October 13, 2008
Edmonton Oilers defenseman Steve Staios gloved a puck in the crease, and Colorado Avalanche winger Milan Hejduk buried the ensuing penalty shot to tie the teams' game in Alberta, 2-2, with about 10 minutes left. This one seemed ready for overtime when the Oilers started cycling in the Colorado zone with just seconds left in the game. Ethan Moreau kept the play alive with a pass to Sheldon Souray at the point, whose blast was blocked. Moreau collected the rebound, shot the puck towards Peter Budaj and Dustin Penner was there to tip it home with 5.4 seconds left for a dramatic 3-2 victory. It wasn't a memorable effort for Edmonton, despite their spiffy retro uniforms. But Penner scored two goals in the third period, and goalie Mathieu Garon was strong in net to pull out the win.
The Bryz is now 4-1-1 against his former team, the Anaheim Ducks, after a 4-2 Coyotes' win on opening night in Anaheim. He followed his 28-save effort in Phoenix's opening night win with 33 against the Ducks, including 14 in a critical second period. So much for the Ducks using their stinker of a season-opener against San Jose for motivation against Phoenix.
No. 3 star: San Jose Sharks defense
Lukas Kaspar beat Los Angeles Kings goalie Jason LaBarbera midway through the second period for the only goal in the Sharks' 1-0 win in LA. But one night after limiting the Kings to13 shots total and four in the third period, San Jose held Los Angeles to 21 shots against backup goalie Brian Boucher and just three in the third period. Of course, the Sharks also had the benefit of disallowed goals by Tom Preissing and Matt Moulson of the Kings. It was an important win for Boucher, as establishing a level of confidence no matter who is between the pipes could lead to extra rest for Evgeni Nabokov this season.
Honorable mention: Shane Doan had two goals, including a power-play tally in the third period. Please note that Olli Jokinen has a power-play point in each of the Coyotes' first two games; Phoenix was 11th in the NHL in power-play conversion last season. ... Kyle Turris scored his first NHL goal tonight against the Ducks. He also received his first NHL enforcement from a teammate, as David Hale fought Brian Sutherby following a hit on Turris. ... Joe Sakic scored his first of the season for the Avalanche.
Dishonorable mention: San Jose defenseman Rob Blake was booed whenever he touched the puck in his return to LA. "It's been like that over the years, it's not the first time, I did it with Colorado. It's not a problem," said Blake. Still ... 14 seasons means incessant booing for a player who was being jerked around by the Kings last summer? Really?