Bobby Ryan

Riding the Zamboni – Wednesday, January 12th

Anaheim 7 – St. Louis 4

Bobby Ryan showed up in a big way for the streaking Ducks. Ryan got his second hat trick of the season and added an assist keying the Ducks to a blowout win over St. Louis. Jonas Hiller saw his shutout streak snapped at 178:34 in the second period when David Backes scored at 3:44. He added another goal just a couple minutes later to cut the Ducks lead to 3-2, but in the third Anaheim blew up big.

The Ducks would score four straight in the third with goals by Ryan, Corey Perry, Lubomir Visnovsky, and Brandon McMillan to pull ahead 7-2. The Blues would score a pair late, but the damage was done. Hiller stopped 30 shots on the night while Ty Conklin was only able to stop 17 in the loss. Things would get ugly in the third period as multiple fights broke out as the Blues vented their frustration at getting beaten so badly. Four different fights would break out in the final period as the teams brought back some flavor from the 80’s with a high-scoring game and a brouhaha in the third. Somewhere, Tony Twist is smiling.

Chicago 4 – Colorado 0

Corey Crawford is quickly becoming the story of the season for Chicago. The suddenly starting goalie earned his second straight shutout in helping the Blackhawks finally beat the Avalanche in their final meeting of the season. The Hawks got 24 saves out of Crawford and goals from four unlikely sources in Troy Brouwer, Dave Bolland, Fernando Pisani, and Jack Skille to pace the offense. Peter Budaj made 27 saves in the loss as the Avs, once again, couldn’t tighten up the defense to keep their opponent off the board. It was a rare night for Colorado in that they didn’t score a goal of their own as the Avs have one of the top offenses in the NHL.

Pittsburgh 5 – Montreal 2

A confidence-boosting win for Pittsburgh who, until tonight, hadn’t won without Sidney Crosby in the lineup. Getting a win over the team they just lost to last week and lost to in the playoffs makes it especially sweeter. Alex Goligoski had two goals and an assist, Jordan Staal had a goal and two assists, and Kris Letang had three helpers in leading the way for Pittsburgh. Marc-Andre Fleury got the last laugh on Carey Price stopping 20 shots in the win and striking a payback pose mocking Price who did so similarly after winning in the shootout over Pittsburgh last week. Price, for his efforts, stopped 31 shots in the loss.

Tampa Bay 3 – Washington 0

Dwayne Roloson stopped 23 shots in shutting out a mostly uninterested looking Caps team and taking sole possession of first place in the Southeast Division. Roloson’s shutout over the Caps, his second in nine days with the Lightning, will have the Caps looking at him as their supreme divisonal nemesis the rest of the way.

Dominic Moore, Sean Bergenheim, and Simon Gagne each had goals for Tampa Bay. For Gagne, it was his fourth of the season and a slump-buster as he hadn’t scored in his last 11 games. If Gagne can get his offensive game going, the Lightning are really going to start looking good. Semyon Varlamov stopped 35 shots in the loss for Washington, a solid effort but he’s got to get tired of seeing his high-powered offense not showing up consistently.

Sharks swarm in the third period, take down Predators in Game 1

4 Comments

For two periods, the San Jose Sharks couldn’t solve Pekka Rinne.

Maybe it was because of that black cat that found its way on to the ice prior to the start of Friday’s game, or the video review that didn’t go in San Jose’s favor in the opening period.

But that all changed in the final period. It started with Tomas Hertl on the power play finding room just under the glove of Rinne to get San Jose on the board. Joel Ward followed that up with a gorgeous deke, tucking the puck in behind Rinne just as he started to go behind the net, as San Jose was able to take advantage of a defensive breakdown.

Logan Couture added the eventual winner. Within the span of 13 minutes, the Sharks had completely taken over, cashing in on two Nashville penalties and a defensive lapse.

When the onslaught was over, the Sharks skated off with a 5-2 win in Game 1 of this second-round series with the Predators, who only wrapped up a seven-game series win over Anaheim on Wednesday.

Ryan Johansen made it interesting, cutting into San Jose’s lead with under two minutes remaining, but any further comeback attempt was quickly halted by a pair of empty net goals from the Sharks.

The game ended with a dust-up along the boards, before cooler heads did prevail.

Another North Dakota junior goes pro as Blackhawks sign Luke Johnson

Quinnipiac forward Tommy Schutt, left, moves the puck as North Dakota forward Luke Johnson, middle, checks Quinnipiac forward Travis St. Denis during the first period of an NCAA college hockey tournament game Friday, March 27, 2015, in Fargo, N.D. North Dakota won 4-1. (AP Photo/Bruce Crummy)
AP Photo
Leave a comment

Another day, another University of North Dakota player deciding to enter the professional hockey ranks.

This time, it was 21-year-old forward Luke Johnson who turned pro following his junior year, as he signed a three-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks, the team that selected him in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

In 43 games with the NCAA champs this season, Johnson scored 11 goals and 21 points, just shy of his college career high of 24 points set the previous year.

Johnson will forgo his senior year at North Dakota, making him the fourth member of that program’s junior class to turn pro since the end of the season. Keaton Thompson signed with the Anaheim Ducks, Troy Stecher inked with the Vancouver Canucks and Paul LaDue signed with the L.A. Kings.

Senior forward Drake Caggiula, now a free agent, has reportedly narrowed down his list of NHL suitors to six teams.

Brock Boeser, Vancouver’s 2015 first-round pick and coming off an impressive freshman year, will return to North Dakota for his sophomore year, as per Canucks general manager Jim Benning earlier this month.

Video: Black cat hits the ice before Sharks-Predators Game 1

4 Comments

Perhaps it’s an ominous sign of bad luck to come, but for which team?

Prior to puck drop between the host San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators in Game 1 on Friday, a black cat hit the ice at SAP Center, taking a nervous stroll along the boards.

Not sure exactly where it came from, although it’s possible someone was feeling extra superstitious before the start of this series.

Official update on the really important story of the evening:

Speed, skill help Stars score late victory to take series lead over Blues

3 Comments

The Dallas Stars scored a late winner, held on in the final minute and eventually struck first in their best-of-seven second-round series with the St. Louis Blues.

Once again, it was the speed and skill of the Stars that proved to be the difference in the end. Radek Faksa scored with less than five minutes remaining in the third period, breaking the deadlock and giving Dallas a 2-1 victory and 1-0 series lead over their Central Division foes on Friday.

As he entered the zone on the rush, Faksa dished off to a flying Ales Hemsky, who was denied by Brian Elliott in alone. But Faksa followed up, jamming in the rebound to give the Stars the lead, as both St. Louis defensemen Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo were caught by the speed of the Dallas forwards on the rush.

The Stars held on from there, as the Blues made a late push to tie the game.

Kari Lehtonen stopped 31 of 32 shots for Dallas, while Elliott was busy throughout the night, stopping 40 of 42 shots.

Elliott was furious after the Stars opened the scoring in the second period, as Antoine Roussel tallied on a rebound after yet another nice Dallas passing play in the offensive zone.

Stars forward Patrick Eaves left the game early in the third period and didn’t play another shift after being hit in the lower part of his leg with the puck from a point shot.