In New Jersey it was quality over quantity as the New York Islanders led by Josh Bailey’s two goals and one assist waxed the Devils 5-1, despite being outshot 35-14. The lone bright spot for the Devils came from a pair of former Albany River Rats. Patrik Elias made a whirling dervish spin move, put the puck off the pad of Dwayne Roloson and Travis Zajac put home the rebound for his fourth of the year.
In a preview of the NHL Winter Classic the Pittsburgh Penguins upended the Washington Capitals 3-2 in a shootout. Former Adirondack Red Wings forward Mike Knuble tied the game up a 2-2 with a shorthanded marker for his eighth on the season on a two-on-one break.
Former Adirondack Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood was once again denied his 400th career NHL victory as the St. Louis Blues held off the Detroit Red Wings 4-3. Osgood recorded 21 saves in defeat. Another former A-Wing Kris Draper notched his first helper on the year for Detroit.
Down in Dallas the Calgary Flames edged out the Stars 3-2 in a shootout. Former Albany River Rats defenseman Anton Babchuk got the Flames on the board in the first with a power-play goal, his fifth and was also assisted by former Rat Brendan Morrison. The assist for Morrison was his 15th on the campaign.
Among other games of local interest the Boston Bruins downed the Atlanta Thrashers 4-1, Shawn Thornton picked up two goals for the B’s. With all of the scoring coming in the game’s second period, the Montreal Canadiens downed the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. Despite rallying from a three goal deficit to tie things in the second on the strength of two Jordan Leopold goals, the Sabres fell to the Florida Panthers 4-3 in Buffalo. Finally after a marathon shootout the New York Rangers fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 at MSG.