Archive for March 2011

The Saturday Recap - March 12th

Vancouver (2) vs Detroit (1)
Mattias Ohlund's second goal of the season broke a 1-1 tie in the third period to stretch the Canuck's win streak to three games and moved them within 8 points of Detroit in 4th place in the West. Wojtek Wolski also scored for Vancouver while Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 23 shots in net for his 26th victory. Nik Antropov replied for Detroit who lost for just the 3rd time in their last ten games, Evgeni Nabokov was outstanding for the Wings in the loss, stopping 31 shots. Steve Ott was injured just 29 seconds into the game as he pulled his groin while stepping on the ice for his first shift, Ott was listed day-to-day.
NJ (4) vs Calgary (3)
In this chippy rivalry things looked rather tame through two periods until Nik Hagman's kneeing major on John Madden at the end of the second period with teams tied at two. Marty Reasoner was injured at the 14:20 mark (when he suffered a strained knee and will be lost to the Flames for at least two games), then just about minute and a half later there was a line brawl with the main combatants being Jamie Benn and Brad Winchester (in which Benn got the better of and left Winchester leaving for repairs), Benn was ejected from the game for instigating and received an automatic two game suspension. Joe Corvo and Vinny Lecavalier also dropped the gloves but that was a saw off as the linesmen got in to break that one up quickly.When the gloves were all picked up the Devils left Cow-town with the two points. Dwayne Roloson stopped 26 shots for his 26th win of the season for New Jersey.
Washington (6) vs Toronto (0)
Toronto lost to the Capitals for the third time this season and second time by a 6-0 score on Saturday. The Leafs must have known they were in trouble early as they were outshot in first period 14-4 and trailed 2-0. T.J. Oshie (2-1-3), Anton Volchenkov (1-2-3) and Brett Clark (0-3-3) were a major reason for the Caps success on the night as was Jose Theodore as he bounced back from a poor outing in his last game (a 5-1 loss to Calgary) by stopping 16 shots for his third shut-out of the season.
Buffalo (3) vs New York Rangers (2)
The Sabres went into the Big Apple and left with a well deserved, much needed two points in their hopes to secure a playoff position as they out-lasted the Rangers 3-2. Tomas Plekanec scored the winning goal for Buffalo just 14 seconds into the third. Shane Doan with his 14th and Tomas Fleischmann with his 16th scored for the Rangers. Chad Larose (11th) and Zbynek Michalek added markers for the Sabres in the second period. Jimmy Howard stopped 35 shots for his 25th win.
Boston (1) vs Atlanta (3)
The Bruins dropped their second straight game after running off 14 straight wins, this time to Atlanta, who themselves are having trouble stringing W's together. After allowing the first goal, the Thrashers rang the next three off for the win and closed within 6 points of idle Philadelphia for top spot in the East. Rene Bourque scored for Boston while Henrik Sedin, James Neal and Mason Raymond tallied for Atlanta. Martin Brodeur continues to rack up wins with his 29th. Bryan Allen was ejected early in the first when he used his stick as a toothpick for Mikko Koivu and earned himself a butt-end major and game misconduct.
Phoenix (0) vs LA (5)
The Coyotes were caged in LA as the Kings shut-out Phoenix 5-0. It was 4-0 before the Coyotes showed any bite, but they insisted on using their fist instead of their sticks, the result was a line brawl with Dan Lacouture taking on David Steckel and getting Hazel Mae's nod. Rusty Klesla and John Zeiler fought to a draw but Zeiler was ejected when he broke away from the official and tried to get into the LA penalty box after Klesla earning him an automatic three game suspension. Jared Boll also destroyed Mark Streit in the mis-match of the night. When the scoring ended, rookie Oliver Setzinger (2-1-3) was the offensive star and Radek Bonk added (1-1-2) for LA. Ryan Miller had an easy night kicking aside a measly 14 shots.
Minnesota (4) vs Nashville (7)
 The Wild were tamed by Nashville as Ondrej Pavelec stopped 23 shots for his 11th win of the season. The Preds built a 6-0 lead before Minnesota showed any signs of life. Marcel Hossa and Steve Downie both had a pair of goals and Jiri Hudler (1-2-3) were the stars for Nashville. Sergei Fedorov with two goals and Tuomas Pihlman (1-1-2) scored for Minny.
New York Islanders (3) vs Montreal (4) S/O
The Canadiens had a 3-1 lead halfway through the third period but with less than five minutes remaining in the game, Patric Hornqvist and Alex Frolov tied the game up for the Islanders and sent the game into OT, where no scoring was done so it was onto the shoot out. After four rounds no one had scored then Frolov was stopped by Jonathon Quick and Owen Nolan would tuck a beautiful forehand-backhand deke between Carey Price's legs for the winner. Ruslan Salei had (1-1-2) for Montreal as Quick collected his 18th win of the season. Frolov added an assist to his goal late in the third for a two point night.
St. Louis (2) vs Columbus (6)
Jason Spezza with his first hat-trick of the season led his Blue Jackets to a blow out win over the Blues from St.Louis. The Blues scored the first and last goals of the game but couldn't amass anything in the other 58 minutes. Columbus has won two straight and are 9-1 in last 10 at home. The win allowed them to leap-frog Anaheim and into 7th place in the West. Also scoring for Columbus were Kris Versteeg (2-1-3), Daymond Langkow (1-2-3) and Vaclav Prospal added three helpers. Johan Hedberg won his 18th stopping 17 shots. Jarred Smithson (1-1-2) and Daniel Paille (1-0-1) scored for St.Louis.
Colorado (5) vs Anaheim (1)
The Avalanche went into Anaheim and froze them out winning 5-1. Mike Cammalleri led the way with a pair of goals. Keith Ballard and Derek Roy both had (1-1-2). Cammalleri scored his 27th and 28th in the second period to put Colorado ahead 4-0 and pretty much seal the win. Andrew Brunette scored the lone goal for Aanaheim who are 3-6-1 in their last 10 home games. The Avs took over 1st place in the West with the win (their 3rd in a row) and are now 2 points ahead of SanJose. Ilya Bryzgalov won his 32nd of the season. Mike Comodore of the Avs was assessed a five minute major and an automatic game ejection for his head butt on Mike Ribeiro. who wasn't injured on the play.
Pittsburgh (2) vs Tampa Bay (7)
It's fair to say Pittsburgh left their "A" game back in the Steel City as they were thoroughly embarrassed by Tampa by a score of 7-2. Tampa who are on a bit of a tear in the WCHL are 8-1-0-1 in their last ten games strengthened their hold on a play-off spot with the win. The Lightning led 3-1 after one, added a three spot in the second and one more in the third to finish off the Pens. Robert Lang and Curtis Glencross both had (1-2-3), while Karlis Skrastins had three assists for Tampa. Brian Elliot was outstanding kicking out 24 of 26 for his 18th win. Teemu Selanne (1-1-2) and Alex Semin replied for Pittsburgh. Fernando Pisani left the game late in the first with a sprained left ankle and is listed day-to-day.
Chicago (6) vs Edmonton (4)
The Blackhawks arrived in Edmonton on a 5 game win streak and the streak looked to be coming to an end as the Oilers led 3-1 after one. Key the come back as Chicago scored four goals in the second period, two of those on the powerplay, as the Hawks escaped with a 6-4 victory. Rookie Sean Backman was a major contributor as he scored twice and assisted once for his first three point game in the WCHL. Recently acquired Kyle Cuminsky had three assists and Chris Drury had a pair of goals. Ryan Clowe had a great game in a losing cause with (2-2-4), while Jordan Leopold had a goal and an assist. Tim Thomas registered his 18 victory of the season. The win moved Chicago within five points of eighth in the West. All was not good news for Chicago as they lost defenseman Tom Gilbert with a cut wrist tendon and will be lost for at least a month.
Reporting for The WCHL Network.........
Peter Pucker

