Mike Cammalleri’s had a pretty decent two weeks.
Coming into tonight, in his last five games, he had six goals and two assists. So the fact that he bailed Calgary out from an horrendously bad defensive game, one which it eventually won 5-4 in a shootout, with another two goals was both fortuitous and somewhat expected.
Twice tonight, Calgary scored a goal that tied the game and surrendered another go-ahead marker within roughly 30 seconds. RJ Umberger opened the scoring for Columbus almost right away and Jarome Iginla answered with his first goal in eight games a while later. And just 31 seconds after that, Umberger scored again because Calgary just decided to let its entire defensive system break down and Miikka Kiprusoff simultaneously opted to ignore the rules set forth by conventional positional goaltending.
In the second, it got real wacky. Cammalleri scored a power play goal at 17:40 that was the result of a beautiful rush that collapsed the Columbus box while the puck was still in the neutral zone. It was glorious. Literally 10 seconds later, Jakub Voracek answered to put Columbus back up 3-2, and 40 seconds after that David Moss leveled the game again.
In the third, both teams had the decency to space out the goals from Rick Nash (a pretty shorthanded breakaway goal) and Cammalleri by about 10 minutes. Todd Bertuzzi ended up winning the game with the only shootout goal allowed by either Kiprusoff or Steve Mason, neither of whom impressed tonight.
Games like this are exactly why I don’t think the Flames will get too deep into the playoffs. They can’t stop the counterattack and, with increasingly enfuriating frequency, they can’t get Kiprusoff to show up and keep the friggin’ Blue Jackets from scoring four goals on 33 shots. Blerg.
New Jersey 5, Montreal 2
Five Devils had two-point nights and the only one that did the same for Montreal was Matt D’Agostini, so that paints as vivid a picture as possible about the lopsidedness of this game. If you’re Carey Price you probably don’t wanna make a habit of getting badly outdueled by Scott Clemmensen. Just sayin’.
New York Islanders 2, Anaheim 1
Oh the joy this brought me. The Islanders were outshot 40-14 and still won. And how about Yann Danis, a product of Brown University, steppin up big for the Isles? Always liked that kid, even if he did steal points from my college pretty much every game he ever played against it. Nice guy, great goalie. Good for him.
Philadelphia 5, Atlanta 3
This one was a little zany. Philly led 3-0 headed into the third and, starting at 4:42, gave up three goals in 6:07. In true Atlantian fashion, however, the Thrashers allowed Mike Knuble to break the tie a few minutes later and add an empty netter to ice it. Game also had a pair of fights two seconds apart in the first period. So that’s cool.
Boston 4, Toronto 3 (SO)
Good game here (as Bruins games so often are this season). Blake Wheeler scored an awful pretty shootout goal to keep Boston in it before Michael Ryder sniped the christ out of one to win the game. The true highlight, though, was Jack Edwards acknowledging the existence of the Jack Edwards Bingo card, and seemingly refusing to understand that it is meant to belittle him.
Tampa Bay 5, Buffalo 3
Nice little run the Bolts are on, going 4-2 in their last six with losses to the Panthers and Sharks (what can ya do on that last one?). They got a good game out of Jeff Halpern, really!, and a better one from Mike Smith, who made 31 saves. Might these guys be primed for a second-half run at a playoff spot? No. But they’re playing good hockey right now so what the hell, right?
Dallas 4, Florida 1
I have to be reading this wrong. Dallas 4, Florida 1. Florida 1. Florida… one…? No that can’t be right. Hmmm maybe Marty Turco got the night off. N..no. He made 27 saves. On 28 shots? Marty Turco? The goalie? I dunno this sounds all wrong. You mean to tell me that Marty Turco gave up less than three goals in a game? I’m gonna call the league tomorrow. Something fishy went on in Sunrise tonight.
St. Louis 2, Chicago 0
Nobody won a million dollars from the Illinois State Lottery, but something even less probable than that happened: Jeff Woywitka had a goal, and not just any goal. The the game-winning goal. Oddly, Chicago only put 21 shots on Chris Mason, which doesn’t seem right. Maybe Patrick Kane really is hurt.
Los Angeles 6, Colorado 5
Keep up the good work, Avs. How does an NHL team give up five goals in a period? How do they do it against the Kings, I guess is the better question. Jack Johnson, who apparently is back healthy now, had his first goal of the season and then like 16 other guys had two-point nights for L.A., which of course beat the team Calgary couldn’t do dick against on Sunday. Great.