November 28, 2011
Inglorious Backes converted a sweet T.J. Oshie(notes) pass on the power play at 7:49 of the third period to break a 1-1 tie; it stood up as the game-winning goal, as Ken Hitchcock and the St. Louis Blues topped the 6-14-3 Columbus Blue Jackets, 2-1. Later in the period, Backes helped pin the Jackets in their own zone, not allowing them to get Curtis Sanford(notes) out for an extra attacker.
The Leafs center scored goals in the first and third periods, helping Toronto to a 5-2 victory over the sinking Anaheim Ducks. He tallied on the power play at 14:10 of the first period, with Clarke MacArthur's(notes) rocket blast 19 seconds later giving the Leafs a lead they wouldn't relinquish. In the third, he scored on a big rebound off of Jonas Hiller(notes). Check out the spiffy passing on his first goal:
Spezza hadn't scored a goal in 11 games. He made up for it with two in the first period, including a great individual effort to open the scoring 55 seconds in, as the Ottawa Senators defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-3. Spezza scored this 200th career goal in the win.
Honorable mention: The Calgary Flames received goals from five different players in their 5-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild: Mark Giordano(notes), Lee Stempniak(notes), T.J. Brodie(notes), Alex Tanguay(notes) and Jarome Iginla(notes), who was a plus-3. Cal Clutterbuck(notes) and Nick Johnson(notes) had the Wild goals. … Joey Crabb(notes) and Luke Schenn(notes) had the other Leafs goals; Francois Beauchemin(notes) and Corey Perry(notes) scored for he Ducks. … Ex-Blue Jacket Kris Russell(notes) added to the torment of Ken Hitchcock winning in his return to Columbus, scoring with eight second left in the second period to tie the game after Derek Dorsett's(notes) opening goal. … Brian Elliott(notes) moved to 10-1-0 with the 23-save win. … Eric Staal(notes) broke a goal drought with his fifth of the season. … David Rundblad(notes) scored his first NHL goal for Ottawa. ... This beauty from Zack Smith(notes) was a pivotal play in the third period, giving the Sens a 4-2 lead:
Did you know? Ken Hitchcock has posted the best 10-game start for a new Blues coach in franchise history, ahead of Joel Quenneville, Red Berenson, Andy Murray, Mike Keenan, and Al Arbour. (AP)
Dishonorable mention: Goalie Niklas Backstrom(notes) was pulled after the Flames' third goal, giving up three on eight shots. … Matt Cullen(notes) was a minus-3. … Bobby Ryan(notes) was a minus-3 for the Ducks. … Fedor Tyutin(notes) had three minor penalties, including one that negated a third-period power play.