Recaps of January 29th NHL games, plus the latest on Jeff Skinner, Chad Johnson, Georges Laraque and more.
BOSTON HERALD/NJ.COM: Brad Marchand scored the winning goal as the Boston Bruins edged the New Jersey Devils 2-1 in a shootout. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask made 25 saves in regulation and overtime, while Devils netminder Johan Hedberg kicked out 27 shots.
MERCURYNEWS/ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The San Jose Sharks won their sixth straight game, downing the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 in a shootout. Logan Couture scored late in the third to force overtime, and Antti Niemi made 28 saves in regulation and overtime for the win. For the first time this season, Patrick Marleau was held goalless, though he collected an assist on Joe Pavelski’s game-opening goal.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/PHILLY.COM: The New York Rangers took a two-goal lead, then held on to narrowly defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1. It was a costly win for the Rangers, as captain Ryan Callahan, who scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal, was sidelined by a shoulder injury after a tussle with Flyers forward Max Talbot. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist and Flyers netminder Ilya Bryzgalov each made 26 saves.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers’s early struggles cannot be laid upon Bryzgalov, as he’s been stellar (2.19 GAA, .924 SP) despite a 2-4 record. The blame falls more upon a pop-gun offense and defensive breakdowns.
DETROIT NEWS/DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Detroit Red Wings scored four unanswered goals to chase Dallas Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen from the net in a 4-1 victory. Valtteri Filppula scored two of the Wings goals, while Henrik Zetterberg and Damien Brunner potted the others. Loui Eriksson had the lone goal for the Star.
NEWSDAY/PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Matt Moulson, John Tavares and Michael Grabner led the way offensively for the New York Islanders as they downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1. Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov made 37 saves (19 in the third period) for the win. Pascal Dupuis scored the Penguins lone goal, with an assist by Sidney Crosby.
TAMPA BAY TIMES/MIAMI HERALD: The Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 victory extended the Florida Panthers losing streak to five games. Steven Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier and rookie sensation Cory Conacher were among the Lightning goalscorers. The Panthers have been outscored 23-5 during their losing streak.
STARTRIBUNE.COM/COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Pierre-Marc Bouchard’s 100th career NHL goal proved the game-winner as the Minnesota Wild down the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2. Mikko Koivu collected two points (1G, 1A) for the Wild, while Jack Johnson and Mark Letestu scored for the Jackets, who had rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game before Bouchard put it away for the Wild.
Results of the Toronto-Buffalo, Winnipeg-Montreal and Washington-Ottawa games can be found in “Canadian Corner”.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner denied the accusations of Boston Bruins forwards Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand that he slew-footed Bergeron during the latest game between the two clubs.
AZCENTRAL: Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Chad Johnson’s NHL debut with the Coyotes turned out better than his NHL debut back in 2009 in a losing cause with the NY Rangers. Johnson backstopped the Coyotes to a 4-0 win over the Nashville Predators on Monday.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Quebec police raided the home of former NHLer Georges Laraque as part of a fraud investigation related to Laraque’s business dealings with a former synthetic ice panel company.
CBC.CA: Former NHLPA director Paul Kelly claimed the NHL had discussed expanding to 32 teams with him during his brief tenure as PA director. Kelly believes NHL expansion will take place in the next couple of years, possibly to Quebec City and Markham, Ontario, where the city council last nght backed a financing plan for a new arena.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL has declined to comment about expansion, but there are rumblings it could be coming, as Kelly speculates, within the next couple of years. Quebec City appears a certainty, but it could be a toss-up between Markham and Seattle.