Saves of the Night – Chris Osgood (December 27)

Considering the fact that Chris Osgood earned his 400th career win last night, the chances of him earning the save of the night award for sentimental reasons. There was the worry that someone else would come off with a save so amazing that they’d barge their way into the award.

Well, Osgood bailed us out by making a handful of great stops against the Colorado Avalanche (not to mention 46 overall and a startling 23 in the second period). It’s kind of nice when things work out that way, isn’t it?

So the Detroit Red Wings goalie probably would have earned the award even without that milestone-breaking context, although yet another circus save from Tim Thomas might have beaten him out. (Watch that one here.)

Still, Thomas is as accustomed to winning save of the night awards as George Clooney is familiar with seeing pretty women naked, so Osgood takes the cake. In fact, as a bonus, we’ll throw in Niklas Kronwall’s (400th) game winning goal too.

First, Osgood’s saves:

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OK, now here’s Kronwall’s goal and Osgood’s victory celebration. We’ll spare you his incredibly bland interview, though.

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Stars deny Chris Osgood his 400th win by beating Red Wings in OT

Perhaps it’s fitting that the Dallas Stars kept Chris Osgood from gaining his 400th career win today, as the team has been a tough rival for the Detroit Red Wings for more than a decade.

It was clear that both teams really wanted this game, as the contest had a little bit of playoff intensity to it. The Red Wings were trying to bounce back from a tough loss on Saturday while the Stars dealt with less than a 24 hour turnaround after a bruising contest against the Blue Jackets.

Ultimately, Brenden Morrow (two goals) and Loui Eriksson (two assists and the overtime game winner) trumped a talented Red Wings team in Detroit.

Dallas 4, Detroit 3 (OT)

The best news is that this game wasn’t decided by a shootout, though. It simply would have been wrong if such a tightly matched, entertaining bout would have been decided by a skills competition.

Detroit jumped to a 2-0 lead via goals by Patrick Eaves and Pavel Datsyuk, but Brad Richards and Morrow tied it up. Johan Franzen gave the Red Wings another lead, but Morrow tied it again late in the third.

Overtime featured some captivating hockey, as Mike Ribeiro forced the Red Wings to take a penalty. Despite spending most of those two minutes in Detroit’s zone, Dallas couldn’t make it happen. Luckily for Dallas, Eriksson cashed in on an odd man rush to earn his team the win.

Both goalies were pretty strong, even if they faced some nervous moments. Andrew Raycroft stopped 28 out of 31 shots while Chris Osgood put up nearly identical stats in the loss, making 28 out of 32 saves.

The Stars now have a reasonably solid four point lead in the Pacific Division with 43 points, which leaves them only one point behind the Red Wings (44 points) for the top spot in the West. Detroit is struggling a bit at the moment, losing two in a row and going 4-4-2 in their last 10.