There were a whopping 10 games on tap on Saturday meaning 20 teams could notch early season points. Some are struggling early while others are soaring. Former Islanders are trying to make contributions to all their respective teams. Saturday night was no exception as FIs made it to the boxscore in 6 games. Here is a quick peek at their contributions:
Washington forward Viktor Kozlov dropped in a goal and added an assist but was stuffed on his attempt in the first round of the SO as the Capitals fell 6-5 to the host New Jersey Devils. The Caps split the home-and-home series with the Devs but did managed 3 of 4 points with the SO loss. The multi-point effort lifted Kozzer up to 6 points (2 goals, 4 assists) on the season with 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) in the last 2 contests. Kozlov has suited up for 12 games this season. The multi-point night was Kozzer's first since April 3, late last season, when he had 2 assists. After hitting career point #500 in his last game Kozlov wasted no time notching 501 and 502.
Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo kept his recent excellent play stopping 28 of 30 shots faced as the Canucks knocked off the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2. Luongo improved to 10-5-1 on the season and is sporting a handsome .924 save percentage and an enviable 2.22 goals against average. Luongo is only one victory behind league leader Henrik Lundqvist but is pacing the league with 5 shutouts. He as not lost in regulation in his last 5 starts going 4-0-1 over that span.
Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara opened the scoring only 8:44 in to regulation as the Bruins fell to the host New York Rangers 3-2 in SO. Chara now has 2 goals and 5 assists for 7 points on 17 games. He has registered a point in each of the last 3 games notching a goal and 2 helpers.
Pittsburgh forward Ruslan Fedotenko had a powerplay assist and added an insurance tally as the Penguins handily defeated the visiting Buffalo Sabres 5-2. Fedo has 8 points (4 goals, 4 assists) on 16 games but has ramped up his play as of late with points in 3 straight contests (2 goals, 2 assists). All 8 of his points this season have come in the last 9 games overall. While all 4 of his goals have been at even strength Fedotenko has notched 2 assists on the man advantage.
After breaking out the big guns with a hat trick in his first game as a Star, Mark Parrish went silent in the next 3 games. He broke that silence with a powerplay goal in game 5 as the Stars edged the host Phoenix Coyotes 3-2. Parrish has 4 goals on the season in 5 games with 3 of those tallies coming on the man advantage. Goals-wise this is the hottest start that Parrish has had to a season since the 2001-02 campaign when he notched 8 goals in his first 4 games. That was Parrish's career high season when he netted 30 goals and added 30 assists for 60 points while in his second season with the Isles.
Edmonton winger Robert Nilsson opened the scoring with a powerplay goal 6:44 in to the 1st period as the Oilers fell to the visiting Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in the SO. Nilsson has had a slow start to the season and snapped a 4 game point-less run with the tally. He now has 3 goals and 3 assists for 6 points on 17 games. The goal was the 20th of Nilsson's young career. His offensive woes this season have not been an isolated event as the so-called Kid Line has struggled to make a major impact. Colorado winger Ryan Smyth knotted the score up at 1-1 about 4 and half minutes laters with his 5th of the season. Smyth snapped a 9 game goal-less stretch and now has 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists) on 16 games. Both players had opportunities in the SO had fell short. Nilsson missed the net on his shot in the 3rd of 5 rounds while Smyth also missed the net on his attempt to start the 4th round.
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