In the fourth of six straight home games, the Caps host the Flyers on Friday. Philly, fresh off a Thursday night overtime win at Madison Square Garden, are in the midst of an NHL-record tying 11-game road trip, and so far are 6-0-1 on the trip, with the one loss coming in a shootout at the MCI Center on New Year's Eve day. Interestingly, five of Philly's last six games have gone into overtime, and the team's last nine games have been decided by a single goal.
Today's WaPo has blurbs about Steve Eminger trying to shake his current slump, Alex Ovechkin's first injury (slight groin pull), new defensive pairings and good news on the health of Jeffs Halpern and Friesen. The WTimes covers much of the same ground, but seems a bit more concerned about AO's groin.
In other news from around the hockey world:
- The Lightning have reportedly put their captain, Dave Neanderchuk, on waivers. Think he's regretting coming back for one more year?
- A couple of notable injuries, including B's goalie Hannu Toivonen (ankle), Isles' netminder Garth Snow (knees - yes, both) and 'Yotes blueliner Derek Morris (ankle).
- The Stars signed Marty Turco to a four-year contract extension, effectively putting an end to all of the Turco-to-Detroit rumors.
- Did you turn off last night's Wings/Blues game after two periods? You should have. Detroit is now 20-0-1 when leading after two periods, while St. Louis is 0-18-2 when trailing after two.
- Finally, in a 2006 IIHF World U20 Championship Div III match Iceland defeated Armenia 50-0, thanks in part to a 20-goal third period, outshooting the Armenians 133-10. Harutyun Baluyan played the whole game in net for Armenia, making 83 saves (that's works out to a .624 save percentage). Iceland, which scored seven shorthanded goals, was led by Gauti Thormodsson (7G, 9A) and Emil Alengard (9G, 6A, 33 SOG, including 24 in the first period). The goat of the game? Either Armenian forward Aram Simonyam (who finished the game a woeful -35) or Iceland's Kari Valsson, the only Icelandic skater to not register a point. Ouch.
- Hart: Patrik Elias (2G, 2A, +2)
- Ross: Patrik Elias, Joe Thornton, Nils Ekman(4 points each)
- Norris: Brian Rafalski (Game-wining goal, 2A, +2)
- Vezina: Mathieu Garon (29 save shutout win)
- Richard: Jonathan Cheechoo (3G)
- Calder: Brad Boyes (Game-winning goal)
- Aiken: Dwayne Roloson (L, 4 goals against on 14 shots in 40:00 before getting pulled)