Starting off in the Rinkside Roundup to Raleigh, N.C. we go! The Florida Panthers faced off against the Carolina Hurricanes in a Southeast Division battle. Three former Albany River Rats would get on the board for the Canes but an old Rats goalie would come out on top for the Panthers.
In the first Scott Clemmensen got stuck behind his own cage and Zac Dalpe was able to put the puck away for his second career NHL goal in as many games for the 1-0 advantage.
Skipping ahead to the third with the Panthers up 3-1, Carolina stormed back. Zach Boychuk wrapped the puck around the net before firing it past Clemmer for his third of the year to cut the deficit to 3-2. Capping off the rally was an unlikely source for the Canes as Jay Harrison ripped one from the right circle for his first of the year to even things up at 3-3. Jamie McBain also picked up a secondary assist on Harrison’s game tying marker.
However 1:16 into the extra session the Panthers Bryan Allen beat Cam Ward to deliver the extra point for the Panthers 4-3. Panthers netminder Scott Clemmensen posted 34 saves for his third victory on the season.
In games of local interest the New York Islanders continued their solid play of late, though they probably wish they hadn’t shipped Dwayne Roloson off to the Tampa Bay Lightning just yet. Rick DiPietro left with a lower body injury, but his replacement Nathan Lawson made 28 saves in an impressive 5-2 victory for the Isles over the Calgary Flames.
John Tavares netted his 12th and 13th goals of the season on the power-play and added a helper for good measure. Following Tavares on each occasion was Matt Moulson who posted his 13th and 14th scores on the year. In additional book keeping purposes former River Rats defenseman Anton Babchuk recorded his eleventh assist of the year for Calgary in a losing effort.
A battle of Original Six teams in Toronto saw the Boston Bruins top the Maple Leafs 2-1. Tuukka Rask stopped 36 of 37 on the night while Marc Savard netted the eventual winner during the B’s two goal second.
Powered by two goals and one assist from Patrick Sharp and the game winner from Jonathan Toews the Chicago Blackhawks slid by the Los Angeles Kings 4-3.
Alexandre Burrows netted the winner for the Vancouver Canucks as they pelted the San Jose Sharks with 47 shots and were able to hold on for the 4-3 win.
Finally only one contest from around the “A” where former Albany River Rats defenseman Mark Flood notched an assist for the Manitoba Moose in their 4-0 blanking of the Abbotsford Heat. Sergei Shirokov recorded two goals for the Moose in their dominating win.
Other Nightly Notables: The Philadelphia Flyers have placed goaltender Michael Leighton on waivers with the idea of getting him more conditioning and playing time with the AHL Adirondack Phantoms should he clear. If Leighton is claimed by say a team like the Devils or Islanders, the Flyers would be on the hook for half of Leighton’s remaining salary against their cap.
Additionally New Jersey has sent defenseman Mark Fayne back down to Albany. Fayne still leads the A-Devs in plus/minus and he hasn’t played there since November.