There were an unbelievable 26 teams in action on Saturday as 13 games raged around the NHL during this final push towards the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Former Islanders were no lightweights putting up their efforts in 8 of those contests. Here is a quick peek at the FI action:
Philadelphia winger Arron Asham had his yearly 2 goal against the New York Rangers as the host Flyers downed the Blueshirts 4-2. Ash scored goals about 9 minutes apart in the 3rd Period including the game winner and the insurance tally to notch the first star honor. Asham snapped a 6 game goal-less streak. He has 7 goals and 7 assists for 14 points on 63 games. The winner was Asham's 1st of the season and the 7th of his career. The goal snapped a 97 game streak without a winner dating back to December 16, 2007.
Boston defenseman and captain Zdeno Chara recorded an assist on the game winning goal as the Bruins edged the visiting Isles 2-1. Chara has 8 points (2 goals, 6 assists) in 15 games against the Islanders. He now has 16 goals and 26 assists for 42 points on 70 games.
Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood stopped 30 of 32 shots for the win as the Red Wings thumped the host St. Louis Blues 5-2. Ozzie is 2-0-1 in his last 3 starts and is now 21-6-7 on the season.
Ottawa center Mike Comrie rocketed home the game winning goal in the 5th round of the SO as the Senators eked by the host Pittsburgh Penguins 5-4. Teammate Chris Campoli knotted the score at 1 in the 1st Period with his 9th of the season. Since joining the Sens Campoli has 8 points (3 goals, 5 assists) on 11 games. He has 25 points (9 goals, 16 assists) on 62 games this year reaching the 25 point plateau for only the 2nd time. Campy also tied his single season goal high. Both the 25 point mark and the 9 goals were highs set during his rookie 2005-06 campaign. Opening the scoring was Pens tough guy Eric Godard with a rare offensive effort. Godard now has 2 goals and 1 assists for 3 points on 63 games. The 2 tallies equals his prior single season high from 2005-06 while still an Isle. The netter snapped a 34 game goal-less and point-less stretch. It took only 263 career games but Godard has recorded 5 goals.
Recently acquired center Olli Jokinen lit it up for the Flames with a hat trick and 2 assists for 5 points but the goaltending was horrendous as Calgary fell 8-6 to the host Toronto Maple Leafs in a score-a-thon. With his 2nd hat trick in his last 10 games Jokinen now has 29 goals and 23 assists for 52 points on 56 games. He has reached the 50+ point mark for the 6th straight season. Since joining the Flames O-Jok has been out-of-this-world with 10 points (8 goals, 2 assists) on 6 games yet Calgary is 2-4-0 in that span. The last time Jokinen has 5+ points on a game was March 17, 2007 when he had 6 (2 goals, 4 assists) against the Isles while still the star center for the Florida Panthers. Notching 3 assists, including 2 on Jokinen goals, was d-man Adrian Aucoin. He has 4 assists over the last 2 games and now has 10 goals and 22 assists for 32 points on 69 games. For the 2nd straight season Aucoin has reached the 20+ assist level and the 30+ point barrier. The assist mark makes has been reached in 6 seasons at 20 or more while the 30 point mark has been broken in 7 seasons. The 3 point night was a first for Aucoin since March 3, 2001 when he had 4 assists during his brief tenure with the Tampa Bay Lightning! Winger Jason Blake notched a powerplay goal for the Leafs that staked them to an early 2-0 lead. Blake now has 23 goals and 31 assists for 54 points on 66 games. The powerplay goal was his 4th of the season doubling his extra man output from his first season with Toronto. Scoring his first goal since returning to the NHL was center Jeff Hamilton. He has 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) in 6 games with the Leafs. The goal was Hammy's first since March 28, 2008 while still with the Carolina Hurricanes. The tally snapped a 7 game goal-less stretch.
Buffalo center Tim Connolly was stopped on his attempt in the 2nd of 4 SO rounds as the Sabres were edged by the visiting Atlanta Thrashers 4-3. TimCo has only 1 assist over the last 4 games and is mired in a mini-slump.
Washington center Viktor Kozlov was stopped on his attempt in the 1st round of the SO but all was righted as the Capitals felled the visiting Carolina Hurricanes 5-4.
Edmonton winger Robert Nilsson opened the scoring only 3:09 in to regulation as the Oilers were downed by the visiting Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in OT. Nilsson has goals in back-to-back games for the first time this season and now has 9 goals and 14 assists for 23 points on 54 games. The last time Nily had goals in consecutive contests was between December 5 and 7, 2007 in his first full season with the Oil.
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