Friday, January 25, 2008

Thursday January 24

All but 4 teams were in action on Thursday night, the last before the NHL All-Star Weekend kicks off on Friday. With 13 games the Former Islander action was intense. Let us take a look at the FI work from a busy night around the league:

* Boston captain Zdeno Chara burned his old team for 2 assists, including 1 on the powerplay, as the Bruins beat the visiting Islanders 4-1. Chara's even strength assist came on the game winner. He now has 34 points (7 goals, 27 assists) on 49 games and his well on his way to a career season needing only 9 points to equal his single-season highs from the last 2 seasons. Chara has notched 16 points (4 goals, 12 assists) with the man advantage.

* Viktor Kozlov continued his recent scoring streak with the game winner as the Washington Capitals beat the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1. Kozzer has 9 goals and 23 assists for 32 points on 50. Over the last 4 games Kozlov has scored over half of his season's goals (5) and added an assist for 6 points. Kozlov's game winner, his 1st of the season, came only 36 seconds after the Leafs had knotted the score at 1.

* Bryan Smolinski sealed first star of the game honor with his 2 goal effort as the Montreal Canadiens edged the host New Jersey Devils 4-3. Smolinski has 17 points (5 goals, 12 assists) on 35 games. It was the first multi-goal effort for Smoke since January 16, 2007 while still playing with Chicago Blackhawks. Smolinski has had an especially productive couple of games scoring 3 goals and an assist on his last 2. Roman Hamrlik had a powerplay assist on the game winning goal. Hamrlik has 3 goals and 16 assists for 19 points on 49 games. With the helper Hamrlik snapped a 6 game point-less streak. He has managed 7 points (1 goal, 6 assists) on the man advantage.

* Olli Jokinen had a goal and an assist but was stopped on his attempt in the 3rd round of the SO as the Edmonton Oilers beat the host Florida Panthers 4-3. O-Jok has 24 goals and 25 assists for 49 points on 51 games. Despite recent inconsistencies, Jokinen has been playing well as of late with points in his last 3 games including 2 goals and 3 assists.

* Randy Robitaille scored a goal and assist as the Ottawa Senators ripped the host Tampa Bay Lightning to shreds 8-4. Robitaille has 18 points (8 goals, 10 assists) on 39 games with Ottawa this season. Tampa defenseman Brad Lukowich assisted on his team's 2nd goal. Luko has 1 goal and 5 assists for 6 points on 48 games. Lukowich has 2 assists in the last 2 games. It is the first time he has accomplished points in consecutive games since April 16-18, 2006 while with the New Jersey Devils.

* Derek Armstrong scored the game winner and added an assist as the Los Angeles Kings knocked off the visiting Anaheim Ducks for a 3-1 win. Armstrong received first star of the game honor and now has 6 goals and 16 assists for 22 points on 51 games. It was the 8th game winning goal of his career and his 2nd of the season. Armstrong has been considerably more productive as of late with 3 goals and 3 assists for 6 points over the last 7 games.

Between Friday and Sunday the NHL and Atlanta will be hosting the All-Star Weekend and All-Star Game festivities meaning no hockey action of true consequence. Check next week as the league will kick back into full playoff chase mode as we embark on the last 30 or so games. Thank you for reading FIW and we hope to see you soon.

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