The NHL jumped into high gear on Saturday with 13 games. Former Islanders were active as well accounting for a healthy 14 points (4 goals, 10 assists) in 6 games. Here is the recap:
* Randy Robitaille is back. After playing only 14 games in Russia (Yaroslavl) with fellow FI Alexei Yashin. In Russia, Robitaille had 3 goals and 6 assists for 9 points. On Tuesday the 16th the Ottawa Senators announced they had signed Robitaille to a 1-year, $625,000 contrant. In his second game with the Sens, Robitaille had a powerplay assist on the insurance goal in a 4-1 win over the visiting Florida Panthers. An Ottawa native, Robitaille joins his 9th team after having seen playing time with the Bruins, Predators, Kings, Penguins, Isles, Thrashers, Wild and Flyers. As well, FI Richard Zednik scored the only Panthers goal, an unassisted powerplay netter that temporarily cut the Ottawa lead in half. The goal was his 2nd of the season.
* Jeff Hamilton continued his torrid play for the Hurricanes notching another assist in Carolina's 3-2 OT loss to the host Philadelphia Flyers. Hamilton has 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists) in only 8 games this season.
* Kevin Weekes could not hold out for the full 65 minutes against his former team as the Islanders downed the New Jersey Devils at home despite an impress comeback attempt. The Isles peppered Weekes with 36 shots in a 4-3 OT win putting the Devils away with a powerplay goal at the 4:56 mark of the extra frame. In his two starts, Weekes is 1-0-1 with a respectable 2.40 goals against average and an impressive .928 save percentage.
* Three FIs were active in the Montreal Canadiens' 4-2 win over the visiting Buffalo Sabres. Roman Hamrlik had game winning powerplay goal and 2 assists (1 powerplay) in an impressive display of defensive offensemanship. The d-man whose signing in the postseason helped replace the loss of Sheldon Souray, has 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) in 7 games. Teammate and fellow FI Bryan Smolinski also had a powerplay goal, his first as a Canadien. The goal was only the 2nd point for Smolinski in 7 games with Montreal. Last but not least, Tim Connolly had a powerplay assist for the Sabres. Connolly has 8 points (1 goal, 7 assists) in only 7 games with 5 of those points coming on the man advantage.
* Two FIs had two assists nights in Chicago's 6-4 win over the host Toronto Maple Leafs. Blackhawks postseason defensive signing Brent Sopel had two assists including one on the powerplay game winner. Playing well over 20 minutes a night, Sopel has not disappointed. He now has 3 assists in 8 games. Jason Blake had two even strength assists including one on the shortlived Toronto lead. Blake is doing well for himself with 8 points in 9 games. But despite these good numbers, Blake has only 2 goals in that time.
* FI defenseman Adrian Aucoin scored his first goal as a Flame. With less than 2 minutes to go in the game Aucoin netted a powerplay goal in Calgary's 4-1 win over the visiting Edmonton Oilers. Aucoin now has 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) in 8 games with the Flames. This was his first goal since February 25 of this year snapping a 24 game goal-less streak.
That was the wild night for FIs around the league. Check back soon for more recaps on FIW.