A night of firsts in Rinkside Roundup. We begin with the New Jersey Devils and Phoenix Coyotes. Martin Brodeur made 29 saves for his 113th career shutout to perserve a 3-0 victory for the Devils. Former Albany River Rat Brian Rolston was back in the lineup, as were two more Albany Devils Anssi Salmela and Tim Sestito.
While Salmela was making his return from injury, it was another Albany Devils defenseman making noise for New Jersey. Sandwiched between two Ilya Kovalchuk goals, Fayne picked up his first NHL goal in the first on assists from two fomer River Rats, Patrik Elias and Travis Zajac. Zajac and Elias also picked up their 12th and 15th assists respectively on Kovalchuk’s second goal of the game in the third period to cap off the Devils 3-0 win.
In other NHL local action, just nights after whipping the Washington Capitals 7-0, the New York Rangers continued their Eastern Conference World beater status with four third period goals to bat down the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1. The Rangers also improved their league best road record to 12-5.
In Western New York it was Drew Stafford 3, the Boston Bruins 2. Down 2-1 going into the third, Stafford netted two goals including his second of the night on the power-play, besting Tukka Rask for the winner. For Stafford the hat-trick racked up his sixth, seventh and eighth of the year, all of which were assisted on by Derek Roy in the Buffalo Sabres victory.
Up north in Montreal, former Albany River Rat Brian Gionta’s tenth goal of the year for the Canadiens tied things at 3-3 in the third with the Philadelphia Flyers. However late goals by Flyers James van Riemsdyk and Claude Giroux were too much as the Habs ran out of gas losing 5-3.
In the Sunshine State, after falling behind 3-0 in the game’s first six minutes, the Carolina Hurricanes rallied with a 4-3 comeback victory over the Florida Panthers. With Cam Ward yielding two quick strikes in the first two minutes, former Albany River Rats All-Star netminder Justin Peters kept the Panthers at bay, making 21 saves on 22 shots for his first win on the season.
Down 3-1 heading into the third, ex-Rats defenseman Jamie McBain picked up his first goal of the year for Carolina to pull the Canes within one. From there the hero of the night was Tuomo Ruutu. Ruutu notched two tallies, the game’s tying and winning goals for his sixth and seventh on the year as Carolina pushed by Florida 4-3.
In Nashville, after trailing 2-1 after two, former Albany River Rat Steve Sullivan’s tenth assist of the season on Colin Wilson’s eventual game winner helped aid the Predators third period surge over the San Jose Sharks 3-2. The winner for Wilson was his seventh.
Finally out in Vancouver, what capped off a great night for the Sestito brothers turned out to be an even better night for the Canucks Ryan Kesler. The Columbus Blue Jackets Tom Sestito the Rome, NY native whose brother Tim is back up in New Jersey, scored his first career NHL goal, redirecting a shot from former River Rats defenseman Mike Commodore and squaring things at 2-2 on the power-play in the third. However in OT it was Kesler from the brothers Sedin with a game winning hat-trick power-play goal. Racking up his 15th, 16th and 17th goals of the season were good enough for the Kesler’s errr Canucks to stave off the Blue Jackets 3-2.
Around the “A.” Spurred by four second period goals the Connecticut Whale held off the Adirondack Phantoms 6-4. Below, the scoring summary:
|2. CT Newbury, (4) (Kennedy, Williams), 5:04 (PP)|
|2. CT Redden, (3) (Newbury, Weise), 13:13 (PP)|
|2. CT Kennedy, (4) , 13:24|
|2. ADK Syvret, (5) (Holmstrom, Gustafsson), 14:35 (PP)|
|2. CT Tessier, (4) (Grachev, Soryal), 19:17|
|3. ADK Hamel, (8) (Testwuide), 4:01|
|3. CT Weise, (6) (Kennedy), 5:01 (PP)|
|3. ADK Gustafsson, (4) (Syvret, Holmstrom), 8:32 (PP)|
|3. ADK Holmstrom, (6) (Gustafsson, Hamel), 16:45 (PP)|
|3. CT Zuccarello, (13) (Newbury), 19:34 (EN)|