January 03, 2012
Little did Brandon Prust realize that Rupp was thinking of someone else the whole time.
There was plenty of unexpected drama at the Winter Classic, but the most unlikely element had to be Rupp playing the hero, scoring twice to get the Rangers back into a game that looked perilously close to slipping away. Not long after Rupp's second tied things at two, Brad Richards put the Rangers ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-2. Thanks to Henrik Lundqvist, there they would stay: Among King Henrik's 34 stops was a Danny Briere penalty shot with only 19 seconds to go.
The Canucks' rookie centre was in on both Vancouver goals in their 3-2 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks, setting up Jannik Hansen to give the Canucks a 1-0 lead in the first and scoring a powerplay goal to tie the game 2-2 midway through the third. Unfortunately, his magic ended in regulation, as Antti Niemi stopped him and two others in the shootout, setting the stage for Michal Handzus to give the Sharks the 3-2 win.
For the second time in three games, Alfredsson scored in overtime on a powerplay shot from the dot, giving the Senators a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils. It was Ottawa's third straight win. The shot was a laser:
Honourable mention: Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist during a five-minute powerplay to lead the Edmonton Oilers' to 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Ryan Smyth added a goal and an assist of his own, and Jordan Eberle picked up two assists. Meanwhile, Shawn Horcoff took 33 faceoffs... The Colorado Avalanche improved to 7-0 in the shootout this year, beating the Los Angeles Kings 2-1. Milan Hejduk scored the shootout winner, going five-hole on Jonathan Quick in the first round. Semyon Varlamov made 31 saves in the win.
Did you know? Ryan Nugent-Hopkins left the game versus the Blackhawks after losing an edge early in the first period and falling awkwardly into the boards. He did not return. On the plus side, it meant that he only lost one faceoff.
Dishonourable mention: The Kings went 0-for-4 with the man advantage versus the Avalanche. One of those powerplays was a 4-on-3 in overtime on which one assumes they would have preferred to score... Speaking of powerplays, the Oilers' five-minute powerplay was the result of a Dan Carcillo hit on Tom Gilbert which garnered an ejection and may earn a suspension...