Yesterday we talked about how the Devils haven't been able to find the back of the net in recent games, making their backup goalies hard-luck losers since the injury to Martin Brodeur. Well, last night against the Capitals, New Jersey had an offensive explosion of sorts as it snapped a four-game losing streak, winning in a shootout, 6-5.
It certainly wasn't easy as Alex Ovechkin tied the game with 0.8 seconds to play in regulation, continuing what had been an insane night in Newark. Ovechkin finished with two goals -- his fourth straight game with a goal -- and an assist, while Nicklas Backstrom had a five-point night for the Capitals in the losing effort.
Alexander Semin, who entered play on Saturday night as the league's leading scorer, did not play for the Capitals as he sat out with a shoulder injury suffered on Friday night.Penguins Come From Behind Once Again
Who knows how long they'll be able to keep doing this, but the Penguins managed to come from behind yet again on Saturday night with a four-goal third period, defeating Buffalo, 5-2, to win their sixth straight game. The Penguins are now 6-3 this season when trailing after two periods, including 3-0 in the past week.
Thomas Vanek gave the Sabres a 2-1 lead with a power play goal in the second period, a lead they would hold until the nine-minute mark of the third. With the Penguins on the power play, Sidney Crosby slid a perfect cross-ice pass to Alex Goligoski who proceeded to rip it behind Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller, tying the game at two. Just four minutes later, Jordan Staal scored his first of two goals when he one-timed a Matt Cooke pass past Miller, giving the Penguins their first lead of the night.
Staal, by the way, has been a monster the past week, leaving me with quite a bit of egg on my face for saying he hasn't been living up his No. 2 overall pick status. Shows what I know.
Ruslan Fedotenko also scored for the Penguins, while Evgeni Malkin picked up four points (goal, three assists) to reclaim the NHL's scoring lead over Alexander Semin, who, as we previously noted, did not play tonight for Washington. Malkin has registered a point in 13 consecutive games.Roberto Luongo Is the Best Goalie in Hockey
For the past two weeks, we've all been living in Roberto Luongo's world. Entering Saturday's game against Toronto, the 29-year old goalie had allowed only one goal in his previous 13 periods of play. He held Toronto off the board for the first 56 minutes on Saturday, before surrendering a pair of goals to Ian White and Matt Stajan late in the third period. By that point, however, the game was already well in control as the Canucks won, 4-2.
Daniel Sedin, Kyle Wellwood, Willie Mitchell and Ryan Kesler scored for Vancouver, as Luongo turned aside 28 of 30 shots. Over his past five games, Luongo has stopped 142 of the 145 shots he's faced, good enough for a .979 save percentage. Incredible.
The Canucks only managed 15 shots on goal, but still managed to chase Toronto goalie Vesa Toskala as he gave up four goals on just nine shots. Entering play on Saturday, Toskala's .886 save percentage was good enough (or bad enough, depending on your perspective) for 35th in the NHL. I'm guessing the .556 effort last night didn't do much to boost his ranking.
Yesterday's Newsmakers in the NHL: Wild Night in New Jersey originally appeared on NHL FanHouse on Sun, 16 Nov 2008 00:30:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.