Riding the Zamboni - Monday, December 27th
To read about Chris Osgood’s 400th win (and the outstanding performance that allowed him to earn it), click here.
Here are summaries of Monday’s other five games.
Apparently the Rangers wanted to make sure that Dwayne Roloson won’t receive two straight player of the week awards. They scored seven goals by firing an astounding 52 shots at Rolo, scoring six unanswered goals after the Islanders took a 2-1 lead midway through the first period.
Plenty of Rangers pitched in, but Matt Gilroy (two goals), Brian Boyle (one goal and two assists) and Brandon Dubinsky (one goal and one assist) probably had the strongest games.
Scott Clemmensen was very good in this game (40 out of 42 saves), but like many other goalies this season, he just couldn’t top Tim Thomas for the win. Blake Wheeler scored a goal in regulation and also earned the only shootout tally of either team with an odd score while David Krejci provided Boston’s two other goals.
David Booth and Mike Santorelli provided Florida’s goals while Michael Frolik had two assists. (Clearly, the team just isn’t the same without Stanley C. Panther at full strength.)
Earlier today, I wrote that tonight marked a great opportunity for Steve Mason to earn his starting job back with the Blue Jackets. If it indeed is a chance for him to be the top guy again, then he nailed his audition. Mason stopped 37 shots while Jose Theodore struggled (19 out of 22 saves, 0 for 3 in the shootout) to help Columbus earn a much-needed victory tonight.
Perhaps the team still waxes and wanes with the performances of Mason and Rick Nash, as the talented power forward scored a shootout goal and notched two assists to help his team rise above its “pee wee” status from last week.
The Sabres didn’t start their tough “boomerang” schedule off very well with a loss against the Flames tonight. After Drew Stafford gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead, Calgary scored the game’s next four goals to flatten their unfamiliar opponents. Don’t look now, but widely lampooned center Olli Jokinen is on a hot streak all of a sudden. He has six goals in his last nine games since returning to the team’s top line with Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay.
The Kings might not have the Pacific Division lead yet - they’re one point behind the Stars with one game in hand - but tonight’s performance gives them the best goal differential in the West with +28.
Antti Niemi kept Los Angeles off the board for the first two periods by making 30 saves, but the Kings would not be denied in an impressive four goal final frame. Marco Sturm scored his first goal with L.A. against the team that drafted him, Jonathan Quick earned a 24-save shutout, Dustin Brown scored two goals and Anze Kopitar had three helpers as the team beat their cross-state rivals in San Jose.