Eighteen teams were fighting for valuable points in the standings in 9 games across the NHL on Thursday night. Former Islanders are kicking in help wherever they can. Let us take a look at the FI happenings:
* FI prospect Petteri Nokelainen is finding his offensive ability. On Thursday he scored an important 3rd period goal in an amazing Boston comeback against visting Pittsburgh. The Penguins led 4-0 before the Bruins mounted a comeback in the last 24 minutes. Boston lost 5-4 in the SO. Nokelainen's goal with 6:46 remaining in regulation cut the Pens' lead to one. The goal was his 3rd of the season. Nokelainen has 4 points (3 goals, 1 assist) on 22 games this year. Petteri has all 3 of his goals in the last 10 games.
* Randy Robitaille assisted on the opening goal of the game as the Ottawa Senators were edged by the host Atlanta Thrashers 3-2. Robitaille has assists in 3 consecutive games. Robby has 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) on 24 games. The 3 game point scoring streak was his first since February 27 to March 3 of last season.
* Olli Jokinen keeps powering the Florida offense. He was at it again on Thursday night as the Panthers knocked off the visiting Carolina Hurricanes 5-4. O-Jok had a goal and an assist to improve to 18 goals and 18 assists for 36 points on 35 games. Jokinen scored the 2nd Florida goal and assisted on the third as Florida mounted a comeback. Teammate Richard Zednik assisted on the game winner with 6:54 remaining in regulation. Zed has 16 points (9 goals, 7 assists) on 31 games.
* Mark Parrish assisted on the second of 5 Marian Gaborik goals as the Minnesota Wild spanked the visiting New York Rangers 6-3. The helper came on the powerplay in the 2nd period. Parrish ended a 6 game point-less streak and now has 13 points (7 goals, 6 assists) on 31 games this year. On the Ranger front, Martin Straka scored a goal in the 2nd period. Straka has 6 goals and 5 assists for 11 points on 19 games. Over the last 4 games, Straka has 4 goals and 1 assist for 5 points. Backup goaltender Stephen Valiquette came in late to relieve the battered Henrik Lundqvist. Valiquette stopped all 4 shots he faced in his 6th appearance of the season.
* No!!!!!!!! Chris Osgood lost. Why God? Why? Sorry. Osgood stopped 21 of 24 shots but the Detroit offense fell 1 short as the host St. Louis Blues edged the Red Wings 3-2. Osgood "fell" to 15-2-1 on the season. St. Louis defenseman Eric Brewer had an assist on the powerplay game winner with less than 6 minutes remaining in regulation. Brewer stymied a 3 game point-less streak. He now has 1 goal and 7 assists for 8 points on 26 games. He has 3 points, all assists, on the powerplay this year.
* Roberto Luongo looks like a man with all his ribs completely intact. Two games returned from an injury, Luongo recorded another win. He stopped 33 of 35 shots as the Vancouver Canucks fended off the visiting Dallas Stars for a 3-2 win. Luongo also recorded an assist on the opening goal of the game 8 minutes into the 2nd period. Luongo improved to 15-10-3 on 28 games this year. Over the last 8 starts, Luongo is 6-1-1 with 4 shutouts. The helper was Luongo's 3rd of the year.
* Mike York opened the scoring 33 seconds into the 3rd period as the Phoenix Coyotes pulled off a coup of a win. The Coyotes, who took the lead early in the final period, fell behind midway through the 3rd only to tie the game on a shorthanded goal with 42 seconds left in regulation. After an uneventful OT, the Coyotes won in the SO defeating the host San Jose Sharks 2-1. York scored his 5th of the season and now has 9 points (5 goals, 4 assists) on 30 games.
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