There were 8 contests up for grabs on Wednesday night as teams scramble for points as we near the midpoint of the 2008-09 NHL season. Former Islanders are contributing where they can and they tipped in their help in 5 of those games but the play was much more than just 5 FIs. Here is a look:
Pittsburgh winger Ruslan Fedotenko is riding a current spat of good play and continued that run assisting on the lone Penguins' goal as they fell to the host New Jersey Devils 4-1. Fedo now has 7 goals and 5 assists for 12 points on 26 games. Over the last 4 games he has notched 4 points on 3 goals and 1 assist. The helper snapped a 9 game assist-less streak dating back to November 15.
New York Rangers' goaltender Stephen Valiquette got his first start in over half a month and helped lead the Blueshirts to a 3-2 OT victory over the host Atlanta Thrashers. Vali stopped 27 of 29 shots and faced nothing in the 18 seconds to secure the win. Valiquette improved to 3-2-0 on the season with a 2.49 goals against average and a .912 save percentage. The start was only the 20th of his career.
Washington forward Viktor Kozlov snapped a 2 game point-less streak notching 2 assists including a powerplay helper and one on the even strength game winner to help lead the Capitals to a 3-1 home win over the Boston Bruins. Kozzer now has 5 goals and 11 assists for 16 points on 24 games. Over the past 5 games Kozlov has 5 points on 2 goals and 3 assists. Also getting involved was defenseman Tom Poti who received the secondary assist on the game winner. Poti has had assists in back-to-back games and 3 helpers in the last 4 overall. He now has 3 goals and 5 assists for 8 points on 18 games. Getting an assist on the lone Boston goal was captain and d-man Zdeno Chara. Chara has 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) over the last 3 games and has steadily improved his numbers recently. He now has 5 goals and 9 assists for 14 points on 28 games.
Calgary winger Todd Bertuzzi assisted on his team's 2nd goal as the Flames blew a 3-1 lead and fell 4-3 to the host Detroit Red Wings in OT. Bert now has 4 assists in as many games (one per game) and has 20 points (7 goals, 13 assists) on 29 games. For the 11th time on his career Bertuzzi has reached the 20+ point plateau on a season. Also lending a hand was d-man Adrian Aucoin who had the secondary assist on the Flames' 3rd goal, a powerplay tally. Aucoin snapped a 3 game point-less run and now has 3 goals and 7 assists for 10 points on 29 games. Thanks to 2 minor penalties Aucoin reached 600 career penalty minutes during the game. For the 11th time on his career Aucoin has reached the double digit point plateau.
Playing in his game since November 26 thanks to a shoulder injury Phoenix center Olli Jokinen made an immediate impact. Jokinen popped home 2 powerplay goals to lead the Coyotes to a 5-3 road win over the Dallas Stars. O-Jok was recognized with the first star of the game honor. He now has 9 goals and 11 assists for 20 points on 22 games this season. For the 9th time in his last 10 seasons Jokinen has topped 20+ points on a season.
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