A busy night across the NHL as 26 teams battled in 13 games. Former Islanders are doing their part to help their teams as we approach the midseason. Let us look at the FI efforts from a very busy Saturday night:
* Tim Connolly has established himself as one of the Sabres' leaders. He is providing almost nightly for Buffalo and is currently 2nd on the team in points. On Saturday night he got a softy assist on the empty net goal to seal up a 3-1 home win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Connolly has 25 points (5 goals, 20 assists) on 26 games this season. He has scored points in 5 consecutive games and has 2 goals and 4 assists for 6 points in that time. Over the last 9 games, TimCo has 3 goals and 8 assists for 11 points or nearly half of his season total.
* Jeff Hamilton scored in the second round of the SO as the Carolina Hurricanes survived a late comeback by the host Philadelphia Flyers to pull off a 6-5 win. Hamilton was one of 3 Hurricanes' players to score in the SO set which only went 3 rounds. Other than that, Hamilton is currently stalled at 15 points (5 goals, 10 assists) on 31 games and has not had a point in his last 9.
* Petteri Nokelainen assisted on the game winner only 3:20 into the 1st period as the host Boston Bruins blanked the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0. The helper was Nokelainen's first of the year. He now has 3 points (2 goals, 1 assists) on 20 games this season. The assist was his first since October 13, 2005, a span of 31 games.
* Randy Robitaille assisted on an insurance goal as the Ottawa Senators trashed the visiting Atlanta Thrashers 7-3. Robitaille now has 8 points (4 goals, 4 assists) on 22 games this season.
* Chris Osgood's season of excellence keeps going. Ozzie stopped 33 of 35 shots to steer the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-2 home win over the Florida Panthers. Osgood improved to an amazing 15-1-1 on the season. He is 6-0-1 in his last 7 games overall. Olli Jokinen managed to get one past Osgood for the Panthers only 46 seconds in to the 2nd period. The goal was O-Jok's 17th of the year. He now has 32 points (17 goals, 15 assists) on 32 games.
* Ryan Smyth assisted on two Colorado goals, including the game winner, as the Avalanche beat the visiting Nashville Predators 3-1. Over the last 8 games, Smyth has had over half of his season production with 13 points on 4 goals and 9 assists.
* While Edmonton's Robert Nilsson saw his points streak end, the Oilers continue to play solid hockey. Edmonton downed the Roberto Luongo-less Vancouver Canucks 2-1 in the SO at home. Though there were no FI points there was still some action. Both Trevor Linden (first round) and Taylor Pyatt (third round) had their SO attempts stuffed. The attempt by Pyatt would have won the game if he had made it.
Check back soon for more highlights and updates here at FIW, your home of Former Islander news.