With a dozen games on tap on Saturday it was a ripe opportunity for Former Islander action, or so one would think. FIs made it to the scoresheet in only 5 of those tilts and even then the action was paltry at best. Here is a look at their contributions:
Less than 5 minutes in to play Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo was sidelined with a groin injury. A tweak seems to have rattled and rendered the starter unable to play for at least the next week. MRI findings were slight for injury but he will be reevaluated upon return home to Vancouver. Luongo faced and stopped only 1 shot and backup Curtis Sanford carried the rest of the load as the Canucks downed the host Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1. On a slightly sarcastic note, Luongo dropped his goals against average to 2.17 and increased his save percentage to .928 while keeping his record static at 11-5-2. We are wishing Roberto a speedy recovery.
Not injured, but not very effective, was New York Rangers' goaltender Stephen Valiquette who stopped 32 of 36 shots as the host Ottawa Senators thumped the Blueshirts 4-1. Vali dropped his 2nd straight start and now has a 2-2-0 record on the season with a .911 save percentage and a 2.60 goals against average. After starting the season on a mild hot streak Valiquette has surrendered 9 goals in his last 2 starts, both in the month of November.
Chicago defenseman Aaron Johnson had an assist on his team's 2nd goal as the Blackhawks overcame a 4-2 deficit to pull off a 5-4 OT win over the host Toronto Maple Leafs. Johnson snapped a 5 game point-less stretch and now has 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists) on 17 games. The helper was the 25th of Johnson's career and came in game #163. Receiving the lone assist on Toronto's 3rd goal was winger Jason Blake. Blakey has seemed to struggle this season but now has 3 goals and 7 assists for 10 points on 18 games. He has, however, managed 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) over the last 4 games.
St. Louis d-man and captain Eric Brewer was credited with the primary assist on the team's game winning powerplay goal as the Blues edged the host Minnesota Wild 2-1. Brewer has a less than stellar 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) on 18 games this season. Getting involved in the Blues' first goal is a surprise call up Steve Regier who received the secondary assist. On 3 games with the big club Regier has wowed with 3 goals and 1 assist for 4 points. The helper was the first of Regier's NHL career.
Washington d-man Tom Poti scored the first of only 2 Capitals' goals as they were thrashed by the host San Jose Sharks 7-2. Poti snapped a 5 game goal-less and point-less run and now has 3 goals and 3 assists for 6 points on 15 games. The 3 goals already surpasses his 2 goal effort from last season, a feat that took 71 games to accomplish.
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