Thursday’s action had a lot of action on it. Thomas Vanek of the Sabres had a hat trick and two assists as Buffalo posted a 7-4 win over Boston for the Bruins’ first regulation loss (5-1-1) of the season.
Brad Marchand scored twice for Boston in the loss. The Bruins put 42 shots on Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller but he turned aside 38 of them for an ugly win. Shockingly, the game was scoreless after the first period but the Sabres scored the final four goals of the game.
Let’s take a look at the rest of the night on ice.
Toronto picked up its first home win of the season with a 3-2 win over Washington (1-5-1). Alex Ovehckin scored his second goal of the season in the second period. But the Leafs’ Nikolai Kulemin tied it and Matt Frattin potted the winner in the middle of the third period. Toronto outshot Washington 40-22.
The Islanders needed overtime to knock off New Jersey 5-4 and send the Devils to 3-0-3 on the season. John Tarvares had two goals and an assist on Brad Boyes’ game-winner 2:01 into the extra session. Martin Brodeur gave up all five goals for the Devils.
Pittsburgh blanked the Rangers 3-0 behind a 28-save shutout from Tomas Vokoun. Evgeni Malkin and Simon Despres each had a goal and an assist while James Neal struck on the power play for his fifth goal of the year. Henrik Lundqvist took the loss but is doing okay allowing eight goals in his last four games. That’s a vast improvement over the ugly start to his season.
The Blues scored three first-period goals and never looked back as they downed Columbus 4-1. TJ Oshie had a pair of assists for St. Louis; they also went 2-of-5 on the man advantage as they improved to 6-1 this season. The Blues chased starter Sergei Bobrovsky out of the net in 13:11 of the first period. Steve Mason shutdown the Blues the rest of the way except for an empty-netter by David Backes.
Colorado had THREE two-goal scorers in their 6-3 hammering of the Flames. John Mitchell scored in the first and second periods while P. A. Parenteau lit the lamp in the second and third period. Paul Stasny beat Miikka Kiprusoff twice in a span of 89 seconds late in the third period to break open a 3-3 tie. Lost in the Avalanche of offense was a two-goal game for Calgary by Jiri Hudler. In the meantime, the nightmare season for Kiprusoff’s fantasy owners continues on unabated.
Florida apparently woke up and smelled the proverbial coffee as they erupted for six goals against Ondrej Pavelec and the Winnipeg Jets last night in a 6-3 win. Florida got its second win of the season thanks to a five-goal second period. Tomas Fleischmann picked up three assists for Florida while Kris Versteeg had a goal and an assist in the win.
Nashville took Los Angeles to an eight-round shootout before the Predators broke through and won 2-1. Kings goaltender Johnathan Quick faced just 14 shots through regulation and overtime but still was saddled with the loss.
San Jose stayed perfect at 7-0-0 with a shootout win over Edmonton, 3-2. San Jose shooters beat Edmonton goaltender Devan Dubnyk twice in the shootout while both Sharks missed. Dubnyk turned aside 36 of 38 shots but couldn’t get the win.
Multiple Goal Scorers
Vanek-BUF HAT TRICK
Marchand-BOS, Tarvares-NYI; Parentau-COL, Stasny-COL, Mitchell-COL; Hudler-CGY
Ottawa is going to lose Jason Spezza for at least two months after he undergoes surgery for a herniated disc today. It’s a big blow for the Senators as they lose a guy who went 34-50–84 last season. The news is better for the Rangers’ Ryan Callahan. He’ll be out up to two weeks with a shoulder subluxation. For those of you non-medical types, that’s a temporary and partial dislocation that can impact the stability of the joint.
Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog is out with head and leg injuries; he has no timetable for a return. Columbus lost RW Cam Atkinson to a high-ankle sprain that will cost him about three weeks.
Mike Smith will get the start in goal for Phoenix Friday against Dallas. He missed the last four games with a groin injury for the Coyotes.
Stat of the Night
Brodeur gave up five goals in the regular season for the first time since March 17, 2012 against Pittsburgh. He gave up five or more goals in a game four times last season.
No Coupon Needed
Phoenix will finally get Raffi Torres eligible to be back on the ice Saturday against Dallas for his season debut. Torres, as you may remember, got a 21-game suspension for this hit on Marian Hossa in the 2011-2012 playoffs. Yes, Raffi will be freed.
Three Stars of the Night
1. Vanek Had his second five-point night this season.
2. Stasny Two-goal night in 89 seconds. That’s speedy.
3. Vokoun Shutout a potentially dangerous Rangers’ offense.
Friday’s Schedule (all times ET)
Philadelphia at Washington 7pm Will Washington’s woes continue?
Ottawa at Carolina 7pm Even without Spezza, this still doesn’t look good for Cam Ward.
Winnipeg at Tampa Bay 730pm A night after giving up six against Florida, look for the Jets to be barraged by the Lightning.
St. Louis at Detroit 730pm The Red WIngs try to play catch up with St. Louis and Chicago before they run and hide.
Phoenix at Dallas 830pm This is the start of a home-and-home between these two teams. Dallas already beat Phoenix once this year.
Chicago at Vancouver 10pm Will the Canucks be the first team to knock off Chicago in regulation time?
Minnesota at Anaheim 10pm The Northwest Division leaders visit the 3-1-1 Ducks.
It’s just less than two weeks to Valentine’s Day. Got your plans set up?