A light night in the NHL but a good night if you're wearing blue. The
New York Rangers found themselves in New Jersey taking on the Devils,
while Columbus was out west facing the Vancouver Canucks.
It was the Devils in Newark who pounced on the Rangers extremely early with a goal a little more than a minute into the action. Rob Niedermayer put New Jersey out front with his first as a Devil from former Albany River Rats' Jay Pandolfo and David Clarkson. This prompted Rangers coach John Tortorella to go absolutely ballistic on the bench, lighting into his players. From that point Rangers youngster and defenseman Michael Del Zotto caught Marty Brodeur out of position on the power play and locked things up at one in the first.
Midway through the first New Jersey struck back with a power play goal of their own with a nifty pass from Clarkson in front of the crease back to another former Albany River Rat Travis Zajac to light the lamp on Henrik Lundqvist. Zach Parise who also played in Albany picked up an assist on the play as well. But New York who went oh-fer their first two games on the power play, put another one past Brodeur from way out off the stick of newly acquired Ales Kotalik for his first as a Ranger. The former Buffalo Sabre Kotalik who assisted on Del Zotto's PPG picked up his goal this time around from Del Zotto and Ryan "don't call me Tommy" Callahan to tie things up once more.
Early in the third it was Matt Gilroy the rookie and former captain of last year's Boston University National Championship team putting home his first career NHL goal off a brand name goaltender. The latter two goals were not typical of shots that followers of Martin Brodeur are accoustomed to seeing let up. In any event that was enough to garner the Rangers a victory 3-2.
Out west Columbus goalie Steve Mason continues so sparkle between the pipes after being pelted with 43 shots from the Canucks and stopping 40. Henrik Sedin got the Canucks going late in the first but with under a minute to go the Jackets answered back with a score by Antione Vermette, so it was 1-1 after one.
In the second Columbus kept that momentum going beating Roberto Luongo three more times, including twice within a span of 22 seconds. Kristian Huselius, Rostislav Klesla and Nikita Filatov all scored chasing Luongo from the game.
Midway through the second and third Vancouver tried to chip away with Christian Ehrhoff and Willie Mitchell bringing the Canucks back within one at 4-3. Mitchell the former Albany River Rats defenseman had that goal and an assist on Ehrhoff's goal on the night.
However Fedor Tyutin's power play goal late in the third for Columbus gave them all the insurance they needed to roll onto a 5-3 victory. Rick Nash also had a big influence on the Blue Jackets win with three helpers.
Nightly Notables: Erik Cole of the Carolina Hurricanes is out 4-6 weeks with a fractured leg, which could result in either the call up of Brandon Sutter or Pat Dwyer for all you Albany River Rats fans out there who are curious. Habs top defenseman Andrei Markov will be out another four months after getting cut on his ankle.