News and notes from last night's action...
Ottawa 6, Atlanta 4 -- Last night, the Senators had a little trouble putting away the Thrashers. When it came to re-signing stud Jason Spezza, not so much. This morning the team announced that they had signed the young center to a seven year contract extension worth $49 million.
The night before, the Senators held a 5-0 lead heading into the third thanks to two goals from Randy Robitaille and three points from Daniel Alfreddson. Atlanta stormed back, scoring four straight goals to open the third, which included a hat trick from Ilya Kovalchuk. Alfreddson's empty netter late in the third would seal it for Ottawa, 6-4.
Boston 4, Buffalo 3 OT -- Watch out, the Bruins look like they are believing in their ability... or something. The B's earned their 7th win of the year in only their 11th game, and look on pace to completely ruin my prediction of this year's Eastern Conference cellar dweller. Marco Sturm scored the overtime winner, which was his second game winning goal of the young season.
St. Louis 3, Minnesota 2 -- Don't look now, but the Blues have also won 7 of 11, and all of a sudden Minnesota's defense looks completely beatable. Josh Harding started in net again for Minnesota as Niklas Backstrom is still day-to-day with a groin injury. Marian Gaborik had two points for the Wild and Jay McKee scored the game winner in the third for St. Louis.
Montreal 5, Philadelphia 2 -- Speaking of teams that all of a sudden look completely beatable, here are the Philadelphia Flyers. After winning seven of their first eight games, the Flyers have now lost three of four including a drubbing north of the border last night that saw them get out shot 41-19. Daniel Briere's goal-less drought that dates back to October 13th has now reached eight games. Meanwhile Tom Kospotpaslaslkalsdous scored a shorthanded goal, his first of the year, which was the eventual winner for Montreal. Alexei Kovalev scored too (take that liberally biased media!).
Anaheim 2, Columbus 1 SO -- Mathieu Schneider scored the only shootout goal for either side (yes, I really did just say that), as the Ducks escaped Ohio with a narrow victory. Pascal Leclaire had the night off, but Fredrik Norrena stepped in and made 33 saves for the Blue Jackets.
NY Islanders 4, Tampa Bay 0 -- The Islanders played only their 2nd game in 12 days, but made it worthwhile. Rick DiPietro earned his first shutout of the year by stopping all 28 Lightning shots, and Mike Comrie picked up two more assists to extend his team lead in points to 13. Prior to last night, Vinny Lecavalier had scored 16 points in 16 career games at the Nassau Coliseum. Lecavalier, Brad Richard and Marty St. Louis were all shutout in the game and combined for a -7 rating.
NY Rangers 2, Washington 0 -- New York earned it's third win in four games, as King Henrik notched his third shutout of the young season (watch out for Mr. Bettman, Henrik). Chris Drury had a goal and an assist for the Rangers.
Detroit 4, Calgary 1 -- The Red Wings kept on cruising thanks to two goals from Henrik Zetterberg and 26 Chris Osgood saves, which are surprisingly just as valuable as saves from any other netminder.
Nashville 3, Vancouver 0 -- All of these shutout are probably making Bettman pretty angry right about now. In Vancouver, you can blame the power play for that. The 'Nucks were 0-for-6 with the man advantage, as Dan Ellis (who?) recorded his second shutout of the year for Nashville. Jason Arnott, David Legwand and Martin Erat each had a goal for the Preds.
Colorado 3, Pittsburgh 2 -- Sid the Kid scored twice in the first period to give Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead, but second period goals from Ben Guite, Wojtek Wolski and J.M. Liles led Colorado to victory.