In Rinkside Roundup Johan Franzen was a handful for the Ottawa Senators and he lit them up for a handful of goals as his Detroit Red Wings skated to a 7-5 victory in the Canadian capital. The five goal game for Franzen was the first recorded in the NHL since 2007 when Marian Gaborik turned the trick for the Minnesota Wild against the New York Rangers and is the first time the feat has been accomplished by a Red Wings player since Sergei Fedorov against the Washington Capitals in 1996. Franzen scored two in the first and posted a hatter in the third period alone to boost his goal total to 26 on the year.
Other Red Wings with big nights included Henrik Zetterberg with three helpers, Brian Rafalski with two assists of his own and former Adirondack Red Wing Kris Draper posted his fifth goal of the year in the second. For the Ottawa Senators who haven’t won since Boxing Day, Alex Kovalev picked up a goal and two assists.
In Pittsburgh a shutout wasn’t enough for Pens goale Brent Johnson, so he and his teammates delivered a knockout to the lowly New York Islanders who still haven’t won in the Steel City since 2007. Late in the third Isles netminder Rick DiPietro swatted at known Pittsburgh agitator Matt Cooke, but Johnson made sure DiPietro got what was coming to him and knocked out the glass jawed goaltender with one left to the cheek. Former Albany River Rat Mike Rupp was also involved in a scrap with Zenon Konopka in the second as well. The Penguins took this one by a final of 3-0. Highlights of the fights below.
Up in Montreal, Canadiens Captain and former Albany River Rat Brian Gionta’s 19th goal of the year turned out to be the eventual winner as the Habs held off the Florida Panthers 3-2. P.K. Subban notched two helpers for Montreal in the win.
Roberto Luongo made 23 saves as the Vancouver Canucks blanked the Phoenix Coyotes 6-0. Ryan Kesler notched his 29th and 30th goals of the year in the win.
Ryan Smyth scored two power-play goals for his 21st and 22nd markers of the season as the Los Angeles Kings scored three unanswered goals in a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Jack Johnson added a goal and two helpers, Drew Doughty had two assists as well for L.A.
Finally in a battle of California teams, a big three goal first set the tone for the San Jose Sharks as they held off the Anaheim Ducks 4-3.