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Riding the Zamboni – Sunday, January 16th

Minnesota 4 – Vancouver 0

Wild rookie goalie Anton Khudobin, whom Hockey Wilderness affectionately calls “Borat” since he’s from Kazakhstan, stopped all 32 Canucks shots he saw tonight earning his first career NHL shutout. Matt Cullen had a goal and an assist to lead the Wild offense. While Khudobin’s night in goal was a bit of an adventure, he’s clearly the man of the match. The Canucks continue to have issues handling the Wild. Generally it’s Roberto Luongo who can’t solve them, but it was Cory Schneider who couldn’t control them stopping just 21 shots in the loss.

Philadelphia 3 – New York 2

The Rangers might want to stop letting their opponents jump out to big leads before snapping into action. The Flyers got out to a 3-0 lead after two periods thanks to goals from Jeff Carter, Ville Leino, and Mike Richards. Brian Boucher held strong until the middle of the third when Wojtek Wolski and Derek Stepan scored two minutes apart to cut the lead to 3-2, but the Rangers would not even it up. Boucher stopped 34 shots in the win. Rangers forward Marian Gaborik was benched for most of the second period and saw little time late in the game as his goal scoring woes continue. Martin Biron stopped 24 shots in the loss.

Chicago 6 – Nashville 3

It was a banner night for Dave Bolland and Troy Brouwer. Both players had two goals a piece with Bolland having a highlight reel goal of his own to lead the Hawks to victory. Chicago trailed 2-1 after a dreary first period and things got a bit loud in the Hawks locker room between periods to snap out of it. Whatever was said managed to work as Chicago roared to victory the rest of the way. Bryan Bickell added a goal and an assist while Marty Turco made 20 saves to get the win. Anders Lindback stopped 28 shots in the loss while J.P. Dumont had two goals for Nashville.

Washington 3 – Ottawa 1

Anaheim 3 – Edmonton 2

Teemu Selanne builds on his tremendous NHL legacy. Not only did he score two goals to lead the Ducks to victory over Edmonton, but his first goal was his 1,300th career point. The Finnish superstar is long removed from his days as a 76-goal scoring rookie with the Winnipeg Jets, but his continued ability to contribute at a high level in the NHL past age 40 is amazing. Curtis McElhinney gets the win in goal stopping 25 shots, but had to leave the game in the third period after being cut by a skate. Jonas Hiller made three saves in relief.

The Oilers got goals from Sam Gagner and Magnus Paajarvi but their power play woes continued as they’re haven’t scored in their last 37 opportunities. Their final chance tonight was the most frustrating as they pulled Nikolai Khabibulin late in the game to give them a 6-on-3 advantage which was then a 6-on-2 advantage when Saku Koivu broke his stick. The Oilers managed to not even get a shot away in an attempt to tie the game in the waning seconds.

Devils unveil ‘The Salute’ statue in honor of Martin Brodeur

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The New Jersey Devils on Monday unveiled ‘The Salute’ — a statue paying homage to one of the greatest goalies in NHL history, Martin Brodeur, who will have his No. 30 uniform retired Tuesday at Prudential Center.

“Looking at the pictures of my career and some of the events that meant a lot to me, I always saluted the fans,” Brodeur, a three-time Stanley Cup winner with the Devils, told the Fire and Ice blog.

“That picture, at different times, in different jerseys, actually, like with Team Canada, it all came to that same pose.”

More on the statue from the Devils:

The 900-pound bronze statue was created by renowned sculpture and artist Jon Krawczyk, who worked with Brodeur on the design. Krawczyk, a Boonton Township, N.J. native and lifelong Devils fan, who also created the hockey statue on Championship Plaza outside of Prudential Center, personally drove “The Salute” from his Malibu, Cali. studio to the arena late last week.

Video: Panthers furious after Abdelkader ‘cheap shot’ hit on Barkov

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The Florida Panthers are fuming after their skilled 20-year-old forward Aleksander Barkov left Monday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings following a hit from Justin Abdelkader.

Abdelkader caught Barkov with a hard hit near the goal line as the Panthers player tried to move the puck up ice early in the second period.

The only call on the play was to Panthers’ blue liner Alex Petrovic for the retaliatory cross check on Abdelkader. Barkov left the game and didn’t return with an upper-body injury.

Members of the Panthers irate with the hit, and the fact there was no call.

“It was a cheap hit, I don’t know how the ref didn’t call it,” Nick Bjugstad told the Miami Herald. “It was frustrating, the whole bench felt that way. We’re not happy with it. It turned the game around. Barkov has tough shoes to fill. It looked pretty serious. We’ll see how the league handles it and I think they will. I just don’t know how it wasn’t handled on the ice.”

“You hate to lose your top player, but that’s part of the game,” added Panthers’ head coach Gerard Gallant.

“We’re disappointed to lose him. I thought it was a cheap shot but the referees didn’t see it that way and explained to me it was a clean check. It’s tough. It happens quick and we get to see the replay. I think it’ll be looked at. [Abdelkader] left his feet a little and got him in the jaw.”

The Panthers gave up three goals in the third period in a 3-0 loss to the Red Wings.

Penguins thump the Ducks as Crosby’s hot streak continues

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In a meeting between two clubs enjoying hot streaks and their own subsequent climbs through the standings, the Pittsburgh Penguins bested the Anaheim Ducks courtesy another dominant Sidney Crosby performance on Monday.

After that slow start, Crosby has put together a growing number of dominant performances of late.

The latest, a four-point night, helped the Penguins to a 6-2 final over the Ducks, stopping Anaheim’s winning streak at six games.

— He extended his scoring streak to a career best seven games, and did so with two beauty goals versus the Ducks.

— From Dec. 18 to Feb. 8, he’s appeared in 21 games. In that span, he’s recorded 34 points.

— Crosby is now into the top five among NHL players in points, with 53 in 51 games this season.

He wasn’t the only Pittsburgh player to have a big night. Keep in mind, Evgeni Malkin wasn’t even in the lineup due to a lower-body injury.

Ten different Penguins players recorded points. In addition to Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang had multi-point efforts, and four players — Kunitz, Crosby, Olli Maatta and Patric Hornqvist — were plus-four.

The Penguins now move into third in the Metropolitan Division, while the New York Islanders slip into the first Wild Card spot in the East. Pittsburgh’s lead over the Islanders, however, is only one point.

The Islanders also have a game in hand.

Panthers’ Barkov (upper-body injury) leaves game versus Red Wings

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The Florida Panthers will be without Aleksander Barkov for the remainder of their game versus the Detroit Red Wings on Monday.

As per multiple reports, Barkov will not return due to an upper-body injury suffered after a hit from Justin Abdelkader early in the second period.

Abdelkader wasn’t given a penalty on the play. Barkov didn’t play another shift after that hit.

In 42 games this season, the 20-year-old Barkov has 16 goals and 35 points.