It was a ridiculously busy final Thursday to the 2008-09 NHL season as 22 teams faced off in 11 tilts. Former Islanders continue to help their teams out even if playoff mirages of the recent past have now disapated. FIs kicked in their efforts in 6 of those contests. Here is a quick look:
Boston captain and defenseman Zdeno Chara scored the game tying powerplay goal early in the 3rd Period and added and powerplay assist to help lead the Bruins to a 5-4 OT win over the visiting Montreal Canadiens. Chara now has 19 goals and 31 assists for 50 points on 80 games giving the giant blueliner his 2nd straight 50+ point campaign. His 19 goals (11 powerplay) both set new single season highs while his 17 extra man helpers equaled another high from the 2006-07 season, his first with the Bs. Scoring a powerplay goal for the Habs was d-man Mathieu Schneider. He has points in 7 straight games (2 goals, 5 assists) and now has 9 goals and 23 assists for 32 points on 66 games. In only 22 games with Montreal Schneids has notched 17 points (5 goals, 12 assists). He is now only 1 extra man score away from 100 on his career. Assisting on that goal was fellow blueliner Roman Hamrlik. With 4 assists over the last 4 contests Hamr now has 5 goals and 27 assists for 32 points on 81 games.
Buffalo center Tim Connolly notched 2 assists as the Sabres crushed the host Carolina Hurricanes 5-1. TimCo has 45 points (17 goals, 28 assists) on 47 games reaching that mark for only the 3rd time on his career and first since the 2005-06 season. Connolly is now only 1 assist shy of 200 on his career. For the 13th time this season Connolly has recorded 2 or more points in a game.
Pittsburgh winger Bill Guerin scored an even strength goal against his most recent squad, the Isles, as the Penguins heartily trounced the visiting Blue & Orange 6-1. Billy G snapped a 3 game point-less streak and now has 21 goals and 27 assists for 48 points on 77 games. Guerin has played well for the Pens recording 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists) in 17 games. Pittsburgh is now the 7th team that Guerin has scored 5 or more goals with in a season. Assisting on the first Pens' goal was winger Ruslan Fedotenko. With 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) over the last 2 games Fedo now has 16 goals and 22 assists for 38 points on 64 games.
Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood stopped 22 of 25 shots faced including 2 in OT but let 2 of 4 go in during the SO as the Nashville Predators edged the host Red Wings 4-3. Ozzie is now 26-8-8 on the season snapping a mini-2 game winning streak. The 8 OT losses sets a new single season high for Osgood who has been subpar, at best, this season yet has an impressive record due to the excellence of both the Wings' offense and their impressive blueline.
Dallas Stars' winger Mark Parrish scored a goal as they eked by the host Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in a SO. The netter snapped a 4 game point-less streak and an 11 game goal-less streak for the spotty forward. Parrish now has 8 goals and 5 assists for 13 points on 44 games.
Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo was unbeatable stopping all 20 shots he faced as the Canucks edged the visiting Los Angeles Kings 1-0. The victory was the 2nd straight for Lu who is now 32-13-7 on the season. The goose egg was his 8th of the season, a new single season high for the highly prized backstopper surpassing his 7 blankings from 2003-04 season while with the Florida Panthers.
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