Michael Finewax

Hockey Daily Dose

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Dose: A Luongo Night

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The three stars of the week were an interesting mix.


The first star was Michael Grabner who was unwanted by even Toronto after last season as he scored nine goals and had nine assists in a full season.


But the Rangers took the speedy winger and voila!, he is back to being the goal scorer he was as a rookie when he found the back of the net 34 times as a New York Islander. He had five goals and seven points in three games and now has 19 goals to lead the New Yorkers in scoring.


The second star was Patrick Maroon who the Oilers apparently stole from Anaheim last season when they dealt for him at the trade deadline, giving up Martin Gernat and a fourth round pick in 2016 who turned out to be Jack Kopacka.


Maroon had four goals and 13 points in 56 games for Anaheim but turned it around in Edmonton as he had eight goals and 14 points in 16 games. This season he has been productive as well with 16 goals and 23 points in 42 games with a plus-14 rating after getting five goals and six points in four games this past week. It doesn’t hurt that he plays with Connor McDavid.


The third star was Braden Holtby and he needs no introduction.


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Roberto Luongo turned aside all 28 shots as he moved into fifth all-time in wins with 448, surpassing the great Terry Sawchuk as the Panthers defeated New Jersey 3-0.


It was his 73rd career shutout (the perfect number according to Sheldon Cooper) as Luongo raised his record to 12-10-5 with a 2.39 GAA and a .921 save percentage.


Luongo had missed the last two games in a row as he was out with an upper body injury but he showed no ill effects in shutting down the Devils.


Reilly Smith scored the only goal Luongo would need as he potted his eighth of the season on the power play 16:55 into the first period.


Cory Schneider was strong in the Devils cage as he stopped 26 of 27 shots with the Panthers scoring their last two into the empty net. He has been terrific in the month of January (save for the game against the Maple Leafs) as he has given up only eight goals on 154 shots and that includes three goals on five shots against Toronto. He has a 12-14-6 record with a 2.73 GAA and a .909 save percentage.


Jussi Jokinen and Vincent Trocheck scored into the empty net and each picked up an assist on Smith’s power play goal.


Pavel Zacha took a five minute major for boarding Denis Malgin in the first period and that was the difference as Smith’ goal came on that man-advantage.  Malgin did not return to the game.




Alex Ovechkin scored the 544th goal of his career and tied the great Rocket Richard on the all-time list as the Washington Capitals stomped the Montreal Canadiens 4-1.


He also picked up a couple of assists and sits at 999 points as he attempts to become the 84th NHLer to hit the magical 1,000 point mark.


The Capitals opened the scoring with Nicklas Backstrom’s 10th goal of the season. Ovechkin and Karl Alzner got the assists.


There was no scoring in the second period and the Habs tied it up at 1, 7:18 into the third when Tomas Plekanec scored only his fourth of the season. It was on the power play.


Less than a minute later, Evgeny Kuznetsov scored to give the Capitals a lead they would not relinquish.


Brett Connolly also scored his fifth of the year as the Capitals outshot the Canadiens 39-23.


Braden Holtby made 22 saves for the win as he is 19-8-4 with a 1.90 GAA and a .931 save percentage.


Carey Price saw his record drop to 20-6-4. He has a 2.12 GAA and a .928 save percentage.


Alzner had six blocked shots.




Connor Hellebuyck kicked out all 28 shots as the Jets doused the Calgary Flames 2-0.


It was his third shutout of the season as he is 16-13-1 with a 2.65 GAA and a .913 save percentage as his peripherals are getting closer to being average after a slow start to the season.


Dustin Byfuglien opened the scoring just past the halfway mark of the first as he took a pass from Drew Stafford who replaced the concussed Patrik Laine on the second line with Nikolaj Ehlers and Mark Scheifele, went around Mark Giordano and toe dragged it past Chad Johnson.


There was no scoring in the second and Blake Wheeler scored the only goal of the third when he intercepted a weak pass from T.J. Brodie and snapped a shot past Johnson.


Johnson made 25 saves as his record is 14-9-1 with a 2.27 GAA and a .922 save percentage.


Matthew Tkachuk saw his nine game points streak end.




You have to love games in which both goaltenders are replaced. And that’s exactly what happened in Los Angeles where the Kings hosted the Dallas Stars.


It was 3-1 for Dallas entering the third period when the wildness began.  Four goals were scored in a span of 3:02 with the Kings scoring three times to tie the game at four. That was enough for Dallas coach Lindy Ruff to pull Kari Lehtonen and replace him with Antti Niemi.


The Stars took a 5-4 lead just 2:26 later when Jiri Hudler scored his first of the season. Peter Budaj was replaced shortly thereafter and Jeff Zatkoff took over.


Brett Ritchie scored the only goal of the first period and Tyler Seguin made it 2-0 at the 9:04 mark of the second before Nick Shore cut the lead in half with a weak shorthanded effort.


Jamie Oleksiak restored the two goal lead late in the second as the wild third began with Dallas up by two.


Dustin Brown got it started at 2:16 of the third on the power play as he moved past Charlie Simmer on the Kings all-time goal scoring list with his 223rd goal.


Devin Shore (no relation to Drew) gave the Stars a two goal lead once again but Anze Kopitar broke a long slump as he scored his fourth of the season and 247th of his career to pass Wayne Gretzky on the Kings goal scoring list. It was Kopitar’s first goal in 13 games and second in 30.


Drew Doughty completed the comeback with his seventh of the season and it was on the power play.


Hudler, as stated earlier, scored his first and also drew an assist as he now has four points in 16 games. It is quite a comedown from just three seasons ago when he managed 76 points.


Patrick Sharp scored into the empty net for his second goal of the season that has been injury-plagued.


Antti Niemi got the win with Budaj picking up the loss.

Michael Finewax is entering his 13th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.
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