This week’s Slap Shot by Uncle Sam’s resident NHL writer Alex Underwood, brings you news of wins for Chicago, Boston, San Jose and Colorado…
Note: At Uncle Sam we are always looking to improve our work, to this end slap shot will now contain divisional standings, and four game reports.
Blackhawks blank Stars in overtime (4/1/2015)
Both Chicago and Dallas are in form in the central division of the western conference. Coming into the game the Blackhawks had won six in their last ten games and was second in the division behind Nashville, the massive blot on their record however is the loss the Washington Capitals on January first in the outdoor winter classic. Meanwhile despite being fifth in the division Dallas had won eight of their last ten.
In the first period it was Dallas who struck first, Jamie Benn scoring from a rebound four minutes in. The lead lasted just over a minute, after some pinpoint passing in front of goal Brandon Saad scored his tenth of the season.
Just over two minutes into the second period the Stars re took the lead, Jamie Benn’s brother Jordie scored his first goal of the season for the 2-1 lead. Once again the Blackhawks had a fast response, Patrick Kane slotting a pass from Patrick Sharp into the net. The goal fest continued under a minute later with another Stars goal to make the score 3-2, this time Erik Cole scored the goal to once again give the Stars in the lead. Towards the end of the period Jason Demers gives the Blackhawks a power play thanks to a slashing penalty, soon after Bryan Bickell scored on the power play to draw Chicago level.
The third period continued where the other two left off, with Dallas re taking the lead, Erik Cole scoring his second of the game with a re directed shot. However the Blackhawks were not done, this time Brad Richards scored the goal at a near impossible angle and distance, off the post and in to send the game into overtime at 3-3.
In overtime Dallas had a golden chance to snatch the win seconds in, however could not capitalise thanks to the Blackhawks defence bailing out goalie Corey Crawford, when he found himself behind the net with Dallas knocking on the door. The Stars were to rue themselves missing the opportunity as Patrick Sharp scored under one minute later to give Chicago the 4-3 win.
Sharks leave it late in Winnipeg (6/1/2015)
The jets were still smarting from the 3-0 beating they took at the start of the season and wanted some revenge at home to San Jose Sharks, this meeting was to be less one sided.
The first period saw a serious high stick penalty on San Jose forward Melker Karlsson by Mathieu Perreault, the Sharks capitalised shortly after thanks to Brent Burn’s eleventh goal of the season. Shortly afterward Winnipeg was to equalise with a power play goal of their own. After a slashing penalty, Andrew Ladd put the puck in the back of the net to tie the game 1-1. Ladd is in form at present scoring nine points in six games.
Five minutes into the second period Melker Karlsson was to get sweet revenge for the high stick penalty that drew blood in the first period, his goal assisted by Joe Pavelsky gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead going into the third.
Early in the third period Sharks Brent Burn’s was sent to the sin bin for hooking against Bryan Little, Jay Harrison took full advantage to bring the Jets level at 2-2. Following on from two epic saves from the Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson, Winnipeg’s hearts were finally broken with just five seconds remaining in regulation, Marc-Edouard Vlasic with the final goal to give the Sharks the 3-2 win.
The win means Vancouver, San Jose and Los Angeles are level on points in the western conference Pacific division. The Jets meanwhile sit fourth in the central division of the western conference.
Bruins break losing streak (8/1/2015)
Despite the Penguins beating the Bruins during their last meeting 3-2 both clubs have been struggling recently, Pittsburgh have a record of 2-4-1 in their last seven games while the Bruins three straight losses needed to be snapped.
In the first period it was the Penguins with the pressure early on, and they capitalised courtesy of a Beau Bennett shot past goalie Tuukka Rask. The pass that led to the goal was fed to Bennett through the legs of Boston defencemen Zdeno Chara by Evgeni Malkin. Before the end of the period renewed pressure by Boston prevailed as Zdeno chara made up for his earlier blunder with a huge slap shot past Marc-Andre Fleury.
Early on in the second the Penguins had an early goal by Craig Adams disallowed, it was not the only chance they had in the period, another shot, this time from Christian Ehrhoff came off goal tender Tuukka Rask’s face mask. It was Boston who found the only goal in the second period, an unselfish pass from Daniel Paille was guided in perfectly by Patrice Bergeron and the 2-1 lead.
Seconds into the third period the Penguins drew blood early, Evgeni Malkin smashing a slap shot into the back of the net. The Penguins were gifted a power play shortly after but failed to capitalise, it was one of four missed opportunities during the game. With the score at 2-2 the game was to go into overtime.
Just under three minutes into overtime a pass from Boston’s Milan Lucic was guided into the net by Patrice Bergeron for his second of the game. The goal itself had to be reviewed because it was unclear if it was deflected off a glove, after the review the goal was deemed good to give the Bruins a much needed win.
The win puts Boston ahead of Toronto in the Atlantic division, meanwhile Pittsburgh remain top of the Metropolitan division one point ahead of the Islanders.
Avalanche of goals (9/1/2015)
It’s fair to say Ottawa are not having the best of times at present, in the last ten games they have won just four and are well adrift of the top four in the division. They are however just five points from fifth place Florida; however the Panthers do have games in hand. Colorado meanwhile have found their feet, they have won seven of their last ten and were clearly confident coming into the game.
In the first period both sides attacked each other’s goal drawing saves form both goalies. It was midway through the period when the first goal was scored, Colorado’s Jarome Iginla scoring his fifth goal in eight games and eleventh so far this season. Just before the end of the period Brad Stuart scored a superb first goal of the season, his slap shot was just too fast for Senators goalie Craig Anderson to stop.
Three minutes into the second period the Senators managed to pull a goal back, Erik Karlssons perfect pass set up Mark Stone for the score. Sadly for Ottawa the Avalanche were to restore their lead less than two minutes later, Erik Johnsons goal making the score 3-1 going into the third period.
Twenty three seconds into the period and a slashing penalty in the previous period by Erik Karlsson, led to the Avalanche forth goal, Jarome Iginla scoring for Colorado yet again. Under a minute later Bobby Ryan skated around Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, and guided the puck into the back of the net for Ottawa’s second goal. Minutes later the goal became academic as Colorado restored the lead and ultimately won the game, Daniel Briere making the final score 5-2, and giving Colorado another win.
The Avalanche welcome the Stars to Colorado on Saturday (10th), meanwhile Ottawa have a trip to fellow strugglers Arizona on Sunday (11th).
NOTE: Slap Shot is written across the period of one week. Teams may play more than once in the week sometime against the same team. All five games reported are written the day after they are played and so information is correct at time of writing.