Newsmakers in the NHL: Jason Blake Finally Brings Leafs Fans to Their Feet

For the most part, Jason Blake has been a rather large free agent bust for the Toronto Maple Leafs. After signing a five-year, $20 million deal with Toronto prior to the 2007 season, Blake scored only 15 goals for Toronto a season ago, and has been a healthy scratch on more than one occasion this season. On Tuesday, Blake scored the game-winning goal in a shootout in rather spectacular fashion -- shown above -- giving the Leafs a 3-2 win over New Jersey.

It's Toronto's third win a row, while the Devils drop their second straight.

After Mike Rupp gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead in the first period, the Leafs received a pair of second period goals from Jeremy Williams and Nik Antropov, before Zach Parise netted a power play goal with 20 seconds to play in the period, tying the game.

Vesa Toskala stopped 25 shots in the win, while also turning aside 3-of-4 shots in the shootout. Scott Clemmensen started for New Jersey, surrendering two goals in regulation on 27 shots.

Montreal Decides to Play Entire Game Shorthanded

So much for even-up calls. The Montreal Canadiens were called for 11 consecutive penalties on Tuesday night, leading to three Hurricanes power play goals in a 3-2 Carolina win. That's right, the first 11 penalties of the game were called against Montreal, while the Hurricanes finished the night with only one penalty -- a high sticking penalty on Ray Whitney -- called against them.

Montreal was awarded a penalty shot early in the second period when Brett Carson slashed Guillaume Latendresse on a breakaway, who beat Cam Ward for his third goal of the season.

Eric Staal scored a pair of goals for Carolina, while Joe Corvo scored the game-winner at the 7:18 mark of the second period.

Ward turned aside 22 shots in the win, while Jaroslav Halak made his second consecutive start in place of Carey Price, stopping 24 shots.

Montreal head coach Guy Carbonneauwasn't exactly thrilled with the officiating:

"I really don't want to talk about it," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said about the discrepancy. "You guys saw the game. You can write or say whatever you want to say about it. I'd rather not talk about it."

The Hurricanes went 3-for-11 on the man advantage, while Montreal was 0-for-1.

All Chicago, All the Time

It seems as if the Edmonton Oilers didn't bother to show up on Tuesday, as they were thumped on their home ice, 9-2, by the Chicago Blackhawks. It's the NHL's second 9-2 final in a week, which is a little odd.

Anyway, the Blackhawks scored five goals in the second period, and received points from every player in the lineup except for Brent Seabrook, Matt Walker, and, of all people, Jonathan Toews.

Troy Brouwer scored a pair of goals for the Blackhawks, who went a perfect 4-for-4 on the power play. Duncan Keith added a shorthanded goal in the second period, just for good measure.

Odds and Ends

... Alex Ovechkin scored a pair of goals for the Capitals, including the game-winner in overtime, as Washington survived a nice rally from the New York Islanders to pull out a 5-4 win on Long Island. The Islanders overcame a 4-1 deficit after a shaky start from Joey MacDonald to at least gain a point.

... Colby Armstrong scored two goals 31 seconds apart in the third period, as the Thrashers beat Ottawa, 4-1.

... Watch out local fraternities, because the Philadelphia Flyers won again, 5-2, over the Colorado Avalanche. Jeff Carter scored his 22nd goal of the season, helping lead Philadelphia to its fifth straight win.

... Loui Eriksson was the difference for the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, as he scored both goals, including the game-winner in overtime, in a 2-1 win over Phoenix. Marty Turco turned aside 22-of-23 shots to earn first star honors. Todd Fedoruk scored the only goal for the Coyotes.

... Jarome Iginla led the Flames with a four-point night (two goals, two assists) in a 6-3 win over St. Louis. The two teams combined for 78 penalty minutes, including two 10-minute misconducts to Calgary's Eric Nystrom and St. Louis' Jeff Woywitka in the third period.

... Nigel Dawes gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead with just under four-minutes to play in the third period, as they defeated Anaheim, 3-1, on Tuesday. Chris Drury also scored for New York, while Nikolai Zherdev added an empty-netter. Chris Kunitz provided the offense for the Ducks.

Newsmakers in the NHL: Jason Blake Finally Brings Leafs Fans to Their Feet originally appeared on NHL FanHouse on Wed, 17 Dec 2008 00:35:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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