December 19, 2011
Thrilling win for the Panthers, as Versteeg's 16th of the season at 3:08 of overtime gave Florida a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Brian Campbell set it up with an aggressive pass in the slot that went to Stephen Weiss, whose shot was blocked; the puck eventually emerged from a jumble in front of Cam Ward to Versteeg, who buried it into an open net.
The Blackhawks' defenseman scored his first of the season at 5:15 of the second period, putting Chicago up 2-0 en route to a 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames. He also skated 24:12, his third-highest ice time of the season and a byproduct of the Blackhawks losing Brent Seabrook to injury in the first.
The Blues defenseman converted a pass from David Backes for this fifth of the season — the third of three Blues goals in the opening 12:08 of the third period, powering St. Louis to a 6-4 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. He was also a plus-2.
Honorable mention: Ray Emery won his fifth straight for Chicago and moved to 9-1-2 overall. Marian Hossa had a goal and an assist in the win. … Kevin Shattenkirk scored his fifth and was a plus-4 for the Blues; Jason Arnott gave St. Louis the lead in the third period with his sixth. … Derick Brassard had a goal and an assist for the Jackets; Fedor Tyutin had three assists. … Olli Jokinen and Curtis Glencross had power-play goals for the Flames. … Tim Gleason scored his first of the season for the Hurricanes. … Jason Garrison's 10th of the year for the Panthers tied the game in the third. … Joel Quenneville won his 600th game, the 10th coach in NHL history to do so. Said Coach Q: "There have been some good teams in some great organizations and some great players and coaches to be around. I've been fortunate in a lot of ways and I'm in a great spot right here. I'm very contend and I have a nice team to work with. I've been very fortunate to be around top guys, good teams and good people."
Fight of the Night: Cory Sarich plasters Bryan Bickell with a clean hit; Bickell hunts down Sarich and instigates a fight; Sarich hangs tough in a brawl; and Bickell was given an instigator and a misconduct.
Did you know? Panthers 30-year-old center Greg Rallo was called up from San Antonio of the AHL on Saturday and made his NHL debut. Rallo is the second 30-year-old player to debut with the Panthers this season. (AP)
Dishonorable mention: Not a good night for Steve Mason (.848 save percentage) and Jaroslav Halak (.875). … Vinny Prospal and Jeff Carter were both a minus-4 for the Jackets. … Brent Seabrook was knocked out of the Blackhawks' game after a hit from behind from Rene Bourque, who earned a major and a game misconduct.