Aside from Boston’s 2-1 OT win over the Senators, there were 10 other games around the league. A young Leaf had an impressive game, and two slumping stars broke out, at least for one night. Here is a quick tour around the league.
- Nazem Kadri scored 3 times, the last one putting the Leafs up 4-2 in the second period, but they needed a Dion Phaneuf overtime goal to beat the Islanders 5-4. James van Riemsdyk had the other Toronto goal. Josh Bailey, Lubomir Visnovsky and Andrew MacDonald all had their first goals of the year, and Kyle Okposo‘s 2nd of the season just past the midway mark of the third period forced the overtime and got the Islanders a single point. James Reimer got the win in his return to the lineup, while Evgeni Nabokov took the OT loss, with each goalie making 23 saves.
- Rick Nash returned to the Rangers lineup and had an amazing 12 shots on goal against the Lightning in New York’s 4-1 win. Nash finally did score with just 93 seconds left in the game to add insurance to the goals scored by Carl Hagelin, Derek Stepan and Marc Staal. Mathieu Garon made 38 saves in the loss as the Lightning were thoroughly outplayed and out shot 42-25, including a very dominant 20-3 in the first period. Martin St. Louis was the only Lightning player to beat Henrik Lundqvist.
- Heading into the game all the talk was about Jordan Staal and Brandon Sutter facing their former teams for the first time, but it was the line of Eric Staal, Jiri Tlusty and Alexander Semin that made headlines as the trio accounted for 3 of Carolina’s 4 goals in a 4-1 win over the Penguins. Jeff Skinner returned to the lineup after recovering from a concussion and scored the other goal. Chris Kunitz had opened the scoring for the Penguins. Tlusty had 2 goals and an assist, Staal a goal and two assists and Semin had 2 helpers. Cam Ward made 26 saves for the win.
- Florida trailed for over 50 minutes, but Brian Campbell‘s equalizer 94 seconds from the end of regulation forced extra time and earned the Panthers a point. However, Jason Pominville ended the game in the shootout for a 4-3 Sabres win. Nathan Gerbe had a pair and Tyler Ennis had the other goal for the Sabres, who had leads of 2-0 and 3-2 in the first period. Florida battled back to tie it at 2-2 with goals from Drew Shore and Marcel Goc in the first, before Campbell’s late 3rd period goal.
- Andrew Ladd scored his 11th and 12th of the season and then assisted on Blake Wheeler‘s empty netter in Winnipeg’s 3-1 home ice win over the Devils. The Jets continue to build momentum coming home off a very successful road trip. In a game that featured only 44 shots on goal total, Ondrej Pavelec made 22 saves while Johan Hedberg stopped 18 of 20 Jets shots. Andrei Loktionov scored for the Devils in the loss.
- Chicago lost starting goalie Corey Crawford after 20 minutes, but it didn’t matter as Ray Emery picked up where he left off, making 15 saves to preserve the 3-0 shutout win over the Blues. Jonathan Toews scored twice for the Hawks without using his stick, as both goals banked in off his body. The Blackhawks extended their record to 21 straight games with at least a point. Andrew Shaw had the other Chicago goal.
- Edmonton scored early and cruised to a 5-1 win over the Stars in the game that took a nasty turn. Ales Hemsky had a goal and two assists, while Sam Gagner, Justin Schultz, Jeff Petry and Ben Eager also scored to ruin Kari Lehtonen‘s return to the Stars net. Jaromir Jagr broke Devan Dubnyk‘s shutout bid with just under 6 minutes to play. It was a rough affair that saw boarding penalties, a fight between Gagner and Brenden Dillon and a cross-checking major to Jamie Benn.
- The Flames took a 3-0 first period lead, and then a 4-2 lead after two, but Colorado scored three times in the third to beat the Flames 5-4 in regulation. Jarome Iginla had a pair for the Flames, with Jay Bouwmeester and Michael Cammalleri providing singles. Ryan O’Byrne and David Jones brought the Avs close in the second, and then Gabriel Landeskog scored 23 seconds into the third to start the rally. Paul Stastny tied it 6 minutes later, and Matt Duchene notched the game winner 4 minutes after that. The secondary story of this game was the Flames signing Colorado RFA Ryan O’Reilly to an offer sheet earlier in the day, which the Avs announced they had matched while the game was in progress.
- Dany Heatley scored twice as Minnesota took a 4-1 lead and held on to beat the Coyotes 4-3. Jason Zucker and Jared Spurgeon had the singles for the Wild. Rostislav Klesla and Keith Yandle made it a game, and Shan Doan scored with just under a minute left to make it very interesting, but they couldn’t find the equalizer.
- Damien Brunner scored only goal in the shootout to give the Red Wings a 2-1 win in San Jose. Jonas Gustavsson got the win for the Wings, after Logan Couture and Patrick Eaves exchanged third period goals. Antti Niemi made 33 saves to preserve a point for the Sharks while Gustavsson stopped 25 shots for his first win as a Red Wing.
That’s concludes our tour around the league. As usual, it is a relatively light Friday night ahead, with only 3 games on the schedule, before 18 games come up split over Saturday and Sunday. Check back tomorrow for a complete recap.