In Rinkside Roundup the New Jersey Devils get back on track against the Ottawa Senators with their fourth straight win at home 2-1. Less than a minute into the second, recently recalled from the Albany Devils, Nick Palmieri whacked home his own rebound with a backhand shot. The goal was Palmieri’s fourth on the year.
Ottawa would square things at 1-1 on an Alex Kovalev power-play goal, his ninth.
In the final frame Dainius Zubrus proved the old adage true, good things happen when you shoot the puck. Zubrus down low on the right side flung the puck at the net and got it past Sens goalie Robin Lehner for the eventual winner. Former Albany River Rats Patrik Elias (25) and Brian Rolston (11) assisted on the winner by Zubrus. The Devils are 7-1-1 in their last nine, while the Senators are 1-9-4 in their last 14.
Other local action in New York saw the Pittsburgh Penguins come back from a 2-0 hole to down the Rangers in a shootout. Former River Rat Mike Rupp notched his fifth of the year for the Pens in the second to knot the game at 2-2. After Pittsburgh took the lead on a Chris Kunitz goal, Ryan Callahan picked the Rangers up with a power-play tally with less than a minute left in the period.
But in the shootout, recently recalled Dustin Jeffery who got the Pens started in that second, scored the winner in the shootout for the 4-3 victory.
Another New York team in action was the Islanders in Atlanta. Four unanswered goals, including the first two on the year by Kyle Okposo who also added a helper, a positive sign for sure for the Isles who took care of the Thrashers 4-1.
Down at the site of the NHL All-Star game in Raleigh, NC former River Rat and rookie All-Star defenseman Jamie McBain got the Carolina Hurricanes on the board with a tip in for his fourth. However the Boston Bruins remain their tormentor and held off the Canes 3-2.
The defending champs looked like they were ready to kick it into “repeat mode,” in Columbus. The Chicago Blackhawks lit up the Blue Jackets 7-4. Jonathan Toews recorded three points on the night for Chicago.
Former River Rats netminder Scott Clemmensen kept the Florida Panthers in their game with the Toronto Maple Leafs with 22 saves, but his Panthers came up short in the shootout against the Leafs 4-3.
Two goals by Teddy Purcell and 38 saves by Dwayne Roloson carried the Tampa Bay Lightning to an impressive 4-0 blanking of the Philadelphia Flyers.
An unofficial hat-trick by former Albany River Rat Brian Gionta lead the Montreal Canadiens to a comeback victory over the Washington Capitals 3-2 in a shootout. Washington got up 2-0 in the first with a power-play goal from former Adirondack Red Wing Mike Knuble with his 12 on the season.
In the second the Habs Captain Gionta posted his 17th and 18th tallies of the year to tie the contest at 2-2. As the game progressed to a shootout, the lone goal by Gionta was the difference maker for the Canadiens in their win over the Caps.
Former Albany River Rat Brendan Morrison registered his 20th assist on the year as his Calgary Flames edged the Nashville Predators 3-2 in shootout.