Rinkside Roundup wishes a Happy 50th Birthday to Mark Messier. As for the hockey, we begin in Pominville where I believe the population just went up by one. The Buffalo Sabres edged the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 in overtime on Jason Pominville’s ninth goal of the year, a power-play tally and wrister past Habs netminder Carey Price.
Down in Carolina, a day after the Boston Bruins spanked the Hurricanes, this time they squeaked by 3-2. Starting the B’s scoring was a defenseman, but for once it wasn’t Zdeno Chara, he of yesterday’s hat-trick, but one-time Albany River Rat Johnny Boychuk for his first marker of the year on the power-play. After trading goals the rest of the way, the B’s landed on top with a score from Milan Lucic on a power-play tally of his own. Tim Thomas was solid again a day after recording a shutout, the B’s keeper made 43 big saves.
Former Adirondack Red Wing Mike Knuble’s eleventh goal of the year wasn’t enough for the Washington Capitals, but it wasn’t enough as an Andrej Meszaros goal in overtime gave the Philaelphia Flyers a 3-2 win. The Flyers become the first NHL team to 30 wins and coupled with the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 OT loss to the Colorado Avalanche, both squads are tied with a league high 65 points.
In St. Louis the Kings dropped a 2-1 decision to the Blues. Ex-Rats forward Brad Richardson registered his fourth helper of the season on the lone Los Angeles goal.
Former Rochester Americans and Buffalo Sabres forward J.P. Dumont posted a hat-trick in the Nashville Predators 5-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes. One-time New Jersey and Lowell Devils forward Matt Halischuk notched two assists for Nashville. Albany Devils fans may remember Halischuk as the first Devils player pictured on the Albany Devils website before he was dealt for Jason Arnott this past summer.
Around the “A” Bryan Helmer was back at it again for the Oklahoma City Barons. The one-time River Rat and Devils prospect picked up his fourth goal on the power-play, but it wouldn’t be enough on this night as the Barons fell to the Lake Erie Monsters 3-1. Ex-Rats and Adirondack Phantoms netminder John Grahame turned away 24 of 25 shots in the Monsters win. Grahame is 9-7-2-2 with a 2.33 GAA on the year.
Out west in Manitoba, former RPI standout Jerry D’Amigo registered an assist on the Toronto Marlies lone goal but they were downed by the Manitoba Moose 4-1. Former River Rats backstop Tyler Weiman saved 29 of 30, picking up the win for the Moose. On the season Weiman is 9-4-1-2 with a 2.50 GAA.