With February having officially reached its end and the March playoff push only a day away there was a boatload of NHL games to be decided. Former Islanders lent help in a hearty 8 of 11 tilts. Here is a look:
Washington defenseman Tom Poti had an assist on the Capitals' 3rd goal as they survived a Boston comeback for a 4-3 OT win over the host Bruins. Poti now has 13 points (3 goals, 10 assists) on 38 games. For the 10th consecutive season Poti has recorded 10 or more helpers. Scoring the tying powerplay goal with less than 5 minutes remaining was Boston d-man Zdeno Chara. He has 15 goals and 22 assists for 37 points on 63 games. The goal was a momentous one for Chara since it marked career #100! Half of all his goals (50) have come on the man advantage. It only took the formerly offensively inept blueliner 750 games to accomplish the task.
Florida d-man Bryan McCabe notched his team's 2nd and final goal as the Panthers were thumped by the host New Jersey Devils and recently returned goaltender Martin Brodeur. McCabe now has 11 goals and 16 assists for 27 points on 52 games. The netter snapped an 11 game goal-less stretch dating back to February 3.
Toronto winger Jason Blake assisted on rookie Tim Stapleton's first career goal as the Maple Leafs edged the host Ottawa Senators 4-3 in OT. Blakey has 3 assists over the last 2 games and now has 22 goals and 28 assists for 50 points on 59 games. For the 45th straight season and 5th time on his career Blake has reached the 50+ point mark. Assisting on Ottawa's 2nd goal was recently reacquired center Mike Comrie. He has 2 points (1 goal, 1 assist) on 4 games since coming to Ottawa in a trade. On the season he has 8 goals and 14 assists for 22 points on 45 games.
Colorado winger Ryan Smyth scored his team's lone goal as the Avalanche were trounced by the host New York Rangers 6-1. Smyth now has 21 goals and 30 assists for 51 points on 63 games. He is 2nd on the Avalanche in goals, first in assists and first in points leading the Western Conference worst Colorado in almost every major category.
Unbelievably active Montreal d-man Mathieu Schneider kept up his great play since re-joining the Canadiens notching a powerplay assist on the opening goal as the Habs downed the visiting San Jose Sharks 3-2. In 6 games with the Canadiens Schneids has 3 goals and 3 assists for 6 points. All 6 of his points have come with the man advantage. On 50 games this season between the Atlanta Thrashers and Montreal Schneider has 7 goals and 14 assists for 21 points.
Detroit goalie Chris Osgood came in for a little backup support stopping on 10 of 14 shots in 50 minutes of ice time as the Red Wings were crushed by the host Nashville Predators 8-0. Ozzie had no decision so his record remained static at 19-5-7. His save percentage dropped to .880 while his goals against average raised slightly to 3.26.
Phoenix center Olli Jokinen scored his team's lone tally as the Coyotes were felled by the visiting St. Louis Blues 3-1. Jokinen has 5 points (4 goals, 1 assists) over the last 4 games and now has 21 goals and 21 assists for 42 points on 57 games. Rumor has it that Jokinen is being held out as trade bait as we approach the deadline on Wednesday. The goal was the 75th powerplay tally of O-Jok's career.
Fresh off a 2 and a half week stay on the Injured Reserve list and Edmonton d-man Denis Grebeshkov is already back in the offensive swing of things. Greb assisted on the game winning goal as the Oilers edged the visiting Minnesota Wild 2-1. Greb has 3 assists over his last 4 games and now has 4 goals and 22 assists for 26 points on 52 games. The helper was a big one as it was career point #50 for Grebeshkov coming in the young blueliner's 156th game.
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