While more of the Islanders' future stepped up last night to contribute (i.e. Josh Bailey's first NHL point) much of the Isles' past are making major strides in the early going. FIs made it to the scoresheet in 6 of 8 of the the games from Thursday night. Let us take a look:
We have yet to see a big offensive night from him yet however slowly but surely Boston captain Zdeno Chara is starting to rack up some points. Chara had an assist on the Bruins' 4th goal as Boston crushed the visiting Montreal Canadiens 6-1. Chara now has 1 goal and 5 assists for 6 points on 16 games but has recorded 3 (1 goal, 2 assists) in just the last 4 overall. Chara is typically a slow starter and this season is no exception. The question remains, though, about when we will see the defenseman really break through.
Miroslav Satan continues to provide some steady offense for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Thursday night was yet another example of him chipping in. Satan had a powerplay helper on the Pens' 3rd goal but all was almost lost as they blew a 3-0 lead to the Philadelphia Flyers before tying it up late in the 3rd period and then securing the win in the SO. The host Penguins skimmed by with a 5-4 victory. Satan missed the net on his opportunity in the 5th of 6 SO rounds. Satan now has 8 goals and 7 assists for 15 points on 16 games. He has recorded at least 1 point in 10 games this season and is pacing the Penguins in goals. On nights Satan scores a point the team is 7-2-1. Also getting involved was Ruslan Fedotenko who was credited with the primary assist on Pittsburgh's 2nd goal. Fedo now has 3 goals and 3 assists for 6 points on 15 games but has been a force recently notching all 6 of those points in his last 8 games.
Detroit goaltender improved to a stunning 17-0 lifetime against the Tampa Bay Lightning stopping 15 of a meager 18 shots to record the victory. Despite the fair performance his Red Wings staked him to a 4-3 victory. Osgood's numbers are not good yet he has not lost in regulation in his last 10 starts and is sporting a 7-1-3 record for the season. His save percentage is a lowly .877 while his goals against is a healthy 3.31 but nevertheless Ozzie is cruising along thanks to his team's offensive prowess.
Minnesota d-man Marc-Andre Bergeron recorded a hat trick... of assists to help lead the Wild to a 4-0 thump and dump of the visiting Phoenix Coyotes. Bergeron recorded 3 powerplay helpers as the Wild went 4 for 7 with the man advantage. MAB now has 2 goals and 5 assists for 7 points on 14 games. With the assists he snapped a 4 game point-less run. Bergeron has been a cannon on the powerplay this season recording 6 of his season points (2 goals, 4 assists) with the extra man.
Toronto winger Jason Blake responded to his healthy scratch from last game by adding 2 insurance assists (1 powerplay) as the Maple Leafs pulled off a 5-2 upset victory over the host Edmonton Oilers. Blake is still lagging a little bit offensively but now has 8 points (2 goals, 6 assists) on 15 games. Blakey snapped a 4 game point drought and inched close to his 200th career helper. Assisting on both Oilers' goals was d-man Denis Grebeshkov in only his 3rd game back after suffering what was believed to be a mild concussion. Greb snapped a 5 game point-less stretch and now has 1 goal and 6 assists for 7 points on 13 games. One of the 2 helpers was on the powerplay his 3rd extra man assist of the season, a new single season high for Grebeshkov.
Finally, the Calgary Flames are an enigma. Some days the Flames are an offensive force to be reckoned with while other days they get knocked down with a whimper. Check one off for whimper were crushed by the host San Jose Sharks 6-1. Receiving a powerplay assist on the lone Calgary goal was d-man Adrian Aucoin who snapped a 5 game point-less stretch. Aucoin has 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 points on 18 games.
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