January 22, 2010
Upshall picked the best time possible to record his first career hat trick. Going au natural in the third period, Upshall single-handedly gave the Coyotes two points as his third period natural hat trick was the deciding factor in Phoenix's 4-2 win over Nashville. The win was also Coyotes' head coach Dave Tippett his 300th career NHL victory behind the bench and gave Phoenix their third win in four games.
There's no better first impression in your debut as team captain than tallying a hat trick and winning, right? Staal scored a goal in each period as the 'Canes downed Atlanta 5-2. Taking the leadership reigns from Rod Brind'Amour(notes) can't be easy, but Staal made a valiant first step by his actions on the ice with his ninth career three-goal game. Carolina snapped a three-game losing streak in the process.
Making his third start since returning from injury, Emery shut out the New York Rangers 2-0 for his 10th career shutout. In a fight filled game that brought back memories of old Patrick Division battles, Emery made 24 saves in his return to the net for the Flyers. The loss prompted Rangers head coach to engage in yet another entertaining post-game press conference with reporters, specifically his long-time sparring partner, Larry Brooks of the New York Post.
Honorable Mention: R.J. Umberger(notes) tipped home an Anton Stralman(notes) shot on the power-play for a 3-2 Columbus Blue Jackets victory over the Boston Bruins. The goal followed a controversial high-sticking call on Milan Lucic(notes). ... Jimmy Howard(notes) had 27 saves, including eight in overtime, as the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-3 after an 8-round shootout. This came after Martin Havlat(notes) and Andrew Brunette(notes) powered a 2-goal rally in the third. ... Matt Moulson(notes) had the game-winner in the shootout as the New York Islanders won their seventh of nine games in a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers. ... Peter Regin(notes) scored three power-play points (one goal, two assists) as the Ottawa Senators defeated the St. Louis Blues, 3-2. ... Martin St. Louis(notes) had the overtime game-winner on an inexcusable too many men on the ice penalty and Vincent Lecavalier(notes) had three assists as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-2. ... In the grudge match of the night, the Washington Capitals scored four straight goals and defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-3. Alex Ovechkin(notes) scored three points, with two goals and an assist. Evgeni Malkin(notes) has three assists and Sidney Crosby(notes) had a goal in a losing effort. ... Ben Eager(notes) had the game-winner and Antti Niemi(notes) had 19 saves as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Calgary Flames, 3-1. ... Alex Burrows(notes) scored his 23rd goal of the season and Kyle Wellwood(notes) had the eventual game-winner in the Vancouver Canucks' 4-3 win over the Dallas Stars. ... Anze Kopitar(notes) and Dustin Brown(notes) scored in the shootout as the Los Angeles Kings rallied to defeat the Buffalo Sabres, 4-3. Ryan Smyth(notes) had the game-tying goal. ... Patrick Marleau(notes) had a three-point night including an empty netter as the San Jose Sharks defeated the Anaheim Ducks, 3-1.
Did you know?: The Thrashers have been outscored 51-35 in the first period. (AP)
Dishonorable Mention: One of the reasons why the Capitals beat the Penguins tonight was their dominance in the faceoff circle. Washington was 41-66 on draws as they doubled up Pittsburgh ... Alex Auld(notes) delivered a belated Christmas present to Alex Burrows near the end of the second period: