Friday, January 4, 2008

Thursday January 3

The NHL kicked back into high gear on Thursday night with 10 hotly contested battles among two-thirds of the league's 30 clubs. Former Islanders are also kicking their efforts into high gear with impressive play on the over 2 dozen teams they represent.Let us take a peek at the FI contributions from a busy Thursday night:

* Boston captain Zdeno Chara assisted on the game winner and then added the powerplay insurance goal as the Bruins blanked the visiting Washington Capitals 2-0. The second star of the game, Chara has 25 points (6 goals, 19 assists) on 40 games this season including 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists) with the man advantage. Chara is riding a mini-hot streak with 4 points on 1 goal and 3 assists over the last 2 games.

* It was just not possible for the Islanders to keep Olli Jokinen from finding his way onto the scoresheet. The Panthers captain assisted on the game winning goal 1:33 into OT as Florida beat the host Isles 4-3. Officially halfway through the season, Jokinen currently holds a point per game pace with 41 (20 goals, 21 assists) on 41 games.

* Jason Blake finally had a multi-goal night for the Toronto Maple Leafs, it only took half the season. Blake had 2 goals, including a powerplay tally, as the Maple Leafs fell 6-2 to the host Pittsburgh Penguins. He now has 8 goals and 18 assists for 26 points on 41 games. On a torrid mini-streak, Blakey has 5 points (3 goals, 2 assists) in just the last 2 games. It was Blake's first multi-goal night since March 10, 2007, a span of 59 games without at least 2 goals. Blake had 5 multi-goal nights during the 2006-07 season in which he scored 40 goals.

* Mark Parrish capped the scoring as the Minnesota Wild doubled up on the visiting Dallas Stars for a 6-3 win. Parrish now has 17 points (10 goals, 7 assists) on 37 games. He is riding a 4 game point streak in which he has notched 3 goals and an assist. Parrish has surpassed double digits for goals in each of his 9 professional seasons.

* Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo posted his 6th shutout of the season as the Canucks blanked the visiting New York Rangers 3-0. Luongo stopped all 28 shots to improve to 19-12-3 on the season. In the process, his numbers continue improve. Luongo has a .930 save percentage, 3rd best in the league by literally 1/1000th of a point, and a 1.97 goals against average, also 3rd best in the league. He has 5 shutouts in his last 14 starts, a span in which he has posted a 10-3-1 record. Stephen Valiquette took the loss in net for the Blueshirts stopping 16 of 19 shots. Valiquette fell to 2-3-1 on the season with an .896 save percentage and a 2.73 goals against average. It was the 6th start of the season for Valiquette who has made 8 appearances this season for the Rangers.

* Michael Peca is back after missing 5 games with a sore neck and complaining of headaches. He made an instant difference scoring 2 goals, including the game winner with a little over 5 minutes remaining in regulation, as the Columbus Blue Jackets edged the host Los Angeles Kings 4-3. Peca scored his 3rd of the season in the 2nd period to give the Jackets a 3-2 lead and then vaulted them to the win with his 4th goal late in the 3rd period. He has 16 points (4 goals, 12 assists) on 26 games.

Check back soon for all the newest updates here at FIW.

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