This week’s Slap Shot from Uncle Sam’s NHL blogger Alex Underwood features wins for the New Jersey Devils and Winnipeg Jets, the New York Islanders gaining local bragging rights by defeating the Rangers, plus a surprise whalloping for the Tampa Bay Lightning at Philly…
Tampa thumped by Philly (12/1/2015)
Tampa Bay came into Philadelphia leading the Atlantic division; they left with the wrong message to their rivals.
In the first period the Flyers opened the scoring thanks to Chris Vande Velde. A tripping penalty gifted Tampa Bay a power play soon after and the Lightning took full advantage, Steven Stamkos with his 23rd goal of the season. Minutes before the end of the period R.J. Umberger restored the 2-1 Flyers lead.
The second period saw the Flyers open the flood gates, Philadelphia totally out played the Lightning in all areas of the game. The first goal in the second period came on a power play, after a hooking penalty against the Lightning; Jakub Voracek slotted his seventeenth goal of the season into the back of the net. Minutes later the Flyers extended their lead to 4-1 thanks to Pierre-Edouard. A high stick penalty against Matthew Carle gave the Flyers another power play and another goal, this time from Mark Streit. By now the Lightning had lost all discipline and yet another high stick penalty gave the Flyers another power play goal, Brayden Schenn getting in on the action this time. Tampa Bay’s slide continued six minuet’s later, Michael Raffl guiding a pass from Scott Laughton into the net. Seconds later in this fast paced period, Bryan Boyle pulled a goal back for the Lightning to make the score 7-2. In the dyeing minutes of the period, Flyer Mark Streit was sent to the sin bin for hooking against Nikita Kucherov.
Early in the third the Lightning took full advantage of the late penalty in the previous period and scored on the power play, Ryan Callahan with the final goal of the game, for a final score of 7-3 to the Flyers.
Islanders win the derby (13/1/2015)
The Rangers have won seven out of their last ten games and are playing solid hockey. Four places above them at the top of the metropolitan division are the Islanders, who have won six out of their last ten and are equally inform. So who are on top in the big apple?
The first period saw chances for both teams to score; Henrik Lundqvist saved a number of shots on the Rangers goal, while the Islanders hit the post twice in a row to be denied the lead.
Anders Lee scored the game’s first goal, re directing the puck with the back of his stick, through the legs of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist. Nikolay Kulemin made the score 2-0 to the Islanders, Kulemin latched on to a cleared puck and guided it into the Rangers net. With seconds remaining in the second period, Frans Nielsen took an intercepted Ranger pass and scored to make the score 3-0.
Lundqvist was benched for the third period but it had no effect as no further goals were scored, giving the Islanders the win at Maddison square gardens. The rivalry boiled over at the end of the period with a large altercation involving a number of players.
Kings humbled by struggling Devils (14/1/2015)
The Devils began their three game trip to California in Los Angeles to play the Kings. The Kings have a record of 2-2-3 in their last seven, not good enough to compete in the tough Pacific division. The Devils meanwhile have won four in the last ten, coupled with the coaching controversy it’s fair to say things are not great in New Jersey ether.
The first period contained no less than six power plays, with only one goal. It was New Jersey who took advantage of the extra man late in the period. After a holding penalty against Jarret Stoll, New Jersey’s Steve Bernier scrambling the puck into the net.
Early in the second period the Kings scored an equaliser, Dustin Brown guided a Drew Doughty pass into the net. Steve Bernier scored his second minutes later on another power play; his shot came off Kings goalie Martin Jones, who was promptly replaced by Jonathan Quick after the goal. The replacement had no effect as seconds later Martin Havlat smashed the puck into the net. Mike Cammalleri then made it three goals in under three seconds of play for the Devils to make the score 4-1. In the dyeing minuets of the period the Devils increased their lead, Michael Ryder guided an Andy Greene pass into the LA net.
LA pulled two goals back in the third period, the first was thanks to Marian Gaborik, the second in the final minutes of the game by Justin Williams. Losing to the Devils by a score of 5-3 at home highlights the extent of LA’s loss of form, and with games against the Ducks, Sharks and the resurgent Flames to come, it’s clear the Kings need a fast turnaround.
Jets form continues (15/1/2015)
With five wins and a tie in their last ten, which includes an 8-2 win over the Florida Panthers, Winnipeg Jets are having a happy new year. Dallas has an even better record over ten games, but could not add to their winning tally against the Jets.
In the first period it was the Jets on the board first, Michael Frolik tapped a Mathieu Perreault pass in for the score.
The second period was all about the goalies with both coming up big time after time, in fact Winnipeg’s number 31 Ondrej Pavelec came up with 22.
In the third period Dallas fell further behind in the worst way. During a power play after a high sticking penalty by the Jets Blake Wheeler, the Stars gave away the puck while attacking the Jets net. Evander Kane took the puck and buried it in the Stars net for the score and the 2-0 lead. Dallas cut the lead thanks to Trevor Daley but it was not enough and the Jets went on to win 2-1, not a high scoring game, but added to the Jets three game winning streak.
NOTE: Slap Shot is written between 5 and 6am across the period of one week. Teams may play more than once in the week, sometime against the same team. All four games reported are written the day after they are played and so information is correct at time of writing.
NOTE: A team is awarded 2 points for a regulation, overtime or shootout win, a team receives 0 points for a loss in regulation, but receives 1 point if they lose in overtime or a shootout. Standings are correct as of Friday.