On the night they honored Chris Chelios’ time in Chicago, the Blackhawks used the night to play perhaps one of their best games of the year and knock off the West-leading Red Wings. Chicago snaps a three-game losing streak thanks to Tomas Kopecky’s two goals and a stellar game out of Corey Crawford in goal. Crawford stopped 29 out of 30 Wings shots to secure victory for Chicago and help make things in the Central Division as tight as ever.
For the Wings, they’ve dropped two of their last three games now and have a dicey game with Dallas coming up on Sunday. Jimmy Howard played OK for Detroit stopping 27 shots. When you’re scoring just one goal it makes it tougher to be perfect when your opponent played so well. Surprising stat of the night: Nicklas Lidstrom was a -3.
An uninspiring game for Buffalo as they were down 4-0 by the time the first period had ended. Ryan Miller was yanked after the brutal first in favor of Patrick Lalime but the Sabres were already toast by then. Marty Reasoner led the way for Florida scoring two goals while Stephen Weiss had a goal and an assist. Chris Higgins, Shawn Matthias, and Evgeny Dadonov each had two assists a piece. Tomas Vokoun wasn’t quite able to relax after the big first period and settled in to stop 41 Sabres shots. So much for an easy night.
While the Nashville Predators and goalie Anders Lindback get to stay hot, the woes of the Devils continue to roll on. The game wasn’t an exciting one by any stretch, but for Nashville the win pulls them to within three points of first place Detroit in the Central. Martin Erat’s two power play goals helped give the Preds all the offense they’d need while former Devils forward Steve Sullivan also added a goal. Lindback, meanwhile, got the win stopping just 15 shots. Mattias Tedenby scored New Jersey’s lone goal while Martin Brodeur saved 17 shots. I can hear you all yawning right now, so I’ll stop.
Colorado 6 – Ottawa 5 (F/OT)
A wild game in Denver that sees rising star Matt Duchene increase his celebrity in the Rockies all the more. Duchene’s two goals included the game-winner in overtime in a game that saw the teams trade goals like they were going out of style. Colorado’s Kevin Porter added a goal and an assist as well. For Ottawa, they were without Pascal Leclaire who was injured during warm ups. Brian Elliott was clearly not the answer tonight as he stopped just 19 shots in the loss.
If you’re curious how Jason Spezza did tonight in the wake of being called a “wimp” by Avalanche broadcaster Mark Rycroft, he finished the game with a goal on three shots on goal and an even plus/minus rating. Vindication? A win probably would’ve sent the message a little more.