa. Tampa Bay and Florida hook up in the South Beach Battle and Dallas makes their way to Calgary.

The Injury Bug:

-The Avalanche have lost Tomas Fleischmann for the season to a blood clot in his lung. He’s on blood thinners and will be kept off the ice until next season.

Mike Cammalleri has been put on injured reserve by the Montreal Canadiens with a separated shoulder. Max Pacioretti will play through the rib contusion he suffered against Buffalo.

Kyle Okposo made his season debut for the Islanders last night after returning from shoulder surgery.

Rumours and News Around the League:

-If you haven’t heard, the Detroit Red Wings have signed Evgeni Nabokov to a dirt-cheap contract. He, like Marek Svatos and Kyle Wellwood, has to pass through waivers. There are a ton of rumours surrounding this, so keep an eye on this situation.

Jordan White signed an emergency contract with the San Jose Sharks last night. Antero Niittymaki was injured during the morning skate, leading the Sharks to sign the University of British Columbia goalie.

The Overlooked Fantasy Line of the Night:

Jiri Hudler only had one shot on the evening, but he still had three points for the Red Wings. Hudler recorded three assists and was a plus-one, giving him his single-most productive game of the season and points in three of his last four.

You can e-mail Bryan at bryanthiel74@hotmail.com, and you can follow him on Twitter at BryanThiel_88.