Eighteen teams battled it out in 9 games around the league including Sidney versus Roberto, Round 1. Formers Islanders were active in many of those games. Let us take a peek at their efforts from Saturday night:
* The surprisingly good Columbus Blue Jackets were edged by the visiting Minnesota Wild 2-1. Playing like a fully-healed man, Michael Peca is helping where he can. He assisted on the lone Jackets goal and now has 12 points (3 goals, 9 assists) on 21 games this year.
* A pair of FIs lent a hand as the Washington Capitals ran circles around the visiting Atlanta Thrashers 6-3. Defenseman Tom Poti assisted on the third Caps' goal and forward Viktor Kozlov assisted on the final team goal. Poti snapped a 5 game point-less streak with the helper and now has 8 points, all assists, on 23 games this season. Kozlov scored his first point in 3 games and improves to 16 (3 goals, 13 assists) on 29 games this season. Kozlov is on pace for a slightly hearty season as last year. At this rate, Kozzer would have 8 goals and 37 assists for 45 points compared to last year's career-reviving 25 goals and 26 assists (51 points).
* Jason Blake scored his 4th of the season, the only Toronto goal, as the Maple Leafs dropped a 2-1 decision against the visiting Boston Bruins. Blake opened a shortlived Leafs' lead 10:28 in the first to cap the teams offensive effort. Blake scored for the first time in 3 games and now has 20 points (4 goals, 16 assists) on 30 games.
* Sidney Crosby's first run through Western Canada was a route as the Pittsburgh Penguins downed the host Vancouver Canucks 2-1 in the SO to sweep their 3 game effort. Roberto Luongo, try as he might, could not lift the lackluster Canucks' offense. He stopped 31 of 32 shots and gave up on 2 goals on 6 sudden death chances but took the OT loss falling to 13-10-3. Also putting in their FI two-cents were Trevor Linden who scored on his attempt in the third SO frame and Taylor Pyatt who missed the net on his try in the fourth frame. If Pyatt had made his shot, he would have sealed victory for the Canucks.
* Tim Connolly is so good. So good. Connolly scored the game winning, shorthanded goal and added a powerplay assist as the Buffalo Sabres thrashed the hots San Jose Sharks 7-1. Connolly has 21 points (4 goals, 17 assists) on 22 games this season. It was only the 2nd shorthanded goal of Connolly's career and his first since March 21, 2000 during his rookie season with the Islanders. The gap between shorties was a span of 339 games! It was also Connolly's 7th multi-point game of the season.
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