With 8 games on tap it was a busy Thursday around the NHL. Things are in flux for Former Islanders (well for everybody really) and some big time contributors from early on (read Bertuzzi) have cooled off while others are just getting started (read McCabe). FIs made contributions in 5 of those contests. Here are their efforts, in brief:
Florida defenseman Bryan McCabe was credited with the secondary assist on the Panthers' lone goal, a powerplay tally midway through the 3rd Period, as they fell to the host New Jersey Devils 3-1. McCabe is on a near point-per-game pace with 7 (3 goals, 4 assists) on 8 games this season. He is currently riding a 5 game point scoring streak in which he has mopped up 6 of his season points (3 goals, 3 assists). Despite missing 10 games McCabe is tied for 2nd with Jay Bouwmeester on the Panthers in defensive scoring.
Atlanta d-man Mathieu Schneider, in his first game back since November 2 after suffering a hip injury, already got back on the scoresheet. Schneids assisted on the opening goal, a powerplay score, only 4:41 in to play but the Thrashers still fell to the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2. Schneider snapped a 4 game point-less stretch and now has 1 goal and 4 assists for 5 points on 13 games. Also getting involved was Pens' winger Miroslav Satan who netted Pitt's first goal at the 10:57 mark of the 1st. The goal was Satan's team leading 9th of the season. He also has 7 assists for 16 points on 19 games. Satan scored point #700 only 3 games earlier and finally broke through with #701 on Thursday night.
No matter what people might say if things continue this badly for the Dallas Stars the Mark Parrish signing was still a good one. Parrish continued to show off his offensive upswing by recording his first helper as a Star only the opening goal of the game but the woeful Dallas defense failed them as they were thumped by the visiting Chicago Blackhawks 6-3. Parrish now has 4 goals and 1 assist for 5 points on 6 games. Creepily enough, though, Thursday's game was #666 for Parrish... Spooky!
Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood recently complained that he is sick of giving up 3 goals a night when he was used to giving up 1 or 2 last season. Well his numbers might not be impressive but Ozzie is receiving the same results thanks to the offensive and defensive prowess that plays in front of him. Osgood stopped 31 of 34 shots which was just good enough as Detroit survived a near-collapse from a 3 goal lead to edge the host Edmonton Oilers 4-3. Ozzie is a deceptively good 8-1-3 on the season with a mediocre .881 save percentage and a sumo wrestler-like 3.21 goals against average. But despite the stats Osgood is unbeaten in regulation in his last 11 starts going 8-0-3 over that time. This is not new territory for Osgood, however, because between the end of the 2006-07 season and the start of the 2007-08 season Ozzie had compiled a 21 game streak in which he had not lost in regulation. Over that span he compiled a 16-0-5 record. Receiving an assist on the first Edmonton goal, a powerplay netter, was winger Robert Nilsson. Struggling a little bit this year, Nilsson now has 3 goals and 4 assists for 7 points on 20 games. He has recorded over half of his points on the man advantage with 2 powerplay goals and 2 powerplay assists. Edmonton d-man Denis Grebeshkov recorded the primary helper on the Oil's 2nd goal. Greb is doing well for himself with 1 goal and 7 assists for 8 points on 17 games. With the helper Grebeshkov snapped a 3 game point-less streak.
After flat out outplaying the Anaheim Ducks the Washington Capitals did not have quite the same umph against the Los Angeles Kings. The Caps fell to the youthful Kings 5-2 in the West Coast matchup. Receiving an assist on the Caps' first goal, a powerplay netter, was forward Viktor Kozlov. Kozzer now has 8 points (2 goals, 6 assists) on 14 games. He is riding a 4 game point-scoring streak in which he has recorded 1 goal and 4 assists for 5 points. The extra man helper was Kozlov's 2nd of the season and the 99th of his career.
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