It was a busy Saturday night as 24 teams swarmed in 12 contests around the NHL. Teams are really revving up their playoff pushes and Former Islanders are there to lend their help. Let us take a peek at the FI efforts:
* Derek Armstrong scored the first Los Angeles goal as the Kings fell to the host Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2. Armstrong has 7 goals and 19 assists for 26 points on 57 games. Over the last 2 games Armstrong has scored 3 points on 1 goal and 2 assists.
* New York Rangers' backup goalie Stephen Valiquette recorded his 2nd shutout of the season stopping all 31 shots he faced as Blueshirts blanked the host Philadelphia Flyers 2-0. He is now 4-3-1 on the season having made more starts this season (8) than his previous 3 seasons of experience (5 starts). He received first star of the game honor with the effort.
* Toronto defenseman Bryan McCabe, who only returned 2 days prior after being injured on December 15, recorded his first point since his coming back. He recorded a powerplay assist on the opening goal of the game as the Maple Leafs defeated the visiting Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in OT. McCabe has 13 points (4 goals, 9 assists) on 29 games. He has 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) on the man advantage.
* Defenseman Alexei Zhitnik scored the game winner in OT as the Atlanta Thrashers edged the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1. Zhitnik has 2 goals and 4 assists for 6 points on 57 games. With the goal Zhitnik snapped a 17 game goal-less and point-less streak. It was the 13th game winning goal of the season, first of the season and 2nd as a Thrasher.
* So much FI action occurred in the Florida Panther's 6-3 win over the host Boston Bruins that this entry will be packed with numbers. Be prepared. Richard Zednik continued his awesome play with 2 goals, twice tying the game (1-1, 2-2). Zed has 15 goals and 11 assists on 53 games this season. Over the last 4 games he has notched 9 points (6 goals, 3 assist) including 3 multi-point efforts and 2 multi-goal games. Zednik received first star of the game honor. Receiving the second star honor was teammate Olli Jokinen who scored a goal and an assist. O-Jok's goal came on the powerplay and knotted the score at 3. Jokinen has 28 goals and 29 assists for 57 points on 57 games. He finally returned to a point-per-game pace after falling off that track in a rough January. He is riding a 5 game point streak in which he has notched 4 goals and 4 assists for 8 points. Jokinen has scored 25 points (13 goals, 12 assists) on the man advantage. Panthers' defenseman Branislav Mezei got involved in the action assisting on 2 goals. Mezei's first assist of the night came on Zednik's first goal. That goal was a rare treat as 3 FIs were credited with points (Zednik from Jokinen and Mezei)! Mezei now has 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) on 44 games. With the helpers Mezei snapped a 19 game point-less streak. Additionally, it was the first multi-point game of Mezei's career. Not to hog all the credit, a Boston FI got involved in the scoring. Zdeno Chara opening the scoring with a powerplay tally only 2:19 into the 1st period. Chara, who logged over 27 minutes of ice time, now has 9 goals and 27 assists for 36 points on 55 games. He has scored 17 points (5 goals, 12 assists) on the powerplay. He scored goals in consecutive games for the first time since October 26-28, 2006 during his first season with the Bruins.
* Adrian Aucoin assisted on the powerplay game winner as the Calgary Flames knocked off the visiting Edmonton Oilers 4-1. Aucoin has 8 goals and 19 assists for 27 points on 51 games. He has notched 3 goals and 11 assists for 14 points on the man advantage. He has points in the last 3 games on 1 goal and 2 assists. Robert Nilsson scored the lone Edmonton goal. Nilsson has 23 points (7 goals, 16 assists) on 46 games. With the goal he snapped a 5 game point-less streak.
* Roberto Luongo was pulled in the 3rd period following one of his worst performances of the season as the Colorado Avalanche thumped the host Vancouver Canucks 6-2. Luongo stopped 17 of 22 and took the loss. He is now 23-18-6 on the season. For the first time since his slow start, Luongo's goals against average has swelled above 2.20.
Check back soon for more FI updates.