November 21, 2008
The rookie is right in the race for the Calder Trophy, and performances like this will keep him there: Two assists and a brilliant power-play goal in the second period that gave Chicago the lead for good over the Dallas Stars, en route to a 6-3 victory. Versteeg carried into the zone, went wide and then cut through the Stars' defense before tucking the puck past Marty Turco and flying to the ice. Take a look for yourself (video); did it top Sidney Crosby's effort from earlier in the evening?
Earlier in the game, Tanguay was absolutely robbed by Ottawa Senators goalie Alex Auld's glove. He exacted revenge in the skills competition, going to his backhand while skating straight in on Auld. He beat him for the game-winning goal, giving Montreal a 3-2 shootout win. Honorable mention goes to Carey Price for a 23-save effort on the road that included a stunning glove save on Jarkko Ruutu in the shootout.
Returning to face his former team, the Minnesota Wild, Demitra had a strong night playing Daniel and Henrik Sedin. He netted a key power-play goal in the second period, after Mikko Koivu's shorthanded goal -- his second of the night -- gave the Wild a 2-1 lead. Demitra then assisted on Daniel Sedin's game-winner in the third. Back-to-back road wins in New York and Minnesota? Man, the Canucks are opening some eyes.
Honorable Mention: Jiri Hudler scored two impressive goals in the Detroit Red Wings' 4-3 win at the Edmonton Oilers; the Wings were 3-for-5 on the power play. ... Crosby had at three-point night in leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-2 victory at the Atlanta Thrashers. ... Radio analyst Sherry Ross said it best: The New Jersey Devils played 40 good minutes, and goalie Scott Clemmensen played the other 20. He stopped 23 shots, including 10 in the second period, to give the Devils a 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers. ... Curtis Sanford made 28 saves in a rare start for Vancouver. ... The Calgary Flames frustrated the Colorado Avalanche again, as Miikka Kiprusoff earned his second shutout of the season with an 18-save effort in a 1-0 win. Daymond Langkow had the lone goal. ... Dustin Brown drew a penalty from Alexander Ovechkin and then cashed in on the ensuing power-play, helping the Los Angeles Kings to an empty-net goal-padded 5-2 victory over the Washington Capitals on "Russian Heritage Night."
Dishonorable Mention: The Thrashers list center Todd White day-to-day with an upper body injury he suffered at the hands of Kris Letang. ... According to SENShobo, the officials in the Ottawa game need a remedial lesson on the concept of puck possession on a delayed call, as their haste may have cost the Senators. ... Finally, this was the fifth time in 16 starts goalie Marty Turco has given up five or more goals. Pathetic.