In Rinkside Roundup, the New York Rangers improved their record to 13-3-3 in one goal games and in the process snapped the Vancouver Canucks 17 game unbeaten streak in regulation with a 1-0 blanking at MSG. Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves for his sixth shutout of the season. Newly acquired Wojtek Wolski knocked a home a rebound after a shot bounced off the post and Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider couldn’t corral the puck.
For Wolski the second period winner was his seventh of the year and came on the power-play for the Blueshirts.
Other New York hockey action saw former Albany River Rat come up an assist shy of a “Gordie Howe Hat-Trick.” McCormick scored what would have been the winner until a late Jeff Skinner tally past a stickless Ryan Miller in a 3-2 Buffalo Sabres victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.
McCormick’s goal was his sixth of the season and Drew Stafford’s 15th on the power-play in the third proved to be the eventual winner for Buffalo. Former Albany River Rats defenseman Jamie McBain also added his 14th helper in the loss for Carolina.
Back downstate on the Island former River Rats bad boy Trevor Gillies crashed the net and posted his first career NHL goal for New York, but it was not a proud night for the Isles as a four goal second powered the Ottawa Senators to a 6-4 victory.
A wild contest in Boston saw the Bruins reel off a five goal outburst in the third to finish off the Philadelphia Flyers 7-5.
Down in Florida former River Rats keeper Scott Clemmensen turned away 27 of 29 shots for his fourth win of the year as the Panthers snapped the Nashville Predators six game winning streak 3-2. Rostislav Olesz scored the tying goal and assisted on David Booth’s winner in the third.
Around the “A” former Albany River Rats defenseman Bryan Helmer reached a milestone on Thursday night. The three-time Calder Cup winner Helmer with two goals and an assist in the Oklahoma City Barons 7-2 throttling of the Peoria Rivermen became the top scoring defenseman in AHL history. In his AHL career Helmer has totaled 122 goals and 398 assists for 520 points in 986 regular season games.
Finally the Charlotte Checkers were downed by the Manchester Monarchs 6-4. Former Albany River Rats Jacob Micflicker and Oscar Osala scored their 17th and tenth goals respectively in the loss for Charlotte.