1. The Kings of the Island
On Sunday night, the Islanders and Rangers battled it out for the crown of second-best team in New York (the Sabres play there too, remember). In the end, the Isles come away victorious, snatching a 7-4 win from their in-state rivals and moving to the top of the Atlantic Division. Viktor Kozlov had an incredible night for the boys in blue and orange, netting four goals for the first time in his 14 year career. His performance overshadowed the Rangers’ trusty veteran Brendan Shanahan, who posted a hat trick of his own on Sunday at the Garden. Defensively, Rick DiPietro had a nice night for the Isles, stopping 39 of 43 shots for win number 11 on the year. The Islanders have now won five of their last seven games.
2. Ovechkin’s rite of passage
Alexander Ovechkin’s 17th goal of the season in the first period of Saturday’s game helped the Washington Capitals down the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 7-4. Just one period later, he was thrown from the contest with a game misconduct- the first of his young career. Congratulations on the accomplishment, Alex. Of course you’ve never really solidified yourself in the NHL until you’ve been tossed from a game, as Mr. Ovechkin was for his check from behind on Buffalo’s Daniel Briere. Washington’s Matt Pettinger picked up the slack after Ovechkin left, slipping the puck past Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller two times in the game. It was the third win in a row for Washington, who has moved up to the middle of the pack in the Southeast Division.
3. Is Savard The Answer?
After his first three games behind the bench, the Chicago Blackhawks certainly think so. After a 4-3 overtime win over the Preds on Saturday in Nashville, Chicago improved to 3-0 on the year under new coach Denis Savard, who took the head coach spot from Trent Yawney a week ago. Chicago’s Jeff Hamilton netted a hat trick and added an assist in the game against Nashville, who has lost all three decisions against Chi-town this season. Who would have thought that nearly half of the Preds’ (who are second in the Western Conference) losses would come at the hand of the Hawks (who are in the bottom five in the Western)?
Check It Out
The Calgary Sun’s David Unkle talks about the Flyers’ season so far, and the youngsters they’re looking to for victories, thanks to injuries and poor play from the everyday veterans. Obviously it isn’t working out for Philadelphia this year, who are dead last in the Eastern Conference.
Game of the Night: San Jose at Dallas
Sharks look to improve to 4-0 on four-game road trip
The Last Shot
Hope Sebastien Caron’s parents weren’t in attendance:
Thanks to Off Wing’s Eric Mcerlain for the pointer.