A Day in the NHL: Thursday February 17

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The Leafs finally pulled off a win in Buffalo, while the Blackhawks won with a new head man behind the bench. And for the third time in three days, a Canadian team made a trade.

The Night that Was:

The New Jersey Devils just keep on winning. They made it five-straight last night with a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes as Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 20th of the season, giving him goals in three-straight games and five goals in his last five games. Patrick Elias and Brian Rolston put home a goal and an assist each for the Devils while Johan Hedberg has now won four-straight starts, allowing two goals or fewer in each of them. Sergei Samsonov scored his first goal for Carolina since January 22nd while Tuomo Ruutu scored just his second goal since a three-game goal streak in early January.

Jeeze…you’d think Phil Kessel was a potential 40-goal scorer at the rate he’s putting them home lately. Oh wait….Kessel notched his third goal in two games last night, while Joey Crabb scored his fifth NHL goal, first as a Leaf, and second shorty in the NHL. Crabb is actually a pretty deft scorer when down a man—between the NHL and AHL he has nine shorthanded goals in his pro career. Paul Gaustad had the only goal for Buffalo in a rare home loss to the Maple Leafs as James Reimer replaced Jean-Sebastien Giguere after the first period and stopped 14 of 15 shots for the 2-1 win. No further word on Giggy’s injury, other than it’s of the lower body type.

In Chicago, the Blackhawks have won games without their top scorers this season, and last night they had to win one without their Head Coach. Joel Quenneville was admitted into a hospital yesterday with an undisclosed illness as the ‘Hawks rolled to a 3-1 win over Minnesota. Quenneville was said to be in stable condition as Mike Haviland took over behind the bench, and it seemed to spark the league’s number two power play, which clicked for two goals. Brian Campbell scored his third of the season and first of the new year and David Bolland had three helpers to go along with Marian Hossa’s two assists as Minnesota lost their second in a row. Chicago meanwhile, moved within three points of eighth in the Western Conference.

Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 33 of 35 shots for the Flyers last night, but it was a save by Andrea Nodl that was the biggest of the night. On a goal-mouth scramble, Florida slid the puck past Bobrovsky, but Nodl was in behind the goalie and swept the puck out with his foot, despite the implication on replay being that it had to come out from behind the goal-line. Nodl added a goal and an assist to his save and Danny Briere had three points as the Flyers won their second in a row. David Booth also scored his first goal in five games and recorded just his third point in his last six. The loss was the Panthers fifth in seven games this month.

Quick Hits:

-The Kings overcame a three-point night from Rick Nash to secure a 4-3 win in the shootout over Columbus. Jarret Stoll was the only one of the shooters to score.

-Despite Cameron Gaunce’s first career NHL goal (Joe Vitale did the same for the Pens), the Pittsburgh Penguins won 3-2 over the Colorado Avalanche in overtime. The Avs have one win in their last 10 games.

Olli Jokinen scored for the fourth time in five games as seldom scorers Cory Sarich and Steve Staios contributed to Calgary’s 4-2 win over Dallas.

Alexander Semin had a hat-trick and ten other players scored in Washington’s 7-6 win over Anaheim.

What’s on Tonight?

The New York Islanders will try to follow the New Jersey Devils example and make it five-straight wins when they host Boston, and the Rangers host Los Angeles. Detroit visits Steve Yzerman and the Tampa Bay Lightning while Vancouver and Nashville hook up in Music City. Montreal and Edmonton meet up in an all-Canadian matchup while Atlanta visits Phoenix and Washington hopes to allow fewer goals than a baker’s dozen in San Jose.

The Injury Bug:

-The Colorado Avalanche will have to try getting back to their winning ways without Matt Duchene. The dynamic two-way forward is out indefinitely with a hand injury.

Brad Richards is working out on his own, but he didn’t travel with the team on it’s three-game road trip. Richards is dealing with a head injury.

-Goaltender Jonas Hiller is back on the Injured Reserve with his fatigue issues. He’ll be re-evaluated during his time away from the ice.

Rumours and News Around the League:

-Ian White was held out of practice Wednesday along with the Hurricanes game against the New Jersey Devils. Paul Maurice has said that if White is getting traded, it’ll happen within the next 24 hours and that was yesterday. He might’ve been traded before you even read this!

-The Anaheim Ducks sent Paul Mara to the Montreal Canadiens after last night’s game for a 2012 fifth-round pick. Mara spent last year with the Canadiens.

UPDATE: Apparently the New York Islanders and P.A. Parenteau have agreed to a one-year contract extension. Parenteau is second on the team with 35 points.

The Overlooked Fantasy Line of the Night:

Dave Bolland was in on all three Chicago goals last night, nabbing three helpers. Two of them came on the power play as Bolland finished the night with a plus-one rating as well.


You can e-mail Bryan at bryanthiel74@hotmail.com. You can also fllow him on Twitter at BryanThiel_88.