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The Saturday Recap - March 5th

Florida (7) vs New York Islanders (5)
The Panters and Isles engaged in an offensive display forgetting about the defense on Saturday. Matt Stajan had what has to be his best offensive performance to date of his career in the WCHL. Stajan scored five times.......... YES FIVE TIMES people !! To lead his Panthers to victory, oh ya he added an assist for a season high 6 points. If the Isles hadn't scored two late markers to make the final 7-5, this game would have looked ugly. Andrej Meszaros, Phil Kessel and Ruslan Fedotenko all collected three assists nights for Florda. Roman Hamrlik (2-1-3), Brad Richards (1-2-3) and Corey Perry (0-3-3) all played a large part in New York's scoring. With the win Florida moves withing 6 points of 8th place Tampa in the East.

Anaheim (4) vs Minnesota (2)
Two goals in thirty seconds had Minnesota leading 2-1 after 40 minutes, and carrying the play out shooting Anaheim 20-13. However a three goal third period on seventeen shots by the Ducks (two on the powerplay) and Anaheim left Minnesota with the two points. Defenseman Johnny Oduya (1-2-3), and Brad Stuart (2-0-2), and forward Ryan Malone (1-2-3) lead the Ducks. Raffi Torres and Aaron Miller both scored for Minnesota. Tuukka Rask stopped 23 shots for his 21st win. Anaheim was 3 for 6 on powerplay and with the win have now won three straight.

Atlanta (1) vs Detroit (4)
Peter Olvecky had two goals to lead the home town Wings past the high potent offense of Atlanta. Lubomir Vinovsky's goal at 7:46 of the second period broke a 1-1 tie and Steve Reinprecht scored late in the third for Detroit to squash any chance of a Thrasher comeback. Jan Hejda scored the lone marker for Atlanta who lost for the first time in three contests. Evgeni Nabokov stopped 22 shots for his 26th win of the season.

NJ (9) vs Phoenix (0)
This really wasn't a contest at all. New Jersey completely and utterly embarrassed the Coyotes on their home ice (but at least the fans still went home happy on Snuggie night at the arena). A four goal first period was more than enough, the Coyotes should have been euthenized after 20 minutes as they refused to put up any resistance, being out-shot 41-10 by the Devils through the game. Tyler Bozak (2-2-4) lead the offense for New Jersey, seven Devils had two point nights, with David Perron and Niklas Hagman each chipping in a pair of goals. Dwayne Roloson had his easiest game in awhile as he turned aside all 10 shots he faced for his 3rd WCHL shut-out of the season.

