NHL Recap and Picks: Oct. 11

----- -----------Correspondent IOctober 11, 2009

Boston scored three late-period goals against the Islanders, with the last tying goal coming about two and half minutes before the game buzzer, to set the stage for an overtime and ensuing shootout ending in a 4-3 Boston victory on Saturday. 

Out in Toronto, Sidney Crosby scored a pair of goals and Evgeni Malkin had a flurry of assists as the Penguins claimed a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, whose defensive corps has yet to demonstrate the type of play that Ron Wilson is looking for. 

Over in the nation's capital (mine, at least), Alexei Kovalev finally started to show what the $5 million per year is going to get for the Senators. Kovalev's first goal came with Ottawa's best game of the season in a 4-2 victory over Atlanta. The Senators controlled the pace of the game and came out with a balanced attack and improved their record to (3-1-0).

Anaheim scored twice in the third period, including the tying goal with some 20 seconds left in the game, to send this one into overtime and an ensuing shootout. In the end, Anaheim took it in the shootout, 3-2, moving to 1-3 as Philadelphia fell to 0-3.

New Jersey was able to muster up some scoring from Rob Niedermayer, Travis Zajac, and David Clarkson all contributing goals to overcome Florida in regulation.

Washington played a strong game, including fine play in net by Jose Theodore, but Alex Ovechkin was held goal-less and his team lost, 3-2. Ville Leino, Jason Williams, and Tomas Holmstrom all scored for Detroit, which played its first full game without the "Mule," Johan Franzen. 

Tampa Bay got roaring after an uneventful first period, scoring five times to flat-line the Hurricanes. Ryan Malone had a hat trick, with Paul Ranger and Steve Downie contributing as well. 

Los Angeles had a close call last night against St. Louis despite walking into the third period with a two-goal lead. Alex Steen scored a short-handed goal to cut the lead within one, but Jonathan Quick was able to hold his ground for the win. 

Even after the bold prediction of Puck Daddy blogger Greg Wyshynski predicted that Nashville would be the only unbeaten team left in the NHL when it played Buffalo, it was the Sabres that walked away with two points as Mike Grier scored late in the third period en route to Ryan Miller's NHL shutout.

In the Chicago game, a shootout was needed when both teams couldn't get a deciding goal despite walking into the third period, 3-3. Colorado had a three-goal flurry in the second period to force the issue into overtime.

Columbus spoiled the Coyotes' first home game of the season (and an announced sellout) by shutting them down, 2-0.

Montreal couldn't muster a third-period comeback as Edmonton, which dominated the game, it seemed, held down the fort winning by a one-goal margin of 3-2.

San Jose rolled over Minnesota, 4-2, with a three-goal second period and an insurance goal nine seconds into the third. Dany Heatley scored on the power play in the second period. 


Tonight's Games

Anaheim Ducks (2-1-1) vs. New York Rangers (3-1-0)

Anaheim is playing very good hockey, but double-headers take their toll on any team. Combine that with an energized Rangers bunch with a Marian Gaborik that has a groin that's waiting a week or two before acting up, and you can pretty much guess my pick. The Rangers are walking home in regulation with a win, I think.


Dallas Stars (1-0-2) vs. Vancouver Canucks (1-3-0)

Roberto Luongo has my money any day of the week, despite the announced injury of Daniel Sedin, who is out for four to six weeks with a broken foot, which he incurred in the 7-1 humiliation against the Montreal Canadiens.


My record to date: 10-5 (66.7%)

Oct. 9 record: 1-1 (50%)

Oct. 10 record: 9-4 (69.2%)