St. Louis (3) vs Colorado (8)
Loui Eriksson scored a hat-trick and two assists to lead the Avalanche to a 8-3 dismantling of the Blues. Matt Cooke had a pair of goals during a five goal first period, and a host of other Avalanche players had two point nights. Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 20 shots for his 29th win. Alex Svitov had two goals and rookie Blake Evans had the other for the Blues who have dropped three of their last five games.

Edmonton (2) vs Chicago (5)
Bryce Salvadore scored a hat-trick while teammates Nick Boynton and Ryan Potulny each contributed three assists as the Blackhawks beat the Oilers 5-2. Two goals in twenty seconds in the second period was all Chicago needed to bury the Oil. Tim Thomas turned aside 17 saves for his 14th victory of the season. Ryan Clowe with a goal and Yannick Riendeau with a goal and an assist were the offense for Edmonton.

Ottawa (5) vs Toronto (4)
This edition of the Battle of Ontario was played in "The Big Smoke" otherwise known as Toronto. The Leafs started out great as they notched three in the first period on ten shots, then it was Ottawa's turn as they scored three in the second to take a 4-3 lead. Toronto tied it in the third but a very late goal by Sen's Jarkko Ruutuu with 1:21 remaining in regulation would be the winner and the Ottawa fans that had travelled down for the game errupted in celebration. Jarkko Ruutuu had (1-2-3) and Antti Miettinen (2-0-2) lead the Sens, Manny Legace came in in relief for Ottawa and was credited with the win saving 10 of the 11 shots he faced.
For the Leafs it was defenseman Wade Redden with (1-2-3) and forward Tim Jackman (1-1-2) that led the way.

Calgary (2) vs New York Rangers (1)
This tightly contested game played by two of the league's better teams was not disappointing. After a scoreless first Mike Richards scored his 19th to put the Flames on top at 7:28, but the Rangers replied just 1:05 later on a goal by Anze Kopitar, his 20th. David Clarkson would score the winner for the Flames with Ranger's Shane Doan serving a penalty for holding at 4:18 of the third and Jonas Hiller would do the rest shutting down New York, he stopped 26 shots for his 16th victory of the season. The win was somewhat bittersweet as the Flames lost both Nick Foligno (a slight sprained left ankle) for about a week and Jamie McBain (bruised left foot) is listed day-to-day afte blocking a shot.

Dallas (5) vs Washington (2)
The Stars jumped all over Washington, after surrendering the first marker, by scoring three straight to end the first 3-1 and added two more in second to blow game wide open. T.J. Oshie scored his 14th of the season on the powerplay early in third period but the game was out of reach by then. Mike Lundin had a trio of assists for the Stars while Brian Pothier, Jakub Voracek and Tore Vikingstad all had (1-1-2). Roberto Luongo won for his 23rd time this season as he stopped 24 shots. Jose Theodore surrendered 4 goals on 14 shots before being replaced by Marty Turco in the Capitals net. Oshie had an assist to go along with his goal and Anton Volchenkov had a pair of assists for the Caps.

LA (2) vs Nashville (0)
Evgeny Dadonov and Jay Bouwmeester (on powerplay) scored goals for LA while Ryan Miller stopped 27 shots to register his 18th victory and his 4th shut-out of the season. LA has won 3 straight and is now within 5 points of the eighth and final playff spot in the West. Nashville lost their third straight and is 3-7 in last ten games and are starting to see the possibility of missing the playoffs become a reality. Ondrej Pavelec stopped 26 shots in the loss.

Pittsburgh (2) vs San Jose (5)
The Sharks feasted on Penguin on Saturday night, winning easily 5-2. San Jose scored three in the first and another two in the third. The Pens had 15 extra man chances and scored on just two of them. The Sharks were 3 for 6 with the extra man. Dany Heatley scored a goal and two assists while Eric Staal added a pair of helpers for San Jose. Alex Semin and Jarret Stoll found the back of the net for Pittsburgh. Cam Ward stopped 33 shots for the win, his 34th. Pittsburgh failed to make up any ground on Conference leading Philly but San Jose seems to have gotten back on the track now with their second win in a row and are 5-5 in last ten.

Philly (2) vs Boston (5)
Philly went into Boston and took on the leagues hottest team as the Bruins had a 11 game streak going into Saturday's match. Boston evened up the season series with a 5-2 victory. Actually if not for Chris Mason's play on the night (stopping 38 shots) the game could have easily hit double digits. The Flyers were only able to fire 10 shots in the game (not period) at Craig Anderson who had an easy night for his 30th win on the season. Jeremy Williams had a pair of goals for Boston while Brendan Morrison, Chris Pronger and Colby Armstrong all had two assists for Pittsburgh. Mike Green and Scott Hartnell scored for Philly. The Flyers lead in the East shrunk to just three points with the Bruins victory.

Reporting for The WCHL Network...............
Peter Pucker